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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!

 

At Paradise Ridge Pet Clinic, we accept you as our family and your pets are our pets. As your pet's owner, caretaker, and best friend you are the key to a long and happy life for your pet. With loving and sensible home care, your furry friend can live with you for well over a decade.

Our aim is to assist you in achieving that goal. But when accident or illness strikes, we are also here with the high quality veterinary medicine you would expect to get your pet back on track, or with a referral to quality board-certified specialists for advanced medical care. Dr. Ellie Newcomb and her staff will take the time to explain recommended tests and treatments, and answer any questions that you may have. You will not feel you are just a number on an impersonal list of patients here.

Each member of our friendly staff has an enduring love of animals. We dedicate our every task to ensuring that your pets receive attention, compassion, and medical expertise. Our staff recognizes the deep bond between owners and their pets and we treat our furry clients as if they were our very own.

Our dedication to the dogs & cats of Valley Center is further evident by our low-cost spay and neuters, as well as our monthly Shot Clinics held at Joe's Country Feed & Pet. We strongly believe in the importance of vaccinating, spaying and neutering and we are dedicated to making these services affordable to our community.

Our facilities are modern and easily accessible with separate treatment rooms for cats and dogs. We are centrally located in the heart of Valley Center, across from the water district.

"Like Us" on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/paradise.ridge.pet


www.ParadiseRidgePet.com

760-751-1984

 

English Heritage Builders is a Valley Center-based Full Service Contractor. With more than 24 years in the building game in two countries, Arthur DeMunnik, owner/ operator offers the perfect blend of English Craftsmanship and American ingenuity. Before moving to the U.S. with his wife, Arthur restored historical buildings throughout England. He is a Master craftsman in painting and wallpaper and a licensed General Contractor. 
 
"Our work is about quality. We pride ourselves on work designed to last. We use the best materials available and our crew is not only skilled, but each person is hand-picked for their impeccable work ethics," said DeMunnik.
English Heritage Builders offers start-to-finish solutions for every project. They specialize in interior or exterior home renovations, including bathroom and kitchen remodeling, home additions, garages and more.

They can also help you maintain your property, HOA, or commercial property with their preventive maintenance packages. English Heritage Builders can remodel, repair, or provide new construction for your home or business. They pride themselves on having some of the best finish work around, including: finish carpentry, painting (including faux finishes), wallpapering (including lincrusta) and decorative tile.

Give English Heritage a call today and schedule an appointment to get your free no obligation estimate: 760-297-2203. 
 

 

 

 

Valley Center 
Headlines & Happenings

Escondido DUI / Drivers License Checkpoint Scheduled for TODAY, December 20th 
 
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The Escondido Police Department Traffic Bureau will be conducting a DUI Sobriety / Driver's License Checkpoint on Saturday, December 20, 2014, at an undisclosed location.
 
The deterrent effect of DUI checkpoints is a proven resource in reducing the number of persons killed and injured in alcohol or drug involved crashes. Research shows that crashes involving alcohol drop by an average of 20 percent when well-publicized checkpoints are conducted often enough.
 
In California, this deadly crime led to 774 deaths because someone failed to designate a sober driver.  Nationally, the latest data shows nearly 10,000 were killed by an impaired driving. "Last year in Escondido, there were 99 victims injured in these tragic crashes, with two of those being fatalities", according to Lt. Murphy.
 
Officers will be contacting drivers passing through the checkpoint for signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment.  Officers will also check drivers for proper licensing and will strive to delay motorists only momentarily.  When possible, specially trained officers will be available to evaluate those suspected of drug-impaired driving.
 
Recent statistics reveal that 30 percent of drivers in fatal crashes had one or more drugs in their systems.  A study of active drivers showed more tested positive for drugs that may impair driving (14 percent) than did for alcohol (7.3 percent).  Of the drugs, marijuana was most prevalent, at 7.4 percent, slightly more than alcohol.
 
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), checkpoints have provided the most effective documented results of any of the DUI enforcement strategies, while also yielding considerable cost savings of $6 for every $1 spent. Nearly 90 percent of California drivers approve of DUI checkpoints.
 
DUI Checkpoints are placed in locations based on collision statistics and frequency of DUI arrests affording the greatest opportunity for achieving drunk and drugged driving deterrence. Locations are chosen with safety considerations for the officers and the public.
 
Drivers caught driving impaired can expect the impact of a DUI arrest to include jail time, fines, fees, DUI classes, other expenses that can exceed $10,000 not to mention the embarrassment when friends and family find out.
Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
   
Public Invited to the Center of the Valley DAR Chapter Meeting
By Jennifer Bancroft, Regent, Center of the Valley NSDAR
 
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The Center of the Valley DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) chapter will be holding our next chapter meeting on Thursday January 8, 2015 starting at 10 AM, in the Valley Center Libraries Community Room. These meetings are open to the public.
 
We are thrilled to announce that the speaker at this meeting will be Peg Trout, author of Sisters in War. Peg is a San Diego County resident, who was inspired by her Aunt Flo to join the Navy, and grew up listening to her aunt's stories. Her book is dedicated to her Aunty Flo, and is a mini portrait of women from across the country who served their country during World War II as nurses, radio operators, mechanics, tele typists, parachute packers, and mail sorters.
 
Ms. Trout is expected to speak at about 11:00 a.m.

Valley Center High School Musical Theater Presents:
Disney's Beauty and the Beast
By Anita Baranowski
 
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Step into the enchanted world of Broadway's modern classic, Disney's Beauty and the Beast, an international sensation that has played to over 35 million people worldwide in 13 countries. Based on the Academy-Award winning animated feature, the stage version includes all of the wonderful songs written by Alan Menken and the late Howard Ashman along with new songs by Mr. Menken and Tim Rice. The original Broadway production ran for over 13 years and was nominated for 9 TONY Awards including Best Musical.
 
The classic story tells of Belle, a young woman in a provincial town, and the Beast, who is really a young prince trapped under the spell of an enchantress. If the Beast can learn to love and be loved, the curse will end and he will be transformed to his former self. But time is running out. If the Beast does not learn his lesson soon, he and his household will be doomed for all eternity.
 
This "tale as old as time" is filled with spectacular costume and set opportunities, or even more simply staged, Disney's Beauty and the Beast offers a great opportunity to bring communities together for family theatre at its best.
 
Show Dates: January 9-17, 2015: 
  • Friday, January 9th at 7:00 pm
  • Saturday, January 10th at 7:00 pm
  • Sunday, January 11th at 2:30 pm
  • Thursday, January 15th at 7:00 pm
  • Friday, January 16th at 7:00 pm
  • Saturday, January 17th at 2:30 pm
(Lobby opens one hour before showtimes)  
 
Ticket Prices:
  • $15 adult
  • $12 child (7 and under), senior, military  
The Maxine Theater is located at 31322 Cole Grade Road,Valley Center, CA 92082 - 760-749-7390
 
Click here for full size flyer. 

   
Anyone Visiting Valley Center from North Dakota?
 
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The Valley Center History Museum is looking for someone from North Dakota, and is hoping a resident of that state might be visiting the area during the holidays.
 
Since its opening in 2003, the History Museum has welcomed guests from 49 of the 50 states.  Only North Dakota is missing. Docents at the museum scanned guest logs from the past 11 years, but could find no one from North Dakota.  The volunteers also discovered guests from more than 40 countries around the world.
 
The History Museum at 29200 Cole Grade Road is open Tuesday through Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. The historical exhibits and displays have all taken on a festive appearance during the holidays, and the museum's Gift Shop is offering unique gifts and stocking stuffers such as books on local history and miniature Teddy Bears.
 
For more information, visit vchistory.org or call (760) 749-2993.

Valley Center Substation Sheriff's Coffee with the Community
By Donna Santana
 
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On Friday, December 12 the San Diego County Sheriff's Department held a "Coffee with the Community" for the Valley Center area.  It was held in the Country Junction Deli conference room from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
 
Lt. Dan Brislin, who has been the Station Commander at the Valley Center Sheriff's Substation, outlined the Sheriff's responsibilities in the community and took questions from community members.
 
Brandy Contreras, the Crime Prevention Specialist from the substation, discussed her role in the department.  She explained that she is available to perform crime prevention inspections at residences and local merchants. She will complete a walk-through of the premises and give suggestions on how to prevent break-ins and theft. You can reach Brandy at (760) 751-4408 or by email at brandy.contreras@sdsheriff.org.
 
Senior Volunteer Coordinator, Alan Kirkpatrick was on hand to discuss the role of the Senior Volunteer Patrol.  They assist the Sheriff's and CHP with traffic control, patrol neighborhoods and school parking lots, perform vacation checks, bring patrol cars in for service, check in on the elderly through a program called You Are Not Alone (YANA), and much more. Lt. Brislin said, "We could not do our job without the assistance of the Senior Volunteer Patrol. They are invaluable to us."
 
If you are interested in becoming a Senior Volunteer Patrol Officer, contact the Sheriff's Department at 858-974-2335 or online at http://www.sdsheriff.net for more information about the program.
 
Lt. Brislin would like Valley Center to know that the Sheriff's Department is here to serve the community and its members are encouraged to contact them by calling 911 (for emergencies) or 858-565-5200 (for non-emergencies). 

Conserve More Water With Preventative Maintenance
By Arthur DeMunnik
 
California is suffering from one of the worst droughts in our history. But did you know that a little preventative maintenance in your home can help reduce water use?
 
1. Check your toilets.  A running toilet can waste gallons of water each day! If after flushing it continues to run then replace any worn parts. Install a low flush cistern and save even more!
 
2. Check your taps. Ensure all seals are intact and that there are no signs of corrosion on the water supply lines. Look for a whitish/green hard powdery substance around connections. A sure sign of leak.
 
3. Check your dishwasher supply lines and waste line. Ensure any filters are cleaned regularly.
 
4. Check your refrigerator water line and overflow pan!   What?? My refrigerator has a PAN?? Yes! It is usually located on the rear below the coils.
 
More and more water districts are charging fines for high-use because of the drought.  A little preventive maintenance will not only reduce water wastage, but also keep money in your pocket.  If you run into a leak that you can't take care of on your own, please call in a licensed contractor.  The drought affects farming communities like ours and if we all do our part to make sure water is not wasted, we will "weather" the drought together.
 
Got a question?  Visit http://www.english-heritage-builders.com/diy-doctor.html,  and we may feature your question in an up-coming article.

 
Crows Nest Valley Center Bike Park Open House
By Gravity Cycling Inc.

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The public is invited to the Open House for the pump track at the new "Crows Nest" Bike Park. The Open House will be on December 20th from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
 
This free bicycle park is for the young and young-of-heart. Bring your bike and go for a test drive. This is the first one built in San Diego County. Please go to the link below and scroll down to watch the video. 
 
 
These are a few of the fun things in the works for this one-day-only Open House Event:
  • 10:30-11:00 Beginners Clinic and Practice
  • 11:30-12:00 Pro Demo and Best Trick Contest
  • 12:30 Momentum Contest
  • 1:00-1:30 Beginners Clinic and Practice
  • Haro PreWheelz Balance Bikes to demo for the little ones
  • BBQ lunch for purchase (proceeds benefit the bike park fund)
  • Live DJ Music
  • Donation Jar- please help finish this park with a generous donation to Gravity Cycling Inc. 
For an example of what a completed "pump track" looks like and how to ride it, go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnnEdIaX5lg
 
Check Facebook for VCTA or GCI regarding possible rescheduling due to weather.
 
Bring your bike and join us for some fun on December 20th. Click here for directions.

     
Come Out and Play Ball!
By Ann Fradet
 
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Valley Center Little League is looking forward to another successful season of youth baseball. We are currently holding registration for the spring 2015 Baseball Season.
 
All boys and girls born before January 1, 2012 up to age 14 are invited to play Little League baseball. Players who are new to the game are welcome at all levels. Practices begin on February 2, 2015. Opening Day is March 7, 2015 and the season lasts until June.
 
Try-outs for the Minors, Majors, and Intermediate Divisions will start on January 10.Please know that all kids play. Tryouts are for placement only. There are no try-outs for T-ball or Caps Divisions.
 
Below are the in person registration dates: 
  • Saturday, December 13, 9am-12pm at the VCLL Fields (behind Community Hall)Saturday,
  • December 20, 10am-2pm at the Grand Opening of the new bike park (in the parking lot of Cole Grade Park, next to the soccer fields)
  • Saturday, January 3, 9am-12pm at the VCLL Fields (behind Community Hall)
Please bring your child's birth certificate and two forms of ID to prove your residency within VCLL boundaries (water bill, electric bill, etc.) If your child played last year, no birth certificate is needed.
 
You can also register 24 hours a day through the link on our website: valleycenterll.com
 
Prices for registration are:
  • T-Ball: $110
  • Caps: $135
  • Minors, Majors, and Intermediate: $165
There is a $10 sibling discount.

Valley Center Man Pleads Not-Guilty to Making False Bomb Report  
 
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Update 12/12/14: Frits Versteegh, a 75 year old man from Valley Center made his first appearance in court yesterday. He pled not-guilty for making a false bomb report on December 4th, 2014.
 
It was reported that Mr. Versteegh allegedly made the threats because he was upset over damage that SDG&E made to his property off of Spearhead Trail.
 
Mr. Vertseegh, who has been out on bond since his arrest, will make his next court appearance on January 5, 2015 at San Diego's North County Superior Courthouse. The maximum penelty for this crime is one year in jail.
 
#### 
 
12/04/14 - San Diego County Sheriff's Deputies from the Valley Center Substation learned of an email, sent to a news station, indicating the sender placed explosives in the area. The sender claimed to be targeting SDG&E work trucks in a land use dispute.
 
Sheriff's Bomb and Arson Investigators responded to the area of Spearhead Trail in Valley Center and closed the trail for approximately two hours while they ensured it was safe. Deputies determined Frits Versteegh, a nearby resident, sent the threatening email. Versteegh was arrested for making a bomb threat and booked into the Vista Jail. 
 
Anyone with information about this case can call the Sheriff's Department non-emergency line at (858)565-5200. You can remain anonymous and be eligible for up to a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. Call Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.

VC Junior Boys' Lacrosse 2015
By Rico Pinamonti, VCLF President
 
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Attention Valley Center Lacrosse Families: We are excited to announce that registration for the 2015 Valley Center Junior Boys' Lacrosse - Spring League is now open and can be completed online. Please visit our website at www.vclacrosse.org and click on the Player Registration tab to register.
 
Practices will start January 17, 2015 and games commence in early March and will continue through mid-May. Our teams compete within the San Diego County Lacrosse Association and travel throughout the county for games.
 
Junior boys' Lacrosse is open to 5th-8th grade boys. We hope to have a minimum of two teams, with two age groups, 5-6th grades and 7-8th grades. If the waitlist is large enough we may create a third team. Please register early as teams will fill up quickly and each team will be limited to 20 players.
 
Please note that all players must be US Lacrosse members ($25 per year) with an active membership extending to the end of the season. If you played last year, you can renew your current membership or join US Lacrosse while completing your online VC Lacrosse player registration. Just click on the US Lacrosse tab on our website.
 
Fees: The registration fee is $220.00 per player. There is a $15 discount offered for Early Bird registration through January 2, 2015.
 
Equipment: Rental equipment (helmets, sticks, and pads) is available on a first-come first-served basis for an additional $50.00 per player / per season. Please contact Charles Trevithick via email at ctrevith@yahoo.com to arrange for equipment.
 
The Valley Center Lacrosse Foundation looks forward to a fun and competitive season ahead. Please do not hesitate to call me at (760) 805-4804 should you have any questions regarding our lacrosse program.
 
See you on the Lacrosse Fields!  Go Jags!

New School Board Members Take Oath of Office
By Trina West 
 
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Valley Center-Pauma Unified School District Superintendent Mary Gorsuch officiated the Oath of Office for the newly elected School Board Trustees.  
 
The December School Board Meeting was the first official board meeting for Jay West, Julie Stroh and Jerry Fenton (pictured left to right).  All three School Board Trustees were sworn in prior to moving to Closed Session and all promised to defend the Constitution and fullfil their elected duties for the next four years. 
 
The VCPUSD School Board is comprised of five Trustees which now are: Don Martin, Mary Polito, Jerry Fenton, Julie Stroh and Jay West.
 
Valley Center will be well served by these community servants. Congratulations Jay, Julie and Jerry!

Rocky Situation
By Phyllis Knight
 
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They say a picture is worth a thousand words, which is good, because the only word I could come up with yesterday when I was taking these pictures was, "Wow!"
 
I was at the "Foot Nook" on Valley Center Road yesterday (behind Shoemaker Real Estate) and saw some of the extensive damage done to the property where Momma's Coffee House gardens used to be located. My family, like many other Valley Center residents, used to spend very pleasant mornings sitting on the hillside among the trees while enjoying a little java.
 
Now, there's not much left of the way it used to be. Much of the vegetation was wiped out by falling rocks and one particularly large bolder took out a palm tree on its way down the hill before miraculously becoming lodged in the dirt just feet from the building, which now houses a beauty salon in addition to the Foot Nook.
 
Bobbi Weiss, Foot Nook owner, stated it has been pretty scary and she has missed several days of work because of the excavation process, which has been done to prepare for a new shopping center off Miller Road, and which backs to this property. 
 
 Click here for more pictures.

Flash Flood Safety
by George E. Lucia Sr., Battalion Chief / Fire Marshal, VCFPD
 
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Rain is in the forecast for the Valley Center Fire Protection District area tonight through Saturday. Please review and refresh your flood preparedness.
 
Floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States. While flooding can cause significant property damage, flash floods can form in seconds and be particularly dangerous. If a flood is likely in your area, be aware that flash flooding is possible and that you should take extra precaution. Learn how you can stay safe and reduce your flash flood risks by using the following information from the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA):
 
FLASH FLOOD SAFETY:  
  • Be aware that flash flooding is very dangerous and can move quickly. If there is any possibility of a flash flood, move immediately to higher ground. Do not wait for instructions to move. 
  • Be aware of streams, drainage channels, canyons and other areas known to flood suddenly. Flash floods can occur in these areas with or without typical warnings such as rain clouds or heavy rain. 
  • Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall. If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you. 
  • Do not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely. You and the vehicle can be swept away quickly. In fact, two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles including sport utility vehicles (SUV's) and pick-ups. 
  • Do not camp or park your vehicle along streams, rivers or creeks, particularly during threatening conditions. 
FLASH FLOOD WATCHES AND WARNINGS:
 
Flash Flood Watch: Flash flooding is possible. Be prepared to move to higher ground; listen to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio or television for information.
 
Flash Flood Warning: A flash flood is occurring; seek higher ground on foot immediately.
 
Sand Bags are available at VCFPD fire station #2 next to the Sheriff Sub Station.
 
Drive Slower in the wet weather and never cross standing or running waters.

Memorial Service for Jamie Reed on December 20 
 
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Message from VCPUSD: "We will miss our dear friend and colleague, Jamie Reed. Services will be held on Saturday,December 20th at 1PM at the Maxine Theater, on the campus of Valley Center High School.
 
"In lieu of flowers, donations to the American Cancer Society are appreciated. Here's the link: American Cancer Society
 
"To donate in Jamie's memory and have a card sent to her family, please type in:
 
Vic Reed ℅ VCPUSD Tech Dept.
28751 Cole Grade Road
Valley Center, CA 92082.
 
We'll combine all of the cards and give them to her family."

So I Was Thinking…"I Could Write a Book..."
By Phyllis Knight  
 
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Those who know me, and know I love to write, have often asked me why I haven't tried to write a book. The answer is simple; no one would read it. You see, if I were to write a book, it would be filled with a bed of roses, pie-in-the-sky happiness and maybe even a unicorn or two. Further, no one would ever lie, cheat, steal, kill, be sick, die or make stupid choices (you know, like the girl all alone in the house who hears a noise outside and goes out to investigate.... {head shake}).

Nope, none of that for me. In fact, that's why I quit watching soap operas long ago, too much of the aforementioned self-destructive behavior (and, I mean, really, how many times can a character die and come back to life again as someone else?).

Now that I think about it, though, maybe that's why the Bible is the most popular Book ever written. It is filled with a whole cast of colorful characters: liars, cheaters, robbers, murderers and people who made bad choices...and those are the good guys! Well, I shouldn't say "good" exactly, at least not while they were in the midst of those activities, but God knew their hearts (just as He knows ours), and considers everyone's potential through Him. He's the One who can lead: liars to truth; cheaters to honesty; robbers to charity; murderers to martyrs; sick to healed; dead to life; and stupid choices to spiritual discernment. Just ask Moses, David, Peter and Paul, who are just a few of the most influential of the biblical characters who became role models despite their earlier history. Or, in the case of Ruth, who through her faithfulness, overcame her heritage as a Moabite (undesirable at the time), to become one of the most revered women in the Bible. Yes, God can even change the heart of prejudice.

You see, the Bible isn't just about good guys and bad guys, because when it comes to sin, we all come under the bad guys role. I was raised in a Christian family, went to church regularly and was involved in the youth program. I wasn't a bad guy like those "other" people I knew and heard about; therefore, it came as a big plot change for me when I realized that I didn't become a Christian by my actions alone, and that unless I had a personal relationship with Jesus as my Lord and Savior, I was following the plot to hell just like the "bad guys." The bottom line is that you can never be good enough on your own, and no matter how much we might want to change the storyline, only a personal relationship with the Author and Creator can do that. He is the only One who can edit your life, by deleting the bad deeds of your past and developing new and improved chapters for your future.

Editor's Note: There's a funny thing about the Bible; unlike most books, it actually starts in the middle. In John 1:1 it says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it."

So I was thinking...

That just like those characters in soap operas, through the mercy and grace of God and the sacrifice of His Son, we too can experience new life as a whole new creation in Him. So as long as God allows us to turn a page in our life, the final chapter has not been written. Isn't it time to make sure that your name is in the Book of Life?

I know a lot of us don't like to read books where we already know the ending, so, if you haven't read the Bible, ***Spoiler Alert***, we win! Well, I should say, God wins, but through His perfect Son, whose birth we celebrate during the Christmas season, we all can make His "Best Sellers" list. (That beats Santa's "Nice" list anytime!)  

I always was a sucker for a happy ending... 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy.  The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels." Revelation 3:4b-6 (NIV)

©2014 Phyllis Knight

Dos Valles Garden Club: Where Love Grows
By Phyllis Knight
 
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When you look at this picture, you're looking at love; love for all growing things and love for our community. That's why the members of the Dos Valles Garden Club work so hard all year long; they love what they do! If you thought these ladies and gentlemen were "seasonal" volunteers, you would be mistaken. Although their Annual Poinsettia/Plant Sale is one of their biggest projects, their philanthropic activities are year-round. I spent several minutes talking with Club President, Anne Watkins, at their Annual Poinsettia/Plant Sale on Saturday. Business was brisk as members of the community came out to support their efforts by scooping up beautiful and high-quality plants at reasonable prices. Of course, this is after the Club's community-wide pre-ordering and delivering of poinsettias, which now adorn many homes and local businesses.
 
So how does the Dos Valles Garden Club benefit the community? I would love to tell you! The monies raised go towards our local schools and for scholarships. The club regularly donates to specific school projects and they also support Ag Day. At the end of the school year, they present scholarships to selected students pursuing agriculture/horticulture-related fields.
 
Some of the other ways they add to our community are: participating in Arbor Day ceremonies, educational programs for youth groups, Western Days, their Annual Flower Show, and gracing our Library with a weekly arrangement for patrons to enjoy. If you visit the Library in December, you also will see their handiwork in the beautiful decorations that abound.
 
One very worthy project that they do that most of us are not aware of is their Hope for Heroes, which they have been doing non-stop since January 2001. The Club sends at least one box "filled to the brim" with individual bags of treats, along with a note of encouragement and thanks to our troops overseas. Wow! Now that is really putting your love into practice! 
 
Thank you Dos Valles Garden Club for all you do for our community!
 
Click here to view additional pictures from the event. 
_____________ 
 
For more information, to join or to contribute, please email DosVallesGC@vcweb.org Or write them at PO Box 123, Valley Center CA 92082

Are You the Next Valley Center Rodeo Queen?
by: Julie Picot
 
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Calling all COWGIRLS! The Valley Center Stampede Rodeo is looking for young women to represent them as the 2015 Valley Center Rodeo Queen, Junior Queen, Young Miss and Little Miss.
 
To be eligible to compete you must be between the ages of 6 and 24, live in San Diego or Riverside Counties, have good horsemanship skills and enjoy public speaking.
 
Contestants will be judged on horsemanship, public speaking, personality and their knowledge of Rodeo.  On December 29th there will be an orientation meeting at 7:00 p.m. at the Valley Center Community Center in Room 5.  At the meeting we will go over with the girls what is expected of them as contestants. During the weeks before the pageant we will meet several times with the contestants preparing them for the pageant. We really want to stress the importance of having good horsemanship and plan on this being the main focus of the pageant. The day of the pageant will consist of the contestants being judged on a horsemanship pattern, a written test, personal interviews, and while modeling Western Style Evening wear they will have to answer an impromptu question and give a speech. 
 
Applications will be accepted until January 15th. For applications please visit www.VCRodeoQueen.com or contact Julie Picot jewels92082@yahoo.com 619-884-3982
 
Click here to view full size flyer.

Meet Valley Center's New Fire Chief, Joe Napier 
By Trina West 

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Valley Center Fire Chief Joe Napier was raised in Vista, California where he attended Vista Schools and had the "distinct pleasure of serving a 29 year career with the Vista Fire Department." Chief Napier further stated, "I have to say it was a wonderful experience working in public safety in the community I was raised. In 1998, together with my wife Martie, daughter Meghan and son Jeremy we built our dream home in Valley Center to raise our family.

"I have been blessed with many opportunities and high level collaborative regional projects throughout my career and look forward to sharing those experiences with my community in Valley Center. I will be working with a great team that has an established track record of fiscal responsibility, while providing excellent customer service.

"The relationships I share with the leadership from our surrounding partners in public safety have been forged over time. This foundation will prove to be a huge benefit as we move forward and grow our department responsibly as our community grows responsibly. I eagerly await the opportunity to meet with our external stake holders from the Chamber of Commerce, local service clubs and community members to get a real sense of their expectation of service. Their input will be vital to a strategic planning process which will guide us to our future goals and objectives, while providing the best public safety to those who live, work and play in Valley Center."

The Valley Center Fire Protection District (VCFPD) voted in August to end their contract with the San Pasqual Reservation Fire Department (SPRFD) to establish an independent Valley Center Fire Department for budgetary reasons, as well as to establish their own chain of command. Just as VCFPD and CAL FIRE have maintained a strong working relationship since ending that contract over a year ago, the District has assured the community that they will maintain a cohesive relationship with SPRFD to provide our community with the best possible fire protection. 

Chief Napier was chosen from 23 applicants as the candidate most qualified to take on the task of building an independent fire department while also creating a cohesive plan to work in tandem with SPRFD and CAL FIRE. Chief Napier has strong support from the community as evidenced by the standing ovation he received upon the announcement of his name as the new Valley Center Fire Chief at the November 20 VCFPD board meeting.  


"Meet Your Neighbors"
Valley Center Community Aid Group
By Phyllis Knight
 
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I'm about to share with you, perhaps, Valley Center's best kept secret. The good news is, you don't have to keep it a secret. In fact, they hope that you don't! "Who's they," you ask? Well, it's our good neighbors of the Valley Center Community Aid Group, of course! Now, you may have heard a little about them, but I doubt you've heard the whole story. You see, the generous volunteers comprising the Community Aid Group are good at a lot of things, but tooting their own horn is not one of them.

That's where you and I come in. The Community Aid Group needs our help to spread the word about what they do and how they do it. First and foremost, they exist to help members of our community; they are a safety net in times of need. But before we go down that road too much, let's back up and start at the beginning.

Even if you weren't around in 2003, you've probably heard the stories about the devastating fires that wreaked havoc that year. In our area alone, the "Paradise Fire" destroyed 227 homes and two lives were lost. Even though many of those who suffered loss had insurance, that money was not readily available, and those people still needed to live and get by until their claims were settled. To assist the community during that time (and for those who didn't have insurance), the Valley Center Fire Relief Fund was established. The Fund collected several hundred thousand dollars and then distributed it in increments of $3000 to those who needed it during that critical time. The problem was, lacking a 501c3, the Fund was not qualified to receive tax-deductible donations and other government-sponsored money.

Thus, the Valley Center Real Estate Professionals organization saw the need, stepped into the breach and started the Community Aid Group as a 501c3 to collect and raise funds to benefit our community. Obviously, getting a 501c3 doesn't just happen; they had to jump through the necessary hoops (and still do) to get and maintain their nonprofit status. They have a Board and Officers, but all monies donated, raised and collected by this group of committed volunteers go into the general fund to be distributed to our neighbors in need.

You may be wondering how they have helped the community over the years, and I'm pleased to have the opportunity to share a few examples with you, which are representative of the scope and nature of the efforts of the Group. I spent a delightful and informative hour yesterday with Larry McKenzie, The Broker Network, and John Yeager, Summit Mortgage, and they shared several stories about our neighbors who have been helped over the years. Privacy is a priority, so names were not revealed, but Larry and John spoke movingly, and thankfully, about the difference their help has meant to the recipients. 

Although we did discuss the monetary donations and what they were able to accomplish through them, Larry and John both spoke about relationships that have been forged through their efforts. Larry related one story about a person they helped who made a point of coming to his office to shake his hand and has continued to drop by periodically to deliver a small monetary "payback" - which in essence is a "pay forward" - as it goes back into the fund to help someone else. (Please note: It is not required, nor expected to repay any assistance received.) Larry and John both stressed that they don't just throw money at a problem, they reach out to these individuals and, when possible, deliver their aid in person, demonstrating that it is a personal privilege to be able to help, not an obligation.

Over the past few years, the Community Aid Group has stepped in and kept a local family from losing their home due to an accident that rendered them incapable of paying their mortgage payments; ensured that one local family was able to enjoy Christmas despite a bad family situation, and another where their efforts eased the pain of losing a parent during the holidays; paid medical bills; covered the cost of medication that was unaffordable; paid for funerals; had electricity restored at a critical time; paid for the airline ticket for a local woman to visit her dying father one last time; and the list goes on.

To clear up any confusion that might exist about the Valley Center Real Estate Professionals, they are comprised of members from all aspects of the real estate business: from realtors, to mortgage bankers; from title companies, to insurance agents; basically anyone who works in that field, can be a part of their team. In addition to their ties to the real estate business, members of this group have the following in common: they love their community; feel blessed to live and work here; and want to give back to their community. In addition to their Annual Golf Tournament to raise scholarship funds, they do this by supporting their Community Aid Group through paying annual dues to belong; voluntarily donating a portion of their commissions; "passing the hat" at their meetings and functions; and sponsoring and supporting fundraisers for specific needs.

Wow! Who could ask for anything more? Well, they do. They ask for your help in spreading the word that they are here to help in times of need. Although the Community Aid Group provides assistance year-round, they know that the holidays can exacerbate existing financial problems for families, and they want to help ease the burdens where they can. They know that money can be a little tighter for many of us this time of year, but for those looking for a worthy cause to receive your "year-end" tax donations, they ask you to please consider them.  

Although the accomplishments of the Community Aid Group are extremely noteworthy, they are not looking for a pat on the back; they are seeking your help, first and foremost, to keep them apprised of our neighbors in need; however, they also welcome your donations and support! In addition to contributing directly to the Group, another way you can help our community is by choosing members of their Group when selecting real estate professionals for your personal and business needs. The Community Aid Group has just unveiled their new logo, which members will be displaying on their business materials and in their offices, which will help to identify them to the community. Also, you can check out their members and bios through their advertisement on the Valley Center Happenings website and on the Valley Center Community Aid Group Facebook page. Remember, by selecting one of these members, not only does it keep your money "local," it is a great way to support the efforts of our Community Aid Group. In other words, it's the neighborly thing to do.  

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For more information; to notify the group of someone in need; and/or to donate, you can: Send a message to them through their Valley Center Community Aid Group Facebook page or contact Larry McKenzie:  Phone - 760-644-3763; email - laro1919@gmail.com

Tax deductible donations may be sent to: 
Valley Center Community Aid Group
PO Box 962
Valley Center CA 92082
Tax ID #26-4653266  

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We have so much for which to be thankful, not the least of which is living in this community, surrounded by good neighbors. Happy Thanksgiving!


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