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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!



In 1976, Steven Tweed began a career in the Southern California water industry. Within the first 10 years, he recognized a critical need for an improved and more efficient pump systems company that was committed to above-standard practice and performance; one that would exceed current expectations.

In 1986, he met that challenge, founding Hidden Valley Pump Systems, Inc. To date, the company's chief policy has been ensuring their entire client base is educated and informed of the ever-changing municipal, agricultural, residential and industrial water markets, while consistently forging new collaborative relationships and partnerships with other leading water industry organizations.

In August 2011, Hidden Valley Pump Systems formed a lucrative partnership with Siemens®, affording them the leverage to offer the highest quality and most efficient technology available. In October of 2013 Hidden Valley Pump became a second generation family-run business when Michael Tweed succeeded Steven in oversight and management of day to day operations, and, in January of 2014, Hidden Valley Pump Systems celebrated its 28th successful year in business.

Their ability to set the standard for the water industry together with a team of highly motivated and skilled professionals provides a solid foundation for another 28 years of credible, innovative and reliable service.

31248 Valley Center Rd
Valley Center, CA 92082



Valley Center 
Headlines & Happenings

Rabid Bat Found at San Diego Zoo Safari Park
The County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency is reporting that a bat found at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park has tested positive for rabies.
The bat was found dead on March 25 at 4:30 p.m. on a public walkway outside the Hidden Jungle, located between the Gorilla Forest and African Woods. The bat was also seen alive at 11:20 a.m. near a walkway across from the Red River Hogs in Nairobi Village. Trained park staff collected the dead bat without directly touching it and no human or animal contact has been reported. The bat, which was not one of the park's collection animals, was delivered to the County on March 26 and testing confirmed the animal to be positive for rabies.
County health officials are interested to know if anyone who was in the park on March 25 directly handled the rabid bat. If you or someone in your family or group had contact with the bat, you are urged to contact the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency as soon as possible at (619) 692­8499. If you did not have direct contact with the bat, such as touching or holding the animal, you are not at risk for rabies.
"Human rabies is usually fatal without prompt post­exposure vaccine and treatment," said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. "There has been no reported human or animal contact with this bat, but it was found in an area where many park visitors pass by, and we want to make sure that no one had contact with it."
Rabies transmission can occur from a bat bite or if a bat's saliva comes in contact with a cut or abrasion, or with mucous membranes, such as the eyes, nose or mouth.
"People should always stay away from bats and other wild animals to prevent possible exposure to rabies," said Wooten. "If you see a bat, dead or alive, don't touch it."
Rabies in humans can be prevented by avoiding contact with wild, stray, and unknown San Diego County News Center domestic animals, ensuring pets are up­to­date on rabies vaccinations, and receiving prompt medical advice following animal bites and other significant exposures to potentially rabid animals. Rabies is not uncommon in wild bats in San Diego County.
If direct contact with a bat does occur, wash the affected area thoroughly with soap and water and get medical advice immediately.

Emergency Drought Relief Passes State Legislation
 By Assemblymember Marie Waldron 

Assemblywoman Marie Waldron, of Escondido, issued the following statement in response to the Assembly's passage of emergency drought legislation:

BACKGROUND: AB 91: This bill appropriates $1.059 billion ($74.7 million General Fund) to accelerate funding appropriations from water bonds (both Proposition 1 and 1E); cap-and-trade revenue; and other General Fund projects that will provide immediate relief statewide for drought-related problems.

"Today we took a strong bi-partisan vote to ensure emergency drought relief, infrastructure, desalinization grants and wastewater treatment funding as appropriated in Proposition 1, the voter-approved Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014. It also includes Proposition 1E funding, the voter-approved Disaster Preparedness and Flood Prevention Bond Act of 2006 which needs to be allocated to meet the June 2016 deadline which allows projects to move forward now protecting our water supply and resources. California's agriculture economy has lost at least $2 billion in economic output to date. The funding we passed today will provide some relief to those who are suffering, but it is just a temporary fix."


BACKGROUND:  AB 92: This bill implements drought policy initiatives related to the 2014 Budget Act amendments specified in AB 91/SB 75. Grants the Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) authority to issue administrative fines for fish-passage barriers, and grants only an informal hearing process to contest citations. Allows DFW to provide notice to landowners that any new water diversions may require fish screens. Authorizes DFW to issue citations for water theft under the Water Code. Creates the Office of Sustainable Water Solutions within the State Water Resources Control Board (Water Board), and allows the Water Board to make grants from the Cleanup and Abatement Account for addressing drinking water needs, regardless of whether the need is the result of waste discharge.

"I did not support AB 92. The policy bill expands the Department of Fish and Wildlife authority substantially. The bill creates new administrative fine authority, from which DFW will receive 40% of penalty funds for its own operations, and by which DFW can limit due process for those cited. This creates great concerns regarding water rights, property rights and directly affects all farmers throughout the state. We don't need to empower more government agencies with new fine authority - we need real water solutions."

Marie Waldron represents Valley Center as our elected Assemblymember for the 75th District.  For more information visit:


"What Are You Waiting Fore?"
By Phyllis Knight


You love to golf (whether or not you're good at it); you enjoy getting together with exciting people; you love supporting your community; you have a heart for youth and education; you can't pass up a good deal. If this description fits you to a "tee" then it's time to stop puttering around and sign-up to join in the fun at the Valley Center Real Estate Professionals 11th Annual Scholarship Golf Tournament!

This year's tournament will be held on Friday, April 17th, at Woods Valley Golf Club. For more information, you can visit their official website, but if you just want to know the quick score, here are the basics: Single Golfer - $100; Golf Foursome - $400. Registration begins at 10 am, followed by Lunch at 11 am, and Shotgun Start at noon. The tournament has been averaging around eighty golfers; this year, their goal is to hit 100. Are you ready to join the club and drive up the total?

If golfing is not your bag, but you still want to support this worthy event, here's a stroke of luck, sponsorships are still available ranging from $100 per hole, to Silver-, Gold- and even Platinum-level sponsorships. Of course, each progressive level comes with even more goodies and name and/or business recognition. A little birdie told me they do have two Gold Sponsors, Valley Center Wireless and Summit Mortgage, but any way you slice it, there's plenty of room for more!    

Flyers, Registration Forms, Scholarship Applications, more details and photos from previous tournaments are available at You can also call John Yeager - 760-749-8931; or Jeana Boulos - 760-517-6316, if you have any questions or need more information.

The golfing is just one part of this special event. Also included are lunch and dinner, and the opportunity to bid on some wonderful donated prizes through live and silent auctions. If you would like to donate goods, services, gift cards/certificates, or a little "green" for prizes, please contact John or Jeana. All donations are tax deductible.

Proceeds from the event support scholarships for graduating seniors from Valley Center High School. To date, over $120,000 has been raised and distributed through the Valley Center Community Aid Group, a 501(c)3 established by the Real Estate Professionals to benefit our community. Thank you! 

Yes, it looks like a wonderful event will be enjoyed by all attendees on April 17th. Not a big surprise, though, just par for the course!

Valley Center Resident Dan Lopez Retires from the San Diego County Sheriff's Department

Dan Lopez, a Valley Center resident, is retiring on March 26, 2015 from the San Diego County Sheriff's Department. He has been serving and protecting the citizens of San Diego County for over 30 years, including several years stationed in Valley Center. He and his wife Sarah have lived in Valley Center for over 20 years. They have two wonderful children, Helen and Stephen. Stephen is a graduate of Valley Center High School and Helen is currently a junior at VCHS.  

Dan received the following message from Sheriff William D. Gore congratulating him on his retirement:

"Congratulations on the occasion of your retirement. Your career with the Sheriff s Department is a testament to your dedication to public service. Employees such as you are the heart and soul of public service agencies. Your professionalism will serve as an example to the many men and women who are just now starting their careers.

During your 30+ years of service to the citizens of San Diego County, you have maintained a standard of excellence for yourself and the department. Throughout your career your supervisors have described your performance with terms such as unwavering, prudent, civic minded, and an excellent ambassador for the department.

You diligently performed each of your many assignments and achieved outstanding results. After completing your first assignment at the Central Detention Facility, you began your patrol career at the Vista Patrol Station. You then transferred to Rural Enforcement in the community of Valley Center.While there, you worked a number of specialized assignments, including dog a canine handler and Community Policing. During your many years at the Valley Center Substation, you were keenly involved in the community. Your partners relied on your knowledge and those with questions about the community knew you as the "go to" person. You were also involved with the many Native American communities in Valley Center during your assignment with the lndian Liaison Committee.

Like all of our outlying areas, Valley Center is prone to wildfires and you responded to many of them during your career. You were recognized for exceptional valor during the Cedar Fire of 2003 when you helped rescue another deputy who had been overcome by the raging fire and was trapped inside his patrol car. You received a Meritorious Unit Citation for your efforts during these fires and once again in 2007 when Valley Center was ravaged by the Witch Creek fire.

Following your promotion to sergeant in 2008, you were assigned to the Court Service Bureau-San Diego, went to patrol in San Marcos and Valley Center and you concluded your career at Court Services Bureau-Vista. As a supervisor, you mentored subordinates with an unflappable demeanor. Your staff perceived you as approachable and dependable and they knew you could be counted on for valuable direction.

On behalf of the Sheriff s Department and the County of San Diego, please accept my sincere thanks and best wishes for a long, healthy and prosperous retirement." - William D. Gore, Sheriff
A personal note from his family: "We love you so much, now go start stomping grapes!"  - Sarah, Stephen, and Helen

Valley Center History Museum Remembers Nancy Coates, 94
By Robert Lerner, Valley Center Historian 


The Board of Directors of the Valley Center History Museum this week remembered and paid tribute to the memory of Nancy Coates who died at age 94. A major benefactor of the museum, Mrs. Coates was the matriarch of historic Rancho Guejito in Valley Center, the last remaining Mexican land grant ranch in California.

"She was a grand and gracious lady," said Museum President Earl Brown," and we are profoundly saddened by her passing. She championed the preservation of the historic ranch whose caretakers are maintaining the integrity of one of California's most important historic sites," he said.

Established in 1845, Rancho Guejito was acquired in 1974 by her late husband, Benjamin Coates, Sr., who died in 2004. In his memory, Mrs. Coates established an endowment fund at the museum and provided the initial gift of $100,000. Subsequent contributions by the Coates family and others have seen the endowment triple in size.

In addition to financial support for the Valley Center museum, Mrs. Coates also donated a number of historic materials including a Chain of Title tracing ownership of the ranch from the King of Spain, and a leather-bound portfolio containing copies of original documents from 1845. A complete history of the 23,000-acre ranch is maintained by the Valley Center Historical Society which makes its archive available to researchers and students documenting early California history.

Survivors include daughter Theodate Coates, Benjamin Coates, Jr., and grandchildren and great grandchhildren. Funeral services were March 20 following her death on March 12.

Pictured Above: Mrs. Benjamin (Nancy) Coates and former Valley Center History Museum President Bill Hutchings at 2006 event to announce creation of museum Endowment Fund.

Valley Center's Senior Volunteer Patrol
By Alan Kirkpatrick 


The 24 Senior Volunteer Patrol members of the San Diego County Sheriff's Department, Valley Center Substation, provided over 6,000 volunteer hours to Department and Community Service in 2014! During that time, they delivered crime cases to the Vista Court, as well as evidence to the San Marcos Sheriff's Station and to the Crime Lab in Claremont Mesa. They transported patrol vehicles to the San Marcos garage, to the radio shop in Kearny Mesa, and to "ThunderWorks" in Santee, for computer repairs.

Senior Volunteers provided Vacation Checks, YANA (You Are Not Alone) Visits, and School Patrols daily. Extra scheduled events included: San Marcos DUI details or checkpoints, San Diego County Fair, Fallbrook Avocado Festival, Valley Center Western Days, Halloween Carnival, Christmas in the Valley, and High School Football Games.

Unexpected duties included traffic control at accident sites and during the May fires, support for Search and Rescue operations, and locating stolen vehicles.

Finally, individual members provided financial support to the Kiwanis Golf Tournament which sponsors Valley Center High School scholarships.

Anyone who is interested in joining the Senior Volunteer Patrol is invited to call Alan Kirkpatrick at 760-751-4405 and leave a message. Membership requirements are: Over the age of 50, with a valid driver's license and of good moral character.

"Gator Aid"
By Phyllis Knight


If you live in Valley Center, or are just familiar with the area, you undoubtedly know what caring and generous people live here. Whether it's donating time, effort, money, goods, services, etc., when it comes to our neighbors in need, you name it, we do it! We truly are neighbors in every sense of the word. I could have a full-time job just writing stories about that aspect of our community!

But there is another attribute of Valleyites that sets us apart, and that is we all are united behind, and looking out for, animals in need. Whether they are lost, abandoned, rescued, found, abused, etc., we don't just feel sorry for them, we get busy! So, with that in mind, what I'm about to share shouldn't come as a shocking surprise, but it is no less amazing in its generosity!

Recently, when local nonprofit HiCaliber Horse Rescue found themselves in a "bit" of a bind when their Gator, an all-purpose vehicle they use constantly in the care of their horses, threw a shoe, so to speak, they hightailed it to Powerland Equipment to ascertain the cost and requirements of repairing said Gator. Naturally, they were drawn to the newer Gator on display. Although they admit they may have left a little drool on it after admiring it, they never for a moment anticipated what happened next. Andy Montejano, Powerland's Sales Manager, got involved, and upon HiCaliber's return trip to Powerland to pick-up the ordered part, they were informed that HiCaliber was the proud new owner of the displayed Gator! Overcome with joy, I've heard a few tears were flowing in appreciation of Powerland's more-than-generous donation. And they didn't stop there; Powerland has committed to helping HiCaliber's old Gator get a few other issues repaired as well!

The bottom line here is, when you pair a caring, non-profit organization, such as HiCaliber Horse Rescue, with a compassionate, supportive local business, such as Powerland Equipment, you end up with a win/win for all involved, including our community. What a blessing to live where the people are even more beautiful than the scenery and the weather!  

So, whether you look at this as another Valley Center love story, or another love story about Valley Center, either way, the story has a happy ending! Powerland Equipment and HiCaliber Horse Rescue thank you for all you do in our community and inspiring all of us to do even better!

If you support Powerland Equipment for this benevolent deed, what better way to show your appreciation than by checking them out for your equipment needs? After all, it's the neighborly thing to do!

Powerland Equipment, Inc., 27943 Valley Center Rd, Valley Center, CA 92082 |

For more information on HiCaliber Horse Rescue, visit

"Hamming it up with the Optimists!"
By Phyllis Knight


With Easter right around the corner you know it's time to "get your ham on" for your special Easter dinner, and what better way to do that than supporting our community at the same time? That's right, when you buy your ham through the Optimists, you are helping support the 20+ groups and organizations that are aided by the Optimists each year, specifically our youth.

The booth (which is located in the Fat Ivor's parking lot) is staffed from 11 am - 5 pm every day through the Friday before Easter (April 3rd). When I stopped by today, Jack and Mary Elaine Gustafsof were doing the honors. They said they still have some hams available, but the closer it gets to Easter, the faster they go! The Farmer John hams are smoked onsite and are available in half hams (10 plus pounds) for $35 and full hams (20 plus pounds) for $70.

If you don't want to miss out on future ham sales, you can sign-up for their "call list" to get first dibs, so to speak, and ensure you get your name in the pot to reserve your ham. Hams can be ordered now and picked up until April 3rd; or, you can do "cash and carry" now. Checks also are accepted, but no credit cards. These hams also make wonderful gifts for family, friends and employees.

You don't have to be an "optimist" to know the ham is going to be delicious, but you do have to get your order in soon to be sure you have one to enjoy. This smokin' hot deal won't last long and when they're gone, they're gone!

Sheriff's Department "Take Me Home Program" Now Online
It's a situation no one ever wants to go through. A loved one suffering from Alzheimer's Disease or another physical or mental disability gets lost or wanders away from home.
The Sheriff's Take Me Home Program is a FREE and CONFIDENTIAL service that can help deputies and other law enforcement officers locate an at-risk missing person. And now, you can register online by going to the Sheriff's website:
The Take Me Home Program is a database accessible by all law enforcement agencies in San Diego County. In the event an at-risk person who is registered gets lost or wanders away, deputies can obtain important information such as photographs, physical descriptions and emergency contacts from the Take Me Home Program database.
During the early stages of a missing person search, information provided by the Take Me Home Program can prove critical in locating a loved one. Deputies will know what the missing person looks like and what places they might have gone to. If a loved one can't communicate very well, deputies will know what to call them to get their attention while searching for them.
In the past, you'd have to print out an application and take it to your nearest Sheriff's facility to register a loved one for the Take Me Home Program. Now, all you have to do is go online to register and and upload photos and other personal information to the Sheriff's secure website.
For more information on the Take Me Home Program and to register online for FREE, visit:


VCHS Student & Boy Scout Establishes Flag Disposal Drop Box
By Ray Flores
Valley Center High School student, Dustin Prayther, has installed a Flag Disposal Box with the help of community sponsor contributions at the Community Center (located at 28246 Lilac Road, Valley Center) western entrance driveway.

The American Flag has been a symbol of freedom, justice and the sacrifices we Americans have made worldwide throughout the history of our country. The proper disposal of an American Flag has been mandated by law. The United States Flag Code (4 USC Sec 8 Para (k) Amended 7 July 1976) states: "The Flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem of display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning."   

A Boy Scout for over four years, Dustin has earned 27 merit badges and is working towards the coveted rank of Eagle Scout; a project he had been thinking about and planning for over a year. He finally decided to make this one of his community projects towards attaining the goal of Eagle Scout and that it would be very helpful and appropriate for Valley Center residents to have a means of disposing of their worn or damaged American Flags.

Dustin would like to thank Shoemaker Realty, Fat Ivor's and all the other contributors to his project. He has a real love for his flag and country and what they represent, especially during these trying times. 

Your flags can be deposited in the box at the Community Center with the absolute certainty that they will be treated and disposed of with the utmost of respect. 

So I Was Thinking..."Sign Language"
By Phyllis Knight

Have you ever noticed how inundated we are with signs? I made a point this morning of counting how many signs I saw on my daily six-mile roundtrip to a local coffee place; I lost count somewhere around two hundred. (Plus, I was starting to get a little dizzy!) And that's not even counting two or more signs on one post, posts with just numbers, or even street signs. And I live in a rural area! I can't even imagine how many signs one must see on a daily city commute. 

I have always gotten a kick out of funny signs...especially when that wasn't their intent. For instance, the sign leading into our local cemetery reads: "Enter Only - One Way." Or how about the one at an entrance to a local fruit stand, which reads: "Apples and Bananas - Enter Here." I took it to mean that all other fruit had to enter a different way... 

How about the "shake-your-head" signs, such as the ones I've seen in restroom stalls lately reminding you not to throw toilet tissue on the floor. (Really? We need a sign to tell us that? The keyword here being "toilet" tissue.) Oh, I know that common sense is not as common as it used to be, but still...  Another example along that same genre is a sign I saw above a swimming pool on a recent trip that stated: "No One with Diarrhea Allowed in Pool." (Hmm, good to know, but I'm not sure how you go about enforcing that.)

Now, lest we travel too far down the potty humor road, let's move on to some other interesting signs that I have noticed lately. Even foot (and, yes, horse) traffic are not immune. Although I travel the same road daily, I just recently noticed some of the signs along a hiking/horse trail that parallels the main road in our community. One of them states "Bridge Ahead" which seems a little superfluous to me. I mean, as you are walking along, it's perfectly obvious there's a little footbridge ahead, and it's not as though you have to do anything differently as you approach, e.g., stop and salute, or dance across it. Further, I figure if you can't see the bridge, chances are you can't see the little sign. A little further down the trail is a sign that reads: "Trail Narrows." Again, nice to know, but I haven't noticed anyone who was walking along having to "shift into lower gear" to continue on their way. 

One of my favorite examples of sign mania, though, relates to a recent road trip, where I saw four consecutive signs about "do's and don'ts" for driving through that particular area. Those were followed by a fifth sign that read: "Obey All Signs." I had to smile. First, that you have to have a sign that tells you to obey signs, and then, second, that anyone would be naïve enough to think that if you had total disregard for the former individual signs, that you would somehow have immediate respect for the latter all-inclusive sign. (Headshake)

So I was thinking... 

Is it any wonder, given the prolific amount of signs, both necessary and unnecessary, that vie for our attention that we become a little immune? That we don't even notice them anymore? But there is one sign that I pray we never ignore, become immune to, nor take for granted, and that is the sign of the cross. Never has one Sign carried so much significance and greater consequence. 

First, it's a sign of God's vast love for us that He sent His only Son to die for our sins so that we might be reconciled with Him. Second, it's a sign of Jesus' eternal love for us that He would willingly die a horrible death on the cross in our place. And third, and perhaps most importantly, the cross is the sign that even death could not hold our Savior. It's a reminder that not only did He die, He now lives and He's coming back for us. Because of the cross, we have the assurance that we will spend eternity with Him. Now that's a Sign of LOVE in any language. 

He is risen; He is risen, indeed! Have a blessed Easter! 

This is Phyllis Knight, signing off until next time. 


But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. Romans 5:8-9 

It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. John 13:1 

"Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father's house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am." John 14:1-3 

© 2015 Phyllis Knight

Valley Center Fire Honors Heroic Members
By Ray Flores

March 19, 2015 - Valley Center Fire Chief Joe Napier presented Letters of Commendation to seven of his team members and the family members for their exceptional efforts and professionalism which saved the life of a Valley Center resident.

On February 10, 2015 Valley Center resident Daniel Tuck suffered a full cardiac arrest and his family were then in a battle to save his life. His wife, a former nurse immediately began CPR compressions while his son, Danny Tuck, got on the phone and dialed 911 for help. He spoke with Fire and Emergency dispatcher, Jennifer Lyons who helped calm and reassure Mrs. Tuck that help was on the way and would be there shortly. As emergency personal was en route, Danny without hesitation was credited with keeping a cool head and the frame of mind to put their dogs away, open the gate to their property and wait for the Paramedics to arrive so that he could direct them to the exact location of his father.

Mrs. Tuck who has some physical limitations and was tiring quickly from administering CPR compressions was immediately relieved when the Emergency Fire/Paramedic team arrived. Without losing a beat Paramedics Chris Mattea and Chris Newby began to administer emergency medical treatment in order to stabilize their patient, while the rest of his team prepared to transport. With the assistance of the Mercy Ambulance and the Fire Service team Mr. Tuck was transported to Palomar Medical Center in Escondido.

The quick thinking of family members, Fire and Emergency Dispatcher, the leadership and professionalism of the Fire Emergency/ Paramedic and Mercy Ambulance and Fire Service teams were credited with saving the life of Mr. Tuck.

The Letters of Commendation were given to the following persons:
  • Fire/EMT: Jorge Mendoza
  • Fire & Emergency Services Dispatcher: Jennifer Lyons
  • Firefighter/Driver: Aaron Rapp
  • Captain: Mike Shore
  • Firefighter/Paramedic: Chris Newby
  • Firefighter/Paramedic: Chris Mattea
  • Firefighter/EMT: Justin Sandling
To recognize his cool thinking and initiative under a stressful situation Danny Tuck was awarded a "Life Saver Award" plaque and pin by Valley Center Fire.

Fire Chief Joe Napier made the request that as many as possible Valley Center residents learn to administer CPR.

If you would like to be certified for CPR please contact Valley Center Fire, 28234 Lilac Road, Valley Center, Ca. 92082, phone: 760-751-7600.
Click here for more pictures from the awards ceremony.   


VCPUSD March School Board Meeting Wrap Up
By Jay West


The Valley Center-Pauma Unified School District Board of Trustees held their monthly meeting on March 12th. During the recognition portion of the meeting, Tina Villalobos was recognized as the District Certificated Employee of the Month and Gloria Gonzales was recognized as the District Classified Employee of the Month at Valley Center High School. Both employees were also selected as the Valley Center High School Employees of the Year. They were presented their awards by VCHS Principal Ron McCowan.
Ron McCowan spoke of Tina Villalobos' 14 years of service in the district, with the past four serving at the high school mostly with English Language Program (ELP) students. Mr. McCowan noted that from 2007 to 2013, the ELP students Academic Performance Index (API) scores have risen 50 points from 625-675, in part due to "Tina's hard work and dedication." Mr. McCowan relayed a comment from colleagues of Ms. Villalobos saying, "She has a relentless work ethic and will do anything to help the students."
Gloria.Gonzalez has been with the high school for four years and has served as a night-time, and currently as a day-time custodian. "She is a huge asset to the Maintenance Department, but also to the students," McCowan said. He also stated that her colleagues called her "a ray of sunshine - she is service oriented and always willing to lend a helping hand." Gloria was also credited as being a participant in the Student Advocate program working with students to keep them on track. "She is a huge asset who is involved in all aspects of our school," McCowan added.
Next, the Board recognized Debbie Mixon and Susy Sanchez for being selected as the honorees for the San Diego County Office of Education Bi-literacy Award. Assistant Superintendent Wendy Heredia introduced the teachers as "outstanding, dedicated teachers." The Bi-literacy Award recognizes the educator's significant contributions to bi-literacy programs. The awards will be presented at the county awards ceremony in May.
After the award presentations, the monthly curriculum report, "California Assessment of Student Progress and Proficiency (CAASPP)" was presented by Olivia Leschick and Rose Flowers. The presentation presented information on the new state assessments program that was piloted last year. The goal of the CAASPP is to replace a number of tests that were administered in the past and will be used for future state and federal accountability measures such as API and Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). The tests will be administered to grades 3 to 8 and 11 in English Language Arts and Math. The tests will have "adaptive" questions that adjust in difficulty depending on the student's performance. The letters announcing the tests will be sent home to parents in April.

During the off-agenda public comment portion of the meeting, as well as during the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) agenda item later, parent Michelle Rosenberg addressed the board on ELP student progress in the district. Ms. Rosenberg presented the board with several of her concerns with the program. Board President Don Martin and District Superintendent Mary Gorsuch assured her that each point would be looked into and that she (Ms. Rosenberg) would be issued a written response for each concern.

The next several agenda items included approval of the School Board and Superintendent Operating Procedures and District Educational Goals that were developed jointly in January, information on a revised Suspension/Expulsion Policy and an update on the LCAP.

School Lunch Prices were the next item on the agenda for the board to consider. Under the Federal Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, there are mandates that require schools to charge students for paid meals at a price that is on average equal to the difference between free meal reimbursement and paid meal reimbursement. The change to the meal prices brings the district into compliance with the legislation. The increases equated to a $0.25 increase in student lunch prices.

On the next item, Assistant Superintendent Wendy Heredia briefed the board on the proposed course offering of Advanced Placement (AP) Physics. A course of study outline has been created for the new course and it has been reviewed and recommended by the District Curriculum Council. This course is proposed for inclusion in the 2015 - 2016 academic year. The proposed AP Physics course is designed as a high school level physics course for students who wish to earn credits toward graduation in science. The physics content taught in this course is conducted at an academic college level. The board will vote on this proposal at the April meeting.

After a short public hearing about employee contract discussions, the board moved on to approve the district 2016-2017 calendar (draft available on VC Happenings School Page). A resolution was passed by the board to recognize the Lincoln Day Holiday on February 20, 2017 rather than the state designated dates of February 10 or 13, to coincide with the district recess and President's Day Holiday.

Chief Business Officer Julie Kimball followed up with the district 2014-2015 second interim financial report for board approval. School districts are required to file two interim financial reports for the periods ending October 31 and January 31 of each fiscal year. The purpose of the interim report is to inform the Board and the public on the financial health of the District. This is also an opportune time to revise the budget to reflect the most current information and the changes made in operations since the budget was revised in December of 2014. The board approved the second interim report. To view the full report, click here and then click on the March 2015 Board Packet.

When Julie. Kimball completed her report, the board moved to approve the contractor bids on the Culinary Arts Classroom Project #1415-05. Four bids were submitted for the project. The bids ranged in price from $548,480 to $627,000. The lowest bid was received from Dalke & Sons Construction, Inc. The board unanimously approved their bid. The amount will be paid from Capital Project Funds adopted as part of the 2014-15 budget.

The final agenda item was an information item concerning the District's proposed purchase (through a three year lease) of 1800 Apple IPADs for student use. Currently the district has a 1:1 IPAD-to-student ratio in grades 3 through 9 using a combination of leased and owned devices. Between July and September of this year, the lease on 1100 IPADs will expire. The District Administration proposal is to initiate another lease of 1800 IPADs to replace the original 1100 and acquire an additional 700 to expand the 1:1 ratio to grades 3 through 12. The total requirement of IPADs to attain this 1:1 ratio for grades 3 through 12, plus educational staff, is in excess of 3000 total devices. The lease will cost the district a total of $831,000 ($277,000 per year for three years) with a buyout cost of $1 per device. The average useful lifespan of an IPAD is roughly four to five years. Due to the magnitude of the financial outlay of funds, the board requested more information concerning the use of the devices within the district and recurring costs associated with their recurrent replacement and use.

The next regularly scheduled board meeting is 6:00PM on April 9th in the High School Media Center. The public is encouraged to attend.

Youth "Boot Scramble" Returns to 2015 Stampede Rodeo 


The Boot Scramble race is back for a second year at the Valley Center Stampede Rodeo. Last year's event was a huge success, providing kids from 8 to 13 years of age with an opportunity to get off the sidelines and into the rodeo. 

The Boot Scramble will take place during intermission at both the Friday and Saturday Stampede Rodeos. Each contestant will remove one boot and leave it in the middle of the arena to be scrambled with all other contestants' boots. Contestants will then line up at the end of the arena and race to the middle to locate their boot. Once their boot is found and put back on, each contestant will race back to the finish line. A buckle will be awarded to the first boy and girl who make it over the finish line with their boots on. 

"The Valley Center Stampede Rodeo attracts many families," says Rodeo Chairwoman Joyce Holmes. "In an effort to get the kids more involved, we have scheduled several youth events in this year's rodeo lineup. We want the kids to feel part of the rodeo experience and encourage them to challenge themselves in a fun and rewarding atmosphere." 

The Boot Scramble is perfect for youth coming from urban, suburban and rural communities. For this event, you do not need a horse or any rodeo experience. Contestants should wear western attire and have a good pair of boots, or lace up shoes. No slip on sandals or flip flops will be allowed. Entry is free with paid admission to the rodeo. 

An Entry Form and Liability Waiver must be filled out in advance, along with proof of health insurance. To reserve a spot in the Boot Scramble, mail forms to: 13878 Woods Valley Road, Valley Center, CA 92082 by May 15, 2015. Space is limited to a total of 60 participants, with 30 competing at each rodeo. Entry forms and Boot Scramble Rules/Guidelines can be found on the Valley Center Stampede Rodeo Website at: 

Other Valley Center Stampede Rodeo youth events include Mutton Bustin' and Beginner/Novice Barrel Racing designed to create memories for a lifetime. For more information on the Boot Scramble or other youth events, please contact Madelyn Wagner at 

The Stampede Rodeo Committee is looking for sponsors for each of the events in the rodeo line-up. Are you or your business interested in being an official sponsor? If so, you will be rewarded with publicity as well as gratitude from the cowboys and cowgirls as they show off their courage and talents. For more information on how to become a rodeo sponsor, contact Chairwoman Joyce Holmes at 760-445-1723 or email her at


Four Pianists to Dedicate Grand Piano at Valley Center Library
By Robert Lerner

The Valley Center Branch Library has accepted the donation of a Grand Piano and four pianists will perform at a Dedication Concert on Sunday, April 12. The program begins at 2:00 p.m. in the Library Community Room. Admission is free and tickets are not required.
The event is sponsored by Friends of the Valley Center Library, which set out to find someone who would donate a piano to replace a vintage spinet. Following stories in local media, offers were received from owners of 29 pianos.  Instead of a baby grand, the search committee wound up with full-size grand piano.  The donor will be recognized at the concert.

The four pianists, who will perform an hour-long program of classical and standard music, are Sydney Circle, Laurie Johnson, Mike Klingbeil and George Vickrey. All are Valley Center residents. 

The newly-acquired instrument was manufactored in Europe by Bechstein which, along with Steinway, was founded in 1853. Both companies are still in business. 

For more information, visit or call (760) 749-1305. The library is located at 29200 Cole Grade Road, Valley Center.

Click here to view flyer. 


Valley Center Rodeo Queen Pageant on April 4
By Julie Picot 


The Valley Center Stampede Rodeo Queen Pageant will be held on April 4, 2015. There are 15 contestants that will be competing in the categories of Rodeo Queen, Junior Queen, Young Miss, and Little Miss. Contestants that are competing in the Queen Category are between the ages of 17 and 24, Junior Queen contestants are between the ages of 13 and 16, the Young Miss Contestants are between the ages of 9 and 12, and the Little Miss Contestants are between the ages of 6 and 8. These young ladies have spent the last few months practicing their horsemanship skills, public speaking, modeling, and learning about RODEO. 

The day of the pageant will consist of the contestants being judged on a horsemanship pattern that shows of their skills as a rider. After their horsemanship pattern is complete, they will have personal interviews with the judges and then come back for the evening portion of the pageant. In the evening, the girls will be modeling their evening western wear and will be giving speeches and answering impromptu questions. Prior to the day of the pageant, the contestants are required to take a written test on rodeo knowledge and current events. 

The Horsemanship portion of the Rodeo Queen Pageant is being held at Indian Hills Ranch (16120 Woods Valley Road). Horsemanship starts at 9:00 a.m. and is FREE to attend. The evening portion of the pageant starts at 6:00 p.m. and is $10 for admittance. The Stage portion of the pageant will be held at the Valley Center Middle School (28210 N. Lake Wohlford Rd). You can purchase tickets at the door or from any of the contestants prior to the pageant. For more information, please visit

Click here to view the photos and biographies of the contestants. 

Vendors and Volunteers Needed for 2015 Western Days & Stampede Rodeo
By Trina West


For 65 years, local volunteers have worked hard at bringing our community together annually to celebrate Valley Center's western heritage. While the event name, dates and committee members have changed over the years, the spirit of community has remained the same.  Each year, Western Days and Stampede Rodeo organizers strive to make their rendition the best, and this year will be no exception.

For 2015, Valley Center's beloved Optimist Club has graciously taken on the task of being the official organizer of both the Western Days festivities and the Stampede Rodeo. Our town is extremely fortunate that this incredible organization has agreed to organize Western Days, in conjunction with the Stampede Rodeo that they have sponsored for several years.

According to VC Optimist Ron Johnson, "If you are a nonprofit in Valley Center and your organization assists with the event, you can have a vendor booth for free." Ron also stated that, "This year, anything we make at Western Days will go directly to the Community Center. We're trying to step in and help out the Community Center. We are not trying to make any money on Western Days."  The Optimists have been serving Valley Center since 1973 and certainly epitomize their creed, which in part reads, "To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best...To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future."

However, the Optimists will need many volunteers (in a wide array of positions) to help make the 2015 Western Days & Stampede Rodeo a success.  The VC Optimists encourage the public to attend their monthly Western Days Planning Meetings, which are held on the second Tuesday of each month at 6:00 p.m. at Community Hall (28246 Lilac Road, Valley Center). If you cannot attend the meetings, please contact the event organizers listed below and let them know you are interested in helping. Western Days does not happen without volunteers. Plus, you do not want to miss out on this fun and rewarding opportunity to serve Valley Center!

Do you have a business that you would like to showcase to thousands of people and have a great time too? Take advantage of promoting your business or organization with a vendor booth by completing the Vendor Application.  Local nonprofit organizations can have a vendor booth for FREE if they help with the event. For all others, vendor booths start as low as $100.00 and your business keeps 100% of any sales!

Another way to show community spirit, promote your business and ensure the success of Western Days is to become a Sponsor.  Western Days is the perfect opportunity for your business or organization to reach thousands of community members and show support of the largest Valley Center community event of the year. The Stampede Rodeo Committee also has several sponsorship levels to choose from, with each option providing high visibility for your business. For more information, visit their website at

The 2015 Western Days and Stampede Rodeo will once again be held over Memorial Day Weekend (May 22-24, 2015) at the VC Community Center and Mr. Belanich will allow his adjoining property to be used for the rodeo. With the event structure solidly in place, the Optimists now need the community's assistance to make it run smoothly and truly represent Valley Center's deeply rooted spirit of community!

Be sure to "like" the Valley Center Western Days & Rodeo and Valley Center Stampede Rodeo Facebook pages to receive up-to-date event information. If you want to be a Volunteer, Vendor, or Sponsor please contact:

Ron Johnson, VC Optimist Club
Phone: 760-419-7633

Joyce Holmes, Stampede Rodeo Chairwoman
Phone: (760) 445-1723






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