Thursday, May 30, 2019

• City of Wildomar Hires New Director to Lead Economic Development

For the first time since its incorporation in 2008, the City of Wildomar will have a formal Economic Development Department, directed by Kimberly Davidson.
Kimberly Davidson 
Davidson was most recently the Economic Development Manager for the City of Corona, where she focused on creating a business-friendly environment within the city and encouraged the growth of manufacturers, entrepreneurs and tech-related companies. 

Prior to that, Davidson was the Business Development Manager for Wildomar’s neighbor, the City of Murrieta. Davidson will start her role within the City Manager’s office on June 24, 2019. 

“I am very excited about this opportunity with the City of Wildomar because I get to facilitate the creation of a strategic plan for the city,” Davidson said. “Wildomar has a great deal of potential and I am honored to now be part of a team that will be leading the charge to really grow and realize that potential.” 

Mayor Marsha Swanson commented “The City is pleased that Kimberly Davidson is joining the family and brings a wealth of experiences and resources to help lead the City into the next phase of development”. Davidson has been in Economic Development for more than 10 years and previously owned a home-based marketing firm in the Wildomar area. 

Davidson was named “Woman of the Year” in 2016 by Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez and received the “Citizen of the Year 2014” award from the Murrieta Chamber of Commerce. In 2008, she was awarded the National Small Business Administration (SBA) Award for being a champion of home-based businesses. 
Kimberly Davidson and Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez. (as seen in Murrieta 24/7)
Davidson lives in Murrieta with her two daughters. She holds a B.A. in Journalism from California State University Northridge, has completed a Leadership certificate program with California State University San Marcos and is a graduate of the Executive Leadership Roundtable in Corona.

I hear that she is a wiz with PhotoShop... I can't wait to meet her and begin working together for the continued betterment of Wildomar.

For additional information call 951-677-7751, Extension 209, or email 
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When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but creatures of emotion.

– Dale Carneghie

Wildomar Rap can attest to the above about emotion over logic. All one has to do is read facebook comments if there is any doubt.

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Wednesday, May 29, 2019

• Smoke Shop Isn't Blowing Smoke

Pardon the cheesy headline, but I just got word that there is no stopping the smoke shop from opening across the street from Wildomar Elementary and it's the first thing that came to me as my fingers hit the keyboard.

If you don't know what this is about, please check the blog discussing the smoke shop that is looking to open within a stone's throw of Wildomar Elementary with this link.

City staff has spoken with the State Board of Equalization, who issues tobacco licenses, and staff was told that they do not have any distance requirements from schools or other sensitive uses.   

Staff then called the County Health Department and they also do not have distance requirements.  
Knock, knock... Who's there? Your neighbor the smoke shop guy.
The bottom line is that it is up to each local agency to adopt its own distance requirements….our current Wildomar city code does not have any such standard.
Just a hop, skip and a jump away.
Also, the applicant has told the city that he already has his state license and will be providing that with his next Tenant Improvement submittal to the planning department.
One question remains, will they be fixing that bad paint job or not? 
At this point, once the shop owner complies with the requirements outlined in Section 5.64 of the Wildomar Municipal Code and addresses plan check comments, the city will issue Tenant Improvement permits and this use will be permitted. 
Opinion Time:
For those that want to spend time talking about Wildomar not updating these codes before now, go right on ahead, I won't stop you. For me, talking about the horses that left the barn (then closing the barn door) has never been high on my list of things to do.

The wheels have already been put in motion to update the city codes where this type of business is concerned.

You may be saying, "I thought you didn't like wasting time talking about water under the bridge?" Why bother updating the codes regarding this now?

Good point, but let's look a little further down the road. 

There is a mostly empty strip mall right across Bundy Canyon from the High School (I've been corrected... there is a barber and a new taco shop that are getting ready to open). And though it seems as if the long term business plan over there is to keep most of that center empty, eventually those vacant units will get tenants. (I'm leaving the verbal jab in there, they earned it after all the years of empty units)

We want to be ahead of the issue, not finding ourselves in a similar situation that we face today, with an adult-centric business opening right next to a school.

Which leads me to a thought on commercial cannabis in Wildomar.

The state legislature is busy with AB 1356 which will remove most of the local control in municipalities that passed Prop 64 (Hello Wildomar - 52.8%).

The language in the bill has changed a couple of times, and it still may change before it gets voted on, but the gist of the bill wants there to be one retail cannabis licence for every six liquor licenses. 

Without counting on your fingers, what's your quick guess as to how many liquor licenses are currently held in Wildomar.

If you guessed more than thirty, you were right. 

That would suggest about 5 retail cannabis licenses be issued... but there is a alternate provision that asks for one licence for every 15,000 residents... or whichever is lower.

Wildomar has 36,000 residents, so depending on where numbers get rounded up, that's a minimum of two to three retail cannabis licenses that Sacramento wants Wildomar to have... if it passes, and Governor Newsom signs it. There are a lot of moving parts to this, but if we aren't anticipating them, we could easily get caught flat footed again.

This is a key reason for the city to write municipal codes dealing with commercial cannabis now, and not scramble after the fact, while dealing with some decree from Sacramento. 

If we don't restrict where such businesses can go, they'll be able to go wherever they want... like the new smoke shop. 

Correction: It was brought to my attention that Prop 64 does restrict distances from schools to a minimum of 600 feet. Still, the point stands as we currently have no restrictions on the books regarding this industry.

Language of AB 1356   link to full bill here

The bill would require the local jurisdiction to issue those licenses as otherwise required by this bill within a specified period of time if a local jurisdiction subject to the requirements of this bill does not submit a local ordinance or other local law regarding the lower amount of licenses to the electorate, or that local ordinance or other local law fails to receive more than 50% of the approval of the electorate voting on the issue. 

The bill would provide that these provisions are prohibited from being construed to require a local jurisdiction to authorize adult-use retail cannabis commercial activity. By imposing additional requirements on local jurisdictions the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
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There are some experiences in life which should not be demanded twice from any man, and one of them is listening to the Brahms Requiem.
– George Bernard Shaw

Wildomar Rap pities those that have endured this blog more than once.

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

Monday, May 27, 2019

• Memorial Day 2019

Big blue skies with billowy white clouds, along with unseasonably cool temps were the backdrop of this year's Memorial Day service at Wildomar Cemetery.

It began with Rolling Thunder Bikers Missing Man Formation by Post 1508 Riders Group & Escondido Post 1513 Riders Group, entering the cemetery and making a full lap around the area.
Rolling Thunder as it was passing the Justin Hunt memorial (seen center right).
VFW Post Commander Stever Regalado then introduced Mayor Marsha Swanson who discussed the difference between Veterans Day, Armed Forces Day and Memorial Day.
Mayor Marsha Swanson addressing the crowd.
After an opening prayer by VFW Chaplain Scott Burris, Elsinore HS JROTC & Wildomar Troop 332 raised the flag which was followed by the pledge of allegiance. 

Local scouts help with raising the colors.
We then were treated to the dulcet tones of Jasmine Oliver as she sang a most heartfelt version of our national anthem.
Jasmine Oliver singing The Star Spangled Banner.
Mayor Pro-Tem Dustin Nigg then shared the history of Memorial Day. It was originally Decoration Day which started after the Civil War. It wasn't until 1968 that Congress established the last Monday in May as Memorial Day.
In addition to the history of Memorial Day, Mayor Pro-Tem Nigg also read the names of the five service members from Wildomar that have been killed while serving, before the closing prayer.
The keynote speaker was Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez. There was a bit of levity after she tried to adjust the microphone... which then took three others to help restabilize it.
While the mic was being repositioned, she jokingly quipped, "I'm never going to get invited again."
Her address was about the importance of Memorial Day, and what it really represents. There were many quotable passages to choose from, but I'll select just one, which came towards the end of her speech.

"We have a memorial day because we are a proud nation. [...] We have laid to rest, thousands, but their courage was not buried with them. It lives on eternally in the hearts of every service member who volunteers to put on that uniform. Because we, as Americans, will always fight to protect our way of life, we'll always stand for freedom, we'll always fight to protect and maintain our democracy... and that is the reason that we honor those [that gave all] on Memorial Day."
- Melissa Melendez
Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez as she speaks to the gathering at Wildomar Cemetery. 
The service concluded with the reading of the names of Wildomar's fallen. This list includes: Justin Hunt, Eric Seman, Daniel Parker, Nathan Bouchard and Fernando Hannon along with the ringing of a bell, the laying of a wreath by the VFW Auxiliary, then a closing prayer followed by the playing of Taps.
A close up of the bell used during the ceremony.
The 2019 wreath as presented by the VFW Auxiliary.
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America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.

– Abraham Lincoln 

Good News. If Wildomar Rap falters, it will have no bearing on anyone's freedoms... it's just a local blog. ☺
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Saturday, May 25, 2019

• Goodbye Day Spa, Hello Smoke Shop???

Perhaps you've noticed some activity over at the old Jolie Day Spa building. It was sad to see a long time business like Jolie move to another city, but that is life.
Jolie Day Spa was a longtime fixture in Wildomar up until just a couple of months ago.
Without much hesitation between tenants the building was getting ready for another business... we were all wondering what was going to come next. 
Few things are as welcoming as bars in the windows of an establishment. [Sarcasm]
Then rumors that it was going to be a smoke shop started to swirl about on social media, but that seemed too absurd to believe... and then they put up a banner removing all doubt as to their intentions.
I've never been a fan of putting the cart before the horse.
It caused quite a bit of concern among a lot of people in Wildomar, being that it is just a stone's throw from Wildomar Elementary School.
These two places are so close to each other that a string and two soup cans would suffice as a telephone. 
Do kids of today even know that trick? But I digress.
There is room for all types of legal businesses in Wildomar, but common sense (and city ordinances) should dictate where they can and cannot go.
The only apparent buffer between the two is the tamale shop on the corner.
I'm not a patron of such businesses, but still I can think of two such that are operating in Wildomar at the moment... neither is just a two minute walk from an elementary school.
Google suggests that these two places are just 390 feet apart, and that's if you count the office of the school, not just the parking lot where the rest of us consider the school to start.
I asked for some official information on this smoke shop and here is what I learned

This tobacco retailer does not have a business registration approval from the city, but they have submitted a request for tenant improvements which is currently being reviewed.  A business registration is needed.

Tobacco retailers are allowed in the commercial zones, however, there are special application and permitting requirements outlined in Chapter 5.64 of the muni-code that the retailer must comply with which he has not begun. The city will not issue any tenant improvement permits, or allow them to open up until the retailer complies with all aspects of chapter 5.64.

This code section also requires the proprietor to provide the city proof that he is a “state licensed tobacco retailer” from the State Board of Equalization.   It's not known at this time if the proprietor has that certificate from the state.  

Early next week the city will be contacting the state directly to see if the proprietor has received a certificate, and to find out if there are special distance separation requirements from sensitive uses (like schools, etc.)....something that we are concerned with.
At this point, Wildomar is still operating under the county ordinances that were inherited when we became a city in 2008. As of today there are no specific requirements discussing distances from sensitive uses (schools, churches, parks, neighborhoods). 

However, at the last city council meeting, Councilmember Ben Benoit asked that such ordinances be updated (as seen in the video below).

I'll be updating the community as new information becomes available. Not always will I create a formal blog for such updates. To get such updates, be sure to follow the facebook version of Wildomar Rap at this link.

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There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.
– Frank Zappa

Wildomar Rap's shelf life is about an eyelash width more than a gross of months in dog years.

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Tuesday, May 21, 2019

• Homeless Camp Clean Out

It was a long time in coming, but the huge homeless encampment near Santa Rosa Apartments and the Hospital, has now been cleaned up. 

A total of 230 cubic yards of trash was removed and hauled away, a total of 23 tons of mix garbage.
This is a small sampling of how it looked before the cleanup.
Another look at the encampment before it was cleaned up.

For those that saw what the area looked like before, they'll really appreciate the difference. For those that hadn't seen it, might not appreciate the large number of photos... each representing a former trash pile that is now history.
These were steps to one of the "homesites".
Most of the encampment was just out of view, but still quite close to Inland Valley Drive.
Let the healing begin.
There is a terraced off area behind this oak tree.
This site featured a "deck" that was nailed into the tree trunk.
You can see a couple of dirt jumps if you look closely.
I ran out of captions...
This is close to one of the entry points. When I was there the earth was completely covered with garbage and other "keepsakes" retrieved from dumpsters.
Before the clean up, it was hard to see the tree trunks.
This is how close the vagrant encampment was to the apartments.
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Fear is implanted in us as a preservation from evil, but its duty is not to overbear reason.

– Samuel Johnson

Wildomar Rap will never overbear your implanted reasoning skills, it's up to you to eschew any fear that is naturally present.

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Thursday, May 16, 2019

• Pie Nation Victim of Smash and Grab

One of Wildomar's favorite pizzarias was the unwelcoming recipient of a smash and grab in the early hours of May 16th.
Not a sight that any business owner wants to be greeted with.
The alarm company called the owner at 1:37am. RSO Investigator, Matt Posson, happened to be exiting Clinton Keith as he got the call and was on scene within two minutes of hearing it (which could have been five to ten minutes between the alarm sounding, the alarm company informing the police, and the dispatcher sending out the call).
A closer look at the damaged front door.
I saw the videos, and they showed three criminals in hoodies, one with what appeared to be a Sawzall, entering the broken front door, crawling around and then exiting about a minute later. Counting the driver, it appears to be a crew of four.

The odd part was that after criminal number one broke the glass in the front door, he then returned to the car for about 15 seconds, before the three entered the business.
A look from the inside.
Investigator Posson said that last night there were several other similar burglaries in Lake Elsinore, Juice It Up was specifically mentioned. 

There's no telling at this point if it was a local crew, or one from out of the area, but two of the videos were very clear and helpful to the officers dealing with this case.
The burglars were in such a hurry that they left cash all over the place.
Pie Nation has been a great asset to the community since they opened. Not only do they make great tasting pizzas, but they also help out many non-profits with their fundraising efforts. 

Below are several screenshots from the security cams. 
You can see the getaway car circled in red.
The officers suggested it could be a Toyota Camry.
Just after the front door glass was broken.
All three of the criminals that entered Pie Nation were well covered by drawn hoodies.
The tool in the burglar's hand sort of looks like a gun, but was thought to be a Sawzall.
The criminals were crouching low as they were going throughout the establishment.
Thankfully, all they took was the petty cash that was in the cash registers.
Please consider making a special trip to visit them, and let them know you support them. Though I make my own pizza, I'll be making a dinner date for this Friday at Pie Nation, and leave the baking to them. Hope to see you there. ☺

If you have any information that could help the investigators, please email Investigator Matt Posson at

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