Looking back at May of past years in CL


65 Years Ago

In May 1940, Evans Fish Camp (run by Elinor Martin’s family) opened at its new location at what is now Holiday Harbor. It had been moved from its first location at what is now Indian Beach because of the receding water level. Opening day at Fish Camp usually was set for the last weekend in May.

40 Years Ago

Notices of the POA Annual Meeting in May 1975 were mailed by a group of volunteers including Chuck Bishop, Bill Gault, Billie Lopez, Nanda and Hal Skinner, Chester Wilson, Ann and Boyd Spray and Virginia and Bert Bysshe.

Esther Hanseth was offering an Egyptian belly dancing class, and a tree beautification project was under way under the sponsorship of the Home Owners Club.

A Golf Course lot was listed at $7,500 and a three-bedroom, two-bath waterfront on the Main Lake could be had for only $41,950.

Thirteen resumes had been submitted as candidates for the POA Board. The nominees were Gloria Becker, Jim Cross, Bill Denning, Bob Perrenoud, Dick Zisch, Conrad Francis, Glen Foster, Bob Irvine, Dick McDowell, Earl Trigon, Gene Scott, Ross Sciarrotta and Harold Stephens.

35 Years Ago

By May 1980, a “best buy” three-bedroom home on Happy Hunter was on the market for $77,900. Ben Price was the POA President that year, and noted that the annual operating budget for the private community was $2.3 million.

POA General Manager Jack McLean was planning the groundbreaking of Fire Engine Company 60’s new building. Supervisor Norton Younglove and Pastor Pete Van Dyke assisted with the festive program.

Home Owners Club leader Bill Haas was chosen to chair the annual “Meet the POA Candidates” session at the Lodge, and Jim Bagwell reported that Happy Camp hosted the first campout of the new Lions Cub Scout Pack.

Rain was a major problem the previous month in both Lake Elsinore and Canyon Lake. The Lioness Club celebrated its first anniversary with a potluck party. The Travel Club was planning a trip to Lake Powell, the Twirlers Square Dance Club donated $142 to the new Canyon Lake Library and the Woman’s Club had “Romance of Yesterdays” as the theme of its monthly meeting.

Lorie Moore was Miss Canyon Lake and attended numerous club and community functions. Cable TV was being installed in Canyon Lake for the first time, with March 30, 1981, as the target date for completion. Plans for the yearly Fiesta Day were in the works with Ray Poche and Pat Sullenger among those planning the event.

Tom Daly reported on Gabe Hrab’s efforts as golf pro, and Kay and Bob Neal were featured in the Canyon Lake Lighthouse Magazine as among those residents with colorful backgrounds. Fourteen-year-old Denise Shaw, daughter of Audrey and John Shaw, was spotlighted as an outstanding student at Elsinore High School. And, a waterfront lot, near the Lodge, was listed for sale at $68,500.

In May 1985, the cover of the Canyon Lake Community News announced the upcoming Fiesta Day activities.

In May 1985, the cover of the Canyon Lake Community News announced the upcoming Fiesta Day activities.

30 Years Ago

By May 1985, Canyon Lake was growing and the annual Fiesta Day was a huge success with the addition of an art show and many participants. POA General Manager Bill Stewart thanked Barbara Vuoso, Nicki Shearn and Frank Frye for their help getting a rare quorum to attend the Annual Meeting.

Golfers dedicated the new restrooms constructed on the 6th and 14th tees in a brief ceremony with Mel Prince, Darlene Meyer, Ike Runner and Rob Caveney. Ground was broken for the long-awaited improvements at the Main Gate, to be built with $50,000 from the Public Works budget.

The Equestrian Club sponsored a horse show with many contestants and awards in several classes. King Video, the community’s cable company, announced a new programming schedule to feature local personalities and events.

The Home Owners Club was preparing to once again host its “Colorful Canyon Lake” celebration featuring local homes and gardens. The Golf Clubhouse was designated by the POA as the project recommended by the Community Facilities Survey as the number one priority for construction; the budget approved was not to exceed $480,000.

The Board also approved authorizing the staff to include a ballot measure to change Canyon Lake’s Bylaws to increase the Board of Directors to seven members who would serve two-year staggered terms.

Jane Dague was elected president of the Lioness Club and would serve with a board including Dorothy Smarr, Shirley Neal, Marg Wicen, Jo Medford, Tammy Thompson and Susan Johnson. John Munson announced the Home Owners Club would feature Canyon Lake resident Lord Carlton, a former star of the early days of televised wrestling, as their speaker at the monthly meeting of the group.

In May 1990, this sign announced improvements to the community’s North Gate.

In May 1990, this sign announced improvements to the community’s North Gate.

25 Years Ago

The big news by May 1990 was that Riverside County’s Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) had approved Canyon Lake’s proposal to incorporate the private community rather than face annexation from neighboring cities. The issue was to appear on the November 6 ballot, according to incorporation advocates Jack Wamsley and Vick Knight.

“Proposition A” was to be voted upon that month, with the question of allowing those under 16 years of age to operate golf carts.

Those campaigning to become members of he POA’s Board of Directors included incumbents Warren Kelsey, Bill Schelb and Jack Wamsley and challengers Ed Fair, Kathleen Rogers and Lori Ziegler. POA General Manager Don Drake urged members to vote and send in their proxies so as to avoid a costly adjourned meeting.

EVMWD director Chuck Bryant invited residents to attend a special informational workshop he was to host at the Lodge to explain the district’s long range financial plan.

Under a plan approved by the Bankruptcy Court, the special assessment for road improvement would involve ten and a half additional miles of local streets, according to Gene Bourbonnais, the project’s manager.

Cora Sue Barrett and Don Wicen were to serve as grand marshals of the annual Fiesta Day parade, and Judi Collins opened the new contract Post Office in the Towne Center.

As of May 10, there were 3,502 homes in Canyon Lake, of which 2,441 were owner-occupied, 379 leased and 97 rented on a month-to-month basis. At that time, there were 510 weekenders and 1,040 vacant lots. One hundred forty-three homes were under construction, and the community was 77 percent built.

Jr. Women’s Club President Charleen Proctor announced that proceeds of the annual Chili Cook-off might be in excess of $20,000, and the Lions Club won the first place trophy for the best entry.

Improvements at the North Gate were under way, and the POA had plans to offer gas at the campground by mid-summer. The POA filed liens against 54 property owners who were delinquent in paying their assessments.

The Cars Club celebrated a “Rag Pickers Potluck” and B.J. and John Simpson were honored for their costumes. The Tennis Club held its annual Cinco de Mayo tournament with Missy Kelloge and Marian Headman winners of the B Division, and 72-year-old Jay Jensen also winning his.

20 Years Ago

In May 1995, LEUSD’s Dave Long hosted a Youth Summit with local teenagers to help plan for activities for Canyon Lake’s younger residents with great participation.

Tickets were on sale for a production of “Bye, Bye Birdie” at Indian Beach. Brian Hoffman and Neal Post were named first-place winners in a recent school district Science Fair.

The Superior Court ruled in favor of the Canyon Lake POA in allowing the Association to continue its ban on motorcycles in the gated community. Tim Chizo, Pete Mortensen, John Zaitz, Lori Ziegler and Walt Zollinger were candidates running for three positions as Directors of the POA.

Canyon Lake was 82 percent built with 3,787 residences. Of these, 2,720 were owner-occupied, 491 leased and 31 rented on a month-to-month basis. In addition, there were 442 weekenders and 19 homes under construction. Canyon Lake still had 968 vacant lots.

Author and School Trustee Jeanie Corral was the featured speaker at the monthly meeting of the Friends of the Canyon Lake Library. Fiesta Day was once again held under blue skies as skiers, dancers and a parade brought color and fun to the community. Kathy Bennett and Al “Bill” Trembly were Grand Marshals.

Tom Wysocki succeeded John Zaitz as POA Board President, and Canyon Lake author Pat Bavardo signed copies of her latest book for the Friends of the Library.

City Engineer Ray Wellington said that a new traffic signal at the East Gate would be installed and the sound attenuation wall on Railroad Canyon Rd. was on schedule for completion by summer. Backers of “Measure C” on the June ballot were asking registered voters to back this vital school construction initiative.

Canyon Lake resident Ron Grove was honored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars as California’s “Firefighter of the Year’ for his bravery and accomplishments. Jason Libring and Caley Sender were winners in “Speech Meet 95” among entrants from all over Southern California. Yacht Club Commodore Ed Strong invited all with interest in the lake to join his group.

Dr. Pam Ripperda and Diana Hofman were featured in The Friday Flyer as they cared for three young raccoons at Not Just 4 Paws Animal Hospital. Debby Gagnon was awarded a contract to move the local Post Office station to her business at Pack, Wrap and Post.

A groundbreaking for the new Lodge was held in May 2000.

A groundbreaking for the new Lodge was held in May 2000.

15 Years Ago

In May 2000, EVMWD Director Ben Wicke discussed allegations that water from the Canyon Lake Dam was being allowed to “trickle” down the waterbed to increase the EVMWD aquifer and deemed these rumors false.

As of May 1, there were 4,015 total residences in Canyon Lake with 3,199 owner-occupied. 399 leased and 14 rented on a month-to-month basis. In addition, there were 281 weekend homes and 122 spec homes. There were 72 homes under construction and 671 lots remained vacant.

Candidates for the POA Board of Directors were Suzie Kessler, John McNamara, Ellen Innocenti, Gil Mascorro, Joe Krusee, Dave Johnston, Carl Armbrust and Lyman Lee.

Resident Chuck Bryant was a contestant on the famous “I’ve Got a Secret” TV series. The 1999 varsity football team at Temescal Canyon High School was honored at Edison Field with the CIF Academic Scholarship Award as the highest grade point of any Southern California school; Canyon Lake’s Bob Burt was their coach.

Dona Nadel and Kathie Barnes were co-chairs of the annual Fiesta Day celebration and predicted a record crowd for the event.

TCHS student Stephanie Vecchione was selected as West Riverside County’s Outstanding Teenager in a regional competition. The Grad Night committee at TCHS sent out a call for volunteers to assist with the annual graduation night party.

Heather Rice, Jean Janssen and Colleen Patterson took part in the annual Catalina Marine Institute science camp with instructor Kathy Blakemore. Lake youngsters Barbara Towns and Sean McCarthy were winners in the LEUSD Science Fair and moved on to the Riverside competition.

The new Lodge was reported to be on schedule and on budget for opening in the fall, while the new pool was still being delayed. Lyman Lee and John McNamara were elected to the POA Board to join Marty Gibson, Chuck Whitehead and Charles Dattilo. Veteran POA employee Marti Van Houton, after serving under six POA General Managers, retired to pursue other interests.

In May 2005, Canyon Lakers were invited to attend the unveiling of the community’s long-awaited dredge at East Port.

In May 2005, Canyon Lakers were invited to attend the unveiling of the community’s long-awaited dredge at East Port.

10 Years Ago

By May 2005, the lake was clearing and skiers, boaters and wakeboarders once again were enjoying their water sports. The months of lake closures and contamination seemed to be behind the citizens of Canyon Lake after severe storms began the previous October.

Canyon Lakers were invited to attend the unveiling of the community’s long-awaited dredge at East Port. The dredge was deemed a state-of-the-art, self-propelled floating platform with an engine-powered pump to vacuum and separate sediment from the bottom of Canyon Lake as part of the Lake Elsinore and San Jacinto Watersheds Authority (LESJWA) Dredging Project.

 Same month ( May 2015) , this bobcat was sighted in the area of Windward Dr. and Skipjack Dr.

Same month ( May 2015) , this bobcat was sighted in the area of Windward Dr. and Skipjack Dr.

A public meeting was scheduled to discuss the impact of Quail Valley septic tanks on water quality in Canyon Lake. It was called by the Regional Water Quality Control Board to address the prohibition of septic tanks in the adjacent community. Also to be discussed was the conversion of existing systems to sewer service.

Mayor John Zaitz hosted a “Mayor’s Business Breakfast,” hoping to hear the concerns of business people and residents regarding stores and businesses within the City limits.

Instead of a walk in the park, it was a wall around the park as barriers went up on both the street side and beach side of Indian Beach in anticipation of construction beginning on the new Continental lift station.

Elected to join Erin Nathan and Marlowe Schaffner on the 2005-2006 Board of Directors were Jordan Ehrenkranz, Bill Trembly and Kreg McCoy.

Canyon Lakers were told that by the end of May 2005, they should finally see work begin on the long-publicized Audie Murphy Ranch development. Long-time residents remembered discussions of the homes planned for the area dating back to the 1980s. Woodside would develop one portion of the 1,000-acre project, while Brookfield Land Company would build homes on another portion of the property. Before any of the 2,000 homes could be built, however, extensive roadwork was to occur, replacing the existing Newport Rd. with a new road that would sweep from a realigned Railroad Canyon Rd. in a shallow ‘S’ shape to become a corridor between the 215 and I-15 Freeways.

For the fourth time in as many weeks, a Canyon Lake resident contacted The Friday Flyer to report an encounter with a rattlesnake. A bobcat sighting in the area of Windward Dr. and Skipjack was reported to the local animal control as well as the Department of Fish and Game.

The owners of Summerwood Landing, formerly Mobey’s Landing, were busy preparing for the groundbreaking of the long-awaited reconstruction project that would serve to upgrade the boat and RV storage as well as add a repair facility to the site.

Everyone was noticing how green the lake had been for a couple of weeks. According to Operations Manager Paul Johnson, Canyon Lakers could thank a particularly aggressive plant called “Duck Weed.” The prolific weed, which sends out small blooms that sit on top of the water, could double in size every 48 hours. In fact, Snug Cove and Shelter Cove were so choked with the plant that they looked like a mat, according to Paul. Operations crews had to skim the Lake with nets before spraying could be undertaken.

In May 2005, The Friday Flyer’s Reel People Ron and Leigh Martel reviewed “Hitchhiker,” “Crash,” “Monster-in-Law” and “Star Wars III.”

Winners in Cotillion’s May 2010 Mad Hatters Ball contest were Emily Signorio, Cody Hankins and Courtney Sharkey.

Winners in Cotillion’s May 2010 Mad Hatters Ball contest were Emily Signorio, Cody Hankins and Courtney Sharkey.

5 Years Ago

By May 2010, the skeleton of a steel-framed building was beginning to take shape on the site of the 23,800 sq. ft. commercial building destroyed by fire on July 17, 2009. Tractors could be seen excavating the concrete foundation in preparation for the footings that would support steel columns of the new shell. In addition, lumber and steel started arriving by the truckload and steel columns began going up.

Auditions for the annual Canyon Lake Community Theatre all-kids summer production were fast approaching. The year’s production would be the classic, “Bugsy Malone Jr.”

The City presented a Proclamation of Congratulations to Kendra Burns, an 8th grader at Canyon Lake Middle School. Kendra would represent Riverside County at the 2010 Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D. C. on June 2 to 4, as a result of being the first place winner at the 2010 County Spelling competition. Kendra would compete against 274 other spellers ranging in age from 8 to 15.

Paul Chenette and Chuck Newsom won the majority of votes and were elected to the Property Owners Association Board of Directors at the Annual Meeting and Election on May 18.

It was estimated more than 1,000 veterans of World War II were dying each day, many of them never getting the chance to see the WWII Memorial built in their honor in Washington D.C. Fortunately, Canyon Lake veterans Charles “Chuck” Cullen and Joe Henderson were able to visit the memorial, thanks to “Operation Greatest Gift” and the support of Masons across California.

Canyon Lakers were told that road construction would be the norm for the upcoming 18 months. Phase 1 of the new Newport Rd. construction project was very near completion, and the newly aligned roadway was scheduled to open in phases in both directions before the end of June. Phase 2 of the project would be the building of the bridge over Salt Creek and a new four-lane Goetz Rd.

Cotillion held its ever popular Mad Hatters Ball. The theme of the Woman’s Club annual fashion show was “Tea House of the April Moon.”

Pete Van Dyke, the pastor of Canyon Lake Community Church, was selected by the Fiesta Day Committee as Grand Marshal for the 2010 Fiesta Day Parade. American Idol contestant Tori Kelly was invited to sing the National Anthem.

The Canyon Lake Emergency Preparedness Committee invited residents to learn about the new Loma Linda University Medical Center-Murrieta being built off Interstate 215 in Murrieta.

In May 2010, The Friday Flyer’s Reel People reviewed “Furry Vengeance,” “Iron Man 2,” “Robin Hood” and “Shrek Forever After.”

1 Year Ago

The Art Association invited the community to a gala art event at the Senior Center. Recently repainted and equipped with a special system to display artwork, the Senior Center was set up to provide quarterly art displays of artists and crafters in the community.

The Canyon Lake Property Owners Association announced some changes to the golf cart registration requirements. The Association required all members with golf carts to register their golf cart with the Association; however, the  Association no longer required them to provide a copy of their own golf cart insurance policy upon registering.

The Canyon Lake Woman’s Club Fashion Show, themed “The Roaring 20s,” was considered a “roaring success” by those in attendance. Later in May, wearing fashions and accessories found in thrift and consignment shops, models treated members of the Woman’s Club to a fun and enlightening lesson in thrift at the “Second Hand Rose” fashion show.

Cotillion members decorated hats for the Mad Hatter’s Ball in the Holiday Bay Room at the Lodge. Members were encouraged to make a hat that represented their personality or a specific talent.

“Back to the Future” fans had a treat when the DeLorean Time Machine from the reality series, “The Fireball Run Adventurally” (Adventure Rally) made an appearance at the Canyon Lake Farmers Market.

David Eilers and Doug Gordon were elected to the Canyon Lake Property Owners Association Board of Directors on May 17, during the alternate Annual Meeting and Election.

Two men and two women were arrested in connection with the home invasion robbery that took place on May 7 on Channel Way Dr.

Pat and Robb Smith held a party for their Shih Tzu Ace’s 10th birthday. Holding a party for Ace, his litter mates and other Shih Tzus and their humans had been a tradition for 10 years, growing to more than 40 of Ace’s furry friends and more than 80 humans.

Canyon Lakers lost a war hero when Arlie J. Blood, U.S. Air Force Colonel, ret., passed away on May 14, 2014, at the age of 98.

The theme for Fiesta Day was “Fiesta Around the World” and Bert Barbay was the grand marshal. The 2nd annual Fiesta Day Cardboard Boat Challenge was a much-photographed event as 28 boats made of nothing more than cardboard and duct tape lined the shore at Sunset Beach, with the challenge of paddling through a course adjacent to the swimming area and making it back to shore in one piece.

Canyon Lake’s collegiate skiers, Erik Larson (UCLA) and Steven Brooks (ASU), battled the nation’s top water skiers at the 20th annual Collegiate All-Stars Water Ski Championships in Palm Bay, Florida.

An official grand opening ribbing cutting celebration was held at the Lodge on May 30 after several months of renovation to take out the grand staircase, enclose the restaurant and part of a patio, and enlarge the lounge area. Patrons celebrated with a new Lighthouse Restaurant menu, DJ, wine tasting, prize drawings and giveaways.

In May 2014, Reel People Ron and Leigh Martel reviewed “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” “Amazing Spider-Man 2,” “Heaven is for Real,” “Godzilla” and “X-Men: Days of Future Past.”


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Donna Ritchie