Welcome to the October 2015 edition of the Stone Sentinel, my monthly newsletter to keep you up to date on what’s going on in Sacramento and here in the 28th District.
After spending the first nine months of the year in Sacramento, it’s nice to be home.
The days are (finally) starting to cool down and the star-filled autumn nights have arrived here in Riverside County.
Now is one of the best times of the year to visit. And, if you already live here, it’s a good time to go exploring.
From the wineries of the Temecula Valley, the resorts of Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley and all the way to the Colorado River, Riverside County has something for everyone.
Our region has world class golf courses and shopping, quaint downtowns, award winning wineries and restaurants and exciting night life.
Get outdoors and take a hike, spend the day at a pumpkin patch with the kids or relax at a mineral spa without them.
In Southwest Riverside County “Autumnfest”—a celebration of the harvest and the beginning of the holiday season—is underway.
Visit https://www.visittemeculavalley.com/autumnfest/ to learn more.
(Photo courtesy of Visit Temecula Valley)
From great golf to top entertainment, there is always something going on in the Coachella Valley.
Your guide to what’s happening is right here: https://www.visitgreaterpalmsprings.com/
(Photo courtesy of Greater Palm Springs CVB)
One of the best ways to find out what’s going on is to contact the local Chamber of Commerce.
For a listing of the Chambers in the 28th District click here: /node/6448
I invite you to explore Riverside County. Come see what makes us special.
Please contact my staff if you have state-related issues. We are here to help.
Visit my website at senate.ca.gov/Stone .
As always, thank you for the opportunity to serve you in the California State Senate.
Although the Senate is not currently in session, Senator Stone continues to speak out about issues that matter to working class families, small business owners and hard-working Californians.
In this editorial, published in the Riverside Press Enterprise, the Senator says the open market should lead the drive toward renewable energy, not costly state mandates that drive up utility bills for families and drive businesses from California.
In another editorial, Senator Stone called on Governor Brown to sign AB-159, the “Right to Try” legislation he co-authored.
This bill would allow terminally ill patients the opportunity to try safety tested—but not yet approved by the FDA—drugs in order to save their lives.
Despite unanimous passage of AB-159 by both the Assembly and the Senate, Governor Brown recently vetoed the bill .
Entries for Senator Stone’s “There Ought to be a Law” competition, which began in September, have been coming in from across the region.
High school students from Senator Stone’s Senate District are being encouraged to propose legislation that may become law in California.
“There Ought to be a law” is open to all high school students—grades 9-12—in the 28th Senate District. The contest encourages students to submit ideas for improving the quality of life in Riverside County and the State of California.
The deadline for students to submit their proposed legislation is November 30, 2015.
“By asking our high school students to propose new laws, I am hoping to tap into their bright, inquisitive minds and also to inspire them to get involved in politics and public service,” Senator Stone said. “I am looking for proposed legislation that addresses issues on both the local and statewide level.”
Find the entry form on the Senator’s website: senate.ca.gov/Stone .
“I will choose at least one of the entries and begin the process of creating legislation to be considered by the California Senate and Assembly and, hopefully, signed by the Governor,” Senator Stone said.
During the spring of 2016 Senator Stone will visit the school of the author of the winning entry or entries to further discuss the details of the legislation.
High school principals, teachers and staff can contact John Hunneman, Senator Stone’s Communications Director, for additional information. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 951-894-3530 .
Senator Stone was a panelist at the recent two-day Southern California Energy + Water Summit held in Palm Springs.
The summit brought together public and private leaders “to foster clean energy opportunities, identify long-range water solutions, and build a sustainable region.”
Senator Stone spoke forcefully on the need to build more water storage capacity across the state. He also spoke out against criticism of water use in the Coachella Valley saying the area has been leader in water conservation while still being able to maintain the golf courses and resorts that bring billions of tourism dollars to the region each year.
The Senator, who has worked hard to garner support to save the Salton Sea, applauded the recent appointment of Bruce Wilcox as the California Natural Resources Agency’s assistant secretary for Salton Sea policy.
Wilcox has been overseeing the Imperial Irrigation District’s Salton Sea projects.
“I think it was a good choice,” the Senator said. “My only criticism would be that the Governor appointed him, but didn’t give him any money to do anything.”
As the fourth year of California’s record drought continues, Senator Stone will continue to push for common sense ideas to being more water to California, to build storage for the rain that does fall and for private-sector driven innovation, such as like desalination, to supply the water needs for all Californians .
In September Senator Stone invited Mayors and key staff people from the five cities he represents in Southwest Riverside County for meetings in his Murrieta office.
With 12 years on the Temecula City Council and 10 years as a Riverside County Supervisor, Senator Stone is one of the leading supporters in the California legislature of local government.
The Senator will also be meeting with Mayors from the Coachella Valley at his District Office in Indio.
Canyon Lake Mayor Jordan Ehrenkranz
Lake Elsinore Mayor Steve Manos along with City Manager Grant Yates and Management Analyst Nicole Dailey.
Temecula Mayor Jeff Comerchero
Wildomar Mayor Ben Benoit
Since the end of the Senate session in mid-September, Senator Stone has been traveling across the 28th District speaking to civic groups and meeting with residents to listen to their ideas and concerns.
Here are just a few of the people and groups the Senator has had the pleasure to meet.
The Senator Stone was the guest speaker at the Indio Chamber of Commerce Legislative Breakfast. He updated the group on the recent legislative session and his efforts to make California business friendly.
The Senator spoke to young scholars at the Temecula Valley Student of the Month ceremony. The future is in great hands.
Senator Stone honored Rasim Hallum, the owner of K&R Car Wash and an entrepreneur in the Coachella Valley.
At the Community Tech Expo at Murrieta Mesa High School the Senator spoke with students and staff about the advanced technology now being studied in local high schools and middle schools.
Senator Stone joined with Eastern Municipal Water District and Temecula wine makers to dedicate infrastructure improvements that will help Wine Country continue to grow and prosper. As a County Supervisor, Senator Stone was a major supporter of Temecula’s Wine Country and worked hard to make these improvements possible.
Senator Stone helped welcome Devil Dogs Gourmet Hot Dogs to Temecula.
(Photo courtesy of the Temecula Valley Chamber of Commerce.)
The Senator met with officials with the Western Riverside Council of Governments to discuss issues of importance to the people of Riverside County.
The Senator was the guest speaker at the Southwest California Legislative Council, a coalition of area Chamber of Commerce members. The council advocates on behalf of local business interests to support legislation that will encourage business growth and oppose bills that put additional burdens of California businesses.
Senator Stone was pleased to honor Enda Rodriquez for all the hard work she does for the Indio Chamber of Commerce.
Senator Stone met with Christine Antoine of Cal State San Marcos, Jodi McClay of the Temecula Valley Unified School District and CSUSM sophomore Giselle Bazan to discuss The Alliance, a partnership between the University and area school districts.
Senator Stone visited with friends at the Idyllwild Fire Department Open House. Thank you to all the staff and valiant firefighters keeping this wonderful mountain community safe!
Senator Stone had a great meeting with the Desert Hot Springs Chamber, Councilman Scott Matas, DHS City Manager Martin Magaña and area businesses. He is proud to represent Desert Hot Springs, a City on the move! We will partner together to increase jobs and enhance the quality of life of the residents.
Senator Stone, along with Southwest District Director Maryann Edwards and District Representative Megan Locke, attended the Wildomar “State of the City” address by Mayor Ben Benoit. The future looks great for the wonderful city of Wildomar.
During a meeting at the Riverside Press-Enterprise, Senator Stone spoke with Joseph Perkins, the new editorial page editor, and reporters. The Senator discussed the past year in Sacramento and issues he is working on now and in the future.
Senator Stone and District Representative Debbie Herrera (right) met with keynote speaker Erin Grumwell, founder of the Freedom Writers Foundation, at the 7th Annual Joan Sparkman Unity Award 2015 at the Pechanga Resort and Casino. The award recognizes outstanding women who give service to the community.
It is always great to honor an Eagle Scout. Senator Stone presented a Certificate of Merit from the California State Senate to Mateo Lopez, who attends Murrieta Valley High School.
Senator Stone got to answer some great questions about the drought and water conservation from a fine group of Murrieta Cub Scouts.
Here’s a reminder to save-the-date—Tuesday, Nov. 10—for the next Senior Scam Stopper seminar sponsored by Senator Stone, County Supervisor Kevin Jeffries and the Contractors State License Board.
The seminar is free and open to the public.
The Senior Scam Stopper seminars earlier this year in Indio and Murrieta were very well attended. Seniors, family members and caregivers are advised to RSVP as seating is limited.
Call Megan Locke at 951-894-3530 to RSVP.
One in five seniors is the victim of fraud. Find out how to protect yourself and your loved ones .
There are 362,365 registered votes in California’s 28th Senate District.
Are you one of them?
You can find that out, and much more, at the Riverside County Registrar of Voters website:
You can also register to vote, re-register if you have moved, find out about upcoming elections, learn the location of your polling place and request a mail-in ballot.
In November there are municipal and school board elections taking place in about a dozen communities across the 28th District.
Election Day is Nov. 3 .
Each month members of Senator Stone’s staff—Team Stone—spread out across Riverside County meeting with the people of the 28th District, attending ribbon cuttings to welcome new businesses, speaking with civic groups and individuals and letting everyone know the Senator is working hard for them.
Staff members in both the Indio and Murrieta offices also take phone calls and handle requests from people in need of services, especially those who have problems or issues with state agencies.
Here are just a few of the places Team Stone visited this month.
It’s always great when a company chooses to make an investment by opening a store in our community. Team Stone, along with the City of Lake Elsinore, recently participated in the Lake Elsinore Valley Chamber of Commerce’s ribbon cutting ceremony to welcome Tractor Supply Company.
(Photo courtesy of the City of Lake Elsinore)
Team Stone was part of the National Night Out event held in Indio. National Night Out is a nationwide event designed to build strong community partnerships that promote safe neighborhoods. The City of Indio and Target teamed up to host the free community event at the Indio Teen Center. District Director Glenn Miller was on hand to thank the participants.
Team Stone helped honor young scholars at the monthly Murrieta Valley Student of the Month breakfast. District Representative Debbie Herrera presented certificates from Senator Stone to each of these fine students.
Team Stone members were on hand on for the re-opening ceremony of I-10 at the Tex Wash Bridge. That bridge collapsed on July 19th. This important Interstate, which connects all of Southern California to Arizona and the rest of the country, is back in full service.
Team Stone was hard at work at the Valley Business Expo at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio. Josie Arechiga, of the District Office in Indio, and her daughter Jackie worked at the Senator’s booth and meet with members of the community.
Team Stone was pleased to be part of the Murrieta Chamber of Commerce ribbon c utting ceremony for “Tiny Imprint” with owner Kristi Clinton. District Representative Debbie Herrera presented a certificate to the business to help welcome them to the Valley .