Monthly Archives: March 2014


At the February 12, 2014 City of Wildomar council meeting one of the council persons requested that flashing speed signs be installed at David A Brown middle school. The cost for these signs was estimated to be around $4,200 each (two signs would cost approximately $8,400 plus installation cost).
In March the city issued a press release about the city receiving a grant from one of our insurance carrier, Public Agency Risk Sharing Authority of California ( PARSAC) for $23,000 which was to be spent on these signs, repairing some pavement issues at Marna O’Brien Park, and inspecting the playground equipment before the parks re-open.
In a recent Press Enterprise article the City of Lake Elsinore is going to install 18 of these flashing speed signs around 6 schools in the City of Lake Elsinore for a cost of $355,000. This works out to $19,722 for each sign.
Either we need to elevate this council person to Comptroller General of the United States where they can solve all the worlds financial problems or we need to ask How can it be that Wildomar is so thrifty and everyone else is so wasteful.
Keep in mind, that this council person was involved in the pre-incorporation of the city during which animal control cost was projected by the County of Riverside to be $70,000 annually. They were in office when the City of Wildomar accepted staff information presented to the council, which the council subsequently voted to accept, that Animal Control cost would be $90,000 per year and they are still in office at a time when Wildomar is paying out almost $450,000 for this service.
Assuming that the cost is comparable to our neighbors, Wildomar will be able to install 1 5/32 signs while not doing any of the required work on our parks.


The first of many

The first of many

With all the “talk” about Wildomar becoming a sustainable community I have decided to do my small part and walk the talk.
Copying an idea from the Los Angeles area I have planted a Santa Rosa Plum tree in the parkway in front of my home. The idea is that when this tree starts bearing fruit anyone walking by is welcome to help themselves to the bounty.
Over time I will add to this unused portion of land several varieties of fruit bearing trees and vines, being mindful of the location of the utilities buried beneath it, in hopes of having a year around supply of “Public Fruit” available.
I may also add a bench so one can sit and enjoy the view along with the sweetness of the fruit.

Wildomar enjoy the bounty.

To learn more about this project visit or


The following article was found in the Press and Horticulturist for September 19, 1902 (Page 16 of link)

Frank HEALD Says That the Winter of 1903-4 Will be a Corker for Rain and Things

Frank HEALD, who claims to have discovered lake Elsinore and who was one of the founders of the colony and city that bears this name, is now editing a magazine in San Francisco called Higher Science, and in the last number he publishes the following interesting article:

Great anxiety is felt in the West, and especially in Southern California, less the water supply will be insufficient to supply the demands of the increasing population and cultivation. The writer, however, believes that the winter of 1903-4 will remedy this apparent coming water famine and that thereafter for a period of ten years water will be as plentiful as from 1884 until 1894 – for the following experience and reasons: In 1883 I purchased La Laguna Rancho, in the northern part of San Diego county, and established the town and colony of Elsinore. At the time the Elsinore lake, known as “Big Laguna”, or “Laguna Granda” was almost entirely dry and covered a surface of less than 4000 acres. The whole section of Southern California was having a water famine, which had been gradually creeping on for about 10 years, and the wisest of our horticulturists were uneasy and really alarmed for the future water supply. During the survey of Elsinore colony, from July, 1883, until January, 1884 the lake was rapidly disappearing at a rate of 4 inches per day, and the permanency of the “beautiful mountain lake” which was being so industriously advertised, became a serious question. About the first of January I noticed some wild water fowl, apparently sitting in the air near the (then) middle of the lake, and, taking a small canvas boat, found the branches of a treetop sticking out of the water. After cutting these limbs off below the water level and sounding the bottom I found a sink of at least ten acres, which was about forty feet deeper than the balance of the lake bed, containing large dead willow and cottonwood trees, standing upright just as they had evidently grown. This of course, gave occasion for greater alarm.

Upon the grant there still lived the grand old Don Juan Machado, who was then the oldest living of the illustrious family of Californians of that name, who had occupied the rancho for many generations, and to him I at once repaired for information. After establishing a proper standing of sociability and confidence the honest and truthful old gentleman gave me what I believe to be an accurate history of the water supply for the last four hundred years, which had been kept by the family and gathered from the Indians and their histories and traditions – many of which are still written in symbols on the great smooth granite slabs and boulders around the lake, at Temecula, Warner’s ranch and other parts of the county. Not knowing my own discovery of trees in the lake, he described it all accurately, and said that: “Every twenty years great floods came and filled the lake full of water till it ran down the Temescal, to the Santa Ana, making a great river.” He said “it was always just twenty years from the time that the floods came until they came again, and it never failed but once.” That “once when his own grandfather was a boy and the lake dried up, the floods did not come, and did not come again until the next twenty years; that there was a great hot spring in the center of the lake (pointing out the exact location correctly). Containing many acres around it, which was a great deal deeper than the lake bed, and that during the twenty years, while it was dry, great trees grew there; that they were still covered in deep water; that he had once seen them himself, sixty years before, when the went almost dry.” He said: “You will soon see them stick out, but not long, because the flood will soon come. This is the year they are to come. It is just twenty years.
Then he showed me how the trading rats built away above highwater mark and we drove down the Temescal for twenty miles or more, observing this and a number of his other signs of wet weather, and a few days later drove to Temecula where the old German merchant, Louis Wolf, and the old Mission Indians corroborated his information. He was very much chagrined as day after day passed and the limbs of the trees did not show, until I explained the reason and the reason why I did not want the Americans to see them. We lived within a stone’s throw of each other – he in the old homestead and I in the old English ranch house – and one evening, about the middle of January, 1884, when I drove into the barn and was unhitching my team, he came over to me wearing a broad smile. Pointing to the top of the mountains, south of the lake towards the sea, he showed me a line of fogs or clouds rolling over the top and melting away, which he explained were the forerunners of the great floods.
Sure enough, the next day at noon it began to rain and before the end of the wet season it had rained 62 inches on that side of the lake, and 50 inches in the new town of Elsinore, on the northeast side. During the month of February we did not get a glimpse of the sun from the ranch house, and the lake filled, making the “beautiful mountain lake” an established fact for a least a dozen years. These experiences and histories having come under my observation during the past twenty years, has fixed in my mind a belief that the floods occur in Southern California exactly every twenty years, and that, therefore, we will need to be very careful of the water which falls the coming winter, and see that none of it shall be wasted by running to sea. The best way to store it is by winter irrigation. If it could be run out over the dry valleys and stored in the ground it would keep up the supplies below, during the next summer. It can be used any number of times between the mountain foothills and the seashore without injury, as it purifies itself by soaking through the soil. The best and cheapest reservoirs the government could possibly construct would not be dangerous dams in the mountain regions – but large winter irrigated farms on the higher lands. Keep them soaked full of winter rains; take out distributing ditches below wherever the water soaks by into the stream and keep on doing it and thus be sure no water runs into the sea, as long as there is room for it in the cultivatable land below its source.


Something as simple as a dirt trough is so indicative of the past and the future of Wildomar.

Marna O'Brien Bio-Swale on March 1, 2014

Marna O’Brien Bio-Swale on March 1, 2014

When the County of Riverside rehabilitated the 3 parks, at the insistence of a group bent on incorporating a community into a city, the county left out several important features. One of these was a bio-swale not designed until December 2008, put out to bid until July 2009 and completed September of 2010 (at a cost of $129,737) even though the parks reopened in the summer of 2007. (These dates are important because Wildomar incorporated on July 1, 2008 after several years of study by the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO))
The reasons for the exclusion and later inclusion of this feature are many fold.
Chief among them was “devil may care” attitude first by the County of Riverside Redevelopment Agency (RDA) now the Economic Development Agency (EDA). This agency could just borrow the money and built what ever they wished wherever they wished, all on the cheap except to the taxpayers. Turns out money was spent on two parks not in the Redevelopment area (the one park within the boundaries currently receives enormous amounts of area runoff and is destined to become Open Channel A of the Lakeland Village Master Drainage Plan)
Regency Heritage Park After the bridge, water forced over due to accumulation of debris.

Regency Heritage Park After the bridge, water forced over due to accumulation of debris.

leaving the citizens inside of the RDA to foot the bill for 30+ years. The counties response – there close to the redevelopment area, no problem.
During the reconstruction of the parks, that the citizens closed when they defunded the previous parks district, the county paid no heed to any of the requirements of the California Water Code and totally ignored the California Regional Water Quality Control Board San Diego Region (Region 9) by failing to implement a Standard Urban Storm Water Mitigation Plan (SUSMP) or to even notify the Regional Board of this project when asked directly, on two occasions, if there were any projects started since 2005.
In response to a Notice of Violation issued in July of 2008, the County of Riverside after receiving a date certain by which a response was required, danced, telling the Water Quality Control Board they would install a bio-swale to cleanse run-off from the parking lot , install fossil filters and screens in the drain openings, stencil parking lot storm drains with “Only Rain in the Drain” signage and post educational materials pertaining to the Santa Margarita Watershed for public awareness on a bulletin board located at the concession stand/restroom complex.
Parking lot filter, installed by County of Riverside- maintained by City of Wildomar

Parking lot filter, installed by County of Riverside- maintained by City of Wildomar

There are several problems with this response.
1. Marna O’Brien Park is located in the Santa Ana Watershed, which some of us locals have known since 1984. This issue was maybe unknown to Riverside County and definitely unkown to the Region 9 Water Quality Board until October of 2008. I say maybe unknown to Riverside County because the drainage system is attached to the Bryant Street Storm Drain System which flows into Lake Elsinore after passing thru Regency Heritage Park. Because of this watershed issue Region 9 allowed Riverside County to not face fines from Region 9 at that time, referring the issue to Region 8 which failed to act.
2. Riverside Water Conservation District did not have a pollution criteria index for parks, instead the criteria for “Detached Residential Development” was used per the County of Riverside’s response. Riverside County has had a Parks District since 1926 and a Water Conservation District since 1945 and yet there is no criteria for parks. Really ?
3. Although a Bio-Swale was constructed it has fallen into disrepair and to date the city has failed to properly replant it rendering it total ineffective.
Not much natural filtering going on here.

Not much natural filtering going on here.

4. The County of Riverside never marked any of the drains nor did they erect any bulletin board displaying the educational materials promised.
Same blank walls exist all they way around both buildings.

Same blank walls exist all they way around both buildings.

The City of Wildomar was in the process of taking control of the parks from the county at the time all of these events were going on and either ignored these events or failed in their due-diligence to learn of this Notice of Violation. After having been made aware of it several months ago none of these issues have been properly addressed.
The filter on February 26th before the most recent rains on February 28th.

The filter on February 26th before the most recent rains on February 28th.

Parking lot flooded during rains of February 28th.

Parking lot flooded during rains of February 28th.

The City of Wildomar is unable and unwilling to address a simple item for which they have the funds to correct, yet we are to believe they can go on to manage a possible park in a retention basin, construct bikeways along Grand Ave and Clinton Keith (which will require numerous bio-swales due to the amount of impervious surfaces being added to the city) all of these with no monies for maintenance, good luck with that.


Sorry about the short notice but I just received this information by way of Wildomar’s “Stay Connected” this afternoon.
This Saturday March 15, 2014 the City of Wildomar in partnership with the County of Riverside Economic Development Agency will be sponsoring a Community Clean Up from 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM. The drop off location is located at St. Francis of Rome 21591 Lemon St., Wildomar
See the attached flyer which is in English and Spanish.
Community Cleanup 3-15-14 – Final Flyer


Previous good news has been deleted under protest , suffice it to say Wildomarians no longer have to look

The Wildomar Boy Scout Troop 332 had their trailer stolen over the weekend. Please keep an eye for it and call the sheriff’s department if you should happen to see it in your travels about town.




While reading over the Wildomar City Council Agenda for the upcoming meeting on Wednesday March 12, 2014 I came across Item 2.2 Appeal of Minor Changes to Tentative Tract Map 25122 CV Communities along with Item 2.3 Appeal of Minor Changes to Tentative Tract Map 32078 CV Communities.
While reading the reports submitted I got to wondering about the fill dirt (a reported 245,000 cubic yards) that is currently onsite and wether any government official knows where it came from. This is important in light of the problems associated with the Autumnwoods Estate development.
When one looks at the aerial photographs on the County of Riverside Land Information System for 2004 one notes there is no Autumnwoods Estate Development and no fill dirt on the proposed tracts located at McVicar and Palomar (formerly Rancho Fortunado). In 2007 Autumnwoods Estates is completed and a large mountain of fill dirt is forming on the tracts in question.
During previous discussions at planning commission meetings the question was asked about this imported dirt and where it came from. These questions were never really answered except to point out that a previous developer who is no longer in business brought the dirt to the site before Wildomar became a city.
This in no way should alleviate the City of Wildomar’s responsibility in identifying where this dirt came from. If no records exist then this dirt should be ordered removed in its entirety and the new developer should start from scratch to bring in new dirt with a known origin after testing the site left over after removal.
Some may say just test the fill dirt, the problem is all it takes is a very small amount of dirt to contaminate the whole lot. 245,000 cubic yards of fill dirt assuming it hauled in 20 yards at a time in a set of double trailers takes 12,250 trips and all it take is one load to contaminate the whole site.


Updated Sunday March 9, 2014
Added new link to Wildomar Little League Facebook Page on the links page. (The old Wildomar Little League Facebook site is no longer updated)

Saturday March 8, 2014
There are two games scheduled today at Welch Field starting at 12:30. Please park in the lot between the cemetery and ball fields.
More about this exciting day with pictures later.

Just returned from watching some little guys having a good time playing some baseball. Here are some pictures.

A team banner. The other team was the Padres.

A team banner. The other team was the Padres.

A fair size crowd in attendance.

A fair size crowd in attendance.

Will attempt to get the schedule for the season and put it on its own page. Games next week March 15th at Welch Field start at 9:00

Rumination For March 6, 2014

Was thinking today about all the problems with getting the parks open in Wildomar and recalled a recent project proposed by the City of Wildomar in their 5 year Community Improvement Program for what is being called Gateway Park.
This is a proposed park at the corner of Malaga Rd and Mission Trail that is a pet project of the City Manager for the City of Wildomar with a proposed budget of $100,000 assuming that the city can acquire the property from the County of Riverside for $0. The entire purpose of this park is to make the City of Lake Elsinore move their “Welcome to Lake Elsinore Sign”across the intersection into the City of Lake Elsinore rather than being located in Wildomar which seems to really bother the city manager to no end.
Rather than spending $100,000 on this ridiculous make believe park project would it not be more feasible to spend this money on getting a joint use agreement and fixing up the playground area at Jean Hayman Elementary School to utilize as a real park for the residents of North Wildomar, especially since this closed facility has access to reclaimed water which was brought there after the school was closed.
Might even make sense to spend the money cleaning up a former park located at Gafford Rd and Great Falls Rd. which is located in a retention basin former controlled by Ortega Trails. The cement pad for a basketball court is still there in this all but forgotten area of Wildomar.