November is the month we salute our Veterans and give Thanks for the many blessings bestowed upon us.
My staff and I were proud to participate in many Veterans Day events across Riverside County. As I travel around the state, and across this great country, I know of no other place that does a better job of showing how much they appreciate their veterans than we do here in Riverside County.
More than 2,000 America Flags were flown at the Field of Honor in Murrieta this year.
While many Veterans issues involve the Federal government, there are both State and County agencies standing by to assist the men and women who have honorably served our great nation.
The California Department of Veterans Affairs website can be found here:
The office of Riverside County Veterans Services can be found here:
Of course, Veterans and their families can always contact our office and we will do our best to serve you. It’s the least we can do.
Later this month many of us will gather with family and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving.
As Americans we truly have much to be thankful for and I hope you enjoy the day and sharing the bounty of our great country.
I also know there are also thousands of people across Riverside County who, for whatever reason, are among the less fortunate.
If you find yourself in need -- not only during the holidays, but any time -- there are numerous Senior Centers and Food Banks that offer assistance in Riverside County.
Food In Need of Distribution (FIND) in Indio helps feed over 90,000 people a month. CEO Lisa Houston, who has been a leader in delivering food to people in Riverside County, was the 28th Senate District Woman of the Year.
On my website there are several links to organizations that are here to help. Click on /content/senior-services-food-banks-and-more to learn more.
On behalf of my family and my staff in Sacramento, Indo and Murrieta, I wish you the best this holiday season.
It is truly a joy for me to be your State Senator and to be able to represent the people of the 28th Senate District in Sacramento.
Senator was one of just seven of the 40 California State Senators to receive an “A” on the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association’s 2015 Legislative Report Card.
The annual report grades lawmakers on their votes on issues important to taxpayers. It is intended as a non-partisan tool to help taxpayers hold legislators accountable.
“When the people of the 28th District elected me to represent them in the Senate last year, I promised the hard-working taxpayers of Riverside County I would stand up for them in Sacramento,” Senator Stone said. “I appreciate the high mark from the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and will continue to work to control expenses and eliminate waste in State government.”
Votes on 16 bills were used to score legislators, according to the HJTA. These bills reflected a range of policy issues including new tax and regulatory burdens, and attacks on the initiative process that would make it more difficult for taxpayers to have their voices heard.
More than half (73) of the 120 members of the legislature received a grade of “F” from the taxpayers group. Overall, 36 members received a grade of “A” or “A-”.
The report card is designed to help Californians measure how their state representatives are actually voting on, not just talking about, taxpayer-related issues including tax increases and direct attacks on Proposition 13.
“With over a quarter of the members of the Legislature being new to Sacramento politics, the HJTA Report Card provides an early indication as to who will be faithful to the interests of taxpayers,” said HJTA President Jon Coupal.
To see all the grades and read the press release from HJTA click here:
Senator Stone was honored to be part of the Veterans Day Parade in Murrieta
“In the earliest days, even before our country was born, they came from farms and small towns, all of them volunteers in the service of the greater good.
When the alarm was sounded at Lexington and Concord, many dropped their shovels to rush to the battle -- and a nation was forged.
From Valley Forge to Bull Run, from the Argonne Forest to Iwo Jima, Americans have always answered the call.
At Pork Chop Hill, during the Tet Offensive, following 9/11 and across the globe today, the men and women who have worn -- and still wear -- this country’s uniform have carried on the proud tradition of defending our nation against all enemies, foreign and domestic.
Just as it’s always been, these are ordinary Americans doing extraordinary things.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. Of the more than 16 million men and women who won that war, and saved the world, less than one million remain.
As we slowly bid farewell to that Greatest Generation, we would do well to honor the great generations that have followed, who continue to meet the high standards and traditions of the men and women who came before them.
Today there are about 19 million living Veterans in the United States.
California is home to almost 2 million Veterans, more than any other state.
Nearly one-quarter million of those Veterans live in Riverside and San Bernardino counties.
Today, far less than one percent of our population is defending us in the Global War on Terrorism. They are all volunteers who signed up and serve knowing they may someday be called on to pay the ultimate price for freedom.
Yet there are some who seem intent on trying to balance the federal budget by diminishing programs and medical care designed -- as President Lincoln said 150 years ago -- “To care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan.”
We must do everything that we can to make sure our Veterans get the care, training and jobs they both need and deserve.
Let us continue to honor our Veterans, not just on this day, but every day.
And let us never forget the debt we owe to each and every one of them.”
With an El Niño predicted for the coming months, Senator Stone, along with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is urging Californians to purchase flood insurance now, even if they live in areas that have not flooded previously.
Four years of drought have left California with dry, hard-packed soil that is unable to absorb large amounts of rain. The runoff from heavy rains can and will cause extensive damage.
“We have already seen the kind of devastation an El Niño can cause when heavy rain led to cars being covered with mud and closing Interstate 5 recently,” said Senator Stone. “This summer one heavy shower destroyed a bridge on Interstate 10 in Desert Center.”
Riverside County also has information to help residents prepare for winter storms.
“Now is the time to prepare your home or business for heavy winter rains,” Senator Stone said. “And, if you don’t already own it, the time to buy flood insurance is now.”
Here are a few “Flood Facts” from FEMA:
- Just a few inches of water from a flood can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage.
- A car can easily be carried away by just two feet of rushing water.
- New land development can increase flood risk, especially if the construction changes natural runoff patterns.
- Most standard homeowners insurance does not cover flooding.
- In most cases it takes 30 days after purchase for a policy to take effect, so it’s important to buy insurance before the storm approaches and floodwaters start to rise.
The deadline for entering Senator Stone’s “There Ought to be a Law” competition is approaching fast.
The Senator thanks the dozens of students who have submitted their ideas on proposed legislation. He will be selecting up to four proposals and working with his staff, the Legislature and the Governor to turn those ideas into law in 2016.
Remember the contest is open to all high school students in the 28th Senate District. Visit Senator Stone’s website --- www.Senate.Ca.Gov - to learn more and find the on-line application to submit your legislative proposal.
The deadline is Nov. 30, 2015.
Senator Stone will visit the campuses of the chosen entries in the Spring of 2016 to meet the winners.
With the holiday season approaching unscrupulous Scam Artists will be out in full force looking to take advantage of hard working families and senior citizens.
This year Senator Stone and the Contractors State License Board held three well-attended Senior Scam Stopper Seminars across the county.
At each, experts from the District Attorney’s office, the U.S. Postal Service and others offered advice, primarily aimed at Senior Citizens, to help keep people safe.
There are plans to hold even more of these valuable seminars next year.
But seniors are not the only ones who fall victims to scams, especially this time of year.
CBS News recently offered this information about holiday season scams. Read it here:
AARP also has a story about how to avoid being ripped off this holiday season: Read it here:
Senator Stone recently added a “Scam Alert” tab to his Website. Information from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department is available there to let residents know about current scams found in the county.
Visit the website at www.Senate.Ca.Gov/Stone
You’ve heard this before, but it is true: “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” Have a safe and happy Holiday Season.
During October and November Senator Stone spent a good deal of time travelling across Riverside County meeting with people, listening to their ideas and letting them know about the past year in Sacramento and his plans for 2016.
Here are just a few of the stops the Senator has made recently.
To learn more, follow him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SenatorStone and on Twitter @SenJeffStone.
About 15,000 people lined the streets of Murrieta for the 13rth annual Veterans Day Parade. Senator Stone was honored to be part of this salute for our Veterans.
The mountain community of Idyllwild is a great place to visit any time of year. Senator Stone was the guest speaker at the weekly Rotary Club meeting.
Senator Stone attended the Patriots Ball which capped a week of events at the Murrieta Field of Honor. The Senator presented certificates to local heroes chosen by the Murrieta Rotary Club. Honored were Warfighter Made, a local company that serves injured veterans, Ginger Greaves, executive director of the Santa Rosa Plateau Education Foundation, John Hunneman, long-time community volunteer and newspaper columnist and Wallace Fanene, a Temecula High grad who was seriously wounded by an IED blast in Iraq. (Photo Courtesy Murrieta Field of Honor)
Senator Stone was honored to be with HomeStrong USA as they did repairs and landscaping on the home of an American Hero. U.S. Army Sgt. Mark Romo of Riverside is a Purple Heart recipient who served 24 years. We can never do enough for our veterans. Senator Stone presented Sgt. Romo with an American flag that had been flown over the State Capitol.
Senator Stone toured the Atria Vintage Hills Senior Living Facility in Temecula and was honored to meet with a number of Veterans including several who served in World War II.
Senator Stone met with Riverside County District Attorney Michael Hestrin to discuss legislation. Both of them are working to keep Riverside County safe.
Senator Stone and Riverside County Supervisor Marion Ashley had a great day helping to cut the ribbon on the decade long project to widen a portion of the 215 freeway from 2 lanes to 3 lanes in each direction. Special thanks to the citizens of Riverside County for supporting Measure A to fund these important improvements giving our valued constituents more quality time with their families rather than wasting their time sitting in gridlock.
Senator Stone addressed the Desert Valleys Builders Association during their general membership dinner in Rancho Mirage. The Senator spoke about the past year in Sacramento and what he as planned for 2016.
Senator Stone and his wife Regina attended the annual SO-Cal Top Chef Open held at the Pechanga Resort & Casino. The event benefited the Oak Grove Center for Education Treatment and the Arts. Restaurants from across the region participated in the competition that was judged by several celebrity chefs and John Hunneman, Senator Stone’s Communications Director.
Senator Stone was honored to be a speaker at the Opening Ceremony for the 7th annual Field of Honor at Town Square Park in Murrieta. More than 2,000 American Flags were flown at the park in honor of our Veterans and First Responders. Thanks to the Murrieta Rotary Club for the great annual event.
Senator Stone met with about two dozen representatives from Temecula area Homeowners Associations to discuss important issues. It is always great to hear from the community.
Senator Stone met with Viejas tribal Chairman Robert Welch at the grand opening of the new Viejas second hotel tower and ballroom. The tribe employee’s approximately 1500 locals and gives back in so many ways to the local nonprofits.
Senator Stone and Assemblyman Eric Linders recently toured the local manufacturing operations of Dart Container Corp. in Corona. Dart provides innovative solutions for recycling foam products and creates jobs.
As they do each month, members of the Senator’s Staff - Team Stone - are on the move across Riverside County representing the Senator at many events. Here are just a few of the places they visited in the past month.
Student of the Month is such a great event. Team Stone is always happy to attend and learn so many great things about our local scholars. Southwest District Director Maryann Edwards and District Representative Debbie Herrera presented certificates to each Temecula Valley Student of the Month.
Senator Stone and his team attended many wonderful events marking Veteran’s Day. Field Representative Megan Locke attended the ceremony at The Diamond in her hometown of Lake Elsinore. She also attended the ceremony at the American Legion Post along with Lake Elsinore Mayor Steve Manos.
Team Stone was honored to be part of the Murrieta Veterans Day Parade. The Senator’s Communications Director, John Hunneman, served as the emcee for the parade for the 13th year. America remains the home of the free, because of the brave.
Congratulations to Team Stone member Gloria Sanchez who was named Women of Distinction for 2015 from Menifee by State Senator Mike Morrell. Gloria is a tireless advocate for senior citizens and a key member of Senator Stone’s team.
Senator Stone’s District Director Glenn Miller took part in the La Quinta Chamber of Commerce’s ribbon cutting ceremony for Vintage Flavor, a collectibles shop in Old Town La Quinta.
Team Stone joined with the Temecula Valley Chamber of Commerce for the ribbon cutting ceremony at the grand opening of Bamboo House Asian Bistro in Temecula. District Rep. Debbie Herrera presented the business with a certificate from Senator Stone (Photo courtesy TVCC)
Team Stone took part in a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Laurel Cemetery in Murrieta for the dedication of the beautiful new Niche/Columbaria section. The cemetery’s board of directors deserves great credit for making the nearly 150 year old cemetery a beautiful and peaceful place for the community.
Team Stone attended the Temecula Valley Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting ceremony for the Temecula Education Foundation at the Joan F. Sparkman Alternative Education Center. Communications Director John Hunneman presented a certificate from Senator Stone to the foundation and met with Joan Sparkman.