|Newspaper Serving Murrieta, Temecula and surrounding citiesScroll down this page to read our Current IssueVisit often for articles of interest to the region's residents. New info and comments are posted at the top of the page for your convenience.Distribution of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the information, product or services herein. The publisher assumes no liability for the products, services or statements made by the advertisers. Advertising is accepted and positioned at the discretion of publisher. Advertisers assume all responsibility and liability for claims arising from their advertisements. Advertisers release the publisher of any and all liability for damages, incidental, consequential or otherwise, in excess of the cost of the ad space involved. Opinions expressed by columnists or advertisers do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher. The Bugle does not have staff reporters. Volunteer authors submit their articles and photos by email. Authors are not restricted by word count however text may be edited for space availability and clarity. All rights reserved; however, reproduction and distribution of specific articles may be requested in writing by emailing the publisher at email@example.com
Vol. 18 No. 7..................................September 2015
Greek Festival Brings Family Fun To TemeculaGrowth is the vitality of life. For the Greek Festival in Temecula, growth each year means greater excitement, more exotically delicious food, lively Mediterranean music, games for the kids, and crowds of families having fun.
The annual event is coming to the Old Town Temecula Civic Center again this year, where, for $2, you enter a culinary fantasyland. Hours: Saturday, October 17, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. -- Sunday, October 18, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The Olympians, who started as teenagers in 1976, are back by popular demand, musically transporting attendees to the folk music of Greece. No visa required! While they are taking their breaks, Tatoolis, a one-man band will fill in with his own enchanting repertoire.
This year’s menu includes spanakopita, tiropita, pastitsio, moussaka, gyros, lamb chops, dolmades and souvlakia. For dessert, there’s baklava, malomakarona, koulourakia, paxemadia, pasta flora, kataifi, dipless and our famous loukoumades. For the best English translation, you’ll have to ask your taste buds.
Festival crowds increases each year, and Festival staff is challenged to keep lines short. Best to come early and, hopefully, beat the rush. It’s always worth it.
Questions and comments are welcome, according to Festival Chair Leon Stavros, who may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 951-553-8685.
Two holiday shopping events coming to the region.
The 18th Annual Craft Faire of the Temecula United Methodist Church will be held on Saturday, October 17 from 9am to 3pm at 42690 Margarita Road in Temecula. Shoppers Save the Date. Vendors of high-quality, handcrafted items are requested to reserve your booth and get event details by calling Doris Elder at (951) 693-3142 or Heather Bjorkland at (951) 676-7784. No commercial entries please. Patio and Lawn Booth locations are available. This is a fundraiser event that benefits our local missions.
The 15th Annual Canyon Lake Holiday Boutique, sponsored by the Senior Committee, is being held on November 7 and 8 at the Senior Center, located at 23307 Canyon Lake Drive (entrance at the main gate). Adult crafters of all ages are invited to participate. All items must be handcrafted. Entry fee is $30 with 15% of the crafter’s sales donated to the Senior Center. Signups will be held at the Senior Center from 10 a.m. to noon every Monday beginning September14 through October 19. There will be one evening signup on October 12 from 5 to 7 p.m. For information contact Kathy Barbay at 951 805-3278 or Betty Cannavino at 951 244-4126.
Healing Power of the Subconscious Mind Seminar
Learn how to harness your inner mind to feel better and be better!
Michelle’s Place is hosting this free educational seminar on September 10 at 7 p.m. Pamela Winkler, Ph.D. is an educational psychologist who will provide the tools necessary to create a better balance in life.
The seminar will include a powerful one-minute technique to manage daily stress, methods to create more energy and stamina, how to experience a higher level of well-being, and a life-changing guided visualization designed to improve every area of your life. All attendees will receive a complimentary book that will further enhance their well-being.
Dr. Winkler specializes in helping women harness the healing power of their subconscious mind. She has guided over 5,000 clients to learn self-hypnosis and experience a higher quality of happiness and inner well-being.
Michelle’s Place is located at 27645 Jefferson Ave. #117, Temecula, CA 92590. To RSVP, contact Michele at email@example.com
The Tech Trek Experience
The Temecula branch of AAUW (American Association of University Women) invites you to hear about the experiences of 9 local students that they sponsored to attend the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Camp that was held this summer at UC Irvine. Tech Trek provides hands-on programs in a university setting to help shape the future of young women. The event will be held at the Temecula Public Library (30600 Pauba Road, Temecula) on Sunday, September 13 at 1:30 p.m. Refreshments will be served. Please call Bobbie Jessup for more info. 951-301-8293
Menifee Businesses Sought for Donation Box Space
The Menifee Valley Lions Club is looking for Menifee/Sun City locations, including local churches, to place collection boxes for shoes and eyeglasses. The contact person for space or donations of shoes is Lion Deborah Ramshur: 253-670-3175, email firstname.lastname@example.org
The contact person for space or donations of eyeglasses and eye glass cases is Lion Annette Quinn: 951-246-2064
With your help on these two projects we can continue to reach out and help those in need in our community. The Menifee Lions Club will be publishing a list of locations where people can drop off these donations. That’s an opportunity for business exposure at no cost. We will pick up the boxes as they get filled. These projects are on going.
Which Wolf Will You Feed?
By Yolanda Villafana - http://reborn2write.blogspot.com
It’s back to school time. Summer flew by, especially since I’ve been preparing myself for a challenging school year. My lead teacher is deserting me. OK, she’s not really deserting me. It just feels that way. She was a joy to work with. Everyday, it was like working with Mary Poppins and Snow White all wrapped up in one sweet package.
Each school year brings new challenges. However, when you add a major change, such as change in staffing or classroom, the challenges can seem overwhelming.
Recently, I saw the movie, Tomorrowland, which is about the power of optimism over pessimism. The main character, Casey, has a conversation with her dad who is lamenting the fact that he will be out of a job as a NASA engineer. Casey reminds him of the story of the two wolves, “There are two wolves who are always fighting. One is darkness and despair. The other is light and hope. The question is which wolf wins? The answer: The one you feed.” As I sat and watched this film about hope conquering negativity, I reflected on this coming school year and I asked myself, “Yolanda, which wolf will you feed?”
It would be easy to complain and feed the dark wolf but here is what God says about feeding the dark wolf: The Spirit and your desires are enemies of each other. They are always fighting each other and keeping you from doing what you feel you should. Galatians 5:17
When we feed the dark wolf, we allow our flesh to control our thoughts and actions. Our negativity spreads like a virus in your workplace. That is not what God desires for our lives. So now that we know the dark wolf has to die, how do we feed the light wolf?
Step 1 - Daily prayer is essential for conquering the dark wolf. Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued…In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Ephesians 6:13-18 (MSG)
Step 2 - Read your Bible daily. God’s Word is food for our soul; better than any cup of coffee for waking us up. God’s love will flow through His pages nourishing our hearts. The more we read and learn about God, the more we’ll crave His Presence. I love those who love me, and those who seek me early and diligently shall find me. Proverbs 8:18 (AMP)
Step 3 – Go to church consistently. There is something powerful, healing, and renewing about being in God's presence surrounded by people praising and worshiping Him with one voice and one heart.
So, this school year, instead of lamenting the loss of a sweet light wolf, I'm praying that I'm the light wolf who brightens up my classroom and workplace. Let me ask you, "This school year, which wolf will you feed?"
California Policy Wrecks The State's Economic Health
By Ken Woytek, Menifee
A comprehensive book co-authored by Art Laffer, the renowned pragmatic economist, has summarized fundamental political implications of tax choices by all the various states in their attempts to succeed for benefit of residents and taxpayers. My reaction to the findings in that serious study of policies shared or discouraged by state officials in our nation is one of despair for our state's future and our successors'.
If we Californians can recognize the damage done and those actions continuing to destroy our state's prosperity, it is possible to halt the well-intentioned but deleterious lawmakers in Sacramento. First, know that high state income tax policy crushes economic growth for that state. Conversely, low or zero income tax states enjoy superior economic success. And, no, public services in the latter group of states do not suffer shortages in mandated benefits to citizen-residents or to the poor - contrary to popular myth.
Specifically, the no income tax states retain workers and invite migrating wage earners, while high income tax states bleed productive citizens. So, 11 no income tax states are blessed with economic success and 9 highest income tax states experience low, zero, or negative prosperity.
Doubters claim that the high taxes insure superior services over what a low tax state can afford. Not valid; as an example, the greatest share of public state funds are spent on education, and no-tax states score better in teacher numbers and student achievement than the high taxers. The 11 as a group employ 305 educators/10K residents, and the 9 only carry 299 teachers/10K population. The greater number then produce strikingly higher 4th and 8th grade mastery of English and math.
The most stark contrast between no-tax and hi-tax states is the performance charted in Texas vs. California over ten years, 2002 - 2012.
TX grew 1.6%. CA slumped 0.2%.
TX population grew 20.1%, CA grew 9.1%
TX has no income or capital gains tax. CA collects the nation's highest income and capital gains levies.
TX labor force grew 16.6%. CA grew 6.6%.
Gross state product in TX grew by 78.5%. CA grew 44.4%.
Average poverty level circa 2011 in TX was 16.5%, in CA was 23.5%; and the trend widens currently.
Recent unemployment rates are 6.2% in TX and 9.8% in CA.
Percentage of all US welfare recipients: 2.58% live in TX, 34.07% live in CA.
Fearmongers have limited oil production in CA to approx. 500,000 bbls/day, while careful TX drilling yields 4 times that. Those different results give royalty revenue that allows the Lone Star state to eliminate suffocating anti-business earned income and corporate taxes gouged from the economy by CA politicos.
Service providers earn very different salaries that are a reflection of union mandates; average TX hospital employees are paid $52K, in CA it's $80K; TX corrections officers earn $37K, CA awards $72K, TX education workers make $43K, in CA $61K; police workers in TX average $54K, CA pays $91K; highway workers in TX get $42K, CA pays $75K. The result is expensive highway construction. TX cost is $88K per mile, CA cost $265K per mile.
If Californians choose to discontinue the tragic and reversible slide into poverty, unemployment, exodus of wage-earners, exploding government expenses, and business flight, we must replace the policies created by politicians who are irresponsible power brokers acting in opposition to the constituents who are suffering by their greed and elitism. The perennial machine in Sacramento and major cities is responsible for the state malady; we must end the spendthrift bleeding of human and resource assets in this eroded golden state.
By Esther Tyrrell
Jeff Shaara's THE FATEFUL LIGHTNING (Ballantine Books and Random House Audio), is the fourth and last volume of his series on the Civil War, which began with the unforgettable "A Blaze of Glory." Shaara is a New York Times best-selling author whose fine books focus on historical fiction with an emphasis on military history. "The Fateful Lightning" begins in 1864, a time when the Union is finally winning a war against the Confederacy that's been dragging on for four long years. The head of the Union Army, Ulysses S. Grant, is concerned with the Northern troops stationed in Tennessee under the command of William Tecumseh Sherman. The author's meticulous research and writing style enables him to vividly portray the settings, both historical and political, of the war between the states. He also clearly understands military strategy and easily conveys complicated tactics and maneuvers in a way that makes readers feel they are on the battlefield. In this way, he vividly describes events of the ensuing eight months such as General Sherman's taking of Atlanta which proved to be an important turning point in the war. He then proceeded on his momentous "March to the Sea". In time, the Confederate army was defeated and the war was over. Each of the chapters is written from the point of view of one of the characters in the book. Some are prominent war heroes, citizens, soldiers and one is a runaway slave. Regardless of their station in life, the author makes them come to life.
If you're searching for this year's perfect summer beach read, look no further than DAY FOUR by Sarah Lotz (Little, Brown and Company and Hachette Audio). It is late December and The Beautiful Dreamer, one of a fleet of ships of a cruise line that has seen better days, is embarking on a five day voyage of fun in the Caribbean sun. Hundreds of passengers are aboard, eager to enjoy dining, drinking, shopping and relaxation during the New Year's Eve holiday. And although they do, indeed, have a great time for the first three days, you soon begin to get the uneasy feeling that something very bad is going to happen. On the fourth day of the voyage, unexpected, creepy events begin to take place that will eventually turn the holiday cruise of a lifetime into a nightmare. First, the engine room catches fire leaving the ship without power. There are several back-up systems but they don't work and the major power failure leaves the boat stranded in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico without electricity or lights. All forms of communication, including WiFi, fail and there's no way to get through to the outside world. When it becomes evident that the Norovirus has taken hold on board and is escalating throughout the vessel, things really become unpleasant because the toilets and showers don't work and sanitation becomes impossible. Eerie events that are hard to explain start to take place. For example, a young woman's corpse is found in one of the cabins and crew members report seeing ghosts below deck. Stranded, hungry, sick, frightened and panicking, the passengers expect to be rescued, but there's no sign of ships anywhere. And this is when all hell breaks loose aboard the luxury liner. The author is wonderfully adept at building suspense and succeeds in surprising the reader with an unexpected and frightening ending. Dark, scary and very entertaining but not suggested as a relaxing read on your next cruise.
Do you have an insurmountable problem that you can't solve? Have you tried every means available to fix the situation but now feel you have no choice but to give up? Perhaps the book LET GOD FIGHT YOUR BATTLES by Joyce Meyers (Faithwords and Hachette Audio) has the answer for you. Famed televangelist Meyers has written this book specifically for those who have reached the end of their rope and who have exhausted all means of getting a resolution to their situation. Her answer is to calm down and let the Higher Power she calls God take over. Convinced that this Higher Power takes a personal interest in us and wants to help us, she believes that trusting in Him will provide the right solution for life's most difficult challenges.
She backs up her inspirational encouragement with plenty of wisdom from the Bible and the result is a book that may relieve your stress and calmly lead you out of fear to a place of confidence and peace. A little guidebook that can show you how to live a more stress-free life.
How is your workday going? Are you just treading water by doing mindless activities on your "to do" list or, when the day is through, have you really accomplishined something worthwhile? If you're unhappy with your answer, the book DO LESS GET MORE: How to Work Smart and Live Life Your Way by Shaa Wasmund (Portfolio Publishing and Brilliance Audio) can help you stop doing busy work and start accelerating your accomplishments by doing the right things at the right time. A how-to manual for getting things done, it is written for readers who are so focused on achieving success that there's no time for anything else: persons who spend every moment anxiously thinking about what to do and how to do it. Eventually, they fall behind and are forced to spend valuable time trying to catch up in order to get back on schedule. The author, a top entrepreuneur who attended the London School of Economics, analyzed the patterns of overachievers and concluded that many are motivated by fear. They've concluded that the only way to achieve is to work non-stop like the Energizer Bunny and they feel gratified when others note how much time they spend planning and working because it proves they're not slacking off. But it doesn't have to be that way and the author reveals a number of strategies that can make the road to success not only constructive but also delightful. For example, it is vital that one learn how to determine what is really important and to concentrate on them. This one rule automatically gives one more time to do what is necessary to achieve one's goal. Additional tips include deciding which people in your circle truly support you. Draw them into your circle and regularly ask for their advice. Stop thinking "when this happens, I'll do that." For example, when I land the first $10,000 account, then I'll spend time with my family." Instead, narrow your goals down to a series of small steps and do them now. Also, prove that you are serious about important projects and events by jotting them into your calendar because that is a valuable incentive to show up. And perhaps most important of all - learn how to say "no." If you want to stop doing and start living, consider this book.
Spiritual Artist Kathi Fox Receives Honor
Kathi Fox has spent her adult life helping others reach their full potential physically, spiritually and naturally. As co-founder and operator of Total Health with her husband, Joe, she extols knowledge of how the mind and body work together as one to keep us balanced.
August’s Artist of the Month for Arts Council Menifee, Fox is being recognized for all she shares as a painter. “She has a passion for art and a willingness to share her knowledge through her classes. Her gentle spirit and love for the arts is an inspiration to all,” said Linda Morrison, co-chair of visual arts at Arts Council Menifee. “Kathi is an active member and is so deserving of this award.”
Primarily self taught, Fox continues to educate herself by reading books and attending enrichment classes. She teaches a weekly Fundamentals of Art class and also leads monthly “Paint Party” sessions at the Kay Ceniceros Senior Center in Menifee. “It has been a challenge and a great growing experience for me as I had never taught art before,” Fox said. “Teaching uses the left side of the brain and painting uses the right side, so it really is different. But I love sharing with people what I do.”
She also offers mobile paint parties, providing all the supplies and instruction. “You provide the space and invite the guests and I do the rest,” Fox said. “It makes a great birthday celebration, bonding time with friends or creating a milestone memory.” She is aware of other groups that serve wine and other adult beverages at similar events. Her parties are strictly non-alcoholic, making them suitable for all ages.
Fox explains her art style as representational that varies between realistic, impressionistic or abstract. She finds her inspiration in nature, worship songs, Bible stories and dreams she has. As she prepares an art piece, she said most of the time the specifications are inherent. “Each painting dictates what medium I will use (watercolor, acrylics or pastels),” she said. “What size, what medium, on what surface, even the title, comes to me before the creation.”
Despite her love for drawing and painting, Fox took a 10 year hiatus from it during the years her young family lived in a community that operated Murrieta Hot Springs as a vegetarian health resort. She worked there as a gourmet chef. “Our daughter was young and we worked long hours, year round,” said Fox, who lives in the Romoland community of Menifee. “I don’t think any of us had time for hobbies or personal pursuits.”
She started her art again in 1986, shortly before opening Total Health, and mostly likes to paint landscapes. “I always feel so much better when I am doing something creative,” Fox said. “I can remember painting during a stressful time in our life and feeling something going on in my brain that convinced me of the beneficial nature of art.” That personal experience made her a firm believer in the healing power of creating art, which she now integrates into her Naturopathic practice as an adjunct therapy. She has been a practicing Naturopath since 1992, helping people with their health challenges.
“As for how art affects my own health – I will never be without it again,” Fox said. “Now that I do some kind of creative expression almost every day I feel so much more balanced, happy and relaxed in my life – even when there are trials.”
Supervisor Jeffries' County Senior Meals Program a failure in Mead Valley
By Britt Holmstrom
Soon after taking office in 2013, it was quite evident that Riverside County Supervisor Jeffries did not care about the needs and services for seniors in Mead Valley and Good Hope. The new senior center opened, but was rented out instead of providing senior services. Supervisor Jeffries told the seniors that the senior room was never part of the Community Center, took the sign down and rented out the entire Mead Valley complex including the Senior Center. The seniors were told they would be using the public library and if they did not like that he would rent that out too. The seniors were outraged at the disrespect given them by their newly elected supervisor and began to speak out at the Board of Supervisor’s hearings. Jeffries responded back by putting the senior lunch program into place in Mead Valley but problems continued to exist as Jeffries pushed through a sole source contract last year for senior lunches in Mead Valley and Good Hope - a violation of state law which requires open bidding.
The contract ended on June 30, 2015 and the Office on Aging has yet to complete a contract for congregate meals for these two facilities. Other providers were not allowed to submit a RFP (Request For Proposal) to bid on the meal program. The County signed a sole source contract last year with a provider that had no experience in serving senior lunches. The contract states this provider, “can provide a quality food service for this community and will be consistent and in compliance with our State mandates”. This contract was approved by the Board of Supervisors at Kevin Jeffries urging after many seniors addressed the Board of Supervisor numerous times regarding the poor service that was being provided. The Supervisors knew about the violations and multitude of problems and yet approved a nine month contract. So far no one has provided a copy of the new contract nor was a contract approved by the Board of Supervisors. How can the County operate a state program without a contract?
A number of state laws were violated and seniors that participate in this nutritional lunch program are at risk. The insurance was made out to the City of Perris instead of Riverside County. The lunches do not meet the minimum nutritional requirements. State required training is not being provided to staff and volunteers. Untrained staff are in charge of confidential meal applications that are frequently missing and seniors are asked repeatedly to fill out new applications. Identity theft is a concern as senior’s confidential health and identity information is lost. Untrained volunteers are being asked to monitor the food supplies in the kitchen, complete reports and perform many of the duties that are within the scope of a registered dietitian. Staff and volunteers do not have state required training in food safety, prevention of food borne illness, HACCP, accident prevention, fire safety, first aid, choking and emergency procedures. If a senior should have a medical emergency there would not be any staff trained to deal with the situation.
I have asked for the resignation of the Director of Office on Aging a number of times publicly at the Board of Supervisor meetings. I find that this open disregard for seniors is incomprehensible. Supervisor Jeffries continues to ignore senior concerns and violations of state law at the Mead Valley and Good Hope Community Centers putting those of us seniors at risk. Millions of dollars in state and federal taxpayer money is given to Riverside County each year to provide much needed senior services. The contract for senior lunches must be put out to bid so that the best competent provider can be hired.
10th Annual Tribute to Veterans
Jazz singer Sherry Williams to Perform
Jazz singer Sherry Williams is the confirmed headliner for the Tenth Annual Tribute to Veterans –Temecula Valley to be held on Saturday, November 7, starting 9 a.m., in the Perry Peters Community Room at the Community Recreation Center in Temecula’s Ronald Reagan Sports Park.
One fan described Sherry as “liquid fire and magic.” Variety praised her “expertise in dramatic ballads,” adding that “she has enough style and showmanship for both the dramatic and comedic.”
Sherry will dedicate her performance to the entire veteran community. In 1997, she released her first CD, “The Way You Love Me,” to rave reviews. Her second release, “A Taste of Sherry,” was on the 2003 Grammy ballot, and one of the songs used in the soundtrack of the film, “The Core.” She has worked with a long list of jazz greats, including Buddy Collette, Herbie Mann, Plas Johnson, “Sweets” Edison, Ann Patterson and Gerald “Wig” Wiggins, among many others.
State Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez (67th Assembly District) is the featured speaker. Her district covers Southwest Riverside County. Her husband, Nico, is a retired U.S. Navy veteran.
Also featured on the program will be local artists with photos, drawings, and paintings depicting the impact of military / veterans in our society. “Attendees will enjoy easy listening and the smooth, soothing sound of jazz,” McCracken promises, “while viewing the amazing art pieces, created just for this special 10th anniversary celebration. This is a great opportunity for area residents and visitors to honor our veterans, see a legend-in-Jazz vocalist in person, and view great art pieces. We look forward to seeing you there.”
Admission is free and open to the public. Dress is casual, according to founder and chairman of the event, Michael L. McCracken, a retired Chief Petty Officer of the U.S. Navy. No reservations needed for this occasion. Save the date. For more information, contact us at email@example.com
Vol. 18 No. 6..................................August 2015One topic this month that's a doozy regarding Murrieta politics and one regarding the Rancho Water District election.
Bugle Publisher Nancy Knight has been approached privately by individuals from across the region regarding the political antics in Murrieta. The Bugle also received a Community Voice submission on the topic of Mayor Ramos. This issue is dedicated to providing feedback on the Murrieta politics situation.
Knight writes: For those who do not know me, be advised that I am a 40-year resident of Murrieta and ran many campaigns for Murrieta City Council from 1997 to 2008. I came in second to Doug McAllister in the 2005 recall election and second to Randon Lane in 2008. I have experienced first-hand the retaliation of the threatened Murrieta Police Association, Murrieta Planning Department, and Murrieta Chamber of Commerce, to name a few. My property has been devalued through a change in land use, the Chamber spread false statements about our ethics, attorneys or imposters posing as attorneys have called to threaten us for using Murrieta in the name of one of our publications, Rancon President Dan Stephenson, who pretty much controls elections with developer contributions had his attorney send me a threatening letter, and the Murrieta Police union boys filmed me under the guise of an endorsement interview with a real motive of entrapment that became apparent at the end of the interview with Officer Froboese pulling a Bugle article tear sheet of my exposé on his participation in defaming a young man for the political gain of Doug McAllister. The key question was intended to get a confession that I indeed wrote it. They got the confession and more with my informing the entire panel of the details that supported everything that was written. Their libel case was thwarted! I can only guess what vicious rumors they spread that I don’t know about. Based on all of my personal experience, I offer the following as an exposé that answers many of the questions posed by residents, not only in Murrieta but throughout the region, as residents try to understand what has caused Mayor Harry Ramos to be the target of escalating vicious attacks.
When I first read the Murrieta Patch story, complete with Ms. Smith’s attorney’s graphic statement of what Ramos was being accused of, I was chilled by the accusations and sickened by the thought of what his family must be going through. I have known Harry Ramos to be an honorable man who is interested in the well-being of the community he serves. As a resident who was harassed by Code Enforcement for something he considered unconstitutional, he got his first glimpse of Murrieta politics. He challenged Code Enforcement and won in court. That is when he made a decision to run for Murrieta City Council. He thought, or hoped, his fairness toward residents would improve city hall operations. As a disabled Marine, he also was given an internship in city hall where he saw first-hand how the back rooms operate. This is a man who has knowledge and experience beyond any of the other people who have been elected due to the financial support of the development industry, the support of the local Republican Party, and the support of sycophants who do their bidding for them. Ms. Smith’s attorney’s statement to the press was totally out of character for Harry Ramos but not so out of character for many attorneys that I have had the misfortune of knowing over the years. Their motive of course is financial gain. Given my suspicion of a lack of credibility in the Patch story, I Googled the woman’s name and was relieved to find the Valley News investigative report complete with witness accounts that it was Ramos’ accuser that acted inappropriately at the Chamber of Commerce mixer. If you missed that story please paste the following into your address bar to read the story in full - complete with a photo of Ms. Smith taken in January when the incident Ramos has been charged with occurred. http://myvalleynews.com/local/witness-states-murrieta-mayor-ramos-accuser-acted-inappropriate/
In summary, the Valley News report authored by Julie Reeder and published on July 25, 2015 recounted a witness statement that Kathleen (Kat) Smith appeared to be under the influence of alcohol and acted inappropriately toward two men, including Murrieta Mayor Harry Ramos, at a Chamber MEGA Mixer on Jan. 22...”. Reeder reported that Esmeralda Sandoval was one of six people together for a period of time at the chamber event before it ended. Sandoval said that Smith “was flirtatious with Carlos (Bazan-Canabal) and Mayor Ramos.” Sandoval recounted that Smith was “rubbing herself on one of the men and said they were sexual gods and very attractive. It seemed she was interested in whoever was going to be receptive.” When asked if at any time did Ramos, who claims he was not drinking, go along with what Smith was doing or saying, Sandoval answered, “No, he didn’t act inappropriately.” Sandoval and other witnesses stated that their recollection is that Smith was under the influence and Ramos was not. Sandoval said Bazan-Canabal, who is a Valley News independent contractor, and Ramos were giving Sandoval looks like, “Hey, get your friend.” Sandoval said she didn’t respond because Smith was not her friend. She said the only touching she saw Ramos do was put his hand on Smith’s shoulder at the meeting “which may have been to help her keep her distance, but it wasn’t an inappropriate gesture.” Sandoval said the group of them all left the mixer at the same time. “We all walked out together. Kat, Tatiana and myself walked out together and the mayor followed us,” she said. “We went to Anthony’s. I don’t know everyone’s name but Tatiana, Kat, Lori (Cuevas), another lady and another man were there.” According to Sandoval, Ramos was asked more than once if he would join them at Anthony’s but he declined saying, “Not this time, maybe next time.” When Smith arrived at Anthony’s, Sandoval said she didn’t seem upset or shocked in any way. She seemed to be enjoying her time at Anthony’s. Sandoval said she has not had any more contact with anyone in the group since that night. Sandoval said, “I’m just disgusted that someone would make it difficult on women who are true victims of such acts; to now have someone crying wolf so that people who are victimized truly may not be taken seriously.” The Valley News also wrote that they have had access to additional witnesses and evidence that might support Sandoval’s recounts.
Carrin Greenfield wrote: I want to say what a fantastic article you wrote. I know Harry and his family and they are totally devastated about the whole incident. They are good people and it is a shame what the Murrieta Mafia can do to a person. Keep up the great writing and I hope people will read this and one day see what idiots Gibbs, Long and Lane really are.
Murrieta resident wrote: Nancy, I saw your story on the Bugle website about how you were attacked by the police union and I listen to REDICE radio a lot and found this radio interview a while back about Murrieta's Dr. Dortch and his family.
I haven't heard or seen a thing in the paper or on the internet about the update to their situation. It's just very scary what has happened to you and Dr Dortch.
Publsher's comment: The YouTube radio interview is a summary of the first 19 months of injustices that began with the arrest of the Dortch's 12 year old son in March 2013. It also includes advice for parents on what to teach your children about when not to trust the police. I contacted Dr. Dortch and they are still battling the injustices through the court system. The most recent court hearing was scheduled this month, August 2015. The Bugle will post an update when more info is available.
Temecula resident wrote:"Councilmember Ingram being sued - Murrieta PD involved. Attorney for the plaintiff speaks out at recent City Council meeting."
Publisher's Comment: Kudos for the applause from the few. Shame on the rest of the audience. I can only assume you are the silent majority that is to blame for the corruption in this city. Bad men in politics need nothing more than for good men to watch and do nothing, including not voting the corrupt incumbents out. Better yet - Become a STAR - Stand Tall And Recall! If you need a strategy, I can help. In fact, I volunteer to typeset the petitions.
Public Comments on the Valley News story are posted following the Rancho Water District submission.
Community Voice - A "Harry" situation
By Jeff Brooks
Over the past several months the citizens of Murrieta have learned of possible misconduct by its current Mayor, Harry Ramos. Allegations stemmed from an ambiguous complaint from former Murrieta Councilman, Doug McAllister, during public comments at a recent city council meeting. It is unknown McAllister’s reasons or motivation in taking such actions against Mayor Ramos while he stayed silent during, then Mayor, Alan Long’s DUI fiasco.
Publisher Knight’s response:
Motive: McAllister is a Developer’s Representative and his employer recently lost a case in court for a high density condo project. Click our “Archives” menu item to read the full story “Court Halts High-Density Housing Development in Murrieta” [July 2015]. Ramos was the single No vote for the project. McAllister has motive, in fact all developer representatives have motive because Ramos listens to the residents and votes in accordance with neighborhood concerns. Ramos also raises issues with planning staff who always side with the developer and falsely claim no mitigation measures are needed for a wide variety of resident concerns. City Planner Cynthia Kinser was cited by Judge Sharon Waters in her “Statement of Decision” on the McAllister employer’s project with findings that reads like a statement on Kinser’s incompetency in my opinion. Another project that Ramos voted No on recently is represented by Kassen Klein for a high density project in the Greer Ranch neighborhood. “Unknown” reasons to attack Ramos, ruin his reputation and honorable standing in the community, not to mention the stress on his family? Not likely! While it is true the developer reps have their needed three votes, they do not like questions from the dais that sheds a bad light on the three or four cronies who vote to approve their projects. The Greer Ranch project was approved in a 3-1 vote (Ingram had to recuse himself as a resident of Green Ranch). Voting to approve were Long, Lane, and Gibbs. Everyone stayed silent on the DUI accident where Long injured four Murrieta Valley High students. His felony trial was postponed until mid-August. Apparently, Long wants the students investigated for unknown reasons. We can only wonder what young person will be defamed next for political and financial gain?
Jeff Brooks: Some say McAllister is vying for a City Council seat in the next election and sees ousting Ramos as an easy way to get back into the political spotlight as someone who can get things done. Regardless, it seems interesting that shortly after McAllister makes his debut with nonspecific ethics violations that we see a sexual assault accusation, against Mayor Ramos, followed by a civil lawsuit with no criminal charges being filed. Sexual Assault is a crime, yet the victim has not filed an official police report with the City of Murrieta or the District Attorney’s Office, but rather files a civil suit for personal monetary gain, with only political repercussions for Mayor Ramos. Did McAllister know something more than what he alluded to during public comments at the city council meeting? Did he know the city was at risk of being sued? We may never know.
Publisher Knight’s response
Actually a civil suit has not been filed. According to Jeffery A. Morris of the law firm of Stutz, Artiano, Shinoff & Holtz, representing the city of Murrieta, he states, “The City has only received a Government Tort claim on behalf of Ms. Smith. The claim was dated, July 22, 2015. At this time, the City has not received a settlement demand, nor a lawsuit regarding this matter.” As for the non-specific charges of ethics violations Ramos has never had a city staffer or city volunteer come forward to support any charges of ethics violations and when that didn’t work to the Council’s benefit, Ms. Smith has claimed to have been “approached” in July about Ramos that led to her claim of having been sexually assaulted by Ramos last January. Ms. Smith is apparently in need of money as she claims to be an unemployed radio show sales representative. She is therefore vulnerable to suggestions posed by whomever “approached” her. It does appear that a crime is being committed here and it is not Ramos who committed it, in my opinion.
Jeff Brooks’ next paragraph is not published verbatim here due to inaccuracies:
Publisher Knight’s response to the inaccurate comments.
For the record, Ramos does not claim to be Mexican therefore the comments that Brooks and others are reading or hearing are trumped up. The MU blog entitled “Discussion on Mayor Harry Ramos” was posted by Sheila Dee on June 2. Sheila claims she posted the info at the request of someone who wanted to remain anonymous. The informant states, “there is a group of Murrieta residents seeking to oust Mayor Harry Ramos. Grounds vary from “he’s Mexican”, “he’s late for meetings, not prepared properly at council meetings and doesn’t follow through with city related tasks”, “he’s not proactive in the community as he should be”. All are NOT True according to sources who follow the meetings closely. Ramos was born in the Bronx to parents of Puerto Rican descent (a US territory - hence Americans). Many of the other comments appear to be attributable to a perception propagated by Barbara Nugent that I viewed in a council meeting video. It was a shameful, sycophant performance, in my opinion. As a Gibbs supporter, Nugent is apparently trying to embarrass Ramos in public and the public in turn thinks Ramos has few accomplishments as a Councilman. I remember writing to Councilmember Ramos at the time and complimenting him on his composure during Barbara Nugent’s rant. As for his speech pattern, a mix of dialects from his heritage and New York, yes, his accent may make some words sound inaccurate, and yes he has joked with staff when his gavel keeps turning up missing or “stolen” as the joke would claim. And Ramos may not show up at certain events which is understandable and I bet he now wishes he hadn’t shown up at that fateful January Chamber event! By the way does anyone know how much money the city gives the Murrieta Chamber of Commerce, a club, that has been known to be on the dole for upward of $30,000 per year in tax dollars. It’s for services performed you say? Like answering the telephone as I recall on their list of services that former Chamber staffer Mr. Oliver presented to the city. What a joke!
Jeff Brooks: Further, Mayor Ramos has aligned himself with local extremists such as Alex Ramirez, Douglas Gibbs (not related to councilmember Gibbs) and Ernie White. [A race supposition was deleted by Publisher Knight]. But when Mayor Ramos conducts his press conference, where are the extremists, they sure as heck aren’t standing behind him. Why don’t they want to be seen on camera with the Mayor as he denies the allegations? For that matter, where is his wife. I would think his wife would be jumping at the opportunity to stand behind her husband if she truly thinks he is innocent and is being unjustly attacked. When the facts are revealed we will discover who was on the side of truth. But when you have extremists like Alex Ramirez, Douglas Gibbs and Ernie White in your corner, you lose credibility.
Publisher Knight’s response:
The extremists are not the Ramos supporters. I know Ernie White and he is another man of integrity who is trying to educate the public. As for credibility and ethics charges, Doug McAllister is the last person you would want to believe. Doug McAllister is a deadbeat dad who Barbara Nugent wanted recalled in 2005. She worked hard to oust McAllister, VanHaaster, and Seyarto. She brought all of the court documents to The Bugle regarding McAllister’s past including the letter he sent his wife and mother of his two young children writing, I checked and you can’t touch me here, after he fled to Australia to avoid child support. When he returned to the states, after an unsuccessful turn of events in an Australian court, he was prosecuted by Riverside District Attorney Grover Trask to pay the back child support. He had no contact with his two children who lived in Wildomar until the unfortunate death of his 21-year-old son Bryan. Worse the Murrieta Police provided a platform for McAllister to gain the sympathy vote at their “Every 15 Minute” program and at the expense of defaming the abandoned son Bryan. Bryan’s mother could not refute the impression of a DUI that Doug gave in his speech as she had to wait for the insurance company to complete their investigation. The Californian helped with the sympathy vote angle by carrying the story of Bryan McAllister’s death but not the fact that he was the abandoned son of Doug McAllister. Doug did not have a relationship with the son he abandoned at the age of seven or the daughter he abandoned at the age of five. Neither of the children wanted anything to do with their father. The insurance company eventually found Bryan to not be driving under the influence and paid the insurance benefit to the mother. At the funeral, it was reported that Doug commented that at least now I know what he looked like. According to Rescue Murrieta participants including Ed Faunce, during the Rescue Murrieta recall campaign, McAllister was called a sociopath - someone without a conscience. His behavior toward the first family is certainly proof of that analysis. Don’t you find it strange that Faunce and Nugent now befriend McAllister? “Follow the money”, Faunce used to say. And we all thought he meant it in a derogatory way toward crooked politicians. I guess some people in business follow the money for decisions on friendships.
Comment from Jeff Brooks on "A Harry situation" post-publication
I just wanted to drop you a line and thank you for the conversation. Although we may not agree on some things, I appreciate the dialog. Your response was based on research and factual evidence. I guess all the facts will be revealed when the investigation is over. Thanks again.
Who is Protecting Murrieta’s Water At RCWD?
by Douglas VanderHeide
RCWD Board Members are elected at-large. None of the current Board members represent the over 8,000 Murrieta residents serviced by the Santa Rosa Division. EMWD, WMWD and EVMWD divide their service areas into districts so that the customer base is fairly represented. The Rancho at-large method of electing board members is in direct violation of the California Voting Rights Act. As reported by the San Diego Union/Tribune, June 25, 2015, the Fallbrook Public Utility District is currently being sued because of this violation. The article also states that Government agencies that have tried to fight such cases have either lost or gave up the fight and complied.
For 2015, it appears that Murrieta budgeted about $1.3 million for water and Temecula budgeted about $750,000. Murrieta residents pay a 0.5% property tax assessment on the land value which goes directly to RCWD, Temecula residents pay 0.3%.
Murrieta residents also pay a property tax assessment of $69.92 labeled as a Stand-by tax payable to RCWD. Temecula residents do not pay this tax.
The debt to build the Santa Rosa sewage plant in 1989 which services Murrieta has been serviced interest only all of these years. A significant overhaul or possible teardown and rebuild may be necessary in the near future. As I understand it, this cost will probably be in the $40-$50 million range.
Where is the transparency related to all of this debt? When is this plant going to be paid for? When do the property tax assessments go away?
RCWD is not complying with Best Management Practice 11, a guideline from the State Water Resources Board. This practice establishes a maximum of 30% of revenues from the fixed charge. Because of excessive service charges and property tax assessments RCWD residential customers in Murrieta and Temecula pay over 80% of their water fees in fixed charges.
By now most of you have received your ballot for the Rancho Board. Don’t forget to vote, Water Boards directly affect your wallet and your quality of life! It would be my recommendation to vote only for non-incumbents in the up and coming Rancho Board election. Maybe this tactic will send a message.
This same tactic should be remembered the next time Murrieta City Councilmen are up for re-election. It seems they are not too concerned about where they spend our City’s money and they certainly don’t care that about the half of Murrieta that pays extra taxes for water.
Valley News Public Comments on the Mayor Ramos Accusations:
Jan Sayer - July 25, 2015 at 4:48 pm: Curious as to “why” she is no longer at the radio station? What station? My 2 cents is on Mr. Ramos. This woman is a fake. He certainly does not seem to be “her type”. She is looking for the free ticket with this one. What a shame she would jeopardize this young man, and what he stands for. I saw this on the news the other day, and her persona and body language give a different story.
Sam Handley - July 25, 2015 at 10:58 pm: I was at the mixer for work and mayor Ramos spent about 45 minutes with me and a coworker talking about the youth of our community and our relationship with Christ. Mayor Ramos was a perfect gentleman, I also observed and spoke to this women and she was a little bit too tipsy for someone who was representing a local radio station for work. It seems to me that with hundreds of people there that night would have been a foolish move for the mayor to make a move like she is accusing him of, especially when she was the one acting up that night.
Jane- July 26, 2015 at 6:13 pm:Great article Valley News, keep up the good work and can’t wait to see this woman exposed for the …. she is!
JoeMama - July 28, 2015 at 7:20 am: And this is why Gibbs and Long need to be recalled. Long should have NEVER been re-elected. When this is all over with – with Ramos being cleared – I hope the voters remember what started this debacle.
Jane - July 29, 2015 at 2:00 am: You know JoeMama the problem is that the voters need to come to meetings and call Gibbs, Long, and Lane out for the corrupt people they are and not just blog here. We have to get people into the meetings to let them know that We are Not stupid and we know Exactly what they are trying to do to a good man who actually votes for the people.
Carolyn - July 28, 2015 at 10:16 am: WHY DIDN’T RAMOS DENY GETTING IN THE CAR WITH SMITH? He knows DNA evidence might prove that he was. So, why did he get into a car with a supposedly inebriated woman and let her drive? If witnesses truly saw her making passes at him, why did he take the risk of being alone with that type of woman? I want to see him deny that he was in her car. [Comments on race were deleted by Publisher Knight].
Jane - July 29, 2015 at 2:03 am: Carolyn so lovely to see Gibbs’ crony hard at work here to spread your nastiness to make people think Ramos(a good man) is actually all these things you say. I hate to tell you but the Majority of All combined surrounding cities are on his side because they know his true character. You have probably never even met the man but decide to make assumptions because you are just another Gibbs puppet…Good luck with that! One more year to go till re-elections and I say…RE-ELECT HARRY RAMOS!!
Recall Alan Long - July 28, 2015 at 8:18 pm: Mr. Mama- I assume you don’t live in Murrieta. Or did I miss or forget about an e-mail, FB message, etc. from you sometime over the seven months of trying to organize a recall of Alan Long? Or does drinking and driving fly but perceived back-room dealings and/or political backstabbing don’t?
I think we agree that this all started some time ago, and I know now that thinking back in October that a recall of Alan Long was a slamdunk was naive. It was naive not because it didn’t need to be done (it did and does), but because I didn’t recognize at the time that Murrieta politics seems (from the outside looking in) to have a deep history of dysfunctional city council relationships, poor city hall work culture and management, and (worst of all) partisan citizens who prefer to dig in around their guy and attack the other guy. I think that our elected representatives play into this as a way of self-preservation. All of this at the expense of the system as a whole.
Would a strong, unified message from citizens about city hall, sometime before October 16, 2014, have made Alan Long think twice about drinking and driving? Or made Jonathan Ingram dial back his response to a perceived threat, which ultimately made him the target of a federal civil rights lawsuit? Would a call for accountability (recall or otherwise) for Alan Long have sent a message that would have made Harry Ramos change his behavior, and/or make others think twice about accusing him (publicly or through Doug McAllister) of things he didn’t do? Would a unified message from citizens about city hall have made someone get to work on fixing the environment that somehow made it logical to complain to someone outside of management about something as relatively petty as somebody going through someone else’s desk drawers? Would a unified message from citizens about city hall have made it more likely that Harry Ramos would act on potentially criminal acts in city hall at the time he became aware of them, instead of waiting until his head was on the block to threaten to go to the DA? Would a unified message from citizens have forced the city council to take action on Long, as well as on Ramos’ activities since, according to McAllister’s group, they knew about it and ignored it?
We’ll never know.
For those more interested in watching and feeding into the circus, enjoy the show. You probably have a long one ahead of you.
If there is anyone left that is paying attention and wants to work on fixing things, instead of leaving that to a group of people that has proven itself incapable of doing so, let me know. I’m ready when you are.
The August Issue closed early for our Summer Vacation.
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