Category Archives: PUBLIC SAFETY

Temescal Valley Disaster Response Team needs you!

CERTIFIED!: Several Temescal Valley residents received their Community Emergency Response Team certification at an October CERT class.

The county Emergency Management Department (EMA), has devoted resources for the formation of a Disaster Response Team (DRT), for Temescal Valley.

Why? We all chose to live here, a narrow valley with no east-west exits and only one north-south roadway in addition to the I-15. We’re surrounded by lush vegetation – easy fuel for wildfires, and we sit on top of the Elsinore Fault Zone, capable of a 7.5 earthquake. The epicenter of its largest recorded tremblor, a magnitude 6.0 in 1910, was in Temescal Valley.

WANT TO LEARN MORE?

View the county’s Disaster Response Team Prerequisites package HERE

After reviewing it, and if you want to join the team, let us know at:
WeAreTV.org@gmail.com

We will then pass your contact info on to county EMD to be included in the team email list.

If disaster strikes, we must be able to take care of ourselves and our families, and be prepared to assist our neighbors, as well. That’s what Disaster Response Team training teaches. The team will meet quarterly for training, and team members also are on call if needed by county EMA.

There are prerequisites before volunteers can be sworn-in as a Disaster Service Worker, but the time invested in this free program will be well worth it when disaster strikes.

Applicants must have Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), training and certification. The next 20-hour CERT class offered in Temescal Valley will be Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 9, 10 and 11 at a place to be announced later.  The class is four hours Friday night and eight hours on both Saturday and Sunday.

Potential team members must also fill out an application and take four FEMA online courses. The application cannot be submitted until the FEMA courses are completed, but can be submitted prior to CERT certification. Applicants also must have a no-cost background check.

Temescal Valley DRT now has over 20 potential members who are working toward the prerequisites. The majority are residents of Horsethief Canyon Ranch and Wildrose Ranch, but Sycamore Creek, The Retreat and Dawson Canyon also are represented. The goal is to have team members from every community in Temescal Valley.

Dangerous street condition? Where is it?

SLOWING DOWN TRAFFIC: County Road Engineer Lawrence Tai had two portable digital radar signs placed on Knabe Road after the Public Safety Committee meeting in May. The signs will be moved to other busy Temescal valley streets in the weeks ahead.

SLOWING DOWN TRAFFIC: County Road Engineer Lawrence Tai had two portable digital radar signs placed on Knabe Road after the Public Safety Committee meeting in May. The signs will be moved to other busy Temescal valley streets in the weeks ahead.


HAVE YOU SEEN DANGEROUS ROAD CONDITIONS such as blind corners, lack of left turn lanes or the need for stop signs? Send what you’ve seen and possible suggestions on how the problem can be fixed to Public Safety Committee Chairman John Watson at: jfwatson5@aol.com. Include the community in which the street is located, the problem, your name and how to reach you if necessary. A list is being compiled and all suggestions will be reviewed by the county.


The We Are Temescal Valley Public Safety Committee meeting in May focused on road safety in two areas – on surface streets and at the three schools located here.

Addressing the schools issue was CHP Community Service Officer Nate Jimerson who, along with other duties, is responsible for enforcing traffic laws at 24 schools within his CHP region. New to the position, Jimerson said he had visited the Todd and Temescal Valley elementary school campuses and hoped to patrol at Luiseno School prior to summer dismissal.

He said while the “dropping off” and “picking up” situations at the schools are less than optimal, parents are not justified in double parking, blocking driveways and parking in red zones. “Offenders will be cited,” Jimerson said.

Committee members commended Jimerson for fighting freeway traffic to attend the evening meeting on his day off.

Also attending the meeting was Renee Martin, a valley resident and the crossing guard at TVES. She said the flagrant violations by parents amaze her and she often worries about student safety. “Some people park in the red zones at both ends of the crosswalk and it’s the same parents doing it repeatedly.”

She said there are parents who will not follow her whistle commands when to cross and not cross the street. “I had the kids waiting to cross to let cars by and one dad grabbed his kid’s hand and said, ‘Let’s go.’ I was so proud of that little boy when he told his father, ‘No Dad, we can’t go until the guard says it’s safe.’ ”

Both Jimerson and Martin felt the best way to reach the parents about street safety was through their children. The Public Safety Committee, working with the CHP, will suggest to school administrators the possibility of street safety assemblies in the new school year.

Riverside County Road Engineer Lawrence Tai spoke about the public roadways in Temescal Valley. Tai said he was familiar with the county-maintained streets and knew of the larger traffic issues, i.e. Temescal Canyon Road, but wasn’t aware of all the individual issues within each of the neighborhoods. “I am aware, though, of concerns about speeding on surface streets.”

He described how speed limits are determined – not a simple process, and what it takes to get a new stop sign or traffic signal – also not a simple process but doable if warranted. What isn’t particularly doable are speed bumps, especially on arterials such as Knabe, Campbell Ranch, De Palma and Horsethief Canyon roads, and Trilogy Parkway.

“Speed bumps are hard on public safety vehicles such as fire engines rushing to emergency calls, as well as on the personnel inside the vehicles,” Tai said.

Several people at the meeting cited specific safety issues on neighborhood streets – blind corners, lack of left turn lanes, the need for stop signs. Tai said the county will investigate all concerns and possible solutions, but folks must let the county know where the problems are.

When asked, Tai said the county could install portable radar speed signs letting motorists know the speed at which they are driving. He said the digital displays are a good deterrent in slowing down speeders. Tai had two signs placed on Knabe Road and they will be moved to other streets where speeding is a problem.

Tai was impressed by the number of HOAs and neighborhoods represented by members of the Public Safety Committee, and said if the group could compile a list of concerns, he would look into all issues raised.

Send suggestions about street safety to Public Safety Committee Chairman John Watson at: jfwatson5@aol.com. Include the community in which the street is located, the problem, your name and how to reach you if necessary.

Committee members discussed launching a petition drive for the state to increase the number of CHP officers along the 1-15 Corridor. The committee also will create a campaign aimed at slowing down motorists on Temescal Valley streets.

If you would like to be notified of upcoming Public Safety Committee meetings, email your request to Watson.

Sandbags available at no cost

GOT SANDBAGS: Pictured are Public Safety Chairman Rob Mucha shoveling gravel into a bag held by Eric Werner, president of Werner Corp., as Robert Lizano, general manager of Tom's Farms looks on. Station 64 firefighters, pictured from left, are firefighter/paramedic Brandon Forsberg, Engineer Kevin Hansen and Capt. Lorne Ellickson. Thank you to all for providing this community service.

GOT SANDBAGS: Pictured are Public Safety Chairman Rob Mucha shoveling gravel into a bag held by Eric Werner, president of Werner Corp., as Robert Lizano, general manager of Tom’s Farms looks on. Station 64 firefighters, pictured from left, are firefighter/paramedic Brandon Forsberg, Engineer Kevin Hansen and Capt. Lorne Ellickson. Thank you to all for providing this community service.

Folks who have lived here for several years know some areas of Temescal Valley are prone to flooding during heavy rains, including community streets and back yards. With the predicted El Nino storms, the best time to prepare for possible flooding is before the rain begins.

Thanks to the We Are Temescal Valley Public Safety Committee which coordinated with Werner Corp., Tom’s Farms and Riverside County/Cal Fire Station 64, sandbags and sand are now available to all Temescal Valley residents and businesses. Sorry – you’ll have to fill the bags yourselves.

Each household can pick up 20 bags at Station 64, 25310 Campbell Ranch Road in Sycamore Creek. The sand — actually bird’s-eye gravel donated by Werner Corp., is piled at Tom’s Farms in the unpaved south parking lot on Temescal Canyon Road. Bring your own shovel.

Boy Scouts from local Troop 13 will be at the gravel pile from 1 to 3 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 27 and Saturday, Nov. 28, to help folks who would have difficulty filling their bags. Again, bring a shovel.

Bags should be filled no more than one-half to two-thirds full and either covered or stored out of the sun until ready to be used — the bags disintegrate quickly in direct sunlight. The bags will not prevent flooding and only should be used to divert the flow of water so flooding doesn’t occur. Stack them no higher than three bags deep. Bags also can be purchased at Home Depot for 32 cents each.

Here are a few helpful links:

Sheriff’s staff meets with residents

Capt. Leonard Hollingsworth (back row, blue tie), and seven deputies from the Lake Elsinore Sheriff's Station, meet with Temescal Valley residents to discuss community concerns. Also pictured: Tracy Davis, Wildrose Ranch; Julian Gonzales, Sycamore Creek; Rob Mucha, The Retreat, and John Watson, Wildrose Ranch.

Capt. Leonard Hollingsworth (back row, blue tie), and seven deputies from the Lake Elsinore Sheriff’s Station, meet with Temescal Valley residents to discuss community concerns. Also pictured: Tracy Davis, Wildrose Ranch; Julian Gonzales, Sycamore Creek; Rob Mucha, The Retreat, and John Watson, Wildrose Ranch.

Community policing at its best was witnessed this morning as eight representatives from the Lake Elsinore Sheriff’s Station met with Temescal Valley residents at the Starbucks in Sycamore Creek.

Capt. Leonard Hollingsworth chats with Martin Lange and Dave Davis about illegal off-roading in the Spanish Hills community.
Capt. Leonard Hollingsworth chats with Martin Lange and Dave Davis about illegal off-roading in the Spanish Hills community.

The Coffee with a Cop event featured Lake Elsinore station commander Capt. Leonard Hollingsworth and seven deputies, who discussed Temescal Valley concerns with about the dozen residents who attended.

Coffee with a Cop is a national program aimed at improving relationships between community residents and law enforcement officers. Discussion is one-on-one — no formal speeches, just casual conversation.

The deputies, ranging from corporals to lieutenants, represented divisions including patrol, detectives, community resources and schools.

Wildrose Ranch resident John Watson talks to the deputy in charge of school safety about traffic issues when parents drop off and pick up students at Temescal Valley Elementary School.

Wildrose Ranch resident John Watson talks to the deputy in charge of school safety about traffic issues when parents drop off and pick up students at Temescal Valley Elementary School.

Many of the conversations focused on the need for a stronger Neighborhood Watch presence throughout the 19 communities comprising Temescal Valley. Residents also voiced concerns about trespassing, speeding, illegal off-roading, graffiti and burglaries.

Residents sharing a cup of “Coffee with a Cop” all agreed the event was highly informative and were impressed with the number of sheriff’s personnel who attended. According to Rob Mucha, We Are Temescal Valley Public Safety Committee chairman, “The only disappointment was in the poor attendance by residents.”

 

 

Sheriff offers holiday safety tips

holidays02Deputies at the  Lake Elsinore Sheriff’s Station would like to remind community members to stay alert during this holiday season.  During this time of year, many people become preoccupied with holiday planning, shopping and family events.  These distractions often cause folks to become rushed, careless, and vulnerable to driving related accidents, theft and other holiday crimes.

The following tips and reminders were compiled to help residents navigate the holiday season safely.  People can never be too careful, too prepared, or too alert.  The Sheriff asks that you please share the following information with your family, friends and neighbors.

General Safety:

  • Be alert and aware of your surroundings at all times.  Criminals often target people who are distracted.
  • Whether driving, walking or taking public transportation, plan the trip in advance.  Know how to get to your destination using the most direct and safest route.
  • When walking, travel on populated, well-lit streets.  If possible, travel with a friend.
    Always lock your car.
  • Even though you are rushed and thinking about a thousand things, stay alert to your surroundings.

Shopping:

  • Shop during daylight hours whenever possible. If you must shop at night, go with another person.
  • Avoid wearing expensive jewelry.
  • Plan your purchases in advance and carry only the amount of cash, or number of credit cards, necessary to make the purchase.  If you must carry a large sum of money, divide the cash between your purse, pockets and wallet.
  • Keep cash, wallet and mobile devices in your front pocket or purse.
  • Notify the credit card issuer immediately if your credit card is lost, stolen or misused.
  • Be extra careful if you carry a wallet or purse.  They are the prime targets of criminals in crowded shopping areas, transportation terminals, bus/shuttle stops, and public transportation.
  • Avoid overloading yourself with packages.  It is important to have clear visibility and freedom of motion to avoid mishaps.
  • Beware of strangers approaching you for any reason.   At this time of year, thieves may try various methods of distracting you with the intention of taking your money or belongings.
  • As a consumer, you should avoid illegal vendors selling goods on the street.  Purchase merchandise only from licensed vendors or reputable stores.  Follow your instincts. Remember, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Parking/Driving:

  • Avoid driving alone, or at night.
  • Keep all your car doors locked, and windows closed while in or out of your car.  Set your alarm and use an anti-theft device.
  • If you shop at night, park in a well-lit area.
    Park as close as you can to your destination, and take notice of where you parked.
  • Never leave your car unoccupied with the motor running, or with children inside.
  • Do not leave packages or valuables on the seat of your car.  This creates a temptation for thieves.  If you must leave something in the car, lock it in the trunk or put it out of sight.
  • Be sure to locate your keys and have them in your hand, prior to going to your car.
  • Keep a secure hold on your purse, handbag and packages.  Do not put them down, or on top of the car in order to open the door.
  • If you are concerned, ask mall or store security for an escort before leaving your shopping location.
  • Make sure your gas tank is full.  Maintain your car in good working order to avoid breakdowns.

Automated Teller Machine (ATM):

  • If you must use an ATM, choose one that is located inside a business, or well-lit location.
  • Withdraw only the amount of cash you need.
  • Protect your PIN by shielding the ATM keypad from anyone who is standing near you.
  • Do not throw away your ATM receipt at the ATM you just used.

Cyber Fraud:

  • Do not respond to unsolicited (spam) email.
  • Do not click on links contained within an unsolicited email.
  • Be cautious of email claiming to contain pictures in attached files, as the files may contain viruses. Only open attachments from known senders. Always run a virus scan on attachment before opening.
  • Avoid filling out forms contained in email messages that ask for personal information.
  • Always compare the link in the email to the web address link you are directed to and determine if they match.
  • Log on directly to the official Web site for the business identified in the email, instead of “linking” to it from an unsolicited email. If the email appears to be from your bank, credit card issuer, or other company you deal with frequently, your statements or official correspondence from the business will provide the proper contact information.
  • Contact the actual business that supposedly sent the email to verify that the email is genuine.
  • If you are requested to act quickly or there is an emergency, it may be a scam. Fraudsters create a sense of urgency to get you to act impulsively.

FIRE GALLERY: Canyon gets wake up call

Wildfire in Dawson Canyon

VIEW PHOTO GALLERY  HERE

Dawson Canyon and Spanish Hills residents received a scare this morning when a wildfire burned in neighboring hills along Dawson Canyon Road, just south of the El Sobrante Landfill.

Sixty-eight firefighters from seven engine companies, plus air support, quickly contained the four-acre blaze that was reported at 10:01 a.m. today. Although close by, no structures were damaged and no injuries were reported as firefighters contained the blaze at 10:44 a.m.

Air support included two water-dropping helicopters, which refilled at Lake Mathews, and two fixed-wing tankers that dropped fire retardant.

Firefighters were assisted by the slow rate of burn and mild shifting winds that blew the fire  back over area already burned.

While contained at 10:44 a.m., firefighters were still in the area at 12:30 p.m. dousing hot spots. The cause of the fire is unknown.

Responding engine companies included Sycamore Creek Station 64, Home Gardens Station 13, French Valley Station 83, Cal Fire Riverside and Corona Station 7.

 

 

Personal safety discussed at workshop

Last month Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez sponsored a Women’s Safety and Self Defense workshop for her constituents. A Karate master provided instruction on self defense, while Lt. Zachary Hall, with the Lake Elsinore Sheriff’s Station, gave a presentation on personal Safety.

The workshop was attended by Spanish Hills resident Barbara Paul, who wants to share key points discussed at the workshop. Here are a few points Barbara is passing on:

  • A healthy level of paranoia is beneficial.
  • Before getting into your car, look under the car, and in the back seat.
  • If you’re riding a bike, consider riding against traffic — You may risk getting a ticket, but you’ll improve your awareness of “traffic” around you.

Barbara also was able to obtain Lt. Hall’s presentation. Lots of good stuff and you can view it HERE.