Tag Archives: Marna O’Brien

WHAT IS THE PRICE OF FREEDOM

Many months ago it was announced that a young citizen in furtherance of their scouting life would be allowed once again to donate a project to the City of Wildomar that is supposed to enhance the parks for all of its citizens using donated materials and volunteer hours.
This project has been called “The Freedom Swing” and is the donation of a wheelchair accessible swing for those children unable to leave their wheelchair and enjoy swinging with the rest of the children.
On the surface this would appear a fine project that would benefit a small but important group of citizens. But due to a lack of foresight by city council members and a lack of homework by staff this project like ones before it is turning into a taxpayer nightmare with cost estimates to the taxpayer of between $10,900.00 and $28,750.00.
This project at first scheduled to be placed in the cities premier park, Marna O’Brien, on August 23rd is still without a home. The city staff is madly scrambling to locate a suitable location that will fulfil all of the goals of inclusion and safety that are required when a city installs equipment in its parks, most especially its Tot-Lots which entertain the youngest members of our community.
On Monday August 25th, two days after its initial placement date, the City of Wildomar Standing Committee for Parks will hold a meeting to determine a final resting place for this project along with an estimate of how many thousands of taxpayer dollars this project is going to cost to bring to completion.
At this meeting which will determine where and how much, city officials are already making plans (once again) for the celebration of its placement at a park that may not be finished in time, cost effective nor its final home.
Talk about the cart before the horse, this is a common theme in Wildomar. Let’s make a promise and then figure out how to fulfill it no matter what it cost the taxpayer.

PROGRESS IS BEING MADE ???

While making my weekly visit to the 3 parks of Wildomar one can see some progress being made. The part-time parks employee has been more visible this week walking the parks removing trash strewn about and picking up after the scofflaws that continue to allow their animals to deposit waste along the way. That and the Swisher Sweet containers scattered about.

Madness for sure.

Madness for sure.

With the help of an industrious volunteer the city employee has resuscitated 8 of the 9 field drains by performing a atherectomy and removing essentially 100% occlusion before the rainy season.

Before Cleaning

Before Cleaning


After removing 10 pounds of dirt and trash.

After removing 10 pounds of dirt and trash.

One field drain still needs to be opened, but the city employee needs to borrow tools from the cemetery district to perform this task. The part-time worker has been observed hosing off gazebos and picnic tables without the benefit of a automatic shut off nozzle, he doesn’t even have one of those. Hopefully before the rainy season starts the city will pop for the necessary fossil filters that should have been replace long ago and the parking lot drains along with the “bioswale” drains can be looked after as specified by the BMP in the WQMP.
Speaking of bioswales.

What  a bioswale should look like

What a bioswale should look like


Wildomar's idea of a bioswale

Wildomar’s idea of a bioswale


Parking lot drain in serious need of attention. May take heavy equipment to straighten out top so filter can be removed

Parking lot drain in serious need of attention. May take heavy equipment to straighten out top so filter can be removed

An item specified in the WQMP for Marna O’Brien Park and touted all over Riverside County but rarely implemented.

This one is located in an HOA where a former Planning Director is on the Board.

This one is located in an HOA where a former Planning Director is on the Board.

Typical Wildomar Drain, no markings whatsoever

Typical Wildomar Drain, no markings whatsoever

Another item specified in the WQMP is the posting of Santa Margarita and Santa Ana Watershed Information on a bulletin board.

Not much information here

Not much information here

BMP in WQMP
(That translates into Best Management Practice in Water Quality Management Plan for which the County of Riverside escaped thousand of dollars in fines from the Regional Water Board by implementing, almost a year after completing the park. This document was supposed to be completed before construction even got started.)

The city employee has also been attempting to maintain the previously ignored Tot-Lots for which the citizens still await a Certified Playground Safety Inspection which has not been done to my knowledge. Despite the lack of inspection there is progress being made in this area. One can’t help notice the newly added surfacing material that has made the Tot-Lots look complete rather than a giant void as before.

Seriously lacking surfacing material to cushion a fall. Also uneven.

Seriously lacking surfacing material to cushion a fall. Also uneven.


This lack of material led to numerous exposed hazards.

This lack of material led to numerous exposed hazards.


Today it is much better with an even surface and hazards properly covered

Today it is much better with an even surface and hazards properly covered

Numerous other hazards were taken care of when additional surfacing material (Engineered Wood Fiber) was added

Two week ago at the beginning of August.  113 days after the parks opened to the public

Two week ago at the beginning of August. 113 days after the parks opened to the public


What it looks today after bitching to the city council

What it looks today after bitching to the city council


The beginning of August. Just waiting to remove a toe

The beginning of August. Just waiting to remove a toe


What it looks like today.

What it looks like today.

Some hardware has been replaced where previously missing, thanks to a generous donation from Coast Recreation in Costa Mesa when their representative happened to be in the area and stopped by.

What it looked like the beginning of August. Missing several pieces of hardware

What it looked like the beginning of August. Missing several pieces of hardware


Two weeks later with hardware replaced.

Two weeks later with hardware replaced.

City employee is waiting on a gel material to see if these windows to the world can be cleaned up, if not lets hope the city will replace them.

Much still needs to be done in the way of a written maintenance schedule for which the city will more than likely have to pay for a replacement, seems Riverside County EDA claims to have turn over these schedules along with post construction drawings of the parks to the City of Wildomar when the city took the parks from the county in July of 2009 , the city claims not to have these schedule and drawings.
It is most important from a risk management point of view that a written check sheet be used to document the maintenance ensuring that no step is left out and the process is done on a regular basis and documented. This type of check-off sheet/log has not been observed when the maintenance process is being performed.

We should a similar type form, checked off, signed an kept in a book for each park in the maintenance room.

We should a similar type form, checked off, signed an kept in a book for each park in the maintenance room.

The city also needs to pony up the money to replace certain elements of the Tot-Lots, like the viewing windows and bubble that are so worn one thinks there vision is going south, or the one that’s been broken for eons. The talking tube at Regency Heritage that is missing along with fixing the periscope and mirrors and chimes at Windsong.

This has been broken for so long the plywood is rotting.

This has been broken for so long the plywood is rotting.


Talking tube has gone missing since the parks re-opened.

Talking tube has gone missing since the parks re-opened.

WHAT’S BUGGING YOU IN WILDOMAR PARKS

Numerous complaints have been heard and observed by myself. One would never know if a complaint has been filed with the city.
ANTS are a major problem in at least two of the cities parks, Marna O’Brien and Windsong Park. The ant hills in Marna O’Brien are clearly visible throughout the park.

These hills a located all over the park. I counted at least 20 in a short period of time

These hills a located all over the park. I counted at least 20 in a short period of time

What flavor of ants do we have is best left to the experts, but these do have a hell of a sting.

List of stinging ants in the U.S.

List of stinging ants in the U.S.

The ants that normally populate this area of the Southern United States are the native Southern Fire Ant.

This is the usual suspect.

This is the usual suspect.

But in recent years a new more irritating species has arrived the Imported Red Fire Ant.

This is a nasty one.

This is a nasty one.

Maybe one of the future “Movies in the Park” can be “The Ant Bully”.
For those camping in the park this evening lets hope you avoid the ant hills.

Further information can be obtained by at http://urban.ucr.edu/Native%20%20imported%20fire%20ants.pdf

WASTEFUL WAYS IN WILDOMAR

First time I posted picture was on July 15, 2014 the day the California State Water Resources Control Board approved an emergency regulation to ensure increased conservation efforts and reduce outdoor urban water use. These regulation allow the imposition of fines up to $500.00 per day for violations.
Since then almost weekly I have taken pictures of the City of Wildomar wasting water at Marna O’Brien Park. To their credit the waste is being reduced a little but far too much is going where it shouldn’t, the fines are set to take effect on August 1st. Sidewalks and parking lots do not grow.

Its more than just a little bit of water.

Its more than just a little bit of water.


July 21st, 1 week after the first picture. Got to the park a little late. This is about 1/2 hour after the water shut off.

July 21st, 1 week after the first picture.
Got to the park a little late. This is about 1/2 hour after the water shut off.


Sprinkler still broke. July 25th, 11 days after the first picture and 9 days after tell the groundskeeper.

Sprinkler still broke.
July 25th, 11 days after the first picture and 9 days after tell the groundskeeper.


Getting a little better, this is on the 28th

Getting a little better, this is on the 28th


Not sure who picked the sprinklers, but.

Not sure who picked the sprinklers, but.


This is on the July 28th. Better since broken sprinkler fixed but still needs work.

This is on the July 28th.
Better since broken sprinkler fixed but still needs work.


Watering everything but something growing.

Watering everything but something growing.


Not a single plant in this area.

Not a single plant in this area.


Except shrums.

Except shrums.


This occurs 3 times a week. All that water to grow dirt.

This occurs 3 times a week. All that water to grow dirt.


All that water and one still can't get a drink from the water statue, or

All that water and one still can’t get a drink from the water statue, or


If you have a long tongue you can try this one.

If you have a long tongue you can try this one.

WHERE HAVE ALL THE DOGGIES GONE?

Where ever they want.

Where ever they want.


A recent survey of Wildomar’s parks, Thursday July 17,2014 shows that all but one of the “Doggie Walk Bag” dispensers being empty and they have been for a couple of weeks. The one that has bags is improperly loaded making it next to impossible to remove a bag without destroying it. This does not include the fact that there are no dispensers located at Windsong Park, which is heavily used because it is currently a fenced in area, despite the holes in the back fence.
These are located 2 each at Regency Heritage, 2 each at Marna O'Brien and Zero at Windsong Park.

These are located 2 each at Regency Heritage, 2 each at Marna O’Brien and Zero at Windsong Park.


These bags are necessary because all of Wildomar’s parks drain into Municipal Separate Stormwater Sewer Systems (MS4) which then drain into protected waters. Marna O’Brien drains into Heritage Regency which then drains into Lake Elsinore. Windsong Park drains into the Murrieta Creek by way of a unnamed tributary. These bags also help keep the parks somewhat sanitary for “the children” who like to crawl about.
This is in a grassy area. Some has been run over by the mowers in other grassy areas.

This is in a grassy area. Some has been run over by the mowers in other grassy areas.


This is in the shrubs

This is in the shrubs


While talking to the part time groundskeeper responsible for these dispensers the bags are on order, which doesn’t solve the immediate problem of an increasing amount of dog excrement in the parks. Is it so difficult to go to the local pet supply house with petty cash and get some. Better yet if they are on order from the regular supplier, bite the bullet, pay for expedited shipping and learn from it.
Just one more problem with having a part-time person overseeing the parks.
Please show up at the oversight meeting that is scheduled for Thursday July 24 at 6:30 PM and request that the city either make the current person a full time parks employee or they hire someone to be full time.

MOVE WILDOMAR TO THE HEAD OF THE LINE

One of the culprits, stupid long sprayers in planter boxes. One of the results of having a part-time groundskeeper.

One of the culprits, stupid long sprayers in planter boxes. One of the results of having a part-time groundskeeper.


Wasting water outdoors amid the state’s drought will begin hitting Californians in the wallet under get-tough restrictions being proposed by state regulators, with fines of up to $500 a day.
More improper sprinklers selected by city employees

More improper sprinklers selected by city employees

The State Water Resources Control Board is scheduled to adopt emergency regulations intended to put teeth into conservation efforts that so far have produced disappointing results.

“We are in a drought of historic proportions,” board Chairwoman Felicia Marcus said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. “Many urban water users don’t realize how bad this drought is. The latest numbers released show water usage state-wide has actually increased 1% since the governors proclamation issued in January.

Broken sprinklers with no employee in sight. He was at his other city job.

Broken sprinklers with no employee in sight. He was at his other city job.


Another view of the broken sprinkler.

Another view of the broken sprinkler.


Water prevented from entering bioswale by clogged filters

Water prevented from entering bioswale by clogged filters


Its more than just a little bit of water.

Its more than just a little bit of water.


Its not only the parking lot that is being improperly watered.

Its not only the parking lot that is being improperly watered.


San Francisco is concerned about these new regulations because of the need to hose down alley ways and sidewalks for health and safety reasons. This appears not to be a problem in Wildomar’s parks? There is no full time employee to observe what needs to be cleaned.
Notice the staining on the pillar which is hidden from street view at night. The height suggest its not just 4 legged dogs doing this.

Notice the staining on the pillar which is hidden from street view at night. The height suggest its not just 4 legged dogs doing this.

FILET MIGNON

While taking some updated photo’s of Marna O’Brien Park I came across a previous photo’s of a an area I worked on as a volunteer.

What I started with after plants were place during GDS

What I started with after plants were place during GDS


The area started out with plants too close together as well as too close to the sidewalks. After some prodding I was allowed to move them to a proper spacing and removed the dirt from along the sidewalks so the bark would be contained by the sidewalk rather washing over it.
After moving the plants to the proper spacing and moving dirt from the edge

After moving the plants to the proper spacing and moving dirt from the edge


Everything looked fantastic after “Bark in the Park Day” with 35 Hesperaloa parviflora (Red Yucca) planted and doing fine.
Looking Good

Looking Good

The changes are dramatic and not in a good way. As of April 17, 2014 there are 10 plants left

What it looked like on opening day

What it looked like on opening day

The culprit
One big A- – gopher.

We could use an owl here as well.

We could use an owl here as well.

Per the City of Wildomar Parks Subcommittee Agenda Packet of September 14, 2013 these plants are valued at $9.00 each, therefore this gopher is eating filet mignon having consumed $225.00 worth of plants. This is just one small area in one park

READY ? OR NOT ?

Were Wildomar’s parks ready to be opened on April 12,2014. You be the judge.

Empty as are all of them.

Empty as are all of them.


Opening Day and no waste receptacles. Ball Fields which are closed have them through.

Opening Day and no waste receptacles. Ball Fields which are closed have them through.


I'd say enjoy the BBQ but you can't even make trash can chicken

I’d say enjoy the BBQ but you can’t even make trash can chicken


Don't like where the table is, just move it.

Don’t like where the table is, just move it.


Don't like the view, turn the bench around

Don’t like the view, turn the bench around


Hang on to the children, numerous hazards are still present

Hang on to the children, numerous hazards are still present


Nice Banner

Nice Banner


We get this instead

We get this instead


Even Ortega Trails gave better

Even Ortega Trails gave better


More work to be done, can't wait to see what we've spent so far.

More work to be done, can’t wait to see what we’ve spent so far.


Art Deco, hope your not thirsty

Art Deco, hope your not thirsty


Good thing the lawns are still closed you could lose a small child in there

Good thing the lawns are still closed you could lose a small child in there


Bring you own nuisance bag

Bring you own nuisance bag


Hope the tree survives the seal coating that was applied and then wiped off

Hope the tree survives the seal coating that was applied and then wiped off

GRAND RE-OPENING FOR SALE; BRING YOUR OWN POWER

After passage of a $28.00 parcel tax that will garner the City of Wildomar almost $350,000 for maintenance, operations and programs the City of Wildomar will re-open, one, two or three ?, of its parks on April 12, 2014 by holding a swap meet, at $20.00 per spot, to go along with the Eggstravaganza Egg Hunt.
To add to City Officials confusion of what a park is for, the vendors will be allowed to set up their stalls at the same time children are running about hunting for hidden trinkets, paid for with about $1,000 of their parents parcel tax.
While looking over the vendor application for this day one can’t help notice the Section titled B: “Power Restrictions which requires a vendor to use either a Quiet Generator or No Power as no power is available at the park. Seems to me I recall power was added to the park for the failed “Farmer’s Market” back in March and April of 2010 when receptacles were added to the light poles in the parking lot at a cost of $3500.
Other than this fiasco that will occur at Marna O’Brien Park the other parks are progressing.
Marna O’Brien is having some work done on the parking lot, courtesy of most recent grant. None of the drains are marked and it looks like none of the filters have been replaced or repaired as required by the Regional Water Board Best Management Practices (BMP)but whats a little polluted water.
The grass, along with the shrums, at Windsong is coming along nicely. There is still the issue of replacing tables under the gazebo and the ugly fence is still in place.

The white stuff on the lawn are shrums not paper.

The white stuff on the lawn are shrums not paper.


Gazebo is great for getting out of the sun is you don't mind standing or bringing your own chair

Gazebo is great for getting out of the sun is you don’t mind standing or bringing your own chair


Heritage Parks is being worked on with large amounts of dirt being removed today Friday April 4.
Some of the dirt still being removed.

Some of the dirt still being removed.


Many of the plants appear to have been scraped away in the process, but hey its only taxpayer money and donated time so what the heck. With any luck the rains will hold off returning large amounts of water and sediment, at least until people have had a little time to use it.
Just the little bit of rain the other day has started destruction once again

Just the little bit of rain the other day has started destruction once again

Rumination for March 5, 2014

At a recent Wildomar City Council meeting staff commented that in order to bring reclaimed or recycled water to Marna O’Brien park the cost would come out to around $800,000.
This number may be correct if one were to only consider bringing water a distance of 1.1 miles to one user (Marna O’Brien Park) that would use approximately 30-40 acre feet of water annually but if one were to extend that line another one mile and add an additional two users, William Collier Elementary and Serenity Park in Lake Elsinore (possibly 3 users when Regency Heritage Parks problems are resolved) all using approximately the same amount of water each for a total of 90-120 acre feet of water annually.
With the cost divided amongst 3 entities, Wildomar, Lake Elsinore Unified School District and the City of Lake Elsinore, all seeking grants from the State California who has declared a state of drought emergency the cost could be negligible. The cost could be reduced even further if the line were carried to the back basin which would bring in the Lake Elsinore and San Jacinto Watershed Authority JPA as well as the Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority, this along with the Lakeland Village School on Grand Ave.
When is Wildomar going to look at the big picture rather try to sell its citizens the lie that we are in it alone and can’t afford to do anything.
FYI – the current capacity of the Palomar Recycled Water Booster Station owned by Eastern Municipal Water District for a cost of $6 million, which is located behind the cemetery in Wildomar, has a capacity of 24,000 Gallons per Minute which is 36 million gallons a day. The current usage by 25 users is about 700 acre feet annually (about a weeks worth of current capacity)with the balance going ?