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Hemet is a city in Riverside Countymarker, located in the San Jacinto Valley and it covers a total area of 27.1 square miles, or about half of the valley, which it shares with its neighbor to the north, the city of San Jacinto. In 2007 the city's population was estimated to be 74,185 according to the California Department of Finance. Hemet was founded in 1887, predating the formation of Riverside Countymarker, and was incorporated on January 20, 1910. The formation of Lake Hemetmarker helped the city prosper, and allowed further agricultural growth in the area, as well as population growth. The city is probably best known for being the home of "Ramona", California's official and one of the longest running outdoor plays, having been started in 1923. Hemet has also been named a Tree City USA for 20 years by the Arbor Day Foundation for its dedication to the local forest. The city is also home to the Hemet Valley Medical Center, a 320 bed general hospital.

Geography

Hemet is located in southwestern Riverside Countymarker, and is located in the San Jacinto Valley. Hemetmarker is south of the city of San Jacinto, and located near the base of the San Jacinto Mountainsmarker. The valley is surrounded by the Santa Rosa Hills and San Jacinto Mountainsmarker, and is mostly dry land, except for Diamond Valley Lakemarker to the south of Hemetmarker.Hemet is located at (33.742001, -116.983068) .According to Riverside Countymarker, the city has a total area of 27.1 square miles as of 2007(66.4 km²), all of it land.

Climate

Demographics

As of 2008, the California Department of Finance estimated there were 74,185 people, over 25,252 households, and 15,176 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,595.9 people per square mile (1000.8/km²). There were 32,452 housing units at an average density of 1,267.6/sq mi (442.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 80.49% White, 2.60% Black or African American, 1.20% Native American, 1.48% Asian, 0.13% Pacific Islander, 10.58% from other races, and 3.51% from two or more races. 23.10% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 12.3% were of German, 10.9% English, 7.8% Irish and 6.9% Americanmarker ancestry.

There were 25,252 households out of which 23.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.1% were married couples living together, 11.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.9% were non-families. 34.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 23.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 2.90.

In the city the population was spread out with 22.6% under the age of 18, 7.2% from 18 to 24, 20.6% from 25 to 44, 16.6% from 45 to 64, and 33.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 45 years. For every 100 females there were 84.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 79.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $26,839, and the median income for a family was $33,579. Males had a median income of $30,771 versus $24,048 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,226. About 12.4% of families and 16.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 26.1% of those under age 18 and 7.8% of those age 65 or over.

Demographics have not been edited to show new estimates.

Public Safety

The city of Hemet operates its own Police force, and Fire Department.

Law Enforcement

Police headquarters is located at the corner of Buena Vista Avenue and Latham Avenue in the downtown area. The force was formed in the early 1900s, and has been the police force for Hemet since then. The force regularly responds to all types of calls, in extreme situations, S.W.A.T. is called in. In 2008, the police department responded to over 70,000 incidents and made over 5000 arrests. The police department includes 94 employees: 68 sworn officers, 26 civilians, and 68 volunteers (FY09/10). Hemet P.D. maintains some of the highest arrest and closure rates in the entire county. The department operates on an annual budget of $13.7 million, and is supplemented by about $350,000 in Federal grants. The Department was cut from 91 sworn officers to 68 officers because of budget cuts in 2009. The Police Chief is Richard Dana.
Hemet Police Department Built in 1959


Fire Department

The Fire Department, was started in 1908, predating the incorporation of the city itself. The headquarters is located on 510 E. Florida Avenue, and it currently operates four fire stations in the city. The department recently had to close a fifth station, due to tough economic times. Currently, the department estimated that it will respond to about 12,000 calls in 2009.

Economy

According the the California Economic Development Department, in 2005 the economy of Hemet was based on four main industries: retail trade, health and educational services, and government. These industries provide 4,734, 4,441, and 3,946 jobs respectively. Other major industries in the city include leisure and hospitality, financial services, professional and business services, construction, and manufacturing. The amount of wage and salary positions in Hemet is 22,769, with a further 1,479 people were self-employed, adding up to a total of 24,248 jobs in the city.

Infrastructure

Transportation

Public transit in Hemet, is provided by the RTA, which has stops at various locations, some of which being Florida Ave. and Lincoln Ave, as well as The Hemet Valley Mall. Routes in the Hemet area are:RTA 27, 31, 32, 33, 42, 74, 79. Two more commuter lines will be launched on June 29, 2009. The two new lines will offer routes to Riversidemarker and Escondidomarker. The Riverside line will be route 212 and the Escondido route will be 217. These lines will have departure times starting around 4 a.m. and returning around 5 p.m.. The Riverside line will have departure times around afternoon.. There is also an Amtrak stop in Hemet which can take you to train stations in the area.

Air service is provided by the Hemet-Ryan Airportmarker, which is a municipal airport owned by Riverside Countymarker. The closest International Airports are Palm Springs International Airportmarker, and Ontario International Airportmarker.

Highways and Streets

Two California State Highways make their way through the city. California State Route 74 runs along most of Florida Avenue, the main corridor of east and west transportation in Hemet, and California State Route 79 also follows Florida for a short time before heading south on Winchester road, in nearby Homeland. Highway 79 is slated for re-alignment shortly, when the Mid County Parkway project is started. Streets in Hemet are arranged mostly in a standard grid. Almost all major streets that go east to west, are avenues, and almost all streets going north to south, are streets, with the exception of Sanderson Avenue, Lyon Avenue, and Cawston Avenue. Major streets in Hemet, are Florida Avenue, Sanderson Avenue, San Jacinto Street, Stetson Avenue, and State Street.

City Parks

Hemet has eight city parks located throughout the city, though some are small greens, and others are larger parks.

Weston Park

Weston Park was established in 1921 and was dedicated to John B. Weston, who was President of The Board of Trustees from 1914 to 1920. It contains shuffleboard courts, restrooms, playground, basketball court, and turf area for passive uses and games. It is located in the downtown area west of Santa Fe Street, and is four acres.

Simpson Park

Dedicated to James Simpson, Hemet City Council 1947-48,and Mayor 1950 to 1966. Simpson Park is a wilderness park located in the Santa Rosa Hills southeast of Hemet with sheltered picnic area and tables, barbecues, restrooms, and hiking trails. At an elevation of 2,500 feet, it provides an expansive view of San Jacinto Valley, as well of nearby towns of Winchester (Menifeemarker) and Rancho California (Temecula, Californiamarker), and it is 438 acres.

Mary Henley Park

Dedicated to Mary Henley, born in Hemet and served as Hemet City Clerk from October 1951 to March 1975, and is the first Hemet Park named after a real person. Mary Henley Park park contains a playground area, half basketball court, picnic tables, shade structures, a portable restroom and a large turf area. There is a 3/4 mile marked walking path/sidewalk around the perimeter of the park. It is 16 acres, and was established in 1993.It is also affectionately known as The Land of Lost Innocence, creeded by none other than Evil Lord Slagathor, See Timeline

Gibbel Park

Gibbel park contains a large children's play area, ball field, a half basketball court, restrooms, 2 lighted tennis courts, lawn bowling green, horseshoe pits, picnic areas and large turf area for passive uses. The park also features a memorial of military branches of the United Statesmarker. It is eleven acres, and was established in 1970.

Library Department

The City of Hemet Public Library was established in June 1910 by a generous grant of the Hemet Women's Club. The current library is located at 300 E. Latham Ave. Services are available online at http://www.hemetpubliclibrary.org

Education

The city's educational services are under the Hemet Unified School District to cover all of Hemet, and parts of San Jacinto and Valle Vista, with a student pupil population of over 20,000 students. There are HUSD member schools in the rural communities of Anzamarker, Idyllwildmarker and Winchestermarker.HIGH SCHOOLSHemet High School, West Valley High School and Tahquitz High School in Hemet, and Hamilton High School in Anza.MIDDLE SCHOOLSAcacia Middle School, Diamond Valley Middle School, Dartmouth Middle School, and Rancho Viejo Middle School.ELEMENTARY SCHOOLSBautista Creek, Cawston, Fruitvale, Harmony, Hemet, Jacob Wiens, Little Lake, McSweeny, Ramona, Valle Vista, Whittier and Winchester.ALL GRADE (includes High) SCHOOLSCottonwood School of Aguanga, Hamilton Schoolmarker of Anza, and Idyllwild School (grades K-8).ALTERNATIVE SCHOOLSAdvanced Path Studies School (grades K-5), Alessandro High School - continuation (grades 10-12), Family Tree Learning Center (grades K-8), Helen Hunt Jackson School for independent studies, Hemet Academy for applied academics and technology, and Hemecinto Alternative Educational Center (grades 6-9).

Railroad

The railroad to Hemet was operated by AT&SF Railway from 1888 to 1987. It was used back then for loading and shipping oranges that grew in the region, in 1987, it was abandoned for no use for any transportation by rail. The railroad to Hemet now contains 30–50 TTX Company intermodal cars, it was probably place there in early-mid 2009. A good way to view this is to head along Stetson in a westerly direction until the road ends and head south down California Ave. until you reach a railroad track. (It is not recommended that the railroad would be viewed at night since there is no light and safety is enforced)

Politics

In the state legislature Hemet is located in the 37th Senate District, represented by Republican John J. Benoit, and in the 65th Assembly District, represented by Republican Paul Cook. Federally, Hemet is located in California's 45th congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of R +3 and is represented by Republican Mary Bono Mack.

On December 9, 2008, 3 new members (Jerry Franchville, Jim Foreman,and Robert Youssef) began their terms on the Hemet City Council, replacing Brian Christie, Marc Searl (also the outgoing Mayor), and Lori VanArsdale. In July 2009, the city counsel approved the hiring of Brian S. Nakamura as the new city manager, replacing interim city manager Len Wood, who had managed the city for the past year. Brian Nakamura was the former city manager of near by Banning, Californiamarker. He agreed to an immediate pay cut from a salary of $230,000 per year to $215,000 as well as took an additional 5 percent cut on top of that to reduce his salary to $204,250 per year to help with the city budget issues.

History

The Cahuilla tribe were the initial inhabitants of the Hemet area. During the early 1800s, the land was used for cattle ranching by Mission San Luis Reymarker, which named the area Rancho San Jacinto. In 1842 the land was obtained by José Antonio Estudillo. In 1887, during the first major Southern California land boom, W.F. Whittier and E.L. Mayberry founded the Lake Hemetmarker Water Company, the Hemet Land Company, and the city of Hemet. In 1895, the Hemet Dammarker was completed on the San Jacinto River, creating Lake Hemetmarker and providing a reliable water supply to the San Jacinto Valley. This water system was a major contribution to the valley's development as an agricultural area. The area's original inhabitants, the Soboba Cahuilla were moved to the Indian reservation near San Jacinto.
Harvard Street c.
1907 Hemet Hotel in Background
The City of Hemet was incorporated in January 1910. Served by a railroad spur from Riversidemarker, the city became a trading center for the San Jacinto Valley's agriculture, which included citrus, apricots, peaches, olives and walnuts. The city has long hosted the Agricultural District Farmer's Fair of Riverside County, which began in 1936 as the Hemet Turkey Show, now located in Perrismarker. During World War II, the city hosted the Ryan School of Aeronautics, which trained about 6,000 fliers for the Army Air Force between 1940 and 1944. Hemet-Ryan Airportmarker exists today at the site of the flight school. In 1950, Hemet was home to 10,000 people, joined Coronamarker as the third largest city in the Riverside area.

In the 1960s, large-scale residential development began, mostly in the form of mobile home parks and retirement communities, giving Hemet a reputation as a working-class retirement area. In the 1980s, subdivisions of single-family homes began to sprout up from former ranchland, with "big-box" retail following. After a roughly decade-long lull in development following the major economic downturn of the early 1990s, housing starts in the city skyrocketed in the early 2000s. The area's affordability, its proximity to employment centers such as Corona, Riversidemarker and San Bernardinomarker, and its relatively rural character made it an attractive location for working-class families priced out of other areas of Southern California.
Hemet Panorama at night from the entrance of Simpson Park


Tourism

Hemet: Old Santa Fe Depot on East Florida Avenue
The City of Hemet has two museums, as well as an outdoor amphitheater. The Hemet Museum is located at the intersection of State street and Florida Avenue, in downtown Hemet. It is a museum of local history, and features photographs of old Hemet, historic photographs from the Ramona Pageant, as well as native American atrifacts and agriculture displays. Hemet is also home of the Western Science Center, located in the southern part of the city at the intersection of Domenigoni Parkway and Searl Parkway. It features exhibits of Ice Age mammals, including 'Max' , the largest mastodon found in the western United States, and as 'Xena' , a Columbian Mammoth. Hemet Also has the third oldest running Theater in the U.S. which is located on Florid and Harverd. Along with the two museums, Science Center and Theater, Hemet also has an outdoor amphitheater, the Ramona Bowl a natural amphitheater located in the southern hills of the city. It is known for producing the play, "Ramona".

Entertainment

The city of Hemet is expanding upon its entertainment venues. The two largest venues are the Ramona Bowl, an outdoor amphitheater, and the Regal Cinemas. However, the city is slated for upcoming projects that could bring residents more things to do in the valley. The largest is the proposed, and in planning stages, "Garrett Ranch" will be a new outdoor lifestyle entertainment center located at the corner of Florida Avenue and Warren Road in west Hemet. Plans for it include a new state of the art multiplex, as well as rows of shops, cafes, and botiques. It is to be modeled somewhat after the downtown area of a city, with boulevards,and pedestrian friendly streets. Another development being planned for the area is a downtown transit village, with the center of it being a Metrolink station. It will be north of the downtown core, and will consist of residences, shops, as well parks. The station itself, could feature a Railroad museum, heritage trail, as well as a farmers market and market hall. These are all in early stages however, information will be updated as it is available.
Conceptual site plane of Garrett Ranch
On September 12 of 2009, the Valley Wide Community sports park will have it's grand opening. The park will host 8 baseball fields, 8 lighted baseball fields, 8 soccer fields, 4 basketball courts, 6 tennis courts, 7 volley ball courts, 2 pickle ball courts, fitness trails, 3 play areas, 4 restrooms, and 3 picnic areas.

Radio and Television

Hemet and nearby San Jacinto are able to receive most of the Los Angelesmarker area and some San Diegomarker area TV stations on cable and satellite providers. Over the air signals with limited reception include KCAL-TVmarker 9 (Independent) Los Angeles; KVCR-TVmarker 24 (PBS) San Bernardino; KFMB-TVmarker 8 (CBS), KUSImarker 9 (Independent) and KNSDmarker 39 (NBC) from San Diego; two ABC stations KABC 7 L.A. and KESQ-TVmarker 42 from Palm Springs, Californiamarker; KOCEmarker 50 (PBS) and KVEAmarker 52 (Telemundo) from Orange County, Californiamarker. Two local TV stations based in Hemet and nearby Perrismarker are KBLM 25 (Spanish independent) and KZSW 27 (Independent) of Temeculamarker. Local Radio and television info.

Timeline

From the Hemet Library Heritage Room History Collection
  • 1850 California becomes state.
  • 1858 Hemet was established as a farm settlement.
  • 1887 Jan 27 Lake Hemet Water Company & Hemet Land Company formed.
  • 1888 Rail service from Perris to the San Jacinto Valley.
  • 1892 Post Office Established.
  • 1893 Riverside County formed from San Diego & San Bernardino Counties.
  • 1893 First Hemet Elementary School built - Alessandro Street.
  • 1894 First Hemet High School built - Buena Vista and Acacia.
  • 1895 Oct 9 Lake Hemet Dam completed.
  • 1899 Dec 25 Major earthquake hit valley (Magnitude = 7.0 est.) on Christmas day before the year 1900 begins.
  • 1910 Jan 20 City of Hemet incorporated.
  • 1914 Santa Fe depot opened at present site.
  • 1921 Original opening of the Hemet Theater.
  • 1923 Apr First performance of Ramona Pageant.
  • 1940 Aug Ryan School of Aeronautics opened in Hemet.
  • 1943 Oct 3 Hemet Community Hospital opened.
  • 1950 Sep 26 Eastern Municipal Water District created.
  • 1966 Jul 1 Hemet Unified School District formed from several existing districts.
  • 1970 Hemet has over 10,000 residents for the first time.
  • 1972 Sep 23 New Hemet High School Opened on Stanford and Stetson Ave.
  • 1980 Hemet real estate boom begins.
  • 1987 Depot abandoned by Santa Fe railroad - offered to sell to City of Hemet.
  • 1987 Bacum, Mexicomarker became second sister city.
  • 1988 Save Our Station (S.O.S.) Purchased Santa Fe Depot.
  • 1991 Oct 8 Domenigoni and Diamond Valleys named sites for M.W.D. reservoir.
  • 1995 Metropolitan Water District started 800,000 ac·ft reservoir.
  • 1996 June 13 Domenigoni Parkway opened.
  • 1998 June Hemet Museum opened in Santa Fe depot
  • 1999 Nov M.W.D. Diamond Valley Lake completed.
  • 2000 Mar Diamond Valley Lake dedicated, becomes recreation spot.
  • 2010 Hemet's centennial as an incorporated city.


References

External links




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