AD71 Watch: Blais Campaign Blasts Miller Over Failed Utility Take-Over


Editor's Note: I do not endorse either Candidate.

This just came over the transom from the Neil Blais for Assembly campaign:

Miller Fundraising Drying Up as Word about His $3 million Corona Scandal Spreads

(MISSION VIEJO, CA) -- Two weeks ago, Jeff Miller opened his campaign by launching a negative attack against GOP front-runner Neil Blais. But, it was quickly discovered that 'going negative' was Miller's only option in order to hide the fatal scandal in his own background - one that cost Corona taxpayers more than $3 million.

Now, for the first time, there's proof that Miller's fundraising is drying up as donors begin to weigh the consequences of Miller's record on the City Council, one that led the Riverside Press Enterprise to strongly recommend against Miller's re-election to the Council:

"Incumbent Miller's willingness to compromise a public office for private gain - and then fight to conceal public records - should disqualify him from a second term."

Press Enterprise 10/28/2004

As a result of this scandal, Miller's fundraising continues to fall, according to the latest FPPC reports where his Cash on Hand is just over $160K - among the lowest in the state. After removing debt and non-spendable general election money, that total falls to below $150K.

"Corona taxpayers are still digging out from the three million dollars it cost them," said Blais Spokesman Bill Cizmadia. "And the email traffic from Miller at the time is simply devastating. It's no wonder donors are no longer willing to bet on his future."

At the time, the Press Enterprise also wrote:

"The city's failed takeover of Edison's facilities cost taxpayers $ 3 million, and eroded confidence in local officials. At the same time, two councilmen, Jeff Miller and Darrell Talbert, launched a utility consulting business that improperly mingled their roles as city officials and private entrepreneurs - then fought in court to conceal public documents about the scheme."

Press Enterprise 10/28/2004

And, Miller's own email traffic included phrases such as:

"How are you going to explain it when you go to jail? Delete this email."

Email from Jeff Miller, 6/23/2002

"I've never seen anything quite like this scandal, and it certainly pushes the envelope of the public trust," concluded Blais strategist Tim Clark.

Tom's Farms; a Blogger's Perspective

If you happen to be in the Corona/Lake Elsinore area sometime, make sure to make a pit stop with the family at Tom's Farms. My husband and I lived in Corona for a couple of years and anytime we had friends or family come out and visit we made sure to take them to this little gem. Tom's Farms is nestled in the Temescal Canyon and it first started out as a little produce stand more than 30 years ago. Tom's farms has come a long way from a small produce stand and is now home to a couple of restaurants. My favorite is Senor's Frogs(mmm.. they have the best nachos and breakfast burritos), they are also home to Tom's Olde Fashioned Hamburgers and Patio Pizza.

On the weekends you can take the kiddos on a ride on Tom's Farms 1800's steam-propelled train! Tour the property and beautiful countryside, including a trip under an Amish-style covered bridge. The kids will also love the carnival rides, balloon artists, face painting and every one's favorite and old fashioned Carousel.

They also have animals on display. This is a big hit with the kids. I remember taking my niece when she was a lot younger and she loved watching all of the different farm animals and sometimes even catching a glimpse of a deer or two. If you can visit on a Saturday the kiddos will be entertained with a magic show. The shows take place every Saturday at noon and 2pm at the Carousel Stage.

Moms and Dads, you will love the different shops. There is a wine and cheese shop - which is home to the best baked bread in the area. I can't rave about it enough!! It's delicious. There is also Wine Tasting daily from 11am to 6pm- You can have 3 tastes for only $1.00. There is also of course a produce shop with the freshest produce in town. There is also a home furnishings store which is great to browse.

There is always great live entertainment on the weekends. There is also a craft show every weekend. The weekend is obviously the most popular part of the week to visit Tom's Farms so plan accordingly. You will be guaranteed plenty of fun!!!

Tom's Farms

23900 Temescal Canyon Road
Corona, CA 92883


Located at Interstate 15 and Temescal Canyon Road.

Hours: Mon. - Sunday 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.

For additional info click here

WOOD RANCH BBQ & GRILL FEATURES “MADERA BAY” BLUE CRAB CAKES Sweet Potato Fries also Debut Menu is Now “Zero” Trans Fat

Wood Ranch BBQ & Grill, Ventura County’s “Best BBQ” restaurant (Ventura County Star, Readers’ Choice, Inland Empire magazine, among others), is proud to introduce “Madera Bay” Blue Crab Cakes to its menu.

The crab cakes are offered as an appetizer and as an entrée. They will be on the menu at all Wood Ranch locations beginning March 31, but are available now as a special dish. The crab cakes are served on a bed of baby greens along with a traditional Remoulade and a classic cocktail sauce, as well as half a lemon.

“We believe the addition of the crab cakes will further enhance the overall quality of the food and experience we offer our guests,” explained Eric Anders, co-founder of the 11-restaurant company. “We tested more than a half-dozen recipes before we settled on this one that my cousin gave us and our chefs improved. I grew up in Maryland and I don’t recall having a better crab cake than this one.”
The name for the dish is inspired by a recipe that was developed on a vacation in St. John, US Virgin Islands. The home at which the recipe was first made by a group of vacationing chefs rests on the beach of a small inlet that was dubbed “Madera Bay” because of the constant flow of driftwood onto the beach. Madera is Spanish for “wood.”

Another new entry to the award-winning Wood Ranch menu is Sweet Potato Fries, served with a Chipotle Ranch dipping sauce. The Sweet Potato Fries will be available as a WR Premium Side beginning on March 31.

“We’re also very excited to be serving a ‘zero’ trans fat menu now,” added Ofer Shemtov, Wood Ranch co-founder. “We made every effort to eliminate the use of products that contain trans fat and I know we did not sacrifice flavor as a result.”

“Zero” trans fat means that each serving contains .5 gram or less than trans fat.

Wood Ranch has been rated as "Top Barbecue Spot" and also earned a Certificate of Distinction for receiving outstanding scores in both food and service in the Zagat Restaurant Guide Los Angeles/Southern California, America's premier dining-out guide, for six out of the last eight years. Other awards include: “Best Barbecue,” The Los Angeles Times; “…high marks from locals for barbecue,” The Wall Street Journal; “Best Barbecue,” The Los Angeles Daily News; “Best Barbecue in Ventura County,” The Ventura County Star; “Best Barbecue in L.A.,” 97.1 FM Talk Radio (The Merrill Shindler Show); “Barbecue King,” Los Angeles Weekly; “…Southern California’s best barbecue,” Where Magazine; “Best Restaurant Value in Orange County,” Elmer Dills, KABC-TV; “Best BBQ; Best Caterer; Best Take-Out,” Conejo Valley TODAY Magazine Readers’ Choice Awards; “Inductee to the Local Barbecue Hall of Fame,” KABC Radio (The Restaurant Show with Mario & Amy); “Best Steakhouse,” The Ventura County Star; “Best Barbecue in the Conejo Valley,” Conejo Valley Examiner; “Top 10 Kids Menu in America,” Restaurant Hospitality.

Wood Ranch features “The Food That Makes America Great!” This includes Certified Angus Beef© steaks, prime rib, and burgers. Also featured are slow-roasted, mesquite-grilled tri tip roasts (a signature item), Premium American Baby Back ribs, and locally-raised all-natural, fresh chicken.

Corona Art Association Presents...

GENERAL MEETING: Tuesday April 8th.

The Corona Art Association will hold their general
meeting at 7 pm Tuesday April 8th and will feature
acclaimed pastel artist Catherina Chu who will
demonstrate another of her talents, the art of Chinese
brush painting. The meeting is held in the ART HOUSE
GALLERY, 510 W. Foothill Parkway (one block W. of Main
St.) at Corona Heritage Park Museum. Light
refreshments are served, join us for fun and raffles
and a chance to win one of Catherina's works. Contact:
Ira, 951-206-0222 or Jill, 951-898-9554.


The Corona Art Association will host the annual Spring
Fling Art Show. All local artists are urged to enter
their work on April 17th 1-6:30 pm. Show opens
Thursday April 24, and ends on June 7th during the
Corona Antiques & Collectibles Faire at Corona
Heritage Park Museum.

You may view the show at the ART HOUSE GALLERY, 510 W.
Foothill Parkway (one block W. of Main St.) Reception
and awards for artists is Sat. April 26th, 5:30-7 pm.
Gallery hours, Thurs-Sat. 10 am-2 pm. For more info
regarding entry to show call, Shirley, 951-737-0462 or
Jill, 951-898-9554.

In the WTF File: Riverside coroner offers refund in autopsy dispute

The Riverside County coroner is refunding the $2,279 cost of a family-requested autopsy and amending the death certificate of a man who died nearly a year ago.
Teresa Cramer became suspicious when the coroner's report listed details about her father Robert Martz's body that were inconsistent with his medical history.

Martz died less than two weeks after heart surgery at Loma Linda University Medical Center. The coroner, which didn't initially perform an autopsy, listed heart disease as the cause of the 72-year-old Perris man's death.

Cramer decided to have an autopsy performed at her own expense.

Sheriff's Capt. Don Eaglin, who heads the coroner's office, says the autopsy was investigated and he stands by the results, despite the refund offer.

He says the cause of death is still listed as heart disease but heart surgery complications have been noted as a contributing factor.


It's that time of year again - time for Riverside Public Utilities electric customers to redeem their FREE shade tree coupons on the back of their March Utility bills.

Now in its eighth year, the City's Tree Power FREE shade tree promotion provides a coupon on the back of the March Riverside Public Utilities billing statement that is good for one free shade tree (up to $25 in value) redeemable at one of five participating nurseries in the City of Riverside.

The free shade tree incentive is designed to encourage participation in the Utilities' Tree Power shade tree public benefits program, which provides rebates on purchases of up to five trees per calendar year, per metered account. By planting shade trees in selected areas on their properties, customers can dramatically reduce summer cooling costs and help make Riverside a greener place to live. Tree Power is one of many public benefit programs the Utility offers that provides rebates and incentives to customers who make efforts to reduce their energy demands. Since 1998, customers have planted more than 50,345 trees utilizing the Tree Power program, resulting in energy savings of nearly 9 million kilowatt hours.

Residential and business customers with electric accounts have until June 30, 2008 to redeem this year's coupon at one of these locations only: A & M Nursery, 10333 Arlington Ave.; Home Depot, 3323 Madison Street; Louie's Nursery, 16310 Porter Ave.; Parkview Nursery, 4377 Porter Ave.; Parkview Nursery, 3841 Jackson Street. To find out more about the Tree Power program click here, or call 826-5485.

Peavys Number to be Retired at The Diamond; Lake Elsinore

The Lake Elsinore Storm will have a special guest on Opening Night, April 3, as Jake Peavy will be honored with the retiring of his number at The Diamond. The 2007 National League Cy Young Award Winner will be on hand for the pre-game ceremony starting at 6:30pm as the Storm celebrate their 15th season in Lake Elsinore. After the unveiling of his number 22 in center field, Jake will kickoff 2008 by throwing out the season’s first pitch. The entire Storm team will pay tribute to the hard-throwing right-hander by wearing number 22 Peavy jerseys. Gates open at 6:00pm with the first pitch slated for 7:08pm.

When the Storm became a Padres affiliate in 2001, Jake was the first San Diego prospect to take the mound at The Diamond. He made 19 starts for Lake Elsinore going 7-5 with a 3.08 ERA before a promotion to Double-A Mobile. Along with Oliver Perez and Xavier Nady, Peavy led the Storm to the 2001 California League Championship on their way to being named Baseball America’s Minor League Team of the Year. “Jake has been an integral part of Storm history and played a major role in the team being named Baseball America’s Minor League Team of the Year. We are happy for his success at the Major League level and are honored to have his number immortalized in center field symbolizing his importance to our team history. As good a baseball player as Jake is, he’s an even better person. This will be a great day for Storm baseball,” said team President Dave Oster.

Opening Night also marks the season’s first Thirsty Thursday, meaning $1 draught beers and sodas all night long, as the Storm commence another season of affordable family fun at The Diamond. Tickets start at just $8 in addition to military discounts and weekly promotions.

Barile's Chicago Pizza heads to International Challenge; Yucaipa

Attention Pizza Lovers: A.J. Barile's Chicago Pizza of Yucaipa will be closed from Monday, March 31, to Friday, April 4, while the family-owned pizzeria heads off to the International Pizza Challenge at the World Pizza Expo being held in Las Vegas.

Already known for making some of the best pizzas in the Inland Empire, just competing in this contest ranks the pizzeria among the top 75 pizza restaurants internationally.

For Inland Empire pizza lovers, this is a big deal, and the secret is about to be let out of the bag (or box if you will have it). For those of you who have already tried the Chicago Stockyards pizza, you be the judge. That is the pizza Barile's Top Chef Paul Duran has been perfecting just for this year's international competition.

The top seven competitors out of 75 go to the final cook-off on day three for regional and world titles. If he wins or places you get to say you tried it first.

AJ's passion for pizza and to make the best pizza has taken owner Al Piser and his daughter, Joleen, to Naples, Italy, last May on tour with the US Pizza Team. This is the kind of passion that makes great pizza even greater, traveling abroad in the motherland of pizza with some of the world's best pizzaolios (Italian for pizza maker).

Al, wife Tina, Joleen and Duran say they are loaded up and ready to capture the title, one thin crust at a time.

For those of you not familiar with Yucaipa's little secret of Best Pizza Barile's Chicago Pizza, it is located at 32999 Yucaipa Blvd., in the little retail center across from Sizzler. Don't let the small size fool you, because it's the taste that's BIG here.

According to Piser, the seams are exploding and he is in escrow on a new, larger pizzeria to open sometime this summer - still on Yucaipa Boulevard. Watch for future news as to the new location and address.

And if you're in the area before March 31, stop in and wish them luck; after April 5, they hope you can express congratulations.

ADDING MULTIMEDIA Southern California Edison Launches Nation’s Largest Solar Panel Installation; Inland Empire

Will Convert 65 Million Square Feet of Unused Roofs into Solar Generating Stations

Southern California Edison (SCE) today launched the nation’s largest solar cell installation, a project that will place 250 megawatts of advanced photovoltaic generating technology on 65 million square feet of roofs of Southern California commercial buildings – enough power to serve approximately 162,000 homes.

“These are the kinds of big ideas we need to meet California’s long-term energy and climate change goals,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “I urge others to follow in their footsteps. If commercial buildings statewide partnered with utilities to put this solar technology on their rooftops, it would set off a huge wave of renewable energy growth.”

“This project will turn two square miles of unused commercial rooftops into advanced solar generating stations,” said John E. Bryson, Edison International chairman and CEO. “We hope to have the first solar rooftops in service by August. The sunlight power will be available to meet our largest challenge – peak load demands on the hottest days.”

SCE’s renewable energy project was prompted by recent advances in solar technology that reduce the cost of installed photovoltaic generation. When combined with the size of SCE’s investment, the resulting costs per unit are projected to be half that of common photovoltaic installations in California.

“The scale of this project is unprecedented,” said Mike Peevey, California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) president. “It clearly illustrates once again Edison’s leadership position in the development of new renewable technology.”

SCE today asked the CPUC for approval to install the solar cell technology during the next five years. The request estimates the total project cost will be $875 million (in today’s dollars).

The utility plans to begin installation work immediately on commercial roofs in Southern California’s Inland Empire, San Bernardino and Riverside counties, the nation’s fastest growing urban region.

“These new solar stations, which we will be installing at a rate of one megawatt a week, will provide a new source of clean energy, directly in the fast-growing regions where we need it most,” said Bryson.

SCE sees numerous customer benefits from its new solar program, among them locating the new generation in areas of growing customer demand. And the clusters of solar modules SCE plans to install will be connected directly to the nearest neighborhood circuit, eliminating the need to build new transmission lines to bring the power to customers. Additionally, solar units produce the most power when customer usage is at its highest.

SCE believes its commercial solar roofs program will boost several California environmental initiatives, especially the Million Solar Roofs program that provides incentives to encourage Californians to install solar projects by 2017. SCE’s solar program supports the state’s Global Warming Solutions Act requiring the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, as well as California’s renewable portfolio standard requiring that 20 percent of the state’s electricity be generated with renewable energy by 2010.

How It Works

Solar cells are made of materials that convert sunlight directly into electricity through a chemical process.

A thin semiconductor wafer is treated to form an electric field – positive on one side and negative on the other side.

When light strikes the cell, electrons are knocked loose from the atoms of the material creating the current.

Wires are attached to the positive and negative sides to carry the electricity from the cell to the device to be powered.

Norco pact is raising a stink

Several community residents have questioned the city's decision to enter into an one-year agreement without competitive bidding to do a feasibility report on the plan to build a manure-to-energy plant.

The residents voiced their concerns about the city's decision to enter into an exclusive agreement with Chevron Energy Solutions to do the study.

"Too many times we make hasty decisions and then revisit them several years later," said resident Roy Hungerford during Wednesday night's council meeting.

Resident Dave Henderson noted the city in the past has been shortchanged by not going through competitive budding for projects such as this one.

Chevron Energy Solutions, a subsidiary of Chevron USA, has agreed to pay for the report, which could have cost the city in excess of $70,000. Once the report is completed, the city would be under no obligation to award Chevron the contract to build the plant, according to city officials.

Mayor Frank Hall assured residents that they were agreeing to a study that would provide the city with information about alternatives.

As part of the agreement, the city gave Chevron one year exclusive rights to conduct the study, analyze the results and negotiate an agreement for design and construction of the facility, said Jeff Allred, Norco city manager.

For months, the city has been meeting with Western Municipal Water District, operator of the Western Riverside County Regional Wastewater Authority, and Chevron about the energy-to-waste plant, Allred said.

The plant would generate electricity to power wastewater treatment which in turn could reduce costs to residents and businesses, Allred said.

The plant would also establish a regional outlet for manure disposal.

In June, the council adopted its "Manure Management Strategy" in response to deficiencies in its system for preventing manure from being washed into storm drains and waterways.

Allred said developing such a plant would help the city meet the goals of the management study.

In conducting its feasibility study, Chevron would look at different technologies and costs of a plant, Allred said.

It would also prepare a financial report about the costs and benefits to the city, potential grants as well as the operation of the plant, he said.

"It just seems there's just not anyone out there with this amount of success and capability of helping us with this study," said Councilwoman Kathy Azevedo.

This is not the first time the city has considered the option of a manure-to-energy plant. In 2003, it contracted BioContractos, Inc. to do a feasibility study. In 2004, the city reviewed the study and decided it was not feasible, said Bill Thompson, director of public works.

If the city does agree to go with Chevron, the facility would be on the grounds of the Western Riverside County Regional Wastewater Authority sewage treatment plant.

With the approval, Chevron will conduct the study over a period of 90 days.

I.E. institute planning annual Mayors Forum

The Urban Land Institute Inland Empire will present its fourth annual Mayors Forum from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. April 24. The program will bring together mayors and real estate industry leaders in the region to address current and future development issues.

Government officials will share experiences and visions in their communities. The list includes Corona Mayor Jeff Miller, Lake Elsinore Mayor Daryl Hickman, San Bernardino Mayor Pat Morris and Cathedral City Mayor Kathy DeRosa.

The forum will take place in the Corona City Council Chambers, 400 S. Vicentia Ave. The cost for institute members is $55; nonmembers $75.

More information: or (714) 628-2856.

Cheerios to feature area veteran

For three years, he lay in bed, paralyzed not only by a spinal-cord injury and a neurological disorder but by depression.

Mohan Prasad Vallabhapurapu, 52, was left immobile and paralyzed on the left side of his foot from injuries he sustained while on duty with the Navy in 2001.

The Norco resident said he had to cross many hurdles, mental and physical, to be where he is today.

"I can't believe it. I'm blessed with a lot of things, my courage, my strength," he said. "I've come a long way."

Now, Vallabhapurapu, a combat veteran of the Gulf War and a nine-time gold medal winner of National Veterans Wheelchair Games, has been selected by General Mills to be featured on the front of Cheerios boxes. The cereal boxes will only be distributed at Southern California veterans hospitals.

On Friday, Vallabhapurapu will be at Jerry L. Pettis Memorial Veterans Medical Center in Loma Linda signing autographs. He is also helping launch the Veterans Affairs Healthier US Veterans program, which encourages veterans and staff to get healthier through physical activity.

"Mentally, we can accomplish anything in this life. It's just one day at a time," he said.

Through his turmoil and hardships, Vallabhapurapu said he wants to serve as a role model and hopes to pass on words of inspiration to other veterans in his position.

"Even these disabilities are not going to stop me. There is much more for me to accomplish," he said.

Annie Tuttle, public information officer at the Loma Linda veterans hospital, first met him through the National Wheelchair Games.

"He's always helping people despite his disabilities," she said. He does a great job in exciting other veterans. When Cheerios made the decision, we were just thrilled."

Vallabhapurapu said he wouldn't have come out of his depression had he not gotten involved in activities such as the National Wheelchair Games in 2004, when he walked away with two gold medals.

But the 19-year Navy veteran said the road to recovery was tough.

Vallabhapurapu was a hospital corpsman carrying heavy equipment at the Navy Regional Contracting Center in Singapore in 2001 when he fell down a flight of stairs.

The fall left him with paralysis of his left foot as well as reflex sympathetic dystrophy, which he said causes severe pain.

"Basically, I'm in constant pain, and there is no cure for it," he said.

The turning point for him, he said, came in early 2004, when he realized he could either sit in his bed and sulk in his misery or he could take action.

After years of therapy and acupuncture, he has more movement in his arms and the joint of his legs.

Today he is able to get around with the assistance of his electronic chair.

He is in a table tennis league and recently went skiing, on bi-skis, for the first time.

"One day, I'm hoping to be able to overcome these medical disabilities, even though medicine says there's no cure," he said.

Interview with The Voodoo Glow Skulls

Interview with The Voodoo Glow Skulls

The Voodoo Glow Skulls, a band that is just plain solid…period. This band has been around since the late 80’s and they hail from Riverside, California. They possess some of the most original, diverse, energetic, and unique styles you’ll ever experience. I’ve been listening to these guys since I was introduced to their 1993 LP entitled “Who Is This Is“, which for anyone who remembers, came out under the Dr. Strange Records label. The third wave ska-punk genre hit California with a vengeance back then, but the Voodoo Glow Skulls have been tested and proven to be a serious group of musicians who are in it for the long term (not fame) and have a genuine passion for the music they create. This passion has inspired the Voodoo Glow Skulls to deliver over seven full-length records and countless, energy-pact concerts to their fans for over 2 decades.

I recently contacted The Voodoo Glow Skulls for an interview, and to my surprise they were one of the easiest bands to get a response from. The reason I say “to my surprise” is because I contacted several smaller, lesser known punk, D.I.Y, or self proclaimed “independent” bands to ask a few quick questions, but none of them have bothered to reply with a simple “no thanks”…Now that’s PUNK!

But anyways, I would like to give a huge thanks to Eddie C. from Voodoo Glow Skulls and whoever else contributed to helping me get this interview (below). Much luck to you guys as you’ve inspired my own ideas and others globally. Dirty Rat, Dirty Rat, Dirty Rat, Dirty Rat.

*Ego Assassin’s Interview w/ Eddie C. from Voodoo Glow Skulls*

Interview Date: March 21, 2008:

Ego Assassin (Q): What current events or social issues have had the greatest impact on the lyrics you’ve written for the past few years (or as a band)?

Voodoo Glow Skulls (A): This governments stand against illegal immigrants and mexicans has had a big impact on us so has the war in iraq.

Ego Assassin (Q): If you could only name one band, artist, or person in life that has been the biggest influence on the VGS style, passion, or approach to music, who would it be?

Voodoo Glow Skulls (A): Angelo Moore and his band Fishbone are our biggest influences and have definitely affected our approach to music and life.

Ego Assassin (Q): What do you think is the biggest problem with the music scene today? (if there is one)

Voodoo Glow Skulls (A): We or I have a problem with bands that don’t do the road work or foot work and expect to get everything handed to them without goin on the road and doin the work. It seems like some bands think a myspace page is all you need.

Ego Assassin (Q): Is there any new bands on the scene that you guys look up to as being groundbreaking or visionary?

Voodoo Glow Skulls (A): Dub trio is pretty groundbreaking, fishbone and hank the 3rd, lamb of god are our other favorites these days…

Ego Assassin (Q): Does VGS get recognized in public often?

Voodoo Glow Skulls (A): Once and awhile we get recognized, since we’re underground and diy it doesn’t happen too often though.

Ego Assassin (Q): What’s your least favorite song that VGS has ever made?

Voodoo Glow Skulls (A): “Last Party” maybe but we still kinda like it.

Ego Assassin (Q): What was the worst show you have ever played live?

Voodoo Glow Skulls (A): We recently had a show in Germany that was bad all the way around. Bad sound and the band just wasn’t feeling it.

Ego Assassin (Q): I remember you guys had released promotional merchandise using the brown ‘UPS’ logo, but it had ‘VGS’ on it instead. I always wanted to know if you guys ever got push back from UPS or had legal problems with using the logo…

Voodoo Glow Skulls (A): We never got anything bad from that or have never been sued or anything for using it back in the day…

Thanks Eddie C.

Ego Assassin: The End. Another thank you to Eddie C. and Voodoo Glow Skulls for their time.

Don’t get caught in Casablanca.

College and High School Students Causes A Ramen Revolution in the Inland Empire

Azindies Productions, LLC is pleased to announce Ramen Revolution, a ground-breaking television series about anime and Asian pop culture, which will be taped live at the Granada Theater in Ontario, CA, on Saturday April 5th.

Azindies Productions, LLC is pleased to announce Ramen Revolution, a ground-breaking television series about anime and Asian pop culture, which will be taped live at the Granada Theater in Ontario, CA, on Saturday April 5th, at 6:00PM for broadcast on LA 18KSCI-TV on April 27 at 12:30a.m.

Ramen Revolution is the biggest, most unique anime event ever to hit the Inland Empire. It will include live Para Para dancers and feature performances from the Japanese-American bands Friday Knights and Thee Out Mods. There will be audience participation games and contests, free giveaways, and drawings for a free iPod nano and an iPod shuffle. Ramen Revolution will also provide news updates, event coverage, information on Japan's latest music and fashion trends, interviews, sketch comedy, and everything else a Japanime fan needs.

The show will be anchored by writer/comedian Jon Kalkin and hosted by Sir Jestro and Jennifer Partridge of the TV Series "Our New Earth." Special Guests will include Mark Anthony Williams from the movie Phat Girls and featured on Showtime's hit series Dexter, and Richard George, executive editor at in charge of comics and anime channel.

The first live show is on April 5th, 2008. Tickets to the show can be brought for only 15 dollars per person online at or at a participating high school or college Anime club. Ramen Revolution can be also watched online at

Ramen Revolution was created in response to the large demographic of Anime fans and interrelated sub-cultures who have been ignored by mainstream Hollywood for so long. Therefore, Ramen Revolution is proud to be made by otaku for otaku.

But if you're new to the world of Asian pop culture, don't worry. Ramen Revolution was created to entertain everyone!

Why Was Ex-SLA Member Olson Released Early?

The freedom of a convicted Sacramento County murderer was short-lived: Less than a week after her quiet release from custody, former radical Sara Jane Olson is back in prison, and the California Department of Corrections is apologizing.

A day before she was taken back into custody, state officials were insisting that she had served her time, but they couldn't answer one question: Why did she only serve one year for murder?

Olson, now 61 years old, was released on Monday from a Corona prison, paroled after serving only a few years for the 1975 attempted bombings of LAPD patrol cars and the murder of a customer in a Sacramento County Bank. Immediately after being notified, police unions and the family members of victims spoke out against her release.

"It's absolutely outrageous," said Jon Opsahl, son of Myrna Opsahl, who died in the 1975 robbery of the Crocker National Bank in Carmichael, CA.

The former member of the Symbionese Liberation Army seemed to disappear in 1976, but was arrested in 1999 by FBI agents after a long search. Olson had styled herself as a housewife, changed her name from Kathleen Ann Soliah and raised a family.

She pleaded guilty in 2001 to the attempted bombing of LAPD vehicles, and in 2003, to the second-degree murder of Myrna Opsahl.

On March 17, 2008, she was released from prison. Counting time served and good behavior, Olson had only served one year for her murder conviction.

"My mother, who wasn't a threat to society, was gunned down for no reason, and [Olson] should pay her debt for her crime," said Jon Opsahl. "A judicial system that only requires service of one year for murder is a threat to society. It sends the wrong message."

Officials announced Sara Jane Olson's release late on Thursday. Here's a timeline of our investigation into the story:

Early Friday morning, approximately 10:00 a.m., I contacted the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to ask them if Sara Jane Olson had been released from prison early. They promised a response, but by 2:30 p.m., they were unable to provide me with an answer.

I sat with a CBS13 crew in the lobby of the California Department of Corrections until they agreed to speak with us and give us an answer.

At approximately 5:30, I confronted a spokeswoman for the California Department of Corrections, asking why Olson was eligible for release after serving only one year of her second-degree murder sentence. "I don't know," she said.

At 7:05 p.m., she called me back, saying that the department had checked it out, and they were confident they had not made a mistake.

But mere hours later on Friday night, Olson was reportedly preparing to board a flight to Minnesota at the Los Angeles International Airport with her husband when authorities arrived and said her right to leave California was rescinded. Law enforcement officers escorted Olson to her mother's house in Palmdale and kept watch throughout the night.

A warrant was issued for Olson's arrest on Saturday, and authorities took her back into custody without incident. Chief Deputy Secretary Scott Kernan said officials reviewed her case after "concerns [were] raised in the media."

It turns out, a calculation error in 2004 led to Olson's release a year too early. She is not eligible for release for at least another year.

Olson's attorney claims that the department bowed to political pressure, and has hinted that the officials may have acted criminally in arresting her again.

"The department does not have the authority to issue an arrest warrant and return that person to custody to finish her sentence," said attorney Shawn Chapman Holley.

But now I wonder: Had questions not been raised, would the error ever have been caught?

How many other people, convicted of less high-profile crimes, got out a little early without anyone asking why?

2008 California Wildflower Bloom; Corona, CA

In southern California, we received more rain than usual this year, and wildflower lovers are experiencing the best wildflower season since 2005. I am consolidating all of my postings into one entry. See all of them here

Lady Lazarus coming to bookstores

My creative writing instructor and friend, Andrew Altschul has his first novel arriving in stores next week. It's called LADY LAZARUS, and here's the book description: LADY LAZARUS

"This spectacular, sprawling debut novel tells the story of Calliope Bird Morath, daughter of legendary punk-rock star Brandt Morath—whose horrific suicide devastated the world—and his notorious wife, Penelope.

The novel is narrated by both Calliope and her obsessive biographer, who follows her from her silent childhood to her first tortured, manic public statements about her father; from her highly publicized publication of a book of poetry to her mysterious disappearance; from her reappearance as the mute leader of a cultlike brigade known as The Muse to her spectacular showdown with the biographer.

A disturbing and razor-sharp meditation on twenty-first-century celebrity culture, Lady Lazarus is also a funny and moving story about the age-old question of the nature of the self.

"And here's his book tour schedule:
April 15 - BOOK LAUNCH at
Books Inc., San Francisco, CA, 7pm.
April 17 - InsideStoryTime, Edinburgh Castle, San Francisco, CA, 6:30pm.
April 22 - Shannon Center for the Performing Arts, Whittier College, Whittier, CA, 7pm.
April 23 - UC Riverside, INTS-1128, Riverside, CA, 3pm.
April 24 - Vroman's Bookstore, Pasadena, CA, 7pm.
April 29 - Moe's Books, Berkeley, CA, 7:30pm.
April 30 -Books Inc., Palo Alto, CA, 7pm.
May 8 - Powell's, Portland, OR, 7pm.
May 9 - Elliott Bay Book Co., Seattle, WA, 7:30pm.
May 15 - Skylight Books, Los Angeles, CA, 7:30pm.
May 19 - Drunk Poets Society, Winston's Beach Club, San Diego, CA, 6:30pm.
May 21 - Stanford University, Margaret Jacks Hall, Stanford, CA, 7pm.

Andrew's a gifted writer--make sure to check out his book!

Happy Easter from all of us at; Corona, CA

Happy Easter from all of us at; Corona, CA

Norco Town Clock Unveiling

The City Council, Commission Members, City staff, and the community are invited to attend the unveiling of the new Town Clock, located near the Norco Country Center at the southwest corner of Sixth Street and Temescal Avenue.The event will take place this coming Saturday, March 22, 2008, at “high noon”. Please gather at the site by 11:45 a.m. in preparation for the unveiling.

Citrus City Grille expands to Corona with region’s first restaurant to feature a lakeside putting green

Citrus City Grille, a contemporary-casual restaurant with American and European influences, recently opened its doors in the city of Corona . Located at 2765 Lakeshore Drive at The Promenade Shops at Dos Lagos, Citrus City Grille is yet another unique addition to the city’s rich dining options. The Corona facility is the restaurant’s third location in Southern California and the region’s only restaurant with a lakeside putting green.

Since its origin in Orange County in 1996, Citrus City Grille has provided a modern dining experience that salutes the agricultural past of the region. This growing concept combines upscale dining with a friendly neighborhood feel, which Southern California is known for.

The restaurant is decorated in warm browns, coppers and citrus colors, accented with stone and glass elements. It offers patrons a fresh and light atmosphere to enjoy a business lunch or a relaxing dinner.

Citrus City Grille offers an exceptional menu of quality steaks, organic chicken, seafood, pastas and salads. The restaurant’s wine cellar features a wide selection of Californian, Australian and French wines to pair with its dishes.

The 10,000-square-foot restaurant features an exhibition kitchen, a corporate meeting room with audio visual equipment and a lakeside patio with a fire pit. It can host private parties and local artists perform live music throughout the week to offer residents additional entertainment options.

Corona continues to be the region’s leader in attracting boutique restaurants and retailers. In addition to its wide variety of popular chain restaurants, Corona has recently welcomed BlackWood American Grill, TAPS Fish House & Brewery and Wood Ranch BBQ & Grill. Each of these are boutique restaurants that have only a few locations in select areas of Southern California.

The city of Corona , centrally located between Orange County and the Inland Empire , is an innovator in building an attractive environment in which to locate a business. Rising from its humble beginnings as a small agricultural community, Corona is now an upscale city, offering a vibrant and thriving economy for businesses, residents and visitors alike.

Merle Haggard Coming to Fender Museum in Corona, CA

April 6 - Corona, CA @ Fender Museum for the Arts

Active's War Of The Stores

Active Ride Shop Skate Teams are preparing to make waves at Active's 1st Annual War of the Stores skate competition. The contest consists of all 24 Active stores each selecting five skaters to skate and represent their shop. The winning teams of the day will be receiving cash and prizes by DVS Shoes, Matix Clothing, Girl Skateboards and Royal Trucks. War of the Stores will be held at the new Active Headquarters in Mira Loma, CA.

Johnny LaytonWar of the Stores is an event based around many talented skaters who work and skate for Active. Johnny Layton is a skateboarder who had been a part of Active before becoming a pro skater. Johnny worked and skated for Active Temecula and he is an example of talent that has been found within the Active organization. April 13 is the time for our skateboarders to shine, let the world know who they are and for you to come see them skate.

"What??!! The kids selling product on the floor can skate too?! I am going to have to see this for myself. We can't wait to see the shop kids pushing their boards instead of product for a day. We are looking forward to seeing the talent and being a part of this contest. This is where DVS wants to be; involved with grass roots skate events that put us in touch with the kids that are selling and skating our products," says Gabe Clement, DVS Team Manager.

"The War of the Stores is our day to unify our stores and celebrate skateboarding. This is the first of a many skate battles amongst the Active Family. I can't wait to see who wins!" states Active President Shane Wallace.

War of the Stores will be bringing out talent from all over California. The teams will be judged in a jam session format, with six teams advancing to compete for the top three spots. The judge's panel will consist of Active Professional Team Riders as well as additional special guests.

Special thanks to our sponsors for making this event possible and for their continued support within skateboarding—Boosted, DVS, Matix, Girl Skateboards and Royal Trucks.

Active's War of the StoresApril 13, 2008

12087 Landon Drive
Mira Loma, CA 91752
Sunday, April 13th, 2008
FREE and open to the public

If you can't make it out to the battlegrounds on April 13, you can check out the action streaming live on by the folks at

Storm Offer Job to All-Time Home Run King; Barry Bonds

The Lake Elsinore Storm have officially offered employment to Barry Lamar Bonds. The former San Francisco Giants left fielder has been searching far and wide this off-season for a new team culminating in an investigation by the players union into the lack of interest in Major League Baseball’s Home Run King. The Storm offer includes a cushy Media Relations position (with slight pay cut from $19.3 million), full use of baseball facilities and of course expanded cubicle space with barcalounger and plasma TV. “We just think the way he has handled the media with such grace over the years that he would be a perfect fit in our media relations department,” said Chris Jones, Storm General Manager.

Bonds is currently residing in his Bel Air estate and training in Los Angeles a short drive from The Diamond in Lake Elsinore. With a newly renovated Diamond Club Restaurant and a permanent parking space already reserved for ESPN “reporter” Pedro Gomez, the Storm offer a perfect location for a press conference to re-launch his big league career.

Lake Elsinore also has a brand new playing surface with evapotransporation technology which Barry will have full use of as well. “He’s in playing shape right now. He just hasn’t hit off live pitching,” Bonds’ agent, Jeff Borris, said Tuesday. “I’ve had conversations with Barry. It would probably take him about two weeks to get ready.” Lake Elsinore has a 27 person front office, plenty of arms for two weeks of live batting practice.

CA Repub wants to make Office Pools less illegal; Oh, Lake Elsinore!!!

Under Jeffries proposal, CA Govt won't throw you in jail for betting on the NCAA tournament but they can fine you $500 (down from $5,000.).

Politicians and moral fine tuning just don't mix.

For every Californian who has celebrated March Madness or a Super Bowl by popping a few bucks into an office betting pool, proposed new state legislation is designed to help you sleep easier.

Passage of the measure would remove the possibility of jail time for organizing or participating in nonprofit, all-in-fun office pools.

"Folks making a friendly wager with friends or co-workers should not have to worry about committing a crime," said Assemblyman Kevin Jeffries, who proposed the measure.

The Lake Elsinore Republican said his goal is to make the punishment fit the offense – not to legalize office betting.

In a state where residents can gamble daily on Indian casino games, Lotto and horse racing, Jeffries sees no reason to hammer them for friendly betting on major sporting events.

Under Assembly Bill 1852, violators would be guilty of an infraction, punishable by a $500 fine. Current law allows first offenders to be jailed for up to one year and fined $5,000.


Republican Mayor Jeff Miller won the coveted endorsement of the California Republican Assembly on Saturday at a convention attended by more than 300 Orange County and Riverside delegates. Miller received a "super majority" of over 2/3 of the votes cast on the first ballot, with many of the votes coming from Orange County Republicans.

"This endorsement further establishes Jeff Miller as the conservative standard bearer in the 71st district," said Dave Gilliard, Miller's campaign consultant.

Miller and his primary opponent both actively campaigned for the endorsement. Miller won on a vote of 48-20 among delegates voting in the 71st district race.

"I am very grateful to the CRA delegates who came out on Saturday morning to listen to all the candidates and make their choices," said Miller. "It means a great deal to me to win the support of the California Republican Assembly, an organization I have always considered to be the heart and soul of the GOP.

"Chartered in 1934, the California Republican Assembly is the state's oldest and largest Republican volunteer organization. President Ronald Reagan called the CRA the "conscience of the Republican Party.

"Jeff Miller is the Mayor of the City of Corona, the largest city in the 71st district, and the immediate Past Chairman of the Republican Party of Riverside County. Miller attended high school and college and started a business in Orange County, which eventually expanded to the Inland Empire. The 71st district straddles the Orange and Riverside county borders and Miller is the only candidate with deep roots and support in both counties.

UC Irvine second baseman Tyler Hoechlin; Corona, CA

In this undated photo released by UCIrvine, UC Irvine second baseman Tyler Hoechlin smiles."Baseball's always been my dream," said the 20-year-old from Corona, Calif. "I've actually recently had a few offers for some movies that I've had to turn down because they shoot during the season. That's something I definitely want to pursue, but right now, baseball is my priority."

New water park coming to Inland Empire in 2009

Plans for a $20-million Inland Empire water park set to open in May 2009 call for a 500,000-gallon wave pool, a family raft ride and 15 to 18 slides around an iconic mountain centerpiece.

Located in Ontario’s Cucamonga-Guasti Regional Park in San Bernardino County, the 25-acre water park would be open May through October, according to the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin. (Hat tip to BlooLoop, the amusement industry news site.)

The as yet unnamed park — officials are still seeking a corporate sponsor — will be located within a few blocks of Ontario Mills Mall, Ontario International Airport and the California Speedway near the intersection of the 10 and 15 freeways.

The tropical- and nautical-themed water park will feature a trio of slide towers — one for thrills, one for inner tubes and another sprouting from the central mountain. Other amenities include a treehouse play structure for kids, a water spray area and one or two lazy rivers (a separate children’s waterway is under consideration).

Plans for a magnetic-lift uphill water coaster have been put on hold because of maintenance concerns, but the innovative ride remains a “strong consideration” for future expansion, water park officials said.

Automated Vending Technologies Posts $2.34 Million in Revenues in 2007; Gross Profits Top $1.697 Million; Significant Increase in Cash Position

Automated Vending Technologies, Inc. (Pink Sheets: AVTC), a technology driven vending
manufacturer and operator, today announced financial results for 2007 have
been posted at Results include revenues of $2.34
million, gross profit topping $1.697 million and net income of $240,296.

The Company in its audited filing said cash at December 31, 2007 was
$145,012, up from $16,620 at January 1, 2007. Revenues include $1.17
million from the Company's vending operations and $876,306 from sales of
vending machines. The posting includes the Auditor's Report and complete
financial statements.

"We anticipate revenues and net income to significantly increase in
2008. The 2007 financial results are proof of our ability to generate solid
revenues and profitability in the vending industry," said Tommy Buzbee,
National Sales Manager.

The filing quotes James Winsor, AVT's Director of Engineering and
Manufacturing, that the estimated value of the Company's intellectual
property and developed technology is currently in excess of $15 million,
but that this could increase tenfold if several patents currently pending
are approved.

About Automated Vending Technologies

Automated Vending Technologies has emerged as a leader in integrated
vending solutions company in the competitive vending industry. Since 2001,
the Company has grown from providing vending route operations to a fully
operating company with strategically established partnerships and
subsidiaries. The Company prides itself on not only providing top quality
vending products, but also streaming video through its revolutionary
vending technology.

Automated Vending Technologies, Inc. (Pink Sheets: AVTC) is a vending
solutions provider based in Corona, California that has developed several
significant vending machine technologies that yield a more efficient and
reliable yet technically advanced system. This advanced technology provides
methods for cashless payment, credit card and debit card use, dynamic
advertising with remote tracking and inventory management. AVTC has grown
privately for five years and has a strong balance sheet with current
revenues, inventory and assets. Automated Vending Technologies currently
serves more than 300 government and commercial vending accounts in Southern

Forward-Looking Statements

Statements in this press release may constitute forward-looking
statements and are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, including
the failure to complete successfully the development of new or enhanced
products, the Company's future capital needs, the lack of market demand for
any new or enhanced products the Company may develop, any actions by the
Company's partners that may be adverse to the Company, the success of
competitive products, other economic factors affecting the Company and its
markets, seasonal changes, and other risks detailed from time to time in
the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The
actual results may differ materially from those contained in this press
release. The Company disclaims any obligation to update any statements in
this press release.

Automated Vending Technologies, Inc.

Tommy Buzbee (National Sales Director)


Dos Lagos Heart & Public Areas

The functional and experiential components of the architectural discourse of the Project include well-defined built spaces: 1) the entry plaza; 2) the gateway canopy; 3) the garden armature; 4) the 350-seat amphitheater embraced by garden armature; and 5) the bridge area. These components make up an architectural whole and create a complimentary interaction of spaces through the articulation of forms.

The defined architectural space is established by the bamboo and steel-ribbed skin covering a 15-foot wide pedestrian promenade that undulates for nearly 1,000 feet and bisects the two butterfly-shaped lakes. This skin will be, in turn, accented by climbing rose vines to create a garden armature that shades the visitors’ experience while blending the edges of the built and natural environments. The pedestrian promenade forms the axis of the project - running north-south through the canyon and uniting the mixed-uses and functions into a cohesive community.

The pedestrian promenade defines the human scale through maximization of views of the mountains, waterfall, and lakes. It orchestrates the manipulation of light with the organic undulation of irregularities of the natural imperfections of the bamboo poles and the openings in the steel ribs to create the texture of the skin. Manipulation of light is achieved through a deliberate alignment along the true-north orientation of the bridge, the project’s climax. Nonetheless, the bamboo exercises a formal discipline in its horizontal alignment along the pedestrian path. The positioning of the varying openings and shadings takes into consideration the sun’s path as well as the most desirable views in blocking the presence of the nearby freeway and in contrast, opening a picture frame to the waterfall. The distancing of the bamboo poles allows air to circulate through the structure producing evaporative cooling to mediate the inland valley’s harsh summer climate.

The 9-foot waterfall conjoining the elevations of the two lakes is an accent to compliment the architectural statement. The white noise produced by the waterfall encapsulates people’s experience — distancing the headaches of suburban traffic congestion and defining a micro-environment in touch with evocations and references to the natural context and the history of the land.

The entry plaza to the amphitheater functions as a mediator between the commercial street and the communal gathering spaces of the amphitheater. This is the atrium. The amphitheater is contained within a form, despite the fact that it is an open space, by being contained by the embrace of the curve of the garden armature.

The Project, the vortex of connectivity of the entire 543-acre master planned community, is designed to not only channel pedestrian traffic but also foster commercial activities in the form of movable kiosks placed along the garden armature (a reference to the historic florentine Ponte Vecchio).

Conceived as a fully integrated community, the project pushes mixed-use to its fullest potential-providing space for a variety of life-styles, age groups, activities and productive life. More then a patch work of segregated land uses, the vision for the project re-accommodates the context to draw the pieces together into a cohesive live-work-play community.

The urban design strategy is based on the linearity of a pedestrian path that connects the multiple uses of 121-acre, west-side section of this 543-acre mixed-use community. As indicated in the scheme, this strategy has been materialized by establishing a north-south linear axis that structures the multiple uses of the entire complex. Pedestrians can experience a diversity of community functions-from the retail center organized around a main street concept; continuing through the common areas of the amphitheater and the entry plaza; being swept along the pedestrian promenade through the garden armature to the climax at the nine-foot waterfall and bridge; and on towards the lemon grove that divides the live-work on one side and the hotel / educational center; and, finally, ending at the office complex. Throughout this experience, architecture is used to provide adequate scale, a sequential and surprising experience while creating synergy among the various mixed land uses.

In urban design terms, the center piece is the vortex of connectivity for the multiple functions of the use-intensive west side of the community. The central feature that sets the development apart from other master planned communities is its core: a 10-acre park inhabited by two, 3.5-acre, butterfly-shaped lakes with a central nine-foot-high waterfall. An undulating walkway covered in bamboo, vines of American roses, concrete, and custom-milled ribs of steel runs between the two lakes and bridges the foot of the waterfall. On the southern curve of the lakes, this garden armature curls around a 350-seat amphitheater. A circular walkway, harking to the city’s nickname of the “Circle City”, circumscribes the lake, which is framed by a tapestry of multi-chromatic bands of landscaping. The center piece defines a focal point upon which all activities in the mixed-use West Side converge. In addition, the center piece creates a sense of place and identity.

The architect working simultaneously as an urban designer, transformed a two-dimensional scheme to a living and habitable space. This space is notable for the quality of defined interventions to add quality to spaces as they relate to their context. For example, the urban design becomes habitable and welcoming through architectural realizations of the urban design concepts such as human scale as defined by building masses and textures and their interaction with landscaped- and architecturally-designed open spaces.

In addition, the urban designer working as architect had the opportunity to reinforce this concept through four important pieces: 1) garden armature covering the pedestrian promenade; 2) residential live-work and active senior complex currently under construction; 3) an office building to be the home of the development company currently in design; 4) the conceptual design for a hotel, conference center, community college satellite campus, and parking garage reinforces the urban design concept to create a cohesive set of architectural comments on the fundamental urban design concepts. All these architectural concepts celebrate the urban design strategy of reinforcing the dialog between built and open spaces, utilizing the climate of Southern California to blend the experience between enclosed and open space.

Project details

* Project Name: Dos Lagos Heart & Public Areas
* Client: SE Corporation
* Project Type: Mixed-Use Development
* Principal Designer/s: Norberto F. Nardi, AIA
* Design Team: Nardi Associates LLP
* Contractor/s: Consolidated Contracting Services Inc.
* Date of commencement of project: October, 2003
* Date of completion of project: October 5, 2006
* Location of site: Corona, CA
* Site Area: 12 acres
* Built-up Area: 12 acres
* Cost of Construction/Execution: $12 Million

Celebrate Easter While Supporting RiderDown

Hippity, hoppity – Easter’s on its way. The RiderDown Foundation Easter Sunday Family Ride Day Fundraiser, sponsored by the Valley News, the Village News and, will take place at Lake Elsinore MX Park.

For many families across the country it’s a tradition to go off-roading for the entire Easter holiday weekend. Our family packs up and spends the weekend in “God’s Country” with a little Easter Sunday service followed by an egg hunt under the blue skies, cool spring breezes and then a casual family day ride at any one of several (legal) off-highway vehicle public parks.

We fill up all the gas tanks (cha-ching) and drive more than 100 miles to either Ocotillo Wells or Johnson Valley.

We never quite know who or what will be camping next to our family group. Sometimes we are thoroughly convinced that the party next to us on public land had family happy that “these family members are not with them for the holiday.”

Well, you know what my aunt taught me? That life is full of “marvelous options.”

Hey, if we don’t know who is camping next to us, we can go to a private facility with friendly staff. If we don’t want to participate with the outrageous fuel prices, we won’t drive so far and we’ll keep the business local.

So, here is what is going on.

Sunday, March 23, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. the forming Race Plate Auxiliary will be volunteering our efforts to coordinate a game and family ride day that is guaranteed to be fun for the whole family at Lake Elsinore MX Park.

Kind of like Highland Games meets dirt bikes, trophykarts, and side-by-sides. Be ready to play “Simon Says” – dirt-style. Compete in a hilarious scavenger hunt and struggle not to put your feet down in the slow race.

There are other games planned, but we are not going to let those entertaining plans out of the bag ’til you show up (hint: fun stuff you haven’t seen on YouTube yet).

Our grand marshal will be none other than Lake Elsinore City Councilman Bob Magee.

Magee will be present at the 12 p.m. Easter Sunday service presented by New Song Calvary Chapel’s Black Sheep Chaplin, Jack Sloan.

Easter egg hunt

We are going to keep it simple for this inaugural fundraising event. Bring your own eggs and candy for each of your kids.

All kids wishing to be included in the Easter egg hunt must sign up at the Valley News media booth and drop off your eggs for the MX Easter Bunny to hide.

The hunt will follow the Grand Marshal’s Memorial Parade lap after the Sunday service.

Is it a boot or a bonnet?

There will be an Easter helmet decoration contest sponsored by the Valley News. Remember to decorate the kids’ gear in good, old-fashioned Grand Prix-style.

Esprit de Corps!!

Contact the Valley News at (951) 676-1839 or (760) 723-7319. We’ll help you out.

If you’re a vendor who wishes to participate with the RiderDown Foundation fundraiser, we’d love to support your business. Contact the Lake Elsinore MX Park at (951) 515-4518.

This should be a great day, I'm hoping for a big turnout!

Temecula, CA and Nature's Artistry...A Blogger's Tale.

Our outing today was a drive to Temecula, CA. The area known best for the lush wineries has some hidden jewels which we discovered. One of them was a state park named Lake Skinner. We drove through the roads of the park viewing the snow capped San Jacinto Mountains to the northeast. Adding to the beautiful view were the patches of orange which was the show of the California poppies. We enjoyed a leisure lunch at Ponte Winery which has become an annual outing with Paul and Beverly.

SoCal district OKs 14.3% water hike

A Colorado River aqueduct clogged with invasive quagga mussels and a federal judge's ruling restricting the water flowing from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta have caused the largest water supplier in the region to bump up its water rates.

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California board voted Tuesday for an overall rate increase of 14.3percent. The cost is expected to trickle down to smaller local water suppliers.
"We've been talking about this for six months or so," said Brian Thomas, assistant general manager and chief financial officer for the MWD. "As we saw the impacts of the federal court decision, it just became clear we were going to have to make this increase."

The agency has been forced to branch out from its standard water supply to make up for the shortfall, Thomas said.

The federal ruling to protect the threatened Delta smelt cut the supply of water to Southern California by two-thirds.

In addition, the MWD has been affected by a long-term regional drought and has been grappling with controlling the infestation of quagga mussels in the Colorado River aqueduct, a main supply line.
All of which contributed to the rate increase, Thomas said.

On average, the rate increase, which takes effect Jan. 1, translates to residents paying $1.50 more per month on their water bills, he said.

The rate hike comes on the heels of another measure expected to affect water prices in the future.

A month ago, the MWD adopted a plan that would penalize client water agencies exceeding their allocation.

The Inland Empire Utilities Agency purchases roughly one-third of its water from the MWD.
The agency, in turn, sells water to six San Bernardino County cities, including Chino, Montclair, Ontario and Upland.

The MWD rate increase will be passed down to the cities' municipal water agencies, said Wyatt Troxel, president of the Inland Empire Utilities Agency board.

"Most likely, those agencies if they don't have enough buffer in their rate structure - and most of them do not - then they would have to be looking at a rate increase in the near future," Troxel said.
The cost impact is expected to be less in the areas served by the Inland Empire Utilities Agency because it does not purchase treated water from the MWD, Thomas said.

The Cucamonga Water District, which serves Rancho Cucamonga and a portion of Fontana, derives about 50percent of its water from the MWD.

"This isn't unexpected. We heard this was coming," said Robert DeLoach, general manager and CEO. "I don't know exactly how much the impact is going to be for us."

The district will hold off adopting higher rates until next year, a process that will involve a public hearing, he said.

The district, however, has been separately planning to implement a tiered-rate system in April that will penalize customers using excessive amounts of water.

The San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District, another major water supplier that also relies on water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley, does not expect its rates to be affected, said Douglas Headrick, deputy general manager.

The district, which purchases the delta water directly from the state, serves an area stretching from Fontana to Yucaipa.

Corona Furniture Store Acting Illegally? Mobile Mexican Consulate Observed!

Editors Note: We are merely reporting this story, we are not taking sides.

The Mobile Mexican Consulate showed up in Corona, California to hand out their Matricula Consular ID cards and other unsavory infiltration measures. The Minutemen went to observe this event and as usual they were flipped off and their freedom of speech and organization was attempted to be restricted by those of a foreign government.

The line for the mobile Mexican government center stretched from inside of the FAMSA furniture store to outside of the furniture store


The line stretched from inside the FAMSA furniture store - line outside

The mobile Mexican government center was publicized on the San Bernardino Mexican Consulate website and was staged daily from Thursday March 6 to Sunday March 9.

On Thursday, March 6 - the day the mobile centers started - Minutemen met with the San Bernardino Mexican Consul Geralt Cabrales and expressed opposition to mobile Mexican government centers.

Minutemen observed at the March 8th Corona mobile Mexican government event. The line inside of the store.

Inside the FAMSA furniture store - Mexican government staff transacting business
The mobile station above - the Mexican government used laptop computers.

At this point, we were asked to stop filming and exited the store.

Above - photograph of the consul vehicle As soon as the consul vehicle was photographed - from a public American sidewalk - the uniformed and apparently armed man
working for the Mexican government, above, came toward us. We were photographing on an American sidewalk - so he had no jurisdiction.

A Corona police officer, who we had met with, parked across the street, drove his vehicle nearby and hollered out to the crowd - THEY HAVE FREEDOM OF SPEECH. That calmed everybody down.
We stood with signs near the driveway entrance to observe the Mexican government and to greet the arriving vehicles - MEXICAN CONSULATE GO HOME our sign read - people would cluster around us - yell and so forth.

We explained we were there to protest the Mexican government.

As we stood on the sidewalk with signs - this man repeatedly flipped us off and hollered.

Eventually, a group of three gang-type men suddenly approached us. MMP National Rally Spokesman Raymond Herrera immediately telephoned the police officer and the three men walked away, upon hearing Herrera's conversation with police.

However, the police officer told us later, that after Herrera's phone call, the three men were spotted, and we were told that an officer was interviewing them.

The adult driving the above vehicle flipped us off as the minor child in the back seat followed her example The officer who we originally met with us, spoke with us for quite some time - he knew nothing about Mexican Consulates or the Matricula Consular ID, so we spoke to him at length on the topics.

While the officer was onsite, all was peaceful. In fact, the line outside of the FAMSA furniture store disappeared.

In the above photo the police officer is at far right - the store doors now closed (the man in foreground in the red plaid shirt had been yelling and flipping us off before the police officer arrived)
The officer who had been talking with us, said he would speak with those in charge of the mobile Mexican government center and walked toward the furniture store.

As the police officer approached the furniture store, the man in a uniform, who was working for the Mexican government, shut the doors to the furniture store and the police officer did not enter the store, but, rather waited outside of the closed doors, on the sidewalk.

Soon, a woman came out and spoke with the police officer for about 5 minutes, in front of the closed doors, on the sidewalk. We left shortly thereafter.

The photos of the mobile Mexican government center will be presented to various government agencies and elected officials in our quest to stop mobile Mexican Consulate centers in our communities.