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New resident creates community directory
By Cheryl Walker

VALLEY CENTER – When Verle Yoder and his wife, Helen, left San Clemente last year longing for a country home, they found what they wanted in Valley Center.

Yet it was a little more rural than they had anticipated.

Being new to town, the Yoders needed to find some basic services: cable, landscapers and propane.

"There were some things in the phone book," Verle Yoder said. "I turned to the Internet to look up local businesses and was amazed to see . . . not much!

"There was no official town Web site. The phone book is good for listings like nails and dry cleaning, but since there are lots of small and work-at-home businesses with no business phone, they are not listed in the Yellow Pages."

So from then on, Yoder began a quest of learning all he could about his town.

Because he develops Web sites for a living, he created a site for Valley Center.

"I've put together all kinds of Web sites, but real estate is my specialty," he said.

Yoder, 48, hosts the new site; most listings are free.

"I do offer enhanced listings for a small fee, but the revenue is hardly enough to pay for all of my work," he said. "The payoff has been getting to know more about Valley Center and having an excuse to call and talk with local business owners. . . . It's a directory. I listed what I would have wanted to see when I moved here."

It took Yoder about two months to put the site together. He listed businesses, including restaurants and automotive facilities, as well as houses of worship and philanthropic organizations.

Yoder also has listed services and businesses outside the immediate Valley Center area. He has included businesses from Palomar Mountain, Pauma Valley and Pala.

"I met one guy on the mountain, and he started telling more people about the Web site," Yoder said. "Putting this together has helped me to meet people. I really cared what they did because I just moved here."

Although Yoder hasn't promoted the Web site, he has had some positive feedback.

"Some people couldn't believe I took the time to put this together," he said. "They really appreciate the effort."

Yoder said he is willing to list community events, such as garden or art shows and plays.

"I'm going to leave it up to people to contact me and, if they feed me the information, I'll be glad to list it," he said.

The Web site is


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