Saturday, April 23, 2016

• 2017 Wildomar Calendar Photo Contest

Calling all photographers

Pro, amateur, hobbyist and beginners, the city of Wildomar is inviting you to submit photos of the city for a 2017 calendar.

It's being called a contest, but there aren't any prizes being awarded and there's a deadline of 5 p.m. June 30.

The subject matter can be almost anything, but it needs to be about Wildomar somehow. 

It can be of an event, a landmark, people, landscapes or just about anything in town. 

The pictures can be new or old, but should be your best work. You can submit more than one. 

There are some rules to the contest and an entry form that needs to be filled out too. Those can be found at the link below.

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The road to resolution is paved with doubt, and the more you question the less you find out.

— EG Marshall (CBSRMT)

If Wildomar Rap was a statue carved out of marble, it would have a sardonic smile to go along with it's tilted head and crossed arms.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

• Saturday Two-fer

A look at the flags at Marna O'Brien Park.
Saturday April 16th, 2016 will be remembered for a couple of things in Wildomar. 

First, that it had two big events at the same time, and that the wind tried to blow both of them off the map.

Note, it wasn't the city that did the double booking. Perhaps those hosting events (I'm talking to you Relay ☺) in the future can coordinate with the city so as to avoid concurrent functions.

The Relay for Life event began early on Saturday morning and the wind was gusting like it was determined to blow the third little pig's house down. 

It certainly played havoc with many of the easy-ups —at both events. I saw more than one suffer damage. The savvy campers either took theirs completely down, or at least removed the covers, so that the wind couldn't turn them into sails.

The flags were really moving as Chrissy Rohlmeier presided over the opening ceremonies.

It started with an opening ceremony, which included the national anthem being sung by Wildomar city clerk Debbie Lee and a "survivor's breakfast" provided by Annie's Cafe. 

Two notes on the breakfast. 

First, the food was delicious as always, even though the wind did provide a little extra seasoning (a fair amount of dirt landed on the food if you ate in the tent. It looked like pepper... even in the orange juice.) 

Second, Annie (AKA as 
Jan Vyse) braved the wind and did the bulk of the heavy work herself (no paid staff that I saw), though she did have some help with d
ishing up the vittles.

Thanks Annie... errr, I mean Jan, and her volunteers. 
Wildomar should see about annexing Annie's into the city. ☺
After breakfast was the opening lap known as the survivors lap. This is where those that have battled cancer, designated by purple tee shirts, make the first loop on the track.
As the lap was nearing the Wildomar Walkers booth.

Not long after the start of the relay, I went over to the Rotary BBQ. Though the wind was a factor, it wasn't blowing with near the same force as at the high school. 

Still, the parks crew had prepared and had upwards of 100 sand bags to weigh things down. (Oh what fun it was to collect them after the event was over).
The Rotary had many baskets that were raffled off during the day.

In addition to the great live band (Life Time Rocker) there were many booths at the Marna, among them were Wildomar girl scout troop 658, ACE Hardware, Terri Holladay, and of course The Rotary Club... as it was their event. ☺
Pictured are Stella, Ryley and Sonnet.

Confession time, I'm not much of a BBQ guy myself (hope that doesn't put me endanger of losing my man card), and the only food I tasted came from the city's grilling wizard.
I didn't get the name of this unsung hero, but his ribs were the best!
Among the many duties that Mayor Bridgette Moore was attending to, unofficial photographer was key among them. If you follow her on Facebook, you had real time updates from both events.

Mayor Bridgette Moore taking a pic of some of the Rotary crew.

Boy Scout Troop 332 took care of the trash detail, and despite the wind and sun, they did a great job of it.
Some of Troop 332's finest keeping the event litter free.
After the event was over, it was time for the awards. There were a ton of them, so I'm only going to report the overall winner... it was Big Poppa Smokers.
Councilmember Ben Benoit, Mayor Bridgette Moore, Jessie Taylor and Big Poppa. 

After helping stack chairs and wrangle sand bags (that were actually filled with stones) I went back over to Elsinore High School and the Relay event.

The wind hadn't let up, and many teams had packed it in, but more stayed and had a blast in spite of it. 

Once the sun went down, there was a slide show that featured pictures of loved ones that have died from cancer, or have had it and are survivors now. 

Directly after the slide show was the luminaria lap. 

A luminaria is a paper bag that has been decorated, usually with the name of a loved one that has lost a battle with cancer, and then a candle lit inside. 

A dicey proposition with the wind, but thankfully the wind was all but gone by the time they lit the candles in them. Last year they had glow sticks.
On one set of bleachers read the word "CURE" and the other side had "HOPE".

The event didn't officially end until 9:00am Sunday morning. Between the 40 plus teams, they were able to raise more than $25,000 for the cause.

There is post Relay fund raiser slated for April 30, 2016. It's an afternoon of BINGO at the Elks Lodge. The cost is $25 and the prizes start at $100. If interested, check the flyer for details.

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I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.
— Jimmy Dean

Wildomar Rap reminds you: that it's always better to be upwind than downwind... except, of course, at a BBQ.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

• City Council Meeting April 2016

Interesting meeting, different than usual in that there weren't any of the traditional agenda items (such as future housing developments).  

It opened with an update from city attorney Thomas Jex in regards to the Walmart project.

The report there is that the judge recently, in that case (against the Wildomar Walmart), granted a motion to have the case dismissed. So that matter has been dismissed. The parties are working on preparing the judgment document. once that judgement is entered, which should be in the next couple of weeks, the plaintiff will have 60 days to file an appeal. 

Again, when it comes to sue happy litigants, they have no common sense and though CREED-21 (the one(s) in question here) has no case, I wouldn't be surprised to see this get appealed. We shall see.

Next up was an Eagle Scout proclamation for Elvin Schlanger from Troop 2011. 
From left to right, from Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez's office Mario Herrera, from Congressman Ken Calvert's office Brenda Dennstedt, Eagle Scout Elvin Schlanger, from State Senator Jeff Stone's office Megan Locke and Wildomar Mayor Bridgette Moore.

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We met two girls from David A. Brown middle school who were being recognized for their quick action.

"Early afternoon on Friday March 4th a call came over the school radio about kids and a truck and 911. Kylee Soliman and Jordan Rodriguez had reported to their PE coaches that a neighbor of the school was in trouble."

A person was stuck under a truck. While working on the transmission it got put into reverse and came off the jack stands and pinned him.

They each received a certificate of commendation for "quick heroic actions that helped save the life of a man, and being a shining star in Wildomar."
Upfront are Kylee Soliman and Jordan Rodriguez.
They are flanked by members of the David A. Brown staff and Mayor Bridgette Moore.

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• Lisa Almilli, from RTA, discussed Veterans Express Transit System (VETS) which assists vets in transportation to the VA hospital in Loma Linda.

• Wildomar's new Fire Chief, Todd Phillips, was introduced —though he's actually been a member of the community for many years... having graduated from EHS back in 1988.

Public Comments 
• Ken Mayes requested that a Sheriff's report be (re)added to the regular city council agenda.

• George Cambero mentioned that he's having a community coffee at the west side Starbucks, at 6:00pm next Friday, April 22nd. If you have questions about water, he'll be there to answer them.

Item 1.9 of the consent calendar came as a surprise to me. Planning commissioner Gary Brown has resigned and there will be advertisements for a replacement. 

If you think you'd like to be part of the planning commission, give city hall a call and ask for an application. 

Though this commissioner vacancy is the seat tied to Councilmember Marsha Swanson, you do NOT have to be from her district to apply. Planning commissioners are still selected on an at-large basis. 

There were no public hearings this week (2.0 on the agenda).

The rest of the meeting dealt with things that had been discussed at the parks subcommittee meeting, and all three items passed 4-0 with Councilmember Bob Cashman absent.

3.1 Health and Fitness Fair
A local couple is spearheading the efforts to put on a 5K run, with hopes of having it turn into an annual event. It will be part of the planned Community Health and Fitness Fair on June 4, 2016. 

The 5k is named ONE RUN FOR LIFE.

With all proceeds going to the ALS One Foundation. More information and testimonials about their efforts can be found at

I spoke to them, Erin and Ken Hartley, as they were leaving the meeting with their three youngsters. We exchanged contact info and I hope to put together a blog in regards to the coming 5k.

It's a big undertaking, and though I'm the one that taught Thomas how to doubt, I'm hoping they can make it a big success.

3.2 Community Meeting Room 
Not really much here. Just affirming that the rental rate is $30 for the first hour, and $8 for the second hour.

The only discussion was if the rates should remain at that level for non-profit orgs too. 

Councilmember Cashman had discussed with Mayor Moore that he would like to see a lower fee for non-profits, if any fee at all. 

Since the fees are to offset the costs, which include a city employee being on hand to make sure the facility is secure, Cashman wondered if the rate could be lowered if a Councilmember were to take that responsibility.

Like Councilmember Swanson said, that would just end up being an additional demand on Mayor Moore's time. 

Maybe if Cashman would volunteer to take on that task, they can revisit the issue. (insert suppressed giggle here)

Below you'll see comparisons to costs in other cities. I heard that to rent the private room up at the plateau is a C note per hour.

My only question would be 'why isn't there a break for Wildomar residents?', or more properly, 'an increase for out-of-towners?'

3.2 All Wildomar 2017 Calendar-Photograph Contest
This topic will get it's own blog coverage shortly. All you need to know is that there will be a city calendar and that you're being asked to participate. 

It's not a true contest because there are no prizes to be won. Just a chance to have an image you've made used in a 2017 calendar that will be given out at the State of the City address in October.

If you like to take pictures, and are interested in participating, keep watch for the details of the contest once they are available. Well, actually they are already available, just not in a very user friendly way yet. They are part of the agenda packet (LINK) and can be found beginning on page 236.

City Manager Report 
The new sign/wrap coming to the Marna O'Brien park water tower is set to be installed Thursday, April 14th.

Future Agenda Items
Councilmember Swanson would like to see breweries allowed in commercial areas in addition to industrial areas. 

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The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart.
— Helen Keller

Wildomar Rap reminds you: that black helicopters will not swoop down upon you if you mosey on over to facebook and like the page named after this blog. 

Friday, April 8, 2016

• Planning Commission Meeting April 2016

This meeting had a lot of apartment talk in it, but it started off with a zoning ordinance amendment that ended up getting tabled.

Agenda Item 2.2 was more house cleaning necessary for the city to further distance itself from the county, plus clarify a few things. 

The existing ordinance was put together by the county and it was time to update it. This ordinance deals with events that are held in the city. 

The current document separates events into two categories: major events (more than 2000 people) and minor events (between 200 and 2000 people). 

They are being consolidated into the single term: temporary event.

Also being added to the language is Farmer's Markets.

The key hangup, that required the item to be tabled, was the hours of operation. At the moment, an event can run four consecutive days from the hours of 6:00am to 2:00am. 

I know that some areas have festivals that seem to go on all day and all night, Coachella Music Festival comes to mind, but I doubt that anything like that has ever even been proposed in Wildomar.

A special subcommittee, comprised of commissioners Stan Smith and John Lloyd, will sit down with city staffers to hammer out their proposals for any changes. Then it'll go back to the full planning commission, and finally onto the full city council.

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Agenda item 3.1, was a "study session" for a proposed project that will be off of Bundy Canyon, just north of the coming Walmart. 

The project proposes to develop all 140 units in a “cluster-style” design on approximately 10.5 acres of the 28.8 acre site. 

The project is still at the early stages and will need a full EIR (Environmental Impact Report). 

A common thread of concern was that the project was going to be apartments instead of townhouses/condos. 

Some of the units will be stacked three high, but it'll mostly be hidden from general view, and the only impact that will be felt from such a project is the added traffic that Bundy Canyon will be getting.

I just love the marketing departments that these developers use. They're calling these "Resort Apartments." 

Unless this is going to be some type of time share, who's fooling who here? Well, it will be gate guarded, so I guess that counts for something.

The above is an artist's rendition of the "Resort" apartments, but I  added the titles at the bottom. The word "Resort" was used to describe the project during the planning commission meeting.
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3.2 Standrod General Plan Initiation Request (GPIP) 
This is very early on in the planning stages. What they are looking to do is have the zoning changed from 1 unit per acre to 12 units per acre.

A proposed General Plan Amendment (GPA) from Very Low Density Residential (VLDR) to High Density Residential (HDR).
Here you see the architect selling his apartments to the planning commission. He told them that it's almost laughable to consider "12 units to the acre" as High Density, because in Huntington Beach it's common to have over 100 units per acre. You can imagine the *thud* that made with most that were in attendance, like a lead balloon hitting the ground in a hurry. 

Though that is a big jump, the argument was that the area in question (see image below) isn't a desirable area for a single family home on a large lot, and that with all the restrictions a builder faces in 21st century California, it's no longer feasible to build small projects.

The proposal from VLDR to HDR desired by the Applicant is needed to accommodate a potential 24 unit multi-family apartment project.
One of the descriptions that I objected to was where they were referring to these apartment projects as ideal for "young families."

When I was first out on my own, an apartment was all that most young people could afford. 

These days, based on the going rates of the new apartment complexes in Wildomar, they cost more to live in than a house in most cases.

The other part that I enjoyed is where George Taylor, long time resident at The Farm, invoked his patented refrain of Wildomar becoming the high density capital of the world.

When it was my turn to speak, I took the opportunity to differ over Wildomar's worthiness of such descriptions.

The short video below (all in good fun) has the isolated portions of both George's and my comments regarding it. George is a good Wildomohican (pronounced Will-Dough-Moe-HE-Ken), but I don't see what he sees on this one.

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Max: Oh, yes, I'm a big music lover. Would you believe that I once listened to three weeks of Beethoven? Would you believe it? Three weeks!
Villain: I find that quite hard to believe.
Max: Would you believe (thinks a while) Two weeks of Bach?
Villain: I don't think so.
Max: Would you believe... one hour of Looney Tunes?

Wildomar Rap is becoming less and less a fan of poorly placed hyperbole.

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