Tuesday, October 30, 2018

• Neighborhood Watch Meeting October 2018

The topic for the October 30, 2018 Neighborhood Watch meeting was Identity Theft and Mail Theft. I'll include the 57 minute video of the meeting for you to watch at your leisure. (video link)

This meeting was a "block captains" meeting, and it was opened to everyone in Wildomar and Lake Elsinore. I counted twenty-one people in attendance.

Investigators Brandon Cardinale(R) and Jeremy Klemp(L) led the hour long meeting.
The bullet points from the meeting included: 
  •  Sign up for "informed delivery" (a free service from the post office that lets you see what is to be delivered ahead of time)

  •  If out of town, put a hold on your mail with the post office. (This can be done online)
  •  Bring in your mail every day

  •  If your mail is stolen:

        •  Immediately run a credit report
        •  File a report with BOTH the post office and law enforcement
        •  Immediately run a credit report
  •  If you are a victim of identity theft:
        •  get all the information you can from your credit card company so that you can give it to the police. If you wait for the investigators to serve search warrants, it could slow the case down by several weeks to several months.
        •  Freeze your credit (consider doing this before you're a victim)
  •  Shred your junk mail (at least the part with your name on it)
  •  If you fell for an international scam, use the website called IC3 (Internet Crime Complaint Center)

  •  Holiday season means an increase in package theft
  •  Run your credit information at least once a year
  •  Be a "good witness"
        •  This can't be overstressed. If you see a crime, in addition to calling and reporting it, you need to be able to describe what it is you saw. Full descriptions of people, places and vehicles will make the chances of catching the perps a better bet.

Below is the contact info for our local investigators.
If there are misspellings, it's on them.
Much of the above is basic common sense stuff, but the crime rate suggests that many people aren't employing enough of it at any one given time. We can't prevent all crime, but by avoiding things that make us more of a target will go a long way in reducing the chances of being a victim.

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Quality is not an act, it is a habit.
– Aristotle

Wildomar Rap can't act its way out of a wet paper bag.

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Sunday, October 28, 2018

• Trunk or Treat 2018

Wildomar's fifth annual Trunk or Treat event at Marna O'Brien park was probably the most well attended park event I've seen to date. The parking lot was already full before the official start time of 5pm. 

There were 39 "Trunks" and an estimated 2000 participants.
The perfect photo spot was set up near the Faith Bible Church ice cream truck.
An early look at the crowd.
Based on length of lines, the "Haunted Shipwreck" was the most popular attraction.
One of the many displays in the "Haunted Shipwreck" maze.
Wildomar Police were on hand to meet and greet the trick or treaters.
City Councilmember Bridgette Moore posed with a superhero, a couple of bottles of yummy sauces and what appears to be a post apocalyptic survivalist. lol
My best group costume award goes to Living Hope Lutheran Church. They came as The Wizard of Oz characters. Last year they dressed as members of the original Willy Wonka cast, and the year before they were dressed up as "Where's Waldo" characters. 
The look of pure enjoyment on the kids' faces was worth its weight in candy.
Lake Elsinore Education Foundation were giving out children's books.
Cops For Kids were on hand.
 The Relay For Life leaders were in the house. ☺
The Girl Scouts handed out a lot of candy.
Crowds cycled in and out during the three hour event. Though it was difficult to pinpoint how many people visited altogether. As I was leaving around 7:15pm I saw fresh a troop of costumed candy connoisseurs traipsing into the park with their chaperones. 
Holly Stephens of Furry Tail Dog Training was one of the local business owners in attendance. There were many more... (Note to self, take MORE pictures next year, and do so before it gets too dark). 
Melissa Melendez, 67th State Assembly district elected official, in attendance. Her district has more than 450,000 people in it and it stretches from Murrieta to Hemet to Lake Mathews. This was her second consecutive Wildomar Trunk or Treat event to be at.
Being a person that believes in equal time, Michelle Singleton (candidate for 67th Assembly district seat) and her team were at the event too. I wonder if it's too late to do a Better Know a Candidate blog with her?
Elsinore High School cheerleaders performed for the crowd throughout the event.
Last on the city park's 2018 calendar of events is Breakfast With Santa, which is slated for Saturday, December 15th at the Fire Station on Gruwell St. 

To keep informed about various city events, be sure to sign up for the email reminders at the following address. 
Link to the city's stay connected page.
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Clothes make a statement. Costumes tell a story.
– Mason Cooley

Wildomar Rap makes statements, then the story just grows on its own.

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Friday, October 26, 2018

• Better Know A Local Business: Furry Tail Dog Training

Holly and Mark Stephens.
I love sharing local businesses with the community. Today I'm sharing Furry Tail Dog Training operated by Holly Stephens.

She and her husband Mark have been in Wildomar for about six years now. 

She's always wanted to work with animals and earlier in her life she worked at Seaworld for many years. 

She's worked in the animal care and husbandry departments at aquariums and at the zoo, but really wanted to help people with their pets as she became more familiar with the statistics of dogs being put down due to lack of training.
Gaining the trust of one of her student pups.
A lot of her clients are concerned with chewing, jumping up, digging, barking, house training and "counter surfing" among other bad habits that need deprogramming. Her classes also cover basic obedience that all dogs need.
Behavior Corrections:

Pulling on Leash, Not Coming When Called, Jumping, Chewing/Destructions, Excessive Barking, Stealing and Scavenging, Nipping and Mouthing, Begging, Digging and Bolting.
Holly, in action, during a lesson.
Though she lives in Wildomar, classes and consultations are held at ​Canyon Hills Community Park in Lake Elsinore. That's where she's permitted and insured. (Off topic, I know she'd like to bring her services to Wildomar, but the permitting process has been a big obstacle so far)
Obedience Cues:

​Focus, Sit, Down, Stay, Come, Drop-it, Leave-it, Take-it, Heel, Kennel up, Wait, Stand, Loose Leash Walking and Crate Training.
A previous graduate of Furry Tail Dog Training.
The group classes last an hour per session and there are six sessions per class. The groups can be up to ten dogs at a time (per her city permit), though they are usually not half that size. Like other reputable dog handlers, she only works with dogs that are up on their vaccinations.
High fives for a job well done.
A little bit of training for your dog, especially if you get them while they're still puppies, will go a long way in having an obedient and well trained dog. 
Eager for more training.

Let's be real for a sec, for as awesome as dogs are as pets, friends and even family members, poorly trained dogs can cause a lot of unnecessary grief to the owners.

Holly is a caring person that is there to help get your dog on the right path, contact her and see about the various lessons she offers.

Certificates Holly Has Earned

• ABC Certified Dog Trainer

• Pet First Aid and CPR Certified
• Certificate in Pet Sitting and Dog Walking
• Certificate in Feline Management and Training
• Certificate in The Art of Selling and Teaching Private Lessons

Visit Holly's website for more information.
She also has a facebook page to visit.
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"Money can buy you a fine dog, but only love can make him wag his tail."
– Kinky Friedman 

Wildomar Rap's vestigial tail hasn't wagged in years.

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Thursday, October 25, 2018

• Lights On Afterschool/THINK Together 2018

Lights On Afterschool is national day to raise awareness for the importance of afterschool programs like THINK Together.
Miss April reads to the kids.
David A Brown middle school was the site where three THINK Together programs met for a couple of hours of fun and learning.
Students decorate the mural.
The program began at 4pm and lasted until 6pm. It started off with Miss April reading a book to the 250 kids, and at designated times some students would come up and decorate a mural. 
The finished work of art.
After the story was finished, William Collier Elementary was pitted against Wildomar Elementary in a Socratic Conversation (which members of a group think carefully, slowly, and deliberately).
Link to further definition of Socratic Conversation/Dialog.
The topic of debate was: Are mermaids real or fiction?

Wildomar Elementary had the con side of the argument and made solid arguments why mermaids aren't real.
Wildomar Elementary takes to "no" on mermaids stance.
Collier Elementary had the task of proving that mermaids were true, and they also presented solid arguments.
William Collier Elementary takes to "oh yes they are real" side.
Each side had opening remarks, then rebuttals.

Wildomar Elementary.
Collier Elementary.

Wildomar Elementary.
Collier Elementary.
One of the middle school students had the honor of telling the crowd the verdict:
Mermaids do exist.
After all the testimony was presented, it was found that mermaids are indeed REAL! (Take that science guy )

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The second topic, which was argued both for and against by DABMS students was: Is animal testing necessary or not?
Con side.
Pro side.
Con side.
Pro side.
Con side.
Both sides spoke eloquently, but in the end, the judges found that animal testing is necessary. (considering their first decision, I'm not sure that I'd get overly concerned about this one... either which way. )

THINK Together is a terrific program that some of Wildomar's schools have access too. There was a petition being passed around to the adults present that alerted policy makers as to how important such programs are. 

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I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think.

– Socrates

Wildomar Rap cannot teach anybody anything, and only rarely manages to make them think. 

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Wednesday, October 24, 2018

• Special City Council Meeting October 2018

The meeting lasted all of 38 minutes. It was opened with a moment of silence for the passing of Tim Walker's father.

Public comments on non agenda items
Gina Castanon spoke about there still not being live streaming (the camera that was there in September wasn't there to record the meeting either). She also spoke about Measure AA and that "it should have been done (added to the ballot) without the study" that the council paid for earlier in the year. 

Wildomar Rap opinion time

I agree with the basic sentiment. The council knew that they wanted to put the sales tax increase mesure on the ballot; spending many thousands of dollars on a limited study isn't what they are elected to do. 

If I had been on the council, I wouldn't have gone along with the study unless it was part of a multipronged fact finding expedition that included at least one well publicized town hall meeting. 

From what I've heard from the city council members of Menifee and Temecula, when they put their sales tax measures on the ballot it was after a great deal of public input, not just one survey.
Item 2.1 Prohibiting Commercial Cannabis Facilities and Regulating Cannabis Cultivation (video starts at the 6:00 mark)
There was a brief staff report followed by public comments.
• Gina Castanon discussed that becoming a city was for local control on issues like this, that the tax advantages of commercial cannabis would increase the revenues the city needs, and that a prohibition just perpetuates the black market.
• David Masters asked for clarification on the ordinance when it comes to private parties growing on their own property. 
Regulation of Cannabis Cultivation

No person or entity may cultivate cannabis at any location in the City, except that a person may cultivate no more than six living cannabis plants inside his or her private residence, or inside an accessory structure to his or her private residence located upon the grounds of that private residence that is fully enclosed and secured against unauthorized entry, provided that the owner of the property provides written consent expressly allowing the cannabis cultivation to occur.
• Greg Langworthy lauded the council for keeping commercial uses of cannabis prohibited.

After the public comments, Mayor Ben Benoit asked Planning Director Matt Bassi to clarify what the city could face if no ordinance was in place. After Mr. Bassi's comments, the city attorney Tom Jex expanded on the Mayor's questions.

All four council members in attendance weighed in on the topic. I suggest that you watch the entire video on this subject. 

Councilmember Dustin Nigg

Am I disheartened? Maybe slightly. I'm in favor of this (creating an ordinance allowing commercial cannabis in Wildomar) my district is in favor of it. But it's what's smart (the permanent ban) and [...] either December rolls around and we have nothing in place [...] which gives us no basis in court to defend ourselves, or we do this and keep pushing forward with the end state of doing something that I think is responsible. 
Councilmember Bridgette Moore

We attended the League of California Cities in September and there was a class on cannabis nine months out, it's been nine months since it's been legal in the State of California. The city of LA has over 100 permitted cannabis shops and they still have a black market. So whether we have it here in Wildomar or not have it here in Wildomar there will still be a black market. If the city of LA still has a black market, and they have over 100 [legal shops], then Wildomar will still have a black market [if we were to make commercial cannabis legal]. 
Councilmember Tim Walker

I'm against this, I'm for this ban of course. The thing I keep coming back to is the federal government is in the middle of this right now. They're actually discussing legalizing it and dropping it down from a class one to a normal everyday thing. If they do that it's going to change the whole rule anyway. I'm a law abiding citizen and I'm going to follow the rules of the land and the land right now says it's not legal so therefore I won't vote for it [to be legal in Wildomar]. [...] Sometime it's going to be legal, and I already know that. That'll be up to the federal government to figure it out, and when they figure it out then they can send all the information down to all of us and we can follow the rules that they set. [...] [When] they make it legal across the country, then I'll be ok with it. 
Mayor Ben Benoit

At this point I think it's time we go ahead and move forward, we need to bring something forward at some point and talk about it and have an honest discussion about it. I'm leaning with Dustin that it's something we need to move forward on.
Mayor Benoit asked to direct staff to look into the new ordinance (Ordinance No. 348.4898) adopted by the county and bring back findings to the council to see if they do want to move forward on a similar ordinance for Wildomar.

At this point Tim Walker and Bridgette Moore showed they weren't on board with the idea. In the end, it wasn't something that needed a vote, so staff will be looking into it as asked.
Wildomar Rap opinion time

Like Tim said, he knows it's only a matter of time until cannabis is legal throughout the nation. 

When it comes to the black market, such a thing only exists (for any commodity) when there is a ban. Or, if there are such onerous restrictions in place that it's worth the risk to circumvent the laws, by both the supply side and the consumption side. 

I watched the very long Riverside County Supervisors meeting on this issue yesterday. They have such huge restrictions in place that those that are currently growing illegally have little to no incentive to comply with the new rules proposed.

If getting rid of the black market was their aim, and all the seamy underbelly that comes with such illegal enterprises, then keeping a stranglehold on such a thing is sure to backfire.
3.1 Community Choice Aggregation Program and First Amendment to the Western Community Energy Joint Powers Agreement 
This was a relatively short item. It's purported to save rate payers up to 2% on their electric bills if they opt in. If this item interests you, please use this link to jump to the 33 minute mark of the video with this link.

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Look not mournfully into the past, it comes not back again. Wisely improve the present, it is thine. Go forth to meet the shadowy future without fear and with a manly heart.

– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Wildomar Rap has a manly heart.

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