SHARING MY FAVORITE CHRISTMAS CARD….

December 26, 2015

…EVER!!

One of the side benefits of having creative, talented children, is the often memorable media creations that continue to put a smile on my face.

Since my daughter-in-law, Stacie, just re-posted this on her Facebook page, I thought that you might enjoy her Christmas Card, circa 2005. For the record, no animals or small children were injured in creating this card. My grandson, now 11 years of age, already reflects the benefits of growing up in a creative family.

Please click on the following link, and enjoy:

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.


Catchin’ Up With….

July 18, 2015
 

…ZAK

Time to do a little catchin’ up for my readers.

When Sheryl and I moved out of Wildomar in December 2013 , moving to nearby Hemet,  the move was a part of my economic strategy to seriously reduce my  monthly “nut, “which was based on owning a “stick built” home,  including a mortgage which  sadly limited the value of the net equity in the house.  Since my age and physical health was not going to permit me to   return to my  “pre-stroke,”  well-paid career as an insurance claims  investigator/adjuster, I needed to  re-evaluate my economic status  and base it on my current economic realities.

By cutting back on  my  monthly  disbursements and selling my house, it ultimately provided, after selling  expenses, some cash equity, I was able to payoff every one of my financial obligations  and purchase, for all cash,  a  lovely, modern  mobile home in one of the  more attractive senior (55+) gated retirement parks  in Hemet.  In this arrangement, my modest space rent includes  the price of trash service as well as our water and sewer service. ( I no longer have to grit my teeth writing a check to the C R &R and EVMWD monopolies for their overpriced  services!)

Last year, an opportunity to work from my home office on a full-time basis, arose from my industry connections to  a long-time friend  and colleague who  is a  claims  manager for a commercial liability insurance company, who wanted to tap into my experience in  Litigation Management in the Construction Defect  field. Apparently “millennials” are not entering the insurance claims field, making older guys like me desirable to hire on a short-term basis. A projected 90 day “gig”  lasted more than six months, which permitted me to purchase  a late model  Toyota Camry.

I enjoyed writing a personal check for the entire amount of the car before driving  it off the sales lot.

 On a couple of personal notes,  my 93-year-old mother recently passed away after a brief illness. Apparently, she was unable to to overcome her grief  over the passing of my older sister, who passed away in January  at at the age of 73, succumbing to a  long  illness.

I recently finished my personal memoir, which recounts  my experiences serving in Vietnam in 1968- 69. The motivation to write a memoir  came from a request by my 10-year-old grandson, who is fascinated by the fact that his grandfather  was “in the war.”  Once I have completed some necessary editing and polishing,  I intend to self-publish it on Amazon,   making  it available to others, who may be interested, as a part of the historic tapestry that any veteran  could and should  prepare for his family  and friends.   I would encourage  any veteran, of any age or era, to write his or her own personal memoir, thus contributing to that tapestry.

When it is published and available online, I will provide the details  on how to obtain a copy of it, if you so desire. I will probably include some portions of it in a future article  within the pages of Wildomar Magazine, as I’ve done in the past.

Since that writing task is now mostly complete,   I can return to  occasionally  offering my  insights and  thoughts on the happenings in Wildomar.  Prior to publishing Wildomar Magazine, I was an active participant  in the publishing of  Elsinore Magazine, even though I  did not live in Lake Elsinore, so that complaint will fall on my deaf ears.

Commentary/opinion knows no city limit.

Comments can be made to  zakturango@excite.com.

By the way,  Wildomar Magazine has been viewed more than 225,000 times since its inception.


Alliance For Intelligent Planning Prevails Over Wildomar City Hall in….

February 23, 2015

Image result for court ordered

RIVERSIDE SUPERIOR COURT

On Friday, February 20, 2015, Riverside County Superior Court Judge Gloria Trask agreed with the Alliance for Intelligent Planning (a group of concerned citizens), that the recently-approved Housing Element portion of the City of Wildomar General Plan was improperly converting tax revenue-producing commercial property into high-density residential property in order to accommodate out-of-town developers in their quest for “cheap dirt.”

As a result of the ruling, numerous development projects will have to be re-evaluated by the City Staff, Planning Commission, and the Wildomar City Council to determine if the projects can go forward in the context of the Courts ruling.

At issue, as the current philosophy of the Wildomar City Council and their Planning Commissioners, to approve nearly any residential project that comes before the various aforementioned bodies, in order to generate one-time development fees and revenue for the City of Wildomar.

Unfortunately, said philosophy will ultimately reduce Wildomar to a  non-rural bedroom community of multi-family apartment projects, lacking sufficient tax revenues to provide the necessary and basic infrastructure, such as police and fire and road maintenance.

 While there are other and additional implications  to the Court’s ruling, suffice it to say that  your city’s forefathers and foremothers have been reckless  in moving forward with the Housing Element without adequately  considering well-informed opposition  that was certain to result in litigation.

 And, in this case, successful litigation.

 Now the City Staff, City Councilmembers  and their Planning Commissioners  will have to  actively address the legitimate concerns of the successful litigants. 

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.


The Real Document….

February 19, 2015

Image result for Document.dumping

…DUMPING IN WILDOMAR

Once again, elected and appointed officials on the City Council/Planning Commission (hereinafter the “Wildo-Morons”) resort to the overused phrase “document dump” to describe citizen input to ongoing Planning Commission and City Council activities within the legal proscribed time limits.

At last night’s City of Wildomar Planning Commission meeting, Commission Chair Veronica Langworthy apparently complained to Wildomar citizen, Gary Andre, after he presented settlement documents that were already in the possession of Wildomar city staff but were not included in the agenda packet for  review  by the Planning Commissioners.

The previously-approved Oak Creek Canyon project was brought back to the Planning Commission for approval of “minor changes,” and it was important that the conditions within the settlement agreement between the developer, the City of Wildomar and the plaintiff, Gary Andre, be incorporated into the conditions of the development.

After spending  the past week  trying to get the settlement conditions incorporated within the  Planning Commission agenda packet, André was left with no alternative but to  hand carry the documents to City Hall  and present them to the City Clerk  in order to be assured that the documents would be available to the Planning Commissioners. Whether or not the documents were appended to the agenda  was entirely within the control of city staff.

Nevertheless,  Planning Commission Chair Langworthy apparently resorted to the complaint of a last-minute “document dump,” thereby alluding to and associating herself with  Washington DC-style tactics, presumably  to inflate her own importance.

The primary issue is the hiding by city staff of the  “environmental disaster” that is unfolding due to the presence of a  raw sewage “spray field” that has been the unfortunate method of  processing  of raw sewage from The Farm  since 1974. As a result of that  ongoing spraying of urine,  it is likely that the presence of nitrates in Cottonwood Creek  and the underlying the water table will have to be addressed  sooner, rather than later.

As you may know when the EVMWD took over the  water service  for nearby residents,  they required immunity from any lawsuits arising from  the water contamination  before they would agree to providing water service for the residents.

 More on this matter  in the near future .

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.

Perhaps The Planning Commissioners will now find their own voice and  actually “dump”  on the Planning Department for keeping them in the dark on such important matters


When Incompetence Becomes…..

November 15, 2014

….CRUELTY

Only in the dysfunctional City of Wildomar, would you find a highly-motivated young lady with the intention of helping special needs kids with her project, having to come to grips with the cruel and harsh reality that the “adults” at City Hall, professional and elected alike, were unable to provide the proper and appropriate guidelines before the installation of her “Freedom Swing.”

Unfortunately, on  October 19, 2014,  the Freedom Swing was inspected by  the Steven C. Wilmes,  Risk Management consultant for the city’s insurance  pool PARSSAC, which insures the City of Wildomar.

Please click on the following link to review the risk manager’s resume:

https://training.fema.gov/EMIWeb/edu/10conf/WILMES-Steven.doc

In his report,  Wilmes  concluded the following:

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

Instead of providing the aforementioned proper and appropriate guidelines, the  bungling  incompetents at City Hall simply jumped on the promotional bandwagon of the project  and began to promote  the fund-raising effort.

As a result,  one can only imagine the disappointment  and discouragement that the young lady feels about her worthy goal  and project.

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.

Perhaps, someone at City Hall should have consulted with the risk manager before the project  was  installed. That would have been the adult and competent thing to do.

Special thanks to Kenny Mayes, a local civic activist, for keeping the City of Wildomar on it’s toes.


Wildomar’s “small”….UPDATE

November 10, 2014

…..mayor

Recently, on the day after the election, I casually opened up my Excite e-mail account and discovered an e-mail from Wildomar’s Mayor Marsha Swanson.

Perhaps, I thought for a brief moment, she wanted to take the opportunity, following her reelection to be gracious and thank me for my years of community service on the Board of Trustees of the Wildomar Cemetery Special District, or even my significant contribution to information dissemination on the pages of Wildomar Magazine.

However, I instead was exposed to the smallness of the “inner” psyche of the mayor, with the following e-mails, and my response:

From:  Marsha Swanson marshamswanson@gmail.com>
Date:11/05/2014 08:31 PM 
To: zakturango@excite.com

Sorry, you had to stay up to monitor the votes, it was all over by 8:30.  The people of Wildomar spoke.   The only incumbent ever not re-elected is Sheryl, do you get it now?”

Marsha Swanson
951 313-7472
From: zakturango@excite.com
Date: 11/05/2014 08:19 PM
To: marshamswanson@gmail.com
 
Marsha;
 
I don’t get it. But your profound insecurity is sad, if not amazing. Were you running against Sheryl? Apparently so.
From:
Marsha Swanson  marshamswanson@gmail.com
Date:
11/05/2014 08:31 PM 
To:
zakturango@excite.com
 
“I beat Sheryl every time.  Don’t know what you are thinking?  Insecure is one thing I am not.”
Marsha Swanson
951 313-7472
Apparently,  the mini-mayor of Wildomar  has found meaning in her  re-election that relates to elections that occurred  four years ago. In the last election, former city Council member Sheryl Ade was tending to the cares and needs of her  elderly mother, who had fallen and broken her leg  just as the election cycle began in 2010.
There are some things in life that must take precedence over  obsessions with  elections and politics.
There are some “inner” wrinkles on the human psyche  that neither Botox or collagen injections will ever cover or erase.
Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.
(Editor’s Update: For the record, former Wildomar city councilman Scott Farnam did not get re-elected in 2010. I wonder if Farnam got a similar “I beat your *ss twice,” email from Swanson during her “I’m really, really insecure” victory lap?

Wildomar’s Control Freaks Are Losing Control Of The….

October 21, 2014

….”INSIDER” BUBBLE

One of the problems with trying to maintain control of a small “pro-city” insider bubble, is the fact that Americans have a serious independent streak that eventually erupts outside the limits placed on them.

As you may recall, there is an elitist Facebook page,  arrogantly titled “Wildomar,” which is a tightly-controlled closed group,  administered in such a way as to control the members  and to eliminate any discordant  commentary.  The Facebook page is administered by the spouse of a  Wildomar Planning Commissioner and a very outspoken supporter of  the Wildomar City Council.

Recently, a dispute has apparently  risen  within the borders of the  Wildomar page  to the extent  that several  former members have now split off to form their own  Wildomar-based Facebook page,  title “Wildomar Is Funny!! (Except for Michelle S.).”

Please click on the following link  to observe the independent democratic spirit (some of it is slightly  irreverent as it is for adults)  for yourself:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/727773610611358/

Wildomar Magazine offers its congratulations, and a “best of luck in the future,” for the new page. I  may eventually join, just as an observer, however.

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.


It’s All About The….

September 17, 2014

…DRAINAGE

Apparently, it rained in Wildomar yesterday.

I was able to keep up with some  of the  weather impacts, by following the local news  and the various Facebook pages providing photographs of the damages.

Mother Nature has finally  provided a plausible historical and meteorological context  for the recent bevy of  lawsuits, as follows:

1) Alliance for Intelligent Planning v,  Subway

2) Alliance for Intelligent  Planning v.  CV Communities

3) Citizens for Developer Compliance v.  Canyon Plaza

Each of the above litigations  were, or will be , initiated to force the developers and the City of Wildomar to mitigate, to the fullest extent possible, the drainage issues, which arise from their developments.

Clearly, Riverside County  did not address, in a fashion timely, the issue of “drainage” for the  watershed area to the northeast of Bundy Canyon  Road and Interstate 15.

That being said,  although the City of Wildomar does not have the resources, nor the obligation  to address all of the  drainage  issues on their own, it is their obligation to extract sufficient  drainage concessions/conditions from the developer of each project  coming before them.

At the very least, any new proposed development should not add to the drainage problems, but should attempt to reduce, in a reasonable fashion, some of the inherent problems within the Wildomar watershed.

 If you are not aware of lawsuit  #3), it’s because  I have not filed as yet,  although I have made preliminary  preparations to do.    In the case of Canyon Plaza, commonly known as the Circle K/Shell station on Bundy Canyon Road , the developer was originally  conditioned by Riverside County  to re-direct  the drainage  from his property, including  the water which passes over his property  from the northeast watershed to a large  drainage pipe, which passes  under Interstate 15, but which is 500 yards  south of his  project.

This would’ve carried any water down  through the  Wildomar Cemetery property and on to Murrieta Creek, without wrecking havoc  on existing properties, such as Elsinore high school.

Instead, the developer whined to the City of Wildomar staff, seeking relief from  Riverside County’s  appropriate conditions regarding drainage, and was granted, an infamous “minor change”  that resulted in the large pile of rocks that you can see for yourself on the east side of the  southbound  Bundy Canyon offramp.  Any water released in this manner  could conceivably end up  flooding Elsinore High School, including their gymnasium  floor for the second time.

Please tell me that that didn’t happen….again!

Needless to say, I am certain the  attorneys for the Lake Elsinore Unified School District will be looking for  any act of negligence which has contributed to their  gymnasium floor damages.

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.


Performance Too Good To Be…

September 11, 2014

…QUESTIONED?

It is quite odd, but not surprising, that the mediocre minions of the mediocre Wildomar City Council are not upset by the fact that $500,000 + has been billed for services “performed” by PV Maintenance in 2012, without any documentary evidence of inspection or oversight by City Hall staffers.

Permit me to again quote the Wildomar City Clerk, in her email response, date July 21, 2014, to my particular and specific request for city-generated inspection documents of specific PV Maintenance work, “Hi Gil, I have just been informed that there are no additional documents associated with your request.”

 On October 31, 2011(see October 31, 2011  WM Archive for the original article), I posted the above photograph of graffiti removal “work” performed by PV Maintenance on the oft-decorated equipment consoles located at the front entrance to Windsong Valley. To their credit, a few days later, workers from PV maintenance returned and re-did their work, thus actually earning the $143.18 paid to them by the City of Wildomar

 As far as the ubiquitous vendor’s conduct in other cities, please refer to the following link for additional  context:

 http://www.menifee247.com/2010/03/scott-manns-statement-on-overbilling.html

For those of you who don’t want to follow the link, here are portions of the comments of Menifee Mayor Scott Mann on the issue of this vendor’s billing practices;

“…the Finance Committee began reviewing invoices and the warrant register in December 2009, at its own request. Up until that time, we had relied on staff to follow appropriate internal controls…

We discovered irregularities in the PV Maintenance billing as reported in the press….”

In any event, you’ll have to excuse me for my impudence in questioning the lack of oversight on the part of the City Hall staffers and their Wildomar City Council overseers.

After all, oversight of the City treasury is their “job,” not mine nor yours.

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.


Incumbent Council Candidates…..

July 14, 2014

City Council Member, City of Wildomar
14/14 100.00%
Vote Count Percent
BOB CASHMAN 4,039 28.74%
R. RICHARD CARY 1,334 9.49%
MITCH MILLER 3,808 27.09%
BRIDGETTE MOORE 4,874 34.68%
Total 14,055 100.00%

…BEWARE!!

It is reported that the incumbents currently sitting on the Wildomar City Council are each intending to run for reelection, as is their privilege.

That being said, it might be important for them to consider the results of the last General Election, which occurred on November 06, 2012 when incumbent City Council members, Robert Cashman and Bridgette Moore, who were the last two inaugural  City Council members to face a re-election campaign. As the two highest vote getters in the original election in 2008, they were elected to four year terms, whereas the three other members, Scott Farnam, Marsha Swanson, and Sheryl Ade, faced re-election in two years.

Therefore, it is apparent that Cashman and Moore could rightly claim status as the “most popular”  elected officials in the City of Wildomar.

However, that status was severely undermined  by the results of the last election, when two completely unknown candidates, Mitch Miller and Richard Cary, without the benefit of  investment  of significant amounts of campaign cash, received  36.58% of the total votes cast , compared to 34.68% of the vote by Bridgette Moore, and 28.74% of the vote by Robert  Cashman.

Now, less than two years later,  Swanson Benoit and Walker face re-election campaigns in similar murky political waters.

At this point in time, no one knows who might be considering attempting to replace the incumbents, but whoever they  might be,  they should take  encouragement that there  appears to be  significant,  disaffected percentage of voters  who are more than willing to vote against incumbency.

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.