What's Happening

Fire in our Midst

The Fire Department says a juvenile started a fire in our trees. But, the very efficient and prompt action of Engine Company 37, who were immediately on the scene, the diversion of an aerial tanker that happened to be in the area, and no less that 25 other fire department rigs prevented any structures from harm. (See page 19).

I observed residents cooperating and helping. Although some of you asked me to help enter the area closed off by the police, you were all patient and cooperative. That is what we need. Vigilance in preventing the fire, calling 911 immediately at the first sight of flames, and then helping to do your part. The homes you save are yours and your neighbors.

Our special thanks to our new Fire Chief Jeff Bowman, who was on the scene, and all the firefighters--they were prompt, efficient, and did the job. As our Station 37 has practiced this in all areas, "practice makes perfect."

The Noel Marra memorial at the intersection of Avenida Magnifica and Pomerado Road has had lighted candles added. With our extremely dry conditions, any open flame could start a fire and sweep into the Crown Pointe housing area. Please do not place lighted candles anywhere. They could lead to a disastrous fire and certainly not a proper memorial to an outstanding young lady.

Brush Removal

Please see Councilmember Maienschein's article on the assistance he has arranged at our request for brush removal (page 19). If you have a specific area that you feel needs clearing and you and your neighbors will help do the job, call me at 566-6083. We will try to schedule for assistance and, most important, picking up the debris you collect. We have identified specific areas for the Alpha crew to start brush clearance and will add to the list.

The Fire Department urges all homeowners to:

  • Trim back any of your trees that are close to your eaves, especially if you have a shake shingle roof;
  • Remove all dead vegetation from around your house and from inside and outside any wooden fences;
  • Have a fire plan, including using garden hoses to wet down the area;
  • Make sure all your family knows to call 911 at the first sign of a fire and give the location; and,
  • Join with your neighbors in a clean up of the areas outside your fences.

A layer of mulch will inhibit the spread of a fire. Dried grass and brush are the hazards to be removed. If you feel a tree in open space poses a hazard to your home, we will come out and inspect it, and take action. Call Layton Galloway or me. Do not cut down a tree in open space without clearance, as they are city property. The removal of fire fuel and brush affects us all. Your help is needed.

4th of July Celebrations

Wow! Did Scripps Ranch do itself proud and patriotic for the 4th of July? We had the largest ever participation in the 10K Fun Run over the dam. Then, our parade, organized by Jany Staley and Dick Kelly, was the grandest ever.

We had at least a thousand people watching the parade and hundreds participating, which was fabulous. We even had a guest group from Kensington in our parade for the first time and they loved it. I hope you saw Elinor Reiss' article in the Sentinel with some historic reminiscences of past parades.

As I have been involved for 26 years, I must admit that I still get an intense feeling of pride in our fine community. And, how it shows in our parade! All of the invited guests feel so welcome and thank us for our hospitality and warm reception--just good patriotic old-fashioned America at is best.

No parade or community event of this magnitude happens by chance. Your friends and neighbors plan and coordinate for months for this, the biggest SRCA event of the year. The volunteers were: Jany Staley, chair; Dick Kelly, parade organizer; Bob Gravina, communications and convertibles; Elissa Barber, ice cream social; and, the many judges, marshals, and helpers who made it all happen so well. Our collective thanks and appreciation to all of them.

Despite the concern of 9/11, we gathered in our traditional and safe Scripps Ranch parade area and celebrated the birth of our country. We then went down to Hoyt Park for the ice cream social. It was Scripps Ranch at its best.

To all of you who helped make this a glorious 4th of July with your participation at any level, thanks and God bless America. For those who found the parade committee T-shirts so special, Jany invites you to join us for next year and get one!

Meeting with New Middle School Architect

I met for an hour with the architect hired to design our new middle school to discuss his timelines for planning and construction. Jim Geldert was our architect for Scripps Ranch High School. He retired and came back as a civilian architect for this new job.

This will be a new concept with "schools within a school" as suggested by the community. The total acreage of the site being negotiated is 36.5 acres, with about 6 acres in the creek bed listed as "environmentally sensitive." That will become open space. This is the land immediately to the east of the present entrance on Willow Creek.

This means there will be about 22 "doable" acres for the school site. The Advisory Committee will be formed sometime within the next month. This will be followed by the Design Task Force that will develop specific plans.

Lou Smith, the school district's Prop MM manager, has the names of volunteers who asked to be considered for these committees and they will be contacted. The timeline is still for the school to open in 2006.

I am happy to report that our ideas are being incorporated into the preliminary planning. The residents who volunteer to be on the task forces will still have a full plate to consider. The school will include new ideas and configurations for the district, so members from other areas will participate as a joint effort.

I suspect we will follow the example of the district's new middle school, which has in essence three schools within its campus already. I asked specifically about the major traffic concern at the Pomerado Road entrance and this has not yet been addressed.

I provided Jim with copies of last month's SRCA Newsletter with the excellent articles on pending developments. If you have not read that, please do and get yourself up-to-date.

Water at Evans Pond

Yes, we are making some progress, but oh so slowly. We have a new water meter installed and will borrow a thousand feet of four-inch hose from the fire department and start filling up the pond. It is now dangerously low.

We may have to rent a pump, as the reclaimed water is not under the same pressure as regular water standpipes. Engine Company 37 will assist in the project. We have had to go through city and county water departments, county health, state environmental agencies, and the governor's office. All think it is a good idea.

Now we just have to get the reclaimed water, courtesy of the Scripps Ranch Recreation Council, running into the pond. This will be marked "No Swimming," and, of course, "No Drinking." But, it has never been a swimming pond.

MAD Ballots

I checked with the Parks and Recreation Department as to the status of our two ballot measures for our Landscape Maintenance Assessment Districts (MAD). I was advised by Steve Yates that the ballots were still coming in. The procedure this year calls for the ballot results "to be sealed until revealed by the City Council."

I can only assume that the council must certify the results. Last ballot we knew exactly what the tabulated results were because our MAD paid for the ballot. I will follow-up and try to get the results. Why the need for any secrecy is beyond me. If there is an explanation, I will let you know.

Paintballers in Giant Grove Area

As you read in the SRCA Newsletter two issues ago, paintballers, apparently from outside the Ranch, decided our wonderful Giant Grove area on Pomerado Road was theirs to use. They cut down a lot of small trees and branches and erected large barricades and tree houses. All this constitutes a damage to the open space and a real fire hazard.

In addition, a great amount of litter was left at the entrance to the trail and throughout the area. Trees were marked with colors and some graffiti. Perhaps if we received a lot of rain, it would wash off the colors. But, with the complete absence of rain, it all remains visible.

We showed the SRCA Newsletter article to Captain Goodrich of the San Diego Police Department's Northeastern Division. She dispatched officers to Avenida Magnifica and they advised the paintballers to leave.

The Landscape Maintenance Assessment District (MAD) cleared out the barricades and illegal tree huts. It cost about $3,500 of your MAD funds, which were not in our budget. We have asked for continued police surveillance and support on Saturdays.

Buckled Sidewalks

I need your help again in sending me the location of buckled sidewalks that may pose a threat to pedestrians. It will help to include a photograph. I will follow up with the city and hope they have some money to fix them.

If the damage is caused by your tree, you may have to pay half of the costs. You and the city might be in danger of a lawsuit for a fall. Send the note to: 10292 Aviary Drive, San Diego, CA, 92131.

SDPD Reinstates Beat System

Over the past years Scripps Ranch has had one police beat, #211, whether we were 900 residences or 11,000. We have a low crime rate and we like it that way.

It, however, means that we have paid for and should receive our fair share of police assets. The Northeastern Division has been traditionally kept small in strength--about 60 officers--as the crime rate is lower and more police strength is placed in higher crime areas.

To better serve our area the San Diego Police Department established the old-fashioned beat officer. That way, an officer could remain in an area long enough to know the residents and the situations. This was fine, then abandoned. It is now being reinstated.

We welcome this return to a more traditional, and we hope, effective and responsive police presence. When you see the police cruisers, give the officers a wave and talk to them. They are here to respond to our needs.

The beat officers are organized in three watches: 1st, 6am-4pm; 2nd, 2 pm-midnight; and, 3rd, 9 pm-7 am. The overlap is to ensure coverage, and the officers rotate every four months.

Here are the current assignments:

  • First watch weekdays: Sgt. Art Cavada, Officers Cristina Aguilar and Michael Mobley;
  • Weekends: Sgt. Ruben Martinez, Officer Ken Hodges;
  • Second watch weekdays: Sgt. Carigan, Officer Gary Voss;
  • Weekends: Sgt. Michael Volberg, Officer Vu Le;
  • Third watch weekdays: Sgt. Sharon McNair, Officer Robert Adauto;
  • Weekends: Sgt. Fred Wilson, Officers Michael Moller and Adrian Lee.

Change in Location for SRCA Meeting

The September SRCA meeting will be held at the Information Center. It will be on Tuesday, Sept. 10, at 7 pm. The Information Center is on Cypress Canyon Road, just south of Scripps Poway Parkway, near Marshall Middle School.

New Commanding General at MCAS Miramar

Brigadier General Jon Gallinetti, United States Marine Corps, has assumed command of Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Miramar. General Bowdon left for Camp Pendleton. Our new General is a graduate of the California State University Fresno and has served many tours in the area, so he knows us well.

The General and his wife, Janice, were welcomed to Scripps Ranch at our 4th of July parade where he was introduced to all of the VIP guests. We welcome him aboard, as we have many dealings with MCAS Miramar. General Bowdon established the close working relationship we now have and we expect it to continue. Semper Fi!

Miramar Reservoir Expansion

I am sure you have noticed that the final paving at the Red Cedar and Scripps Lake Drive corner is completed. We will adjust the traffic signal for better traffic control. We will also ask for several other intersections to be checked as to timing, with the idea of enhancing the smooth flow of traffic and still being safe.

The new security fencing is about 75% complete. As you noted, we were able to open the dam with proper security in place for the traditional Old Pros 10K Fun Run and Bike Ride. This went without a hitch and we hope to do it again now that we have shown it will work.

As to whether the dam will reopen for foot traffic, that matter has been again referred to the Governor. We have no indication as to what will happen.

The aqueduct work is on schedule and the tunnel is now being lined with the new aqueduct. For your information, the road and traffic interruptions on Scripps Ranch Blvd. are the two Black Mountain aqueducts, which will go to Rancho Los Penasquitos. Expect traffic interruptions to continue for months. I suggest that when it goes under I-15, you take another route until the project is completed.

Dangerous Trees

Please continue to call, or better yet drop me a note at [[email protected]], if there is a tree in the open space that you feel poses a danger to your home. We have Geographical Information System (GIS) maps of all the open space, so we know whether it is private or city property. We cannot touch private property.

We have almost exhausted the $62,000 that Councilmember Maienschein secured for us for lerp-killed trees. That shows you the extent of our dead tree problem, which was made even more apparent by the recent fire.