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Putting COMMUNITY First!
 
Shop Locally! When you use a local Real Estate member of The Valley Center Real Estate Professional Group, a portion of the commission goes to local High School Senior Scholarships and some goes to help those in need in our community. In the past 10 years, VCCAG members have given out over $115,000 to local high school graduates. In addition, they have given out over $30,000 to those in need in our community.
 
Local Real Estate Professionals attend local Real Estate Caravans and have extensive local knowledge of prices, trends, and local financing options. Look for the Valley Center Real Estate Professionals logo when you're looking for a Real Estate Professional. Valley Center Real Estate Professionals are proud of the changes they have made in our community.
 
Visit and LIKE our Facebook page Valley Center Community Aid Group to browse member profiles!

 

Joe's Country Feed & Pet

We love our Valley Center community and feel so blessed that God has given us the opportunity to have a business and serve our customers here! It is truly our heart and our mission to appreciate, care for and serve everyone who visits the store and provide them with the best products, values and personalized service as possible.
   

It's so hard to believe that we have already been in our present location over two years now. Time does seem to go by quickly! So many of our customers express how much easier it is to enter and exit at this location and how it is more conveniently located, being closer to the center of town. 

     
As of February of 2014 we began our "MISSION MONDAY" program! On the first Monday of each month a percentage of the total sales for that day go toward the support of the Peterson family (Mike, Brittney, Eliana and Jonathan) who are missionaries from Valley Center bringing the gospel of Jesus Christ to the people of El Salvador. This was a major highlight for us in 2014 and will be in 2015 as well. Watch for updates on our Facebook page!


Our "Country Gift Boutique" located within the feed store continues to grow and attract many. We are finding that many visiting the gift boutique do not have livestock, horses or pets, but are just looking for that perfect gift (or something for themselves) without having to leave Valley Center. We have been working hard at bringing in new and fun product lines to meet a diversity of tastes in jewelry, clothing, Wrangler jeans (men's), purses, cowboy hats, caps, belts, wallets, homewares and décor. We even have a small line of exciting products for baby and small children, such as stuffed animals, country toys, "farmy" throws and blankets, picture frames and much more! Come check it out, if you haven't already done so!


In addition to our regular lines of equine, livestock and pet care products and supplies, we have recently brought in the "Weaver Leather" line of horse halters, dog collars and leashes. This line is being expanded to include a broader range of horse, livestock and pet supplies, which we are very excited about! 

   
We continue to carry major brands of quality show feeds for our 4H and FFA students and breeders, which are always discounted throughout the year. 

   
Our live animal display, located right outside the back of the store, typically includes rabbits, cockatiels, parakeets, button quail, finch, and roosters at any given time. 

    
We generally have chicks all year round but one can find the greatest selections of different poultry breeds between March and September. During that time, we also have a nice variety of turkeys, ducks, geese and guineas. We are happy to special order breeds that we don't normally carry as a special service to our customers.

   
Around the end of April the "kitten condos" are in full swing with the most adorable little felines. One can still adopt a kitty with the purchase of a bag of kitten food, as has been our tradition during the past fourteen years. 

   
As for the feed store and gift boutique, we sincerely welcome and invite our customers' suggestions regarding products to bring in and ideas of how we can better serve them. Also, you can now follow us on Facebook.
   

With all that said, our greatest desire as a business and as individuals, is to GLORIFY GOD in the way we serve and care for the needs of all our customers. 


Many blessings,

Joe and Jenni Villalobos

 

Joe's Country Feed & Pet

27847 Valley Center Rd

Valley Center, CA

(760) 749-9328


 

 

 

Valley Center 
Headlines & Happenings

An Evening in Italy (Valley Center Style)
By Phyllis Knight

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Based on the long line of people out the door and down the sidewalk, St. Stephen Catholic Church definitely was the place to be on Saturday evening. And you didn't even have to go inside to know why. All it took was a whiff of the night air tinged with garlic and you had a taste of what awaited on the other side; a delicious lasagna dinner with all the trimmings! 

After a warm welcome at the ticket table, guests found themselves inside a lovely Italian café complete with theme-decorated tables and smiling servers, including Mary Elaine Gustafson, wielding the lasagna spatula. To enhance the experience, diners were serenaded by Sophia Rizzotto and India Parks, with Tom Rizzotto on the mandolin.

Penny Blazej, the hostess for the evening, was appropriately clad in lovely Italian finery. Her best accessory, though, was her smile! She definitely was enjoying herself as she made everyone feel welcome, while ensuring all ran smoothly (with the help of a lot of volunteers!). She said they were expecting around 150 guests, and they were well prepared to show Italian hospitality to all who entered.

The event, sponsored by the Women's Guild of the church, was a huge success by all accounts. Monies raised by the Guild benefit scholarships and other worthy projects. To those who attended, the Guild says, "Gracie!"
 
If you missed the 3rd Annual Lasagna Dinner, I hope we've whetted your appetite to attend the 4th Annual one. "Ci vediamo l'anno prossimo!" (See you next year!)
 
Click here for more pictures from the event.  

Valley Center Design Review Board Vacancy
by Lael Montgomery

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There is a vacancy on the 5-member Valley Center Design Review Board (VC DRB).

The Valley Center Design Review Board reviews designs for site, landscape and architecture of commercial, industrial and multi-dwelling residential projects that are being proposed by private developers (mainly for Valley Center's Village areas) for plan compliance with Valley Center's Design Guidelines.

The DRB holds regular meetings at the Valley Center Library from 5-7PM on the 1st Monday. It is rarely necessary to schedule extra meetings, but it does happen from time to time. DRB members receive plans in advance from the County Department of Planning and Development Services. Members are expected prior to the meeting to review plans for projects that are on the agenda and come to the meeting prepared to discuss the accordance of each project's site, landscape, architectural, signage and lighting plans with the community's specific Design Guidelines in these areas. The position requires a background in art, design, architecture, or landscape architecture.

This is an important time for development in Valley Center's Village areas. The new General Plan allows many new homes in the heart of town, and the long-anticipated new central valley sewer will also encourage development of hundreds of acres of commercial and industrial properties between Cole Grade and Woods Valley roads. If you have the design background to help optimize the community's Vision - NOW is a great time to get involved.

This is a 5-year appointment by the San Diego Board of Supervisors.If you are interested in applying for this volunteer position, please contact Lael Montgomery, Chair of the VC Design Review Board, as quickly as possible, for an application.

Lael Montgomery
Valley Center Design Review Board
760-751-0300
laelmontgomery@aol.com   

 

Unlicensed Valley Center Teen Hits Escondido Pedestrian 

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On January 24, 2015 at about 4:50 a.m., officers from the Escondido Police Department were dispatched to the 2300 block of E. Valley Pkwy regarding a serious injury collision involving a truck and a pedestrian.  Officers arrived and located the pedestrian face down in the roadway, unresponsive, with significant visible injuries. The involved vehicle, a red Chevy pickup, was on its side in a parking lot south of the roadway.  The pedestrian, a 59 year old male Escondido resident, was transported by Escondido Fire Medics to Palomar Hospital for treatment of his injuries.  The truck occupants, an unlicensed 17 year old male Valley Center resident (driver) and a 17 year old female Escondido resident (passenger), were uninjured.

Based on driver statements and evidence at the scene, preliminary investigation shows the driver of the pickup fell asleep at the wheel while driving W/B on Valley Pkwy.  The pickup drifted in a southerly direction, crossed over the E/B lanes, left the roadway, collided with an ATT phone junction box, struck the pedestrian who was on the south sidewalk, and flipped onto its side.  Alcohol is not believed to be a factor in this collision.

The traffic investigation is ongoing at this time and is being conducted by Officer Scott Christensen of the Traffic Division. Anyone with information on this case is encouraged to call Officer Christensen at the above phone number.

To report any suspicious activities in your neighborhood, you may contact the Police Department directly, or you may make an unidentified call on our Anonymous Tip Line at 760-743-TIPS (8477) or via our Web site at police.escondido.org. For breaking news releases, please follow the Escondido Police Department on Twitter at twitter.com/escondidopolice.


 

EPD Sobriety Enforcement Results - January 23, 2015
 
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On January 23, 2015 the Escondido Police Department conducted a DUI Sobriety / Driver's License Checkpoint in the area of 700 W. Grand Ave.
 
Drivers whose ONLY offense was being UNLICENSED to drive were given the opportunity to locate the registered owner of the vehicle to either take or assign possession of the vehicle to a licensed driver. 26 vehicles were released to the owner or a designated driver. During the checkpoint, 10 vehicles were impounded.
 
Following are other results from this event: 
  • 2720 vehicles drove through the checkpoint.
  • 1031 vehicles were screened in primary.
  • 81 vehicles were sent to secondary screening (drivers who could not produce a driver's license or who were suspected of being under the influence of alcohol or drugs)
  • 49 total citations were issued during the checkpoint. (8 for suspended license and 35 for unlicensed driver, 13 for no insurance.) There was 1 arrest for DUI.
  • 3 arrests were made for curfew, and a driver was cited for possession of marijuana and open container.
*Notable incident* - A driver was contacted in primary and failed to produce a driver's license. Instead of driving into secondary, the driver chose to flee the checkpoint. Officers pursued the vehicle for approximately 40 minutes until the driver crashed and fled on foot. The driver was captured with the assistance of a police K9. Charges include felony evading and driving on a suspended license. 
  • Educational material was distributed regarding DUI problems.  
Funding for this operation is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 

Proclamation - Suspending Burning Permits & Other Uses of Open Fire
By State of California, The Natural Resources Agency - Department of Forestry and Fire Protection

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Due to the extreme menace of destruction by fire to life, improved property, or natural resources caused by critical fire weather and acute dryness of vegetation; and/or fire suppression forces being heavily committed to control fires; and, under authority vested in me by the Director of the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection as per section 4423.1 of the Public Resources Code, I hereby suspend, except within incorporated cities, the privileges of burning by permit and otheruses of open fire in the geographic area described as:

ALL STATE RESPONSIBILITY AREA LANDS WITHIN THE COUNTIES OF SAN DIEGO AND IMPERIAL.
 
In addition to suspension of open burning, the following restrictions also are hereby applied in the area cited above:

1. Use of campfires is restricted to within established campfire facilities located inestablished campgrounds open to the public.

In accordance with section 4423.2 of the Public Resources Code, state rangers or other authorized agents of the Director of Forestry and Fire Protection may issue restricted temporary burning permits whenever it can be shown that burning or use of open fire is essential for reasons of public health, safety, or welfare.

This order shall become effective at 0800 hours on 01/22/2015 and remain in effect until I formally terminate this proclamation.

Joseph Ranalli
Division Chief, San Diego Unit
By: Becky Marodi
Fire Captain, ECC, San Diego Unit  

  

"And the Winner is..."
By Phyllis Knight

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As you've probably heard, there is a lot of talk going on right now about various awards shows, especially the Oscars; but the really important awards show is happening right here in Valley Center on February 7th at the Valley View Casino: That's when the Valley Center Chamber of Commerce presents its awards for 2014.

Of course, one big difference between the Oscars and the Chamber is the Chamber doesn't keep you in suspense until the envelope is opened. In fact, they already have announced the winners, and we'll be getting to that a little later in the story. But first, let's focus on the awards process itself.

This morning, I had the opportunity to meet with Mary Gordon, who has just begun her third year as Chamber Executive Director, and Stuart Holthaus, of A1 Irrigation/Do It Best Hardware, 2015 Chamber President. (Stuart told me that A1 Irrigation/Do It Best Hardware is a Charter Member of the Chamber dating back to 1967.) The meeting proved very informative and I learned a lot about what the Chamber does as well as the awards process. Actually, I should say "processes" since there are two when it comes to the awards selection.

Prior to 2014, only one award was presented to the Citizen of the Year. Last year, that changed and now the Chamber presents an award to both a Female and a Male Citizen of the Year. This highly-coveted award is handled differently than the business awards presented by the Chamber in that the nomination process is not only open to the public, but the public is encouraged to nominate community members who exemplify what Valleyites are all about - promoting and supporting our community!

The call for nominations is announced in November through various local media as well as through communications from the Chamber, with the nominations closing mid-December. Any member of the community is eligible to nominate someone or to be nominated. After the nomination period ends, the Chamber validates the nominations, which are then presented to the Board for review, discussion and a vote. And the lucky winners are.... (Sorry, not yet, you have to read a little further).

The other annual awards presented by the Chamber are for the Large Business of the Year and the Small Business of the Year. To be eligible to win either of these awards, the business must be a member of the Chamber. The Board reviews all the business members and their contributions to the community, and then following discussion, a vote is taken for each category. And the winners are... (Almost time, but not quite).

After award recipients have been determined, the Chamber President notifies each winner by phone to congratulate them, typically the first week in January. Therefore, since they already know who they are, it's time to let the rest of the community know as well.

The Valley Center Chamber of Commerce Award Recipients for 2014 are: 

  • Female Citizen of the Year: Sarah Lopez, Ridgeview Preschool
  • Male Citizen of the Year: John Yeager, Summit Mortgage
  • Large Business of the Year: Armstrong Feed and Supply
  • Small Business of the Year: Melrose Ranch 

As previously stated, the awards will be presented at the Chamber Installation Dinner and Concert on February 7th at Valley View Casino. The evening also includes the installation of the 2015 Board and Officers, dinner, a concert and a silent auction. Sounds like a fun-filled evening to me!

If you have any questions about the Chamber, are interested in becoming a member and/or would like to attend the Installation Dinner and Concert, give Mary Gordon a call. She would love to hear from you! She told me that although the membership doubled in 2014 from the previous year, there's still plenty of room for more! However, there's not plenty of room for more at the Installation Dinner. In fact, they have almost sold-out the 200 tickets available, so you better hurry if you want to attend. You don't have to be a member to attend, but you do have to call soon!

Also, you can check-out the Chamber's website at www.vcchamber.com for more information about the Installation Dinner, membership and the numerous activities that the Chamber provides, supports and promotes for the community.

(Please watch for the next article on the Chamber Awards when we'll be highlighting the Award Recipients. You won't want to miss that, and you'll have the opportunity to congratulate them along with us.)


Garden Club Presentation on Succulents February 10
by Sharon Grant 

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The Dos Valles Garden Club will present a program on Tuesday, February 10 titled "Under the Spell of Succulents."

The speaker, Jeff Moore, has written a popular book of the same name about the hobby of succulent plants in cultivation. He will present a slide show on the major succulent groups and how we engage with them: containers, landscaping, collectors, growers, and specialty niches.

Copies of his book and succulent plants will be available for purchase. Jeff has operated Solana Succulents for 22 years in Solana Beach, is known for his gardens at the Del Mar Fair and Home Show (in particular the Undersea Garden), and has recently been featured on the San Diego Horticultural Society website.

The public is welcome to attend the monthly meetings of Dos Valles Garden Club, which is held at 10:00 a.m. at St. Stephen Church (31020 Cole Grade Road, Valley Center).


VCPUSD January School Board Meeting Wrap Up
By Jay West

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The Valley Center-Pauma Unified School District Board of Trustees held their monthly meeting on January 15th. Of significant importance on the agenda was the recognition of the District Teacher and Classified Employees of the Year. 

This year's Teacher of the Year honoree was Satya Fleck. Ms. Fleck began as a substitute teacher in 2002 and has worked at several sites throughout her time in the district. She has been with the high school for four years where she is credited as being a "shining star" at both curriculum development with technology, as well as promoting a positive school climate with her founding of the very successful Jags United Program.  "She is a true asset to the district," said High School Principal Ron McCowan.

The Classified Employee of the Year is Rosalia Loera. Ms. Loera is the Morning Duty Supervisor, Special Education Instructional Assistant and the Afternoon Child Care Supervisor at Lilac School. Lilac Principal Rose Flowers stated, "Rosalia has a genuine love and concern for each student. She is a nurturer who cares about the happiness and health of students and that they are learning at the best of their ability."

"Both Satya and Rosalia are models of dedication to student learning," added Superintendent Mary Gorsuch. 

After the award presentations, the monthly curriculum report titled "Literacy First" was presented by Jon Petersen and Leiani Osugi. Literacy First is a professional development program that gives teachers multiple tools that focus on teaching, learning and leading which in turn enables student success.

Following the curriculum report, the board unanimously approved the multiple consent items. Two of the more notable consent items were the updated Comprehensive Safety/Disaster Plans for the district and all school sites, as well as the School Accountability Report Cards for all K-12 grade schools in the Valley Center-Pauma Unified School District.

The Annual Audit Report was given by Mr. Robert Wilkinson of the audit firm Wilkinson, Hadley, King & Co. LLP.  The Annual Audit Report is a required public report that evaluates the financial health and accounting processes within the district. The report found that the accounting processes are sound and that the district will be operating with a forecast surplus of $7,500 in fiscal year 2015, compared to general fund deficits totaling approximately $1.5 million over the past three years. The report was unanimously approved by the board.

The next several agenda items included the schedule of meetings required for the Local Control Accountability Plan / Local Control Funding Formula, an adjustment to working hours for an unfilled librarian position and a brief on the Governor's proposed 2015 budget.  District Chief Business Officer Julie Kimball stated that the proposed budget looked promising regarding educational funding. There is some concern about future years as districts will be required to contribute more towards employee retirement plans, thus absorbing a portion of the increased funding.

The last two agenda items concerned VCPUSD sports. The district was approached by the contractor who installed the synthetic turf on the Valley Center High School football field about warranty replacement due to premature wear. The field is currently in year seven of an eight year warranty and qualifies to have the turf replaced for free. The contractor offered to replace the current turf with an upgraded turf product for $150,000 and would warranty the product for another eight years. The warranty would not be extended if the turf is replaced with the same product that was initially installed. The average lifespan of the turf is advertised at ten years. After a brief board discussion, the purchase of the upgraded turf with extended warranty was approved.

Finally, the new sports field under construction at the VC Elementary School was discussed. While conducting the grading in December, the contractor discovered a large boulder with prehistoric Indian art inscribed (click link provided below to view photos). Necessarily, archeologists and Indian officials determined that the rock should remain in place at the site. The district, working with the contractor, redesigned the site layout to account for the rock without changing the size of the sports field. The rock is currently fenced off while the district determines the best way to protect it and allow for public viewing once the sports field is open for use.

The next regularly scheduled board meeting is 6:00 PM on February 12th in the High School Media Center. The public is encouraged to attend.

Click here to view photos from the School Board Meeting. 


VC Fire Chief Joe Napier Sworn In at the VCFPD Board Meeting
By Trina West 
 
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On January 15, Joe Napier was sworn in as Valley Center's first Fire Chief. The official pinning was done by VCFPD Treasurer Phil Bell. Phil is the author of Proposed Fire Department Services Delivery Options (aka the "Phil Bell Proposal")which created the framework for Valley Center to establish an independent fire department. 
 
The selection of Joe Napier as Valley Center's Fire Chief marks a new chapter in Valley Center fire protection and establishes the first ever independent chain of command.  
 
"We, as a board, are blessed to have Joe as our first Fire Chief," stated Phil Bell. "As the architect of this plan, I couldn't have anticipated a better person filling the first role of Fire Chief than Joe Napier." 
 
Photo courtesy of Michael O'Connor.
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NOTE: Joe Napier will be the guest speaker at the Community Action Network (CAN) meeting on February 11. Be sure to attend this meeting to learn more about Joe's vision for fire protection in Valley Center. Click here for more information. 

VC Hurricanes Announce "Youngers" Soccer Tryouts
 
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Valley Center Hurricane travel soccer club will be having its annual "Youngers" soccer tryouts Saturday February 7 and Saturday February 14 at Valley Center Middle School.
 
Tryouts are for boys and girls born between August 1, 2001 and July 31, 2008.
 
Valley Center Competitive Hurricanes compete in the San Diego Presidio Soccer League. Due to our smaller population, the Hurricanes usually have between 6 and 10 teams each season, boys and girls.
 
The Hurricanes were founded in 1991. Our program has a number of advantages for our local Valley Center and Pauma Valley players:
 
1. We are a local club, utilizing school and park fields. We mainly work out at the Primary School field and VC Middle School fields and have support from Valley Center Youth Soccer.
 
2. The Hurricanes over the years have had quite a few successes, winning their individual divisions, winning tournaments, and overall having a great time. The Boys U14 team placed 2nd in the State in their division at the prestigious Cal-South State Cup Tournament. The Girls U12 won several smaller tournaments, and finished first in their age bracket.
 
3. Since the Hurricanes are an all volunteer staff, the dues for Hurricanes are  less than half of competing soccer clubs. Yet the coaching is top notch. All our coaches have a minimum "E" license through Cal South, and a few have "D" National licenses as well.
 
4. For the past few years, all goalies received individual coaching through the summer and into the season by the experienced goalie coaches.
 
5. As the players develop, they look forward to coming to the Middle School and High School soccer teams with cohesiveness, since the soccer players have worked together for years. Note the success of the Boys Soccer Program at VCHS in the 2013/2014 season, making the final 4 in CIF.
 
6. Hurricanes are a travel/competitive soccer club playing in the Presidio Soccer League.
 
7. Soccer players may play for Hurricanes in the Presidio League, or they may register for VC Youth Soccer Recreational League. But players MAY NOT do both
 
Tryout Schedule is as Follows: 
  • Feb 7 SaturdayGirls U9 9am - 11am (Coaches: Bob/Roger)
  • Boys U11 9am - 11am (Coaches: Eli/Ricardo)
  • Boys U12/13 9am - 11am (Coach: Ernesto)
  • Girls U14 3-5pm (Coach: Vikash)
  • Feb 14 SaturdayGirls U11 9am - 11am (Coaches: Joanne/Ismael)
  • Girls U13 9am - 11am (Coaches: Adam/Justin) 
Olders tryouts (D.O.B. before July 31, 2001) will be in April:Boys U15, Boys U16, Boys U19, Girls U15
 
Players interested in trying out, must be accompanied by an adult. Their is a liability form that must be filled out by a parent or guardian. All tryout participants must have cleats and shin guards as a mandated safety measure.
 
For more and updated information, please feel to visit our blog: www.vcsoccer.org 

   

VC Municipal Water District Aqueduct Shutdown Notice

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Reduced Supply and Use Restrictions 

JANUARY 19, 2015 - JANUARY 29, 2015
FOR CUSTOMERS SERVED BY
VALLEY CENTER WATER DISTRICT 

The Valley Center Municipal Water District (District) has been advised by its wholesale suppliers that from 7:00 a.m. January 19, 2015, through 8:00 p.m. January 29, 2015, the treated water aqueduct delivering water to the District will be shut down to accommodate construction activity associated with the Highway 76 realignment project. As a result, water flow to the District will be severely restricted beginning January 19, 2015, at 7:00 a.m. The water that remains in storage will be available only for domestic use and fire protection.

This 11 day shutdown is not associated with the existing drought or the VCMWD Board's implementation of a Water Supply Shortage Level 2, "Mandatory Water Use Restrictions" Condition.

For this period, the District is requesting that customers refrain from the following water use: 

  • ALL OUTDOOR LANDSCAPE/LAWN IRRIGATION
  • USE OF WATER FOR ALL AGRICULTURAL PURPOSES, except for livestock watering
  • ALL UNNECESSARY DOMESTIC USE SUCH AS SPRAYING DRIVEWAYS, WASHING VEHICLES AND FILLING FOUNTAINS, POOLS, SPAS, OR PONDS
  • USE OF CONSTRUCTION WATER

AS A REMINDER:  TURN OFF ALL OUTSIDE IRRIGATION/LAWN TIMERS DURING THE SHUTDOWN PERIOD.

Unless otherwise notified, normal service will resume January 29, 2015, at 8:00 p.m.  Please note that the District does not determine the actual shutdown schedule and it may be subject to revision as determined by our wholesale suppliers.  For more information and updates, check the District's web site at www.valleycenterwater.org or call (760) 735-4500 Monday through Thursday between 7:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. and Friday between 7:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

The shutdown could cause low water and low pressure situations which could possibly impact a pump on your property. Please take the necessary precautions to prevent any damage from occurring to your pump.

Should the District's water storage levels drop to a point of concern the District will implement the "Emergency Water Management Plan", and further restrictions will be put in place.

Your cooperation during the water restrictions is critical and appreciated and will ensure sufficient water availability to meet domestic use and fire protection.

MAP of the area subjected by water restrictions.


So I Was Thinking…"The Rat Race"
By Phyllis Knight  
 
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Meet Ralph the Rat. Ralph is an eight-inch long (not counting his curled tail) black, plastic rat with red, beady eyes and long whiskers. I bought Ralph a few months ago at the Dollar Store for, well, a dollar. (For the record, naming the rat Ralph is no reflection on anyone named Ralph, I just happen to be a fan of alliteration.)

The original intent of Ralph's purchase was a new chew toy for our dog, Noel. Then, it dawned on me that I could get a far bigger return on my investment by utilizing Ralph's rat attributes to "mildly startle" my husband by hiding him in unexpected places. The problem with my plan was that I failed to realize that particular idea could play both ways, if you catch my drift. (And, yes, we all know what they say about paybacks...)

And so the good-natured fun (for the most part) began. Ralph, like the saying goes, is like a bad penny, always turning up when one of us is not expecting him. He has made special appearances in my lingerie drawer, my husband's sock drawer, the kitchen cabinet, my husband's shoe, hanging among my necklaces and peering out the collar of the shirt hanging on the hook in my husband's closet. (Note to self: Next time, remember you hung Ralph in the collar of the shirt hanging in your husband's closet...)

Yes, Ralph really seems to get around. He even stowed away in my husband's suitcase on our recent trip to Hawaii. (I'm glad I didn't have to explain THAT to anyone checking our bags!) In fact, I found him hiding under my pillow on our recent trip to Disneyland, after having placed him in my husband's computer bag for our trip to Anaheim. (Thought he might have a distant relative named Mickey.)

Obviously, Ralph's appearances and travels the last couple of months have been interesting, to say the least, and my husband and I definitely have had fun with Ralph; however, there probably are a few new gray hairs under this blonde facade. (Let's just say that being hard, cold plastic, Ralph was not meant to be a foot warmer under the covers; however, neither was he meant to fly, but he did a pretty good job of doing that when thrown across the room in response to the aforementioned foot warmer incident.)

You see, I've discovered it truly is more fun to give than it is to receive; I have had way more fun giving Ralph than I have receiving him! In fact, every time I receive him, I become more determined to give him back! For instance, last night, after discovering Ralph perched on a shelf in my closet (and managing to stifle a startled curse), I began plotting my revenge...

So I was thinking...

Unfortunately, the same is true in other aspects of our lives as well, begging the question, how often do we give others things that we don't want to receive in return: anger, frustration, sarcasm, disdain, indifference, mockery, etc.? And, good or bad, our actions to others usually set the tone for how they respond to us. Granted, everyone is responsible for his or her own actions, but isn't it natural to respond to others in a similar manner as they treat us? The worst part, of course, is that once we start down that path of getting back at each other for something that was done or said, it can be a never-ending road, with each person thinking they have to outdo the other.

The thing we have to remember is that is not what God purposed our lives to be, one of "one-upmanship." He created us to honor and glorify Him and to love others through Him. It's hard to do that when we are busy formulating our next plan of attack!

So with that in mind, I decided to take another tactic and instead of leaving Ralph to be discovered in my husband's drawer, I left a post-it note saying "I love you" with a smiley face. Well, let's just say, that in battle terms I may have surrendered, but in the game of love I won huge! All things may be fair in love and war, but in love it's just more fun!

And, thus, I have decided that it's time for Ralph's ratty reign to come to an end, and for him to fulfill his true purpose - a chew toy for Noel. And knowing Noel's purpose when it comes to chew toys, all I can say to Ralph is, "Rest in pieces." 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7:12 (NIV)

©2014 Phyllis Knight

Board Not Bored
By Phyllis Knight

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As you can see, the two newest members of the Valley Center Parks and Recreation District Board of Directors, Shannon Laird (left) and Jon Vick, are enjoying their new positions. These gentlemen were welcomed and sworn in this afternoon at the first Board meeting for 2015 and quickly put to work.

Shannon and Jon were elected to the Board in November along with incumbent, Marcia Townsend. The other two current Board members are Larry Glavinic and John Scibilia.

After the swearing in of the new Board members, an election was held by the Board and Marcia Townsend was re-elected to serve as President and Larry Glavinic was elected to serve as Vice-President.

Based on the full Agenda that was addressed today, a lot of exciting things are in the works for Valley Center. Stay tuned! 


 

EPD Motor Officer Injured in Collision
 
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On January 12, 2015 at about 10:38, Escondido Police and Fire responded to a traffic collision at 700 W. 2nd Avenue, involving a civilian motorist and a police motor officer. Police and Fire units arrived within minutes and found a green Honda sedan and a police officer and motorcycle down in the roadway.
 
The officer sustained minor injuries to his chest, legs and feet.  The officer was transported to Palomar Medical Center for treatment of his injuries.  Traffic Investigators responded to handle the investigation.
 
The other involved motorist was not injured and alcohol was not a factor in this collision.  According to witnesses, the motor officer was in the process of making an enforcement stop using his emergency lights and air horn when the driver of the Honda made a lane change and sideswiped the motorcycle.  The other motorist was cited for not having insurance at an accident.
 
The motor officer involved is 15 year veteran Mike Nelson. The name of the other driver is 29 year old Sean Whitaker out of Temecula.
 
Anyone with information about this collision can call the Traffic Division at 760-839-4482.

Escondido Police Officers Assist Anonymous Donator with Helping Families in Need this Past Holiday Season
 
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This past holiday season, an anonymous Escondido resident contacted the Escondido Police Department wanting our help in providing some holiday cheer. Police officers often come into contact with people less fortunate and in need of a little holiday cheer.  
 
Knowing this, an anonymous member of the Escondido Charitable Foundation asked for our help in providing it.The donor handed over $10,000.00 to Escondido Police Officer's Care Foundation and asked that the officers themselves donate $100 to people they come into contact with during the course of their day that are in the most need.  The anonymous donor wanted to give the Escondido Police officers the ability to spread the good will to the residents that they serve every day of the year.
 
Police Officers for several days were "on the look-out" for people that were less fortunate.  Officers found various ways to distribute the money.  They found residents walking down the streets, driving in cars, and waiting for buses.  Some officers even remembered people from contacts months earlier that were under unfortunate circumstances and thought to reach back out them to help out this past holiday.
 
Many of the people contacted originally thought that they were in trouble for some reason but then the emotions turned to joy and disbelief after being handed the gift by the officer.  Several officers walked away after being hugged and all of the officers walked away feeling like they made Christmas a little better.  One officer reported back to his sergeant, that participating in this event was one of the "coolest" things that he has done as an officer.
 
Police Chief Craig Carter stated that police officers often contact people during the worst part of lives and thanks this individual, we were able to turn a bad situation around for at least 100 families.  Carter went on to say that the contacts were just as rewarding to police officers as the families receiving the money.  He said the police officers were able to walk away from those contacts knowing that the holiday season for those families will be a little better.
 
Video footage of some of the donations can be seen on the EPD Facebook page.   

VCFPD Adjusts for Seasonal Closure of CAL FIRE Station 71
 
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The Valley Center Fire Protection District was notified by CAL FIRE effective Monday, January 5, 2015 that CAL FIRE has instituted a planned closure of Fire Station 71 at 14946 Vesper Road for emergency responses.
 
The Valley Center Fire Protection District has addressed the closure by adjusting our response patterns for Fire, Medical, Rescue and other emergency incidents to automatically choose the closest most appropriate available resources by geographic location. North County JPA Emergency Dispatch Center will assign units when emergency 911 calls are received by capability to handle incident and proximity to the incident using GPS coordinates. 
 
During the planned closure, CAL FIRE will have personnel assigned to Station 71 to handle burn permits and administrative duties to ensure the community's needs are addressed.
 
Should you have any questions regarding CAL FIRE staffing please contact CAL FIRE Public Information Officer Kendal Bortisser (619) 922-4528.
 
If you have any questions for the Valley Center Fire Protection District please contact Fire Chief Joe Napier (760) 751-7600. 

 

Rosalia Loera Selected as VCPUSD Classified Employee of the Year!

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The Valley Center Pauma Unified School Disrict Classified Employee of the Year is Rosalia Loera, an Instructional Aide at Lilac School.
 
Rosalia was surprised today with flowers and a banner delivered by District Administrators Mary Gorsuch, Julie Kimball, Mark Garner and Wendy Heredia, Principal Rose Flowers and CSEA President Diane Faber.  

Ms. Loera will be honored at the January 15th School Board meeting,  6PM at the Valley Center High School Media Center. 

Satya Fleck Selected as VCPUSD Employee of the Year!

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Satya Fleck, an English Teacher at Valley Center High School, has been selected as Valley Center - Pauma's Certificated Employee of the Year!

VCHS Principal Ron McCowan and Superintendent Mary Gorsuch surprised her with the news at a staff luncheon on Monday, January 5. 

Satya will also be honored at this month's VCPUSD School Board meeting on Thursday, January 15 at 6:00 PM in the VCHS Media Center.

Satya will represent Valley Center - Pauma Unified in the annual Salute to Teachers celebration in October 2015. 


 

New VC Baseball Club Coach from the Padres Organization
by Anita Baranowski 
 
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As the Valley Center Baseball Club celebrated one year, the club had big coaching shoes to fill at the start of the 2014-15 season.
 
When the season kicked off in September, it was questionable whether the 14U team's coach Dave Stewart would return or be moving to Phoenix to head up the Arizona Diamondbacks as their GM.  Stewart is notable for his three World Series championships, his World Series MVP in 1989, and dominant four-straight years with 20+ wins for the Oakland A's.
 
As the VC Baseball Club celebrated the end of 2013-14 season, the boys happened to meet Padres' Single A Catcher Jeremy Rodriguez at the Lake Elsinore Storm, where the Jags were on the field for pregame ceremonies, threw out the first pitches and were on the field with the Storm players for the National Anthem.
 
When Stewart accepted the MLB job with the Diamondbacks, VCBC President/14U Team Manager Rob Baranowski went to work garnering the interest of Rodriguez to come to Valley Center to work with the VCBC Jags.  Rodriguez, who coaches student athletes in Los Angeles primarily in the off-season, looked at the VC program and said "Heck, yeah!"
 
Coach Jeremy works with the club's two teams (14U and 10U), sharing his insight from his long history as a D1 catcher for Cal State Bakersfield and a 2011 16th round draft pick by the Padres, getting his work in as catcher for the Lake Elsinore Storm (the San Diego Padres Class A+ affiliate).  He is also no slacker in the classroom, finishing up his Communications degree after being drafted by completing the last courses in the off-season.
 
"We are so fortunate to have Jeremy coaching our players on the club's home field in Valley Center." said Baranowski.  "He is such an inspiration to our players who range in ages from 8 to 15.  The best part is the players getting to know Coach Jeremy and his incredible work ethic. Players have come to find that he is approachable and easy to talk to while being a great motivator, consistently able to squeeze another level of performance out of each player."
 
Coach Jeremy conducts team practices with a combined squad here in Valley Center that uses the same warmups, routines, and drills that are done on the professional level by the Lake Elsinore Storm and the San Diego Padres.
Rodriguez also works specifically on a regular basis with catchers from both the 14U and 10U teams. The program is a mixture of blocking, receiving, and throwdowns combined with conditioning, flexibility, and agility. The catchers work in a group and compete against each other throughout the sessions.
 
The Valley Center Baseball Club was founded with a two-prong effort:  1) to provide competitive baseball training and skills improvement year-round for local athletes who want to continue to get better, define how they play together as a team and ready them for high school, and 2) create a non-profit means of supporting the Valley Center High School baseball program with a booster club that could support fundraising and volunteer efforts to improve the program.  Unlike many travel ball programs, VCBC is focused on making better players out of the kids who want to play and get better together, rather than recruiting from farther away.
 
"After driving many years and paying money into other programs for our two boys, we decided to create the VCBC so that more of our local athletes would be playing together, improving together and building a stronger foundation." added Baranowski.  "We are investing in the future of our athletes as they move into high school, college and beyond."
 
The club recently hosted a 10U local tournament for a fundraiser with six area teams, held with the support of the Pala Community fields.  The 10U Jaguars garnered a 2nd place position in the event as well.
 
To continue to grow the program, the Valley Center Baseball Club has a full list of upcoming 2015 events starting with Dine Out nights and a Pro Baseball Camp. The club is working toward raising money to get HOME uniforms.
 
The first Dine Out Night will be at Chipotle on Wednesday, January 21, 2015 from 5-8:30 p.m.  Guests can just mentioned Valley Center Baseball Club and 50% of the receipts, including gift card purchases, will go to the VCBC fundraising efforts.  Chipotle is located 1201 E. Valley Parkway, corner of Ash and E. Valley, in Escondido, CA.
 
Then, the Club will be hosting the 1st Annual Pro Baseball Camp for boys and girls, ages 7-18 on Sunday, February 8, 2015 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Valley Center Little League fields.  It is anticipated that pro players from the San Diego Padres, Tampa Bay Rays, Chicago White Sox and Chicago Cubs organizations will be working in small groups with the players.  Designed to offer skills improvement, the VCBC Pro Camp is $50 for the day with an optional $5 lunch, reserved ahead. Players can sign up online at www.vcbaseball.org/procamp.
 
Players ages 7-15 who are interested in playing competitive and instructional year-round baseball can learn more about the Valley Center Baseball Club at www.vcbaseball.orgThe Valley Center Baseball Club is a combined travel ball organization and booster club with the mission of providing year round baseball opportunities to the youth of Valley Center. The club participates in competitive play in San Diego, Poway, Escondido, Temecula, Fallbrook, San Marcos, Vista, Valley Center, and surrounding areas. VCBC is a 501(c)(3) organization with insurance established through AAU. The club entered its 2nd year, continuing the goal of keeping Valley Center's local kids playing baseball together and readying them for high school level ball. The club's volunteers work to make better players out of the kids who want to play, and do so affordably, rather than having them pay to travel elsewhere to play. The club keeps a local focus and currently serves about 30 kids with an option to add teams as more age groups come on-board. 

    

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