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You are not as thankful as you could be. Steal a moment and count your blessings.

"Give thanks to the Lord." Psalm 105


Serving Valley Center since 1993, Krueger Realty is a community ranch and home sales office.

So if you're looking to buy or sell, Krueger Realty is clearly your best choice. Luxury homes, land, groves, short sales, REOs, specialty properties - we do it all.

Because we're the little local office with premiere advertising and world-wide internet presence, we consistently top the sales charts in this zip code.

Indeed, lots of folks are surprised that we out-produce the "big guys". We really love our town and it shows. So call us or stop by our office - located next to Portino's - and we'll get right to work for you.

Whether you're buying or selling, we deliver the ultimate in personal, professional real estate service.

Hope to see you soon . . . 





click dates below for detailed report


Valley Center 
Headlines & Happenings

Are you or anyone you know interested in joining 4-H?
By: Denise Mendoza - Membership Coordinator
4-H is an opportunity for the youth in our community to develop and empower themselves in becoming future leaders while learning in projects that interest them. 
Pauma Valley 4-H club will be having their first day of registration on Monday, September 22 at 7pm at Valley Center Library in the Community Room. Our leaders in charge of Beef, Sheep, Swine, Market Goat, Dairy Goat, Poultry, Cake Decorating, Community Service and Arts & Crafts will be there to answer any of your questions. 
There's a yearly membership fee and paperwork that needs to be filled out if you are joining.  Please come and find out what 4-H projects interest you.

So I Was Thinking..."Thanks for My Spanx"
By Phyllis Knight
In case you haven't heard, I'm originally from Texas. Texans tend to be considerate when it comes to others, so I will apologize in advance if I offend anyone, but at the same time, we still pretty much say what's on our minds (or our hearts) so here goes...
I don't know if you're familiar with the movie The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. Now, again, being from Texas, that was kind of a rite of passage (seeing the movie, not visiting The Chicken Ranch, as it was affectionately called). What brought this to mind is that every Sunday as I'm getting ready for church, I am reminded of that movie. Huh?
Now, if you're not familiar with the movie, this won't make quite as much sense, but hold on, and I'll try to give you a broad (no pun intended) overview. Dom DeLuise hilariously plays Melvin P. Thorpe, star of the hit TV show, Texas Watchdog, who has taken it upon himself to expose (again, no pun intended) what is going on at The Chicken Ranch. Melvin takes great umbrage with The Chicken Ranch for its loose morals (which is true), but The Chicken Ranch never tried to act like anything it wasn't. On the other hand, Melvin loved to make quite a to-do of fighting hypocrisy and went to great lengths to uncover the truth about everyone else, while putting himself on a pedestal and hiding his own shortcomings.
All this comes together in a scene where Burt Reynolds (as the Sheriff) is confronting Melvin and trying to bring about a truce between Melvin and Miss Mona, the Madam at The Chicken Ranch, with whom he is romantically involved. They are in Melvin's dressing room prior to his going on his weekly TV show to expose Miss Mona for all he's worth. The whole time he is getting dressed and preparing to go before the cameras, this bastion of self-righteousness is pontificating to the sheriff about the importance of removing all that hides reality and stripping away the secrets to get to the bare facts and exposing the naked (okay, pun intended) truth. Burt's bushy eyebrows continue to go heavenward as he watches Melvin's preparations which include: putting on a wig (to hide his bare noggin); a girdle (to hide his various paunches); and the application of miscellaneous padding (including a rolled up sock) to enhance his manly appearance. 
So I was thinking...
If I haven't completely lost you at this point, you may be thinking, "Where in the world is she going with this?" Okay, I'll tell you. Since I don't have a real job, the one day a week I really get dressed up is Sunday morning for church. I go to great lengths to enhance my appearance, which includes: fussing with my hair; miscellaneous extra grooming techniques; and pulling out my Spanx (read: glorified girdle) and doing my best to squeeze and wiggle into it. Every single time I am trying to hurdle the girdle, I am reminded of Melvin squeezing into his girdle, and it makes me smile, but it also convicts me of putting on pretenses in my life. That thought helps to keep me humble (but I still wear it!).
The point here is not that improving our appearance is wrong, but it does beg two questions, "Are we quick to find fault with others while at the same time trying to hide our own?"; and, more importantly, "Do we focus more on the outside - our appearance, than we do on the inside - our holiness?
"As Christians, it is not acceptable to do "A Little Side Step" from these issues (like the Governor {Charles Durning} did in the movie). We are called to walk in His Word as we follow Him to The Promised Land (and, no, I'm not talking about Texas).
Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye. Matthew 7:3-5 (NIV)
"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness. Matthew 23:27-28 (NIV) 
©2014 Phyllis Knightp

Bark for Life of Valley Center
Come out to the 2nd Annual Bark For Life in Valley Center this Saturday, September 20th, 2014 from 8:00 a.m. to 12 noon at Bates Nut Farm and help us tell cancer it BARKED up the wrong tree!!  Registration opens at 8:00 a.m. and the opening Ceremony starts at 9:00 a.m. Our emcee for this exciting event is Gary Lee from KSON radio.  There will be doggie contests that include a Superhero Costume Contest, Best Pooch Smooch & a Bark Off.
There will be over 35 vendors present at this event that will include Underdog Food Truck, Earth Made Snow Cones, Country Kettle Corn, Armstrong Feed and Hidden Valley Obedience Club will have an agility demo with a chance for your dog to try it out.  The Luratics Coursing Club will be having a lure course for your dog to try out with all net proceeds going to Bark, and if you don't have a dog or would like to add another one to your family the Furry Fosters will be there with adoptable dogs.
In addition to the contests and vendors there will be a silent auction featuring 4 Weekly Badges for the 2015 Farmers Insurance Open Golf Tournament at Torrey Pines Golf Course in La Jolla, CA and if you are a racing fan we have Clubhouse Season passes for 4 to the Del Mar Horse Racing track valued at $1,600.
The American Cancer Society Bark For Life is an irresistible way to partner with your canine best friend and make new friends - canine & human.  Families and their dogs come together for a few hours and complete a 1 mile walk to honor the care giving qualities of their canine "Best Friends."
We are honoring our Canine Caregivers; Guide Dogs, Service Dogs, Rescue Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Police Dogs and Cancer Survivor Dogs who with their owners are joining the American Cancer Society as Relay teams.  They participate to celebrate cancer survivorship, to honor people lost to cancer, and to fundraise in support of the American Cancer Society mission of eliminating cancer through research, education, advocacy, and service.
So bring your best canine friend and join us for a fun-filled day starting with a walk, and then continuing with demonstrations, contests, games and silent auction.To learn more about this event or to pre-register go to or contact Lori Lallo, Bark for Life Event Chair at

Dos Valles Garden Club Celebrates 60th Anniversary
September 9th was a special day for the Dos Valles Garden Club as they celebrated their 60th Anniversary.  It was a time to acknowledge the Club's success in giving so much to the Valley Center community these many years.  Each year their five plant sales raise money for scholarships and donations to local schools, donating an average of $7000 to $8000 annually.
Dos Valles Garden Club meets monthly to present horticultural and floral design educational programs. The public is welcome to join this group of friendly gardeners at these meetings, held 10 AM the second Tuesday of each month, September through May, at St. Stephen Church, 28933 Cole Grade Road in Valley Center.
DVGC Board members (left to right) Dave Rylaarsdam, Anne Watkins, George Speer Jr., Kathy Lee, Joan Patten, Karen Burstein, Dianne Clark.  

Heat Advisory Issued
UPDATE 09/14/14: The National Weather Service in San Diego has extended this weekend's heat advisory through Tuesday evening. High temperatures in the 80s and 90s along the immediate coast, rising into the 90s a few miles inland and well over 100 degrees further inland.
The National Weather Service in San Diego has issued a heat advisory beginning Saturday at 10 a.m. through Monday at 7 p.m.  Temperatures inland will be anywhere from 10 to 20 degrees above average through Tuesday with highs in the inland valleys reaching 104 degrees and desert areas 108. Coastal and mountain areas won't be much cooler with highs in the low 90s.
The County operates a Cool Zones program and has designated buildings as cooling centers. Visit or call 2-1-1 for a list of cooling zone locations including hours of operation.

Protect Your Family and Pets During Heat Wave


With the region in the grip of a stifling heat wave, the County reminds the public to take precautions, as well as keep an eye on elderly and disabled relatives and neighbors to make sure they're keeping cool.

"Seniors with limited mobility, as well as the disabled and ill, are especially vulnerable to high temperatures," said Dean Sidelinger, M.D., M.S.Ed., County Deputy Public Health Officer. "If they can't cool off at home, take them to a Cool Zone, or mall or other air-conditioned location."

The Health and Human Services Agency Aging and Independence Services' Cool Zone program offers more than 100 locations for anyone to beat the heat. Call toll free 1-800-510-2020 or 2-1-1 for information.  View Cool Zone sites (PDF) and tips for staying cool.

The public is also reminded to never leave children or pets unattended in vehicles for any period of time, even with the windows down, as heat can rise to dangerous levels inside vehicles.

To beat the effects of high heat:

  • Drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids
  • Stay out of the sun
  • Wear lightweight clothing
  • Be cautious about engaging in strenuous physical activity
  • Take a cool shower, bath or sponge bath
  • Call your physician if you feel you may be experiencing heat-related illness.

Heat exhaustion, or heat stroke, can occur in anyone, but especially in people who have difficulty regulating their body temperature, including: Children up to age 4, those 65 or older, people who are overweight, and people ill or on certain medications. Heat exhaustion is marked by weakness, nausea, vomiting, headache and muscle aches. To treat heat exhaustion, cool the victim off quickly, and provide water or diluted sports drinks like Gatorade.

Signs of heat stroke include: Lack of sweating, rapid pulse, headache, nausea, confusion, and even unconsciousness. If someone is suffering from heat stroke, call 9-1-1, loosen or remove the victim's clothing, and spray or pour water on their skin.

Take similar steps if your pet suffers from heat stress, and take the animal to the veterinarian immediately.  Also, never leave pets or children unattended inside a vehicle at any time. Temperatures can quickly reach deadly levels even with windows slightly open and in mild weather.

More information on Pets and Heat.


Noisy Neighbors Keeping You Up at Night?
By Trina West


While most of us enjoy the peace and quiet that rural living affords, Valley Center Happenings has recently been contacted by several residents that are at their wits end over frequent and loud parties hosted by their neighbors.

As such, we reached out to San Diego Sheriff's Lieutenant Dan Brislin of the Valley Center Substation to better understand the noise complaint and resolution process.  Lt. Brislin explained that while there are measures that can be taken, local deputies must also be careful not to infringe on the rights of the residents to host parties.

Under California Penal Code Section 415.(2) "Any person who maliciously and willfully disturbs another person by loud and unreasonable noise" is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in jail and/or a fine of up to $400.00. So what can you do if you believe your rights as stated in Penal Code 415 are being violated? Follow the suggestions stated below, stay patient and be persistent. The process may not be cut and dry, but there are steps you can take to counteract a noise nuisance.

If your peace is being disrupted by a late-night and raucous party, call the Sheriffs' Department's non-emergency dispatch number at (858) 565-5200 while the noise is occurring. Ask the dispatch officer to send a deputy to your house so that he/she can better access the noise intrusion you are experiencing at your home. Or, if you prefer, you may request that the dispatch officer have a local deputy contact you by phone to discuss your situation. Be specific in describing the noise disturbance. Keep in mind that a noise complaint is a low-priority call and response will be delayed if a higher-priority situation is in progress. The jurisdiction of Valley Center deputies is 335 square miles, with only a couple deputies assigned to the late night shift.

When Sheriff Deputies respond to a noise complaint resulting from a loud party, they will attempt to settle the issue by discussing the problem with the party host. If necessary, the deputy will issue a First Response Notice to the host which acts as a "first warning" that the deputy objectively finds the party to be unreasonably disruptive. Due to the protections afforded by the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, unless there are exigent circumstances that give the deputies probable cause that a crime is taking place (social host violations, underage drinking, fighting, etc.), the deputy will have no further authority unless the complainant chooses to sign a Citizen's Arrest.

If a complainant is unwilling to file a formal complaint or feels their complaint was not adequately addressed by the dispatch officer or responding deputy, they can contact the Valley Center Substation at 760-751-4400 and request to speak with a Patrol Sergeant or Lieutenant Brislin about their situation. One of the many advantages of living in Valley Center is our local Sheriff's Department welcomes calls from the community.  Lt. Brislin stated publicly that, "You can walk into my station and I will be more than happy to talk to you about any particular problems you are having or any ideas you have to address crime in your community. Information sharing is key."  If the information never reaches the substation, then corrective action cannot be taken.

Furthermore, the County of San Diego has a Noise Control Ordinance. According to Section 36.401 of the ordinance, "disturbing, excessive or offensive noise interferes with a person's right to enjoy life and property and is detrimental to the public health and safety. Every person is entitled to an environment free of annoying and harmful noise." Therefore, ongoing noise complaints should be filed with the County. Click here for more information on how to proceed with this process.

Finally, if you still cannot find a resolution to your problem, mediation may be necessary. In this case, forming a coalition with other neighbors is your best recourse. In mediation, a trained and impartial mediator will work with all parties to resolve the problem. One such mediation resource is the National Conflict Resolution Center, which can be reached at (619) 238-2400.

Fortunately, the vast majority of Valley Center residents are considerate of their neighbors and our town is a peaceful place to live. But it just takes one bad apple to ruin a bunch!

Additional resources:


"Time to Meet Your Neighbors!"
By Phyllis Knight


As my own welcome-to-the-neighborhood foray as a writer for Valley Center Happenings, I thought it would be fun to do a series entitled "Meet Your Neighbors" and introduce you to some of the interesting individuals (of which there are many!) who are our neighbors in and around Valley Center.

The beauty of where we live is that many of us are surrounded by acres of land, but, because of that, it isn't always easy or convenient to meet our neighbors at the fence and chat for a few minutes to get to know each other better. But I love the neighborly spirit that we share and that is displayed throughout the trying times - such as during the fires or when a beloved pet is missing; to the fun and joyous times - such as the Rodeo and Western Days. Our neighborhood is all about helping those in need and celebrating the good times together.

I'm reminded of when Jesus was asked, "Who is my neighbor?" and He replied with the parable of The Good Samaritan. I believe we are a community of Good Samaritans, and that will be highlighted in future stories. Sometimes, being a good neighbor is being there for someone in need; other times, it may be representing our community outside our area in such a way as to reflect positively on all of us; and there are numerous other ways in between! I think getting to know our neighbors can be fun, enlightening and maybe even a little surprising.      

I'm excited about this new adventure to meet our neighbors, and I hope you will be, too. To kick-off this series, I would like to introduce you to my next-door neighbor. Watch for his story here next week. Until then, I'll leave you with my own phrasing a la Mr. Rogers: "Won't you meet...won't you meet...won't you meet, my neighbor?!"

(If you have a neighbor you would like for the community to meet, please email me at

Groundwater, a Vital Part of Our Water Supply
by Assemblymember Marie Waldron 


Water deliveries throughout California have been seriously impacted by the long drought. The resulting shortfall has forced many agricultural regions to draw excessive amounts of water from groundwater basins, which in dry years can provide up to 46 percent of the state's total water supply.
In response, the Legislature hastily passed three bills in the closing weeks of the 2014 session governing water management policies for groundwater basins. Senate Bills 1168, 1319 and Assembly Bill 1739 have all been forwarded to Governor Brown for his signature.
The need to update the state's groundwater regulations is readily apparent. Indeed, many groundwater basins have been critically overdrawn for decades, long before the current drought.
However, this legislation infringes on private property rights and punishes groundwater users in basins that have had little or no overdraft or already enforce effective management policies.Furthermore, these bills were rushed through with little time for public review. It took nearly ten years to pass the water bond being submitted to voters in November; surely we can take a few more months before enacting permanent and sweeping changes to California's groundwater policies.
Unlike the water bond, which passed with wide bi-partisan support, this legislation has generated bi-partisan criticism. The agricultural community, an industry directly impacted by these proposals, has been conspicuous in its opposition. Consequently, I have joined legislators from both parties to ask Governor Brown to veto these bills.
Given time, legislation can be drafted next session that respects local control and private property rights while avoiding overreaching state interference over this irreplaceable resource.

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


County Adds New Firefighting Helicopter to Fleet 


Ahead of any Santa Ana winds, San Diego County emergency managers are reviewing emergency plans and resources to make sure the region is prepared for peak fire season. Part of the County's effort is a major awareness campaign that will launch later this month asking residents to "Get Fired Up" about preparing their homes and families.

 "While San Diego County in May was hit hard by a series of wildfires, this fall could be even tougher," said Supervisor Dianne Jacob, chairwoman of the Board of Supervisors. "Our fall fire season is often brutal, and experts say the risks are particularly high this year due to the drought conditions, so we must step up our game in our efforts to be prepared." 

Jacob made the comments at Sheriff's ASTREA helicopter base Wednesday, where she announced how the region is bolstering its aerial resources and provided details of the County's upcoming fire preparedness campaign. 

After the May fires, the County made a list of key recommendations to improve its response for the next regional wildfire. One of those improvement items was to secure an "exclusive-use" aerial firefighting contract for peak fire season, meaning a resource that would be dedicated to San Diego County and not be at risk of getting called away to fight fires elsewhere. 

The County accomplished this by leasing a firefighting helicopter that will remain in San Diego as an exclusive-use resource for the region. In the event of a wildfire, the UH-1H Huey helicopter based at Gillespie Field will deploy right alongside the Sheriff's Bell 205 firefighting helicopters, which are manned by a sheriff's pilot and CAL FIRE crews. 

The Huey is the same firefighting helicopter model used by CAL FIRE and has buckets that can carry from 324 to 375 gallons of water. 

County Supervisor Bill Horn also noted that, in a partnership spearheaded by County Supervisor Ron Roberts, San Diego Gas and Electric will make two firefighting helicopters available to the region for use in an extended firefighting response during peak fire season.  The Type 2 helicopters will be flown by the City of San Diego and operation costs will be shared by SDG&E, the County, and the ordering jurisdiction. 

"That means we have three contract helicopters on standby this fire season to bolster the region's permanent resources," said Horn. "In addition to our contract, Sheriff, City, SDG&E and CAL FIRE air resources, we have an agreement with the military to fight fires with their air resources in a prolonged firefight, just like they did in May." 

Indeed, firefighters throughout the state are on high alert for brushfires that could take hold in a drought-ravaged state. In San Diego, CAL FIRE crews went to peak staffing in March, which is the earliest in recent history, said San Diego County Fire Authority Chief and CAL FIRE Unit Chief Tony Mecham. 

"I am extremely concerned going into the fall that should we get the winds, we are going to get fires in San Diego County," Mecham said. 

To prepare, regional fire agencies and the County are recommending residents take a "Ready, Set, Go!" approach for peak fire season. 

Residents are asked  to get "ready" by creating or maintaining at least 100 feet  of defensible space - but to do so only early in the morning when the grasses are still dewy to prevent sparking a fire in the dry heat of the day. 

Residents can also get "ready" by making an emergency plan and gathering emergency supplies. 

If a fire breaks out, San Diegans can get "set" to evacuate by: staying tuned to media; grabbing their emergency supply kit; leaving inside and outside lights on so firefighters can see their home through smoke; closing all windows and doors but leaving them unlocked for firefighters; turning off propane and gas tanks, pilot lights and air conditioning; moving furniture to the center of the room and bringing patio furniture inside. All these steps give your home a better chance if embers were to land on your property. 

And finally, if told to do so, or if they feel unsafe, residents should "go." Firefighters suggest residents pre-pack their vehicles and leave early to avoid congestion from others evacuating and emergency vehicles. Residents can "go" to a predetermined location outside of the area at risk or established temporary evacuation points or shelters. 

With so many residents opting out of home phone service and using just cell phone service, San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore is reminding residents to register their cell phones with the County's free AlertSanDiego notification system to make sure they get any calls with evacuation instructions. 

"Our AlertSanDiego system wasn't as effective as it could be during the May 2014 fires because people didn't register their cell phones," Gore said. 

The County's Get Fired Up:  Ready, Set, Go! Campaign will be more prominent in the next few weeks with mailers to fire-prone communities, online advertisements, billboards and public safety announcements. 

To learn more about the Ready, Set, Go call to action, register for AlertSanDiego and download free planning templates and the SD Emergency app, visit

New! Catholic's Divorce Healing Program
by Dagmar Hoffmanm 
St. Stephen Church is pleased to announce the beginning of an exciting, new ministry to men and women who have suffered from divorce. The Catholic's Divorce Survival Guide is a twelve-week program featuring thirty minute DVD sessions each week that cover topics of shock, denial, anger, grief, guilt, forgiveness, money, the courts, the kids, the ex-spouse, annulment, dating, sexuality, spirituality, remarriage or staying single, and much more.
Experts in the DVD series include some of the best and brightest teachers, counselors and authors in Catholic media: Rose Sweet (series producer and author of Healing the Divorced Heart), Dr. Ray Guarendi (Catholic psychologist, author and EWTN talk show host), Fr. Mitch Pacwa (EWTN host and child of divorce), Fr. Donald Calloway (Catholic priest, popular speaker, and child of divorce), Christopher West (theologian and teacher of Saint John Paul II's Theology of the Body), and Fr. Steve Porter (a Catholic priest and seasoned spiritual director). The DVD series also includes Catholic men and women who share their gut wrenching, but inspiring, stories of divorce and recovery. You will cry, laugh and be encouraged. 

This program is based on the teachings of the Catholic Church and open to anyone who needs comfort, counsel and clarity after a divorce. 
Whether you were divorced ten days ago or ten years ago, the program offers valuable insight for everyone. Call Dagmar Hoffmann at (760) 504-2693 or e-mail to for more information and to register.  

Lions Club Membership Drive for U.S. Veterans
Did you serve in the U.S. Armed Forces?
The Valley Center Lions Club is participating in a Lions Clubs International program called "Involve a U.S. Veteran". Through this program, qualifying U.S. Veterans can continue to support their community as a Lion and have their club entrance fees waved.
The Valley Center Lions Clubs returns raised funds to Valley Center residents through student grants, support of community projects, food cards to support needy families during the holidays, vision and hearing testing and equipment, etc. Our major fund raising is the ever popular pancake breakfast at Bates Nut Farm which we run about 13 weekends a year, supporting Bates and other local clubs and vendors at craft shows, car club shows, dog shows, etc. We are a multi-generation group filled with like-minded men and women who feel supporting our community and helping others through community-based events is not only fun, but also rewarding.
Whether you served in the armed forces or just want an opportunity to serve your community, now is the time to join Valley Center's Lions. Come out to our next event (See event calendar here: Or, come to one of our meetings for dinner and a chance to get to know your Lion neighbors.
Contact the Valley Center Lions through Facebook at or email Tim Craig at to request membership forms or to join us at a meeting to learn more about our club and meet the members.

Level 2 Mandatory Water Use Restrictions for Valley Center
August 4, 2014 - Valley Center Municipal Water District Adopts Water Supply Shortage Response Level 2 Mandatory Water Use Restrictions.
Under direction of the Governor, the State Water Resources Control Board has ordered all retail water providers to implement Mandatory Water Use Restrictions to reduce water consumption. While we recognize that you have made great strides in reducing water use and investments in conservation, we are now being called on to increase our efforts.
Mandatory Water Use Restrictions: 
To be very clear, there are no mandatory percentage reductions against a monthly allocation, at this time. We are only asking that you conserve wherever possible and follow these mandatory water use restrictions:
1. Stop washing down paved surfaces, including but not limited to sidewalks, driveways, parking lots, tennis courts, or patios, except when it is necessary to alleviate safety or sanitation hazards.
2. Stop water waste resulting from inefficient landscape irrigation, such as runoff or overspray, etc. Similarly, stop water flows onto non-targeted areas, such as adjacent property, non-irrigated areas, hardscape, roadways, or structures.
3. Irrigate residential and commercial landscape before 10:00 a.m. and after 4:00 p.m. only (does not apply to landscape with drip irrigation and non-nursery agricultural irrigation).
4. Use a hand-held hose equipped with a positive shut-off nozzle or bucket to water landscaped areas, including trees and shrubs located on residential and commercial properties that are not irrigated by a landscape irrigation system.
5. Irrigate nursery and commercial grower's products before 10:00 a.m. and after 4:00 p.m. only. Watering is permitted at any time with a hand-held hose equipped with a positive shut-off nozzle, a bucket, or when a drip/micro-irrigation system/equipment is used. Irrigation of nursery propagation beds is permitted at any time. Watering of livestock is permitted at any time.
6. Use re-circulated water to operate ornamental fountains.
7. Wash vehicles using a bucket and a hand-held hose with positive shut-off nozzle, mobile high pressure/low volume wash system, or at a commercial site that re-circulates (recycles) water on-site. Avoid washing during hot conditions when additional water is required due to evaporation.
8. Repair all water leaks within three (3) days of notification.
Transition Period to Formal Enforcement: 
Valley Center MWD customers have had an excellent track record over the years of responding appropriately to calls for conservation. However, the following formal enforcement plan is available for use in cases of willful and/or negligent noncompliance. There will be a transition period to allow our customers to become familiar with the new mandatory water use restrictions. As such, formal enforcement will not start until October 1, 2014, and will be as follows:
  • First Violation:  Citation
  • Second Violation:   Penalty of $100 placed on the water bill
  • Third Violation: Penalty of $250 placed on the water bill
  • Fourth Violation: Penalty of $500 placed on the water bill, and after a 15 day written notification, a flow restriction of 5 gallons per minute for 120 hours (5 days) and the customer will be charged for the installation and removal of the flow restrictor.
  • Fifth Violation: Penalty of $1,000 placed on water bill, and after a 15 day written notification, complaint filed with the County of San Diego District Attorney's office, flow restriction imposed and sustained to 5 gallons per minute until disposition of complaint and the customer will be charged for the installation and removal of the flow restrictor.  
Water Waste Hotline: To anonymously report observed water waste, please call 760-735-4508 and tell us: what you saw, when you saw it, and where you saw it. We will respond and make contact with the responsible party.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):  A list of "FAQs" has been developed for your review and can be accessed by clicking here.
New Development: A Level 2 "Alert" Condition also imposes restrictions on new development processing. The entire Water Supply Shortage Response Plan, including the development processing restrictions, can be accessed through the District's website
For more Information: Please visit for more drought and  conservation information.  The website also has links to other websites with more water savings tips and information about water conservation rebates, such as landscape irrigation evaluations and turf removal rebates. You can also call at 760-735-4500.

Safari Park Bench Dedicated to 9/11 Victim, Timothy Ray Ward
by Michael O'Connor 
Over the past 13 years many families have honored their loved ones in beautiful ways and wonderful places. Susan Ward Baker wanted a special place to remember her son Timothy Ray Ward. Timothy perished on September 11, 2001 aboard United Airlines Flight 175.
Susan Baker passed on July 20, 2014, before the dedication ceremony on August 22 at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Family members honored Susan and her beloved son Timothy on August 22.  The evening began with an invite-only memorial of Susan's wonderful life, which was filled with wonderful and funny stories from her family and friends. Afterwards, the Bench Dedication was held in the Wings of the World Aviary for the "Timothy Ray Ward Bench of Remembrance."
The family asked if I would help with the unveiling and say a few words. I was honored to be given this task. We were all sadden that Susan, who worked so very hard with others to make the Remembrance Bench happen, could not be there; however, I am sure her spirit and soul were all around us. 
Timothy Ward, born and raised in California, loved cooking and choose that as his life work. I never met Timothy and only knew of him through Susan. Susan always attended the 9/11 events I put on, as well as those that I was invited to as a guest. I always made sure that we honored Timothy along with the many others.
Susan spoke with me about how we must continue to honor the loved ones we lost, as well as those left with the memories of their loved ones and friends. I believe that through our continued efforts this will happened. The Rememberance Bench dedicated to Timothy Ray Ward echoes Susan's words as we sit, reflect and honor those lost on Sept 11, 2001.
Timothy Ray Ward and Susan Ward Baker are re-united in heaven as mother and son. They will be forever missed but not fogotten.
I hope when visiting the San Diego Sarfari Park you sit for awhile and say a prayer for all of the families affected by Sept 11 ,2001. To the Ward Family I say, "Thank you for honoring me with this dedication moment in time." 

Unanimous Vote In Favor of Independent Fire Department
By Trina West


August 21, 2014 - The Valley Center Fire Protection District (VCFPD) voted unanimously to establish an independent fire department by voting to approve "the proposal to replace the currently contracted outside operational staff with in house staff," as per Director Phil Bell's proposal and Director Smith's Risk Assessment findings.

The VCFPD currently contracts with San Pasqual Reservation Fire Department (SPRFD) to provide fire protection for Valley Center.  As part of that contract, Valley Center receives six contracted Captains and a half-time Fire Chief.  Eight months ago Director Phil Bell reviewed the operating expenses and discovered a savings of roughly $160,000 if Valley Center hired its own Fire Chief and Battalion Chief.  In addition to a significant cost savings, Director Bell's proposal stated that an independent chain of command would open up lines of communication and create a stronger foundation for the District.

Director Bell's Proposed Fire Department Services Delivery Options was presented at the February 20, 2014 board meeting. Directors Bell and Wold were in favor of moving forward with the proposal at that time; however, Directors Simonsen, Smith and Palmer expressed concerns about the risks involved with establishing an independent fire department.  As such, a Risk Assessment Committee was established to address possible risks.

The committee was led by Director Oliver Smith and included Mel Schuler, Mike O'Connor, Rick Restivo, Jon Landen, Steve Hutchison, Judge Buskuhl, Vic Reed and Paul Ducksworth.  The purpose of the VCFPD Risk Assessment Committee was "to evaluate the proposed operational staff alternative of in-house staff in place of the current contracted outside operational staff per the Proposed Fire Department Services Delivery Option dated February 20, 2014." Director Smith presented the committee's findings to the Board of Directors at the July 17, 2014 board meeting. Several incremental expenses were identified with worst case projections and cost mitigation alternatives.  Director Smith noted several benefits for in-house operational staff.  Links are provided below for Director Bell's Proposed Fire Department Services Delivery Options and Director Smith's Risk Assessment Committee Report.

Following the unanimous vote, President Weaver Simonsen appointed a committee led by Director Bill Palmer to draft the Fire Chief responsibilities, qualities desired in a Fire Chief, and a job announcement to be voted on at the September board meeting.  President Simonsen stressed that the transition needed to be worked around peak fire season. He also shared that he has been working closely with Chairman Lawson to maintain working relations with the SPRFD.  They are looking into sharing Battalion Chiefs-which would be a cost-savings to both departments-via a modified contract.

By all accounts, VCFPD and SPRFD are working together closely and both are committed to providing the best possible fire services to our community.  This has been a long and at times tedious process; however, the strong communication and community collaboration paid off.  Congratulations to all those that gave tirelessly and contributed to this momentous decision!

Proposed Fire Department Services Delivery Options

Risk Assessment Committee Report

School Board Approves School District Security Improvements
By Jay West


At the August 7th meeting, the Valley Center-Pauma Unified School District (VCPUSD) Board of Trustees received the much anticipated "School Safety" (Security) evaluation report from Mr. Bob Mueller, Senior Director of Student Support Services at the San Diego County Office of Education.  The evaluation was requested by the school district to evaluate multiple facets of school security to determine the current posture of the school district.  Although the title of the report was School Safety, the actual metrics evaluated where security-focused with a concentration on what provides a safe and orderly environment at schools.  To have a safe and orderly environment, the school must create a positive environment (climate) were students feel valuable and be conducive to learning free of hazards.  The climate must be equipped with physical deterrents, plans and staff prepared to protect and support the students (physical environment).

In his opening comments, Mr. Mueller gave examples of the security continuum using Prisons as the most secure environments and the wilderness (inhabited by hungry Grizzly Bears) as the most non-secure environments..  By using this continuum, Mr. Mueller wanted to show the audience that the school environment should be somewhere in between the extremes for effective learning, while protecting children and staff from possible threats.  Potential threats to schools include dumb-things-kids-do (DTKD), bullying, drugs, gangs, sexual exploitation, natural disasters, man-made disasters, criminal activities, targeted violence and terrorist acts.  The threat that most parents fear, and rightfully so, is the threat of targeted violence by an outsider that results in the maiming or killing of innocent children and staff.  Mr. Mueller displayed data in his presentation showing that the likelihood of a K-12 student getting shot at school is 1 in 7.8 million and that the chance of a K-12 student dying in an attack is 1 in 15 million.

In his evaluation, Mr. Mueller visited the campuses of Lilac Elementary, the Primary School, the Lower Elementary and Pauma Elementary.  Resources used to conduct the evaluation included feedback from the public funded school insurance company, Joint Powers Authority (JPA); Fire Marshal and Sheriff reviews of school emergency plans, procedures and readiness; review of Safe & Orderly Environment Plans for all schools; and the review of crime and school discipline statistics for VCPUSD schools.  Mr. Mueller's findings were encouraging.  He specifically noted that the climate within the district is positive with lush, well-cared for and "welcoming" campuses that make the students feel cared about.  Additionally, he found that climate goals were on track, that the district is well-poised in emergency response planning /action, and that Valley Center has a very low incidence of crime.

As far as recommendations, Mr. Mueller made the following recommendations for district-wide improvements on the security climate: 

  • Expand opportunities for student voice in safety assessments and planning.
    • Safe School Ambassadors (Community Matters / JPA) or other peer support
    • Focus groups, councils, surveys
  • Incorporate Restorative Practices in discipline.
  • Continue to train staff and align practices to embrace Positive Behavioral Intervention & Support (PBIS).
  • Expand and promote opportunities for anonymous reporting.
  • Train staff to recognize mental health needs in students.
  • Train site teams on Threat Assessment procedures.
  • Expand counseling support for students in need.
  • Train site teams for Crisis Intervention support. 

His recommendations for district-wide improvements to the security environment (physical security) included the following: 

  • Restrict access to school campuses:
    • Create fence and gate plans to secure the perimeter of all school campuses (perimeter fences at 6 feet or higher).
    • Create secure reception areas. (Long Term Objective)
    • All gates and entrances locked during the day.
    • Campus access through reception area only.
    • Use a security door to permit authorized access.
  • Improve ability for people on and off campus to see trouble headed toward schools which provides time to take protective action and offers a deterrent effect:
    • Trim plants and move objects to improve sightlines through windows and from streets.
    • -Place fences where they are in plain view of people on campus.
    • Add interior fencing as necessary to restrict unauthorized entry.
  • Make video feeds for each campus available for key staff and administrators.

With the conclusion of his overall district-wide security recommendations, Mr. Mueller made his site specific recommendations for the four campuses that he had visited.  Among his recurring recommendations were installation of perimeter and interior fencing, removal of vegetation for increased security visibility, and the installation of additional security cameras. With these comments, Mr. Mueller then presented information on the employment of School Resource Officers.

School Resource Officers (SROs) are law enforcement officers that are assigned either by a local police force or in Valley Center's case, the Sheriff's Department.  The salary and benefits of the SRO is provided for by the school district they are assigned to.  Duties include preventing crime, reducing truancy, early intervention, and working with guidance counselors and administrators to improve student grades and performance.  The primary duty of the SRO is to provide law enforcement type services to the assigned school to ensure that everyone is obeying the rules to produce a conducive learning environment.  By their nature as law enforcement officers, SRO's have the ability to provide protection to students in cases of violent aggression by others.

Mr. Mueller presented information from the U.S. Department of Justice designed to assist school districts in answering questions as to whether hiring an SRO is the best course of action in protecting students.  The primary litmus test appears to be whether the district has a high incident of crime.  Are students involved in gang activity?  Are students committing crimes either at school or in the local vicinity?  Are there threats of violence at school?  By answering these questions, school boards and administrators can better gage the necessity of hiring an SRO.  Additionally, can the district afford the outlay of funds?  A first year Sherriff's Officer would cost the district $121,000 in salary plus labor related benefits.  The cost escalates from there with a 10-year officer costing an average of $204,000.  These funding outlays only account for one officer.  If VCPUSD was to hire an SRO for each campus, the costs would approach $1 million per year.  Would the financial outlay provide any extra protection for our students and staff?  According to U.S. Department of Justice guidelines, the jury is still out on the effectiveness of SRO's due to the lack of data.  Without this data, hiring an SRO is not a guarantee of future security.  Mr. Mueller stopped short of making a recommendation on the necessity of an SRO for the school district.  He did note that the crime level in Valley Center is low and does not fit the standard model of an SRO-staffed school district.

At the completion of the presentation, Superintendent Mary Gorsuch presented a district action plan to address improvements in district security climate and district security environment. 

The planned climate improvements and associated costs are as follows: 

  • Expand peer counseling and support through PLUS program and Student Ambassadors
    • Cost: None
  • Incorporate Restorative Justice in discipline - send staff to training at San Diego County of Education (SDCOE) and add to Other Means of Correction
    • Cost: $1,000 for staff training
  • Continue to implement Positive Behavioral Intervention & Support via grants and counselors
    • Cost: None
  • Increase Palomar Family Counselors at VCMS & VCHS by two days/week
    • Cost: $20K annually
  • KOGNITO training for school staffs to recognize, respond, and refer students in mental health risk or crisis to appropriate support
    • Cost: $4,000
  • Add SPRIGEO anonymous bullying reporting program online.
    • Cost: $3,300 annually

The planned security environment improvements and associated costs are as follows: 

  • Increase perimeter fencing & gates at VC Elementary, Lilac Elementary, Primary School and Pauma School
    • Cost: $48,400
  • Trim hedges and plants to allow improved visibility from school offices
    • Cost: None
  • Ensure video cameras at all sites can be viewed by designated staff
    • Cost: $11,000
  • Add an exit at the Pauma School office
    • Cost: $3,000

The grand total of all proposed climate and environment improvements is $90,700 with annual recurring costs of $23,300. 

A motion was made to approve the proposal and proceed with the improvements. The motion passed unanimously. 

It was refreshing to see the VCPUSD Board of Trustees take the time to assess and take action on improving the security posture of at least four campuses within the district.  Parents can rest assured that the district takes the security of their children very seriously and is working diligently to prevent violence at any school within the district.  Parents can expect changes to landscaping for better visibility and campus' appearance with the addition of new security fencing.  As more funding becomes available, changes will be coming to all schools in the district.

 PUBLIC NOTICE: From Valley Center Parks & Recreation to the 2014 Western Days Vendors
August 22, 2014 - Dear Valley Center Parks and Recreation District Vendors:
The Valley Center Parks and Recreation District is pleased to announce that it has received the Neighborhood Reinvestment Program Grant award ("Grant") on August 14, 2014. The Grant has a very specific purpose-it was to make one-time equipment and supply purchases for the Valley Center Western Days event on Saturday, May 24, 2014 such as breakable windows and bottles, trash cans, cups, napkins, banners, printing of magazines and programs, purchasing of sound equipment and tables and chairs, as well as ribbons for kids and t-shirts.
If you are a Vendor that provided such goods and you have not been paid and/or reimbursed please contact Valley Center Parks and Recreation at the above phone number to discuss eligibility of reimbursement. Under the County of San Diego Grant rules you will need to sign a County expenditure form and provide the following documentation so you may be reimbursed and/or paid:
· An invoice/receipt with description of expense and date paid
· A copy of the cancelled check (front and back)
· A copy of the bank statement showing check has cleared
If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact Doug Johnsen at (760) 749-8852.
Valley Center Parks and Recreation
28246 Lilac Road
PO Box 141
Valley Center, CA 9208
Phone (760) 749-8852 - Fax (760) 749-8893

Valley Center Actors Perform in the Historical Stage Production of "Passage Into Fear" 
The nonprofit group Art Animates Life is partnering with Cal State University San Marcos, the San Marcos Arts Council, and the San Marcos Community Foundation to bring the historical stage production, "Passage Into Fear," to San Marcos' Connors Hall this September. The show features several actors from VC including Marsi Carr, Betsy Toker, Julio C. Mas, and John Aviles.

Underscoring the play's historical accuracy, area history and social science teachers are encouraged to assign attending the show as extra credit. A copy of the play is available to any teacher upon request. Students who submit a 300-500 word essay outlining what they learned about the War will be eligible to receive a $500 scholarship from Art Animates Life, the play's producer (complete details at

"Passage Into Fear" is a thriller inspired by noir classics like Alfred Hitchcock's "The Lady Vanishes" and "Strangers on a Train" and Agatha Christie's "Murder on the Orient Express."

The play, set in 1917 during the waning days of World War I is being presented in conjunction with a series of the 100-year observances of the Great War taking place not only in the San Diego area but across the globe.

The early twentieth century is further brought to life by period correct music, song, sets, and costumes, along with computer-controlled lighting and sound effects.

"Passage Into Fear" is set onboard a transcontinental passenger train in 1917 during the waning days of World War I. An elderly woman, Miss Lillian Merriweather, boards the train insisting she knows of a plot on an international scale, then promptly disappears. Other characters include a young American woman on a final fling in Venice before returning home to be unhappily married, a pugnacious 8-year-old war orphan, a Member of Parliament and his wife, an elderly Gypsy who has wandered the continent homeless for more than 50 years, a handsome young Swiss doctor hiding an immense secret, and a ruthless German countess bent on achieving her evil ends no matter who gets in her way. The solution to Miss Merriweather's disappearance ultimately has it roots in understanding the very causes and history of the War itself.

Thanks in large part to a generous grant from the San Marcos Community Foundation, 100% of ticket sales will benefit the San Marcos Historical Society.

There will be six performances of "Passage Into Fear": 7 p.m. Sept. 12, 13, 19, 20 and  2 p.m. Sept. 14 and 21. Tickets are $9 general, $5 for children 15 and under. Ask about special group pricing.

Shows take place at San Marcos' beautiful, historic Connors Hall, itself nearly 100 years old. Located in Heritage Park and nestled amongst picturesque Victorian homes, Connors Hall is a setting which perfectly embodies the Historical Society's motto: "Where History Meets Discovery."

For more information and tickets call (760) 706-0107 or visit

Qualified Candidates for Valley Center Local Elections 
Friday, August 8 was the deadline for candidates to file to run for County School District and Special Districts. However, there was a five day extension period for incumbents to file (except Community Planning Groups). Incumbents had until 5:00 p.m. on August 13 to file the necessary papers to run.

The candidates listed below were updated on the County of San Diego Registrar of Voters listing as of 09/25/14 at 3:21 p.m. We will update the listing if any incumbent names are added or if there are any changes to a candidate's status.

Valley Center Pauma Unified School District - Three out of the five seats are up for re-election: Lori Johnson, Karen Burstein and Michael Robledo.  The following qualified candidates are listed as running for an open seat: Jerry Fenton, Jonathan R. Goodman, Jay West, Shannon M. Laird, Michael T. Robledo (incumbent), Gina Roberts and Julie Stroh.

Valley Center Municipal Water District - The Water District Board is divided into districts. You may only vote for a candidate in your district. To find out which district you live in call the VCMWD 760-749-1600. The seats that are up for re-election are Division 2, Randy Haskell; Division 3, Gary A. Broomell; and Division 5, Merle J. Aleshire. All three incumbents are listed as running: Division 2, Randy Haskell; Division 3, Gary A. Broomell: and Division 5, Merle J. Aleshire.

Valley Center Fire Protection District - Three out of the five seats are up for re-election: Jim Wold, Oliver Smith, and Phil Bell.  The following candidates are listed as qualified for the ballot: Steve Hutchison, Oliver Smith (incumbent), Jim Wold (incumbent) and Phil Bell (incumbent).

Valley Center Community Planning District - Seven out of the fifteen seats are up for re-election: Seat 2, Steve Hutchison, Incumbent; Seat 4, Larry Glavinic; Seat 6, Robert Franck; Seat 8, Jon Vick; Seat 10, LaVonne Norwood-Johnson; Seat 12, Mark Jackson; and Seat 14 which was already vacant. The following candidates are listed as qualified for the ballot: Steve Hutchison (incumbent), Mark Jackson (incumbent), Susan J. Fajardo, LaVonne Norwood (incumbent), Jon Vick (incumbent), Claire Plotner, Dorothy V. Stock, James Garritson and Michael O'Connor.

Valley Center Parks & Recreation District - Three out of the five seats are up for re-election: Marcia Townsend, Fran DeWilde and Tom Bumgardner. The following candidates are listed as qualified for the ballot: Tom Bumgardner (incumbent), Jon Vick, Carol Johnson, Marcia Townsend (incumbent) and Shannon M. Laird  .

Elections will be held on November 4, 2014.

More information is available at or you can call 858-505-7260.


The Valley Center Kiwanis Club 2nd Annual Golf Tournament
The Valley Center Kiwanis Club is sponsoring their second annual golf tournament on Friday, October 10th at Woods Valley Golf Course.
The golf tournament is the major fund raiser for the Valley Center Kiwanis Club and proceeds will be used for scholarships to help Valley Center students attend college and fund the Rachel's Challenge program to reduce bullying in our schools. Last year they provided five scholarships and money for Rachel's Challenge program.  Rachel's Challenge is a national non-profit organization dedicated to creating safe, connected school environments where learning and teaching are maximized.
In addition to the above, participants will get a $100 Value Gift Package including $25 Free Play at Harrah's Resort; wine and beer tasting coupons and much more.  There will be a silent auction, snacks, and Mulligan packages.
Tickets cost $99. The ticket includes golf and cart; range balls; prizes and an award dinner at the new refurbished Woods Valley Clubhouse.  Registration begins at 11:30 AM with a 1:00 PM Shotgun start.
Kiwanis is an international organization dedicated to helping children of the world and our local group sponsors local youth programs.  The Club meets at 7 a.m. Fridays at the Country Junction Deli. Anyone is welcome to come have breakfast with the group.
Friday afternoon will be a perfect time to get a foursome of friends together for fun, dinner and a chance to contribute to a worthy cause.  E-mail Marty at or 760-751-0103.




















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