Looking Back

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Here are a few of the people and events reported in the month of September over the past 40 years in Canyon Lake.

40 Years Ago

In September 1975, it was reported a water pump breakdown caused the Golf Course to limit water usage until the unit could be either replaced or repaired. New carpeting was installed in the Lodge’s Lakeside Room to the approval of members.

As of that September, there were 299 homes completed in Canyon Lake with an additional 54 under construction. There were 86 mobile homes with an additional two under construction and 72 condominiums, with 36 under construction. That meant a total of 549 residences either occupied or planned in a total of 4,805 lots.

Forty years ago, there were 4,256 vacant lots available. California Property Exchange offered a view lot for $5,000 and a home on Ketch Dr. for under $38,000.

The Canyon Lake Community Church conducted a summer Youth Day Camp at Indian Beach with 27 children participating.

The POA was considering the adoption of a countywide leash law to help control the problem of dogs running loose in the community.

Installation of post office boxes was under way in various locations served by the Sun City Post Office. Several sites at the Campground were being leveled to add additional space, and an ice machine was installed there.

The Canyon Lake Band practiced Monday nights, and the Lions, CLAMS, Roadrunners, Belly Dancing group, Tennis Club and Choraleers were actively carrying out busy schedules.

Eighteen-year-old Loree Hall was officially signed on as a member of the Marine Patrol after completing the U.S. Power Squadron course and Senior Life Saving class.

35 Years Ago

In 1980, a Golf Course lot on Continental close to the center of the third fairway could be purchased at $29,500 and an East Bay waterfront lot on Hidden Cove was offered at $59,600.

Steve Critchfield was introduced as the new publisher of the Canyon Lake Lighthouse Magazine with his wife, Ursula, as editor.

The September 1980 Lighthouse Magazine reported on a fundraiser for Station 60, at which several celebrities provided the entertainment.

The September 1980 Lighthouse Magazine reported on a fundraiser for Station 60, at which several celebrities provided the entertainment.

The September 1980 Lighthouse Magazine reported on the dedication of Fire Station 60. Among the day’s events was a $50 per plate dinner at the Lodge Pool, with an attendance of 226. Several celebrities provided the entertainment, including Broadway actress Mary Martin and actor Burgess Meredith. Meredith served as emcee of the event. The fire chief at that time was Fred Snow.

Jerry Zahrte was president of the POA Board of Directors, and a motion was passed to allow 12- to 16-year-olds to operate 10 hp or less power boats in the East Bay, through the tube, and as far as the Village Store (now Holiday Harbor). There was some concern with this ruling in that all persons operating a powerboat on Canyon Lake must also possess a valid California Driver License.

Broadway actress Mary Martin and actor Burgess Meredith at the fundraiser for Station 60

Broadway actress Mary Martin and actor Burgess Meredith at the fundraiser for Station 60

A motion was also passed allowing 12-to 16-year-old children to drive golf carts on the streets of Canyon Lake with certain prerequisites, including passing a written test, demonstrating driving skills and possessing a liability insurance policy co-insuring the POA.

Bill Haas served as president of the Home Owners Club with a discussion of the community’s security planned for the September meeting at the Lodge.

The Lions Club boasted 50 members and an impressive listing of community projects. A fire involving Lion Bruce Lord’s boat at the marina abruptly broke up the club’s monthly meeting.

Pam Jandt was president of the Jr. Women’s Club, and their first project was the sponsorship of a Little Miss Canyon Lake Contest, while the Woman’s Club hosted a Men and Ladies Fashion Show at their monthly get-together.

At that time, a furnished waterfront home was advertised for rent at a weekly fee of $225 or $475 a month.

Valerie Sill was providing children’s Hawaiian dance lessons to Canyon Lakers.

30 Years Ago

In September 1985, Ardis Underwood and Virginia Householder, co-chairs of the Public Library Coordinating Committee, invited the community to join them at the open house for the new facility.

The long planned-for traffic signal at the Main Gate was scheduled for later in the year, according to a Riverside County traffic engineer, with completion projected for mid-1986. There was still some concern about placing a left turn lane into Skylink Dr. from Railroad Canyon Rd., but this was also under consideration.

The POA was planning to host a two-day conference of the Southern California chapter of the Community Associations Institute (CAI).

The future of Elsinore schools was reviewed at a meeting hosted by the district’s Parent/Teacher/Student Association (PTSA) featuring Superintendent Norm Chaffin.

A major question facing local property owners was the issue of incorporation of Canyon Lake into a gated private city. POA General Manager Bill Stewart asked members to let him know their thoughts on this by responding to a survey printed in The Community News. A study projected to cost $7,500 was under discussion by the POA Board.

The Jr. Women’s Club donated six barbecues and six picnic tables to various parks in the community with funds raised by past Chili Cook-offs, Casino Nights and Art Auctions, according to President Barbara King.

Don Wicen was the Lions Club speaker as he told anecdotes from the eccentric life of Howard Hughes and his “Spruce Goose” flight. The CLAMS planned a trip to Las Vegas, and the Travel Club was to visit Anaheim for an evening at the Grand Dinner Theatre.

Since the Southern California Golf Association raised its membership fees, the Canyon Lake Men’s Golf Club decided to adjust its fees, as well.

The YWCA, the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce and the Riverside Press-Enterprise honored Carolyn Knight as a County “Woman of Achievement” at a luncheon held in Riverside for spreading the word about the dangers of sulfite preservatives in the food supply. Carolyn had testified before Congress the year before and had been instrumental in changing laws to ban or limit the dangerous substance nationwide.

25 Years Ago

World class water ski champion Rhoni Barton was on the cover of the 1990 Residential Directory.

World class water ski champion Rhoni Barton was on the cover of the 1990 Residential Directory.

In 1990, the United States Post Office was considering assigning new post office box numbers in Canyon Lake. With incorporation of Canyon Lake a possibility, the Home Owners Club arranged for a forum on the local cable channel to hear pros and cons of the issue.

Local veterinarians reported that levels of lead had somehow been introduced into a restricted area of the lake, therefore affecting the food chain and causing the deaths of approximately 70 percent of the local population of common egrets and about 1,000 additional ducks.

The March Air Force Band of the Golden West provided another outstanding musical concert under the stars at Indian Beach under the coordination of Rob Caveney. Once again, the Carl’s Jr. restaurant chain provided a massive American Flag to adorn the stately eucalyptus trees at the park.

With 4,000 homes due in the Cottonwood development, 2,000 in Tuscany Hills, 3,000 in the Audie Murphy Ranch and another thousand in nearby planned communities, it was recommended that Canyon Lake should improve its security.

As of September 4, 1990, Canyon Lake was 79 percent built, with 117 homes under construction and 42 others approved. Of the 3,549 total residences, 2,506 were owner-occupied, 388 leased and 84 rented on a month-to-month basis. There were 522 weekenders and 56 spec homes. In addition, there were still 1,021 vacant lots.

The Tuesday Work Group took on a new assignment as they helped to install playground equipment provided by the Jr. Women’s Club at Sierra Park Beach.

The POA Board approved a new Canyon Lake Cycling Club, and plans were under way to have the Board consider a set of new rules for use of Association facilities by both POA groups and other individuals.

The active Woman’s Club was busily preparing for its well-attended annual Swap Meet at the Towne Center, and the Lions Club’s Pancake Breakfast was another successful event sponsored by this community service group.

20 Years Ago

Labor Day 1995 was celebrated at the Lodge with a pie-eating contest, a limbo demonstration and a balloon-tossing event.

Director of Operations Clint Warrell was busily renovating the current ACC Building so it could house the new Community Services Department. (The building is now the Senior Center.)

Elinor’s at the Lodge (later called the Lighthouse Restaurant) featured a series of special dining opportunities including a German Buffet for $6.95.

Back to school time brought warnings to motorists of the increased number of children on the local streets and the need to pay attention to frequent school bus stops.

The Equestrian Club hosted a popular Play Day that attracted a record crowd of horse lovers.

The Emergency Preparedness Committee planned a “Shake Rattle and Roll” drill for the community.

A temperature reaching 118 degrees was posted in Canyon Lake, according to local weatherman Mike Rucinski, a possible record during a hot spell.

Working in conjunction with the Towne Center Merchants Association, the City of Canyon Lake and the POA, it was revealed that a Youth Center would soon become a reality.

The Air Mobility Band of the Golden West stationed at Travis Air Force Base was to once again thrill local residents with a “Big Band Concert” at Indian Beach.

The annual over-seeding at the Golf Course caused local golfers to make other plans during a month’s hiatus.

As of September 1, Canyon Lake was 82 percent built, with 19 new homes under construction. There were 3,795 total residences and 958 vacant lots.

Elmer and Lelia Davis’s home on Gold Rush Dr. was declared the sweepstakes winner of the Home Owners Club’s annual “Colorful Canyon Lake Contest.”

Andrew Mails, a student at Terra Cotta Middle School, was among those honored at the National History Day competition in Maryland.

The Lions Club had a busy month with a Pancake Breakfast and the annual White Cane Days events.

City Manager Jeff Butzlaff announced the start of construction of a sound wall on the north side of Railroad Canyon Rd.

“Guys and Dolls,” a production of the Canyon Lake Theatre and Performing Arts Association featuring young thespians, opened to appreciative crowds at Indian Beach. A dinner theatre showcasing performers from Hollywood’s Magic Castle was scheduled at the Lodge.

Margaret McCoy and Judy Regus started off the drive for a new defibrillator for Fire Company 60 with a donation of $500 towards the goal of $4,000. The Railroad Canyon Dam Modification Project of the EVMWD was progressing on schedule.

15 Years Ago

The initial September of the new millennium found Canyon Lake’s local middle school students about to attend the temporary Elsinore Middle School site at the corner of Railroad Canyon and Cottonwood Hills Roads, with the need to have both youngsters and drivers exercise caution due to traffic conditions.

In September 2000, the POA was informed that it had been named “Association of the Year” by the Community Association Institute (CAI) and, further, was inducted into the national CAI Hall of Fame in a nationwide competition held in Virginia.

In September 2000, the POA was informed that it had been named “Association of the Year” by the Community Association Institute (CAI) and, further, was inducted into the national CAI Hall of Fame in a nationwide competition held in Virginia.

The annual Kids Fishing Derby attracted a number of young anglers, and wakeboard pro Ricky Gonzales continued to set new standards for his sport. Temescal Canyon football coach Bob Burt was honored as the NFL “High School Coach of the Week.”

The Garden Club sponsored the dedication of a colorful Rose Garden at the Lodge.

The 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing Band of Miramar Air Station in San Diego County brought music and patriotism to Indian Beach in the annual Home Owners Club concert.

The Continental Lift Station Committee continued to review options for the needed facility to be constructed by the Elsinore Municipal Water District.

The official opening of the new Senior Center near the Main Gate took place in September 2000, and the Tuesday Work Group was seeking volunteers for the 2000-2001 season at the Golf Course.

The POA was informed that it had been named “Association of the Year” by the Community Association Institute (CAI) and, further, was inducted into the national CAI Hall of Fame in a nationwide competition held in Virginia.

Erosion problems on the Main Causeway were corrected by the addition of tons of rocks and fill dirt provided by local contractors.

At a sobriety checkpoint on Railroad Canyon Rd., 20 drivers were found to be in violation of one or more vehicle codes and, in addition 16 cars were towed away.

“Annie Get Your Gun” was the fall play by local thespians, and was the source of great enjoyment for the crowds gathered at Indian Beach.

Connie Rynning was named the supervisor for the Canyon Lake Public Library and revealed a number of plans for new hours, programs and activities. The grand opening for the new Canyon Lake Lodge was scheduled for November 18.

Local educator Barbara Egbert was honored by the Young Americans for her work with youth in the Visual and Performing Arts.

10 years ago

In September 2005, remnants of Hurricane Max caused an all-night thunderstorm in Canyon Lake, with 5,000 lightning strikes between midnight and 6 a.m. reported across Southwest County.

In September 2005, remnants of Hurricane Max caused an all-night thunderstorm in Canyon Lake, with 5,000 lightning strikes between midnight and 6 a.m. reported across Southwest County.

In September 2005, the Property Owners Association Board of Directors sent a letter to the City of Canyon Lake requesting that the CLPD step up its enforcement of the laws prohibiting drinking while driving on the community’s private streets.

Canyon Lake residents and their friends and family members reached out to the victims of Hurricane Katrina with open arms and wallets. And while most vacation pictures capture the carefree days spent in leisure, Ryan and Laura Clark’s photos from their trip to, and subsequent evacuation from, New Orleans painted a far different picture, as they were among the thousands of tourists and residents forced to flee the city in droves.

Canyon Lake’s Royal Court was a proud entry in the 2nd annual United We Stand parade held on Saturday, September 10, in Murrieta.

Codie and Kylie Medlin Labeda won gold medals in their respective age groups in the “State Wars” roller hockey tournament in Illinois.

World traveler Norma Horrocks was planning to take her West Africa trip, “From Here to Timbuktu.” It was one of several trips she has taken to the continent of Africa.

Eight women from the Canyon Lake Curves joined several women from the Menifee Curves to attend a taping of the Dr. Phil Show.

Ten years ago remnants of Hurricane Max caused an all night thunderstorm in Canyon Lake, bringing 5,000 lightning strikes between midnight and 6 a.m. One of them hit a 40-ft. tall palm tree on Appaloosa Ct. which “burned like a torch,” according to Bob Miller, who lived on the street.

The newly opened Lighthouse Bar and Grill hoped to lure football fans with a grill menu and five high definition televisions tuned to every NFL game on the full Direct TV® NFL Sunday Ticket and sports package.

The newly opened Lighthouse Bar and Grill hoped to lure football fans with a grill menu and five high definition televisions tuned to every NFL game on the full Direct TV® NFL Sunday Ticket and sports package.

Canyon Lakers were invited to participate in the inaugural “Wine and Cheese Tile Painting Party” to be held in October at Southpaw Ceramics. The tiles were to be placed on the permanent tile wall at the Tennis Courts.

Dwayne Fuhrman of Bartoli Fuhrman Investments announced grading was complete and the initial structural work for phase 1 had begun on the enclosed storage units at Summerwood Landing, a large boat and RV storage facility off Loch Lomond Dr.

In September 2005, The Friday Flyer’s Reel People Ron and Leigh Martel reviewed “Brothers Grimm,” “Transporter 2,” “Constant Gardener,” “The Man,” “Lord of War” and “Flight Plan.”

5 Years Ago

In September 2010, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors opened bids on the Goetz Rd. Bridge Project. The low bidder was SEMA Construction at $6.49 million, which was a little lower than the $6.91 estimated.

Southern California Edison announced it had allocated $1.4 million to strengthen the electrical system on Big Range Rd.

A 49-year-old male sustained a fatal head injury in a rollover golf cart accident on the Main Causeway. Riverside Sheriffs reported that officers from the Canyon Lake Police Department were dispatched to the scene and the Sheriff’s Station Traffic Reconstruction Team responded and assumed the investigation. The driver, identified by coroners as Keith Dale Hammonds, apparently lost control of the golf cart and was partially ejected when it rolled over.

The Lighthouse Bar and Grill opened for the 2010 National Football League season with regular hours on Sunday and Monday as well as special hours for Thursday night NFL games.

To make sure Canyon Lake would maintain its unique quality of life and protect the environment, the City hired its first code enforcement officer, Jean Voshall.

The EVMWD Board of Directors, presented a plaque to POA President Chuck Newsom and General Manager Dave Rudat for implementing the successful quagga inspection program.

A new helmet ordinance was passed by the Canyon Lake City Council. The new ordinance, which was specifically designed to protect children inside the private gated community, conformed to a state law requiring anyone younger than 18 to wear a helmet while operating non-motorized modes of transportation such as rollerblades, skateboards, scooters and bicycles.

In a year already marked by the departure of familiar names and faces at the Property Owners Association, two more longtime employees were about to take their leave. Chief Financial Officer and Controller Ron Phipps announced his resignation to the surprise of fellow managers and staff.

In addition, Golf Pro Dave Lindeman withdrew his name as a candidate for the new Golf Pro contract before the Board was scheduled to vote on that contract at their monthly meeting. With Dave’s departure went two other familiar faces at the Pro Shop – Sean McCloskey and Jerry Hefferon. All four men and their families were residents of Canyon Lake.

In September 2010, the new Miss Canyon Lake was Jordan Lockey, at right. She’s pictured with Jr. Teen Miss Jocelyn Basham.

In September 2010, the new Miss Canyon Lake was Jordan Lockey, at right. She’s pictured with Jr. Teen Miss Jocelyn Basham.

The Board of Directors directed the General Manager to enter into negotiations to award a contract to Patrick Kemball for golf professional services at the Canyon Lake Country Club.

Seats were filled in the City Multi-purpose Room for the September 22 presentation of the first revision in the Golf Course Master Plan. Attendees were given background on the purpose and importance of a master plan, as well as an explanation of the need for turf reduction throughout the course.

It was announced that Canyon Lake native Krista Rogers, 23, had won the 2010 USA Water Ski National Jump and Overall Champion titles for her division at the 68th Goode Water Ski National Championships.

Evan Hieter began fundraising efforts for his Eagle Scout project to improve Santa Rosa Plateau hiking trails.

Women’s motocross pro rider Sara Price, 17, a Canyon Lake resident, finished the 2010 Lucas Oil Pro AMA Motocross Championship eight-race series in 6th place following the final race at Pala Raceway on September 11.

After a three-year hiatus, Canyon Lakers welcomed a new Royal Court, including the new Miss Canyon Lake Jordan Lockey, a junior at the University of California Santa Barbara and former teen reporter for The Friday Flyer. In addition to Jordan, the 2010 Court included Wee Miss Baylee Snyder, Little Miss Sydney Manning, Young Miss Kaitlyn Basham, Pre-teen Miss Karina Bowen, Junior Teen Miss Jocelyn Basham, Teen Miss Shea Johnston and Mrs. Canyon Lake Chevonna Gaylor.

Residents enjoyed a Hollywood Bowl-style concert at Indian Beach, sponsored by the Canyon Lake Community Theatre. The Composer Under the Stars concert featured the music of composer Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber as performed by local vocalists.

In September 2010, Reel People Ron and Leigh Martel reviewed “The Takers,” “The American,” “Resident Evil: Afterlife” and “The Town.”

1 Year Ago

In September 2014, Canyon Lakers experienced a relatively brief period of intense weather on a Tuesday afternoon as a thunderstorm rolled through the area during an otherwise clear and hot day. Sudden gusts felled several trees in the community and on the Golf Course. The quick downpour created a rush of water that carried trash cans down streets and debris into the lake.

Golfers and residents who lived on the Golf Course began seeing some small red flags positioned along the perimeters of playable areas. These were the areas marked for turf removal, according to Joe Washle, a member of the Green Committee. As reported by the Association, 17.8 acres of grassy perimeter acreage was scheduled to be replaced by drought-tolerant landscape, thanks to the Metropolitan Water District’s SoCalWater Smart Rebate Program.

City Council candidates Dawn Haggerty, Randy Bonner, John Zaitz and Vicki Warren continued to answer questions posed by The Friday Flyer with regard to a measure on the November ballot, Measure DD Utility User Tax (UUT). Town Hall meetings were held to explain the measure to citizens.

The lake received its third alum treatment, funded by the Lake Elsinore and Canyon Lake Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Task Force, which consists of cities, the County of Riverside, agriculture and dairy coalitions and other organizations of the San Jacinto River Watershed. City leaders credited Councilwoman Nancy Horton for her untiring efforts in representing Canyon Lake’s water quality needs to local and California water authorities.

In September 2014, Canyon Lake photographer Mike Clary posed in front of two of the murals created with his photographs at the newly opened Applebee’s in Menifee.

In September 2014, Canyon Lake photographer Mike Clary posed in front of two of the murals created with his photographs at the newly opened Applebee’s in Menifee.

Canyon Lakers had a small claim to fame when a new Applebee’s Restaurant opened on Newport Rd. in Menifee. Several of the murals that adorn the walls were created from photographs taken by Canyon Lake photographer Mike Clary.

It was announced that the winners of the “Canyon Lake’s Got Talent” competition were Carey Pickford, 1st place; Kylie Coppola, 2nd place; and Leon Palaganas, 3rd place.

‘Fabulous Fifties’ was the theme of the Miss Canyon Lake Scholarship Pageant. Winners were Miss Canyon Lake Sierra Macias, Ms. Canyon Lake Jennifer Ward, Mrs. Canyon Lake Donna Ritchie, Miss Teen Karina Bowen, Miss Pre-Teen Stacia Slezak, Junior Miss Sawyer Lanouette, Young Miss Siara Staggs and Little Miss Clarice Walsh. Overall Talent winner was Karina Bowen. Other talent winners were Sammy Chondros, Jillian Coolbaugh, Stacia Slezak and Crystal Hauser.

The Canyon Lake Lions Club held its annual Pancake Breakfast at Holiday Harbor.

Street Carts of Canyon Lake held a Drive-in Movie Night at Sierra Park. According to organizer Mike Shroyer, there were about 22 golf carts and 20 cars with families. Proceeds of the event were given to the Siroky family, whose son, Sam, died in a bicycling accident the previous July.

“Canyon Lake’s Got Talent” winners were, from left, Carey Pickford, 1st place; Kylie Coppola, 2nd place; and Leon Palaganas, 3rd place.

“Canyon Lake’s Got Talent” winners were, from left, Carey Pickford, 1st place; Kylie Coppola, 2nd place; and Leon Palaganas, 3rd place.

The Canyon Lake Bible Club and Elevation Church sponsored a youth concert at Indian Beach featuring the San Diego-based music group, “Go Project.”

Canyon Lake Community Theatre’s performances of “9 to 5” were well received.

Known as an X-Games medalist and women’s motocross champion, Sara Price crossed over to four-wheels, racing her IMG Motorsports-sponsored Polaris in the Stadium Super Trucks Event at the Sand Sports Super Show.

A 30-Minute Beach Cleanup was held to help create a clean and safe place for residents and wildlife at Canyon Lake beaches. The goal of the monthly 30-Minute Beach Cleanup events was to help rid parks and beaches of glass, cigarette butts, trash and debris.

In September 2014, Reel People Ron and Leigh Martel celebrated their 10-year anniversary of writing movie reviews for The Friday Flyer. That month they reviewed “November Man,” “The Drop” and “The Maze Runner.”

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Sharon Rice