As we celebrate Veterans Day on Tuesday, Nov. 11, we honor all our veterans with many words of praise and remembrance and an occasional "thank you." We also realize that many of those to be thanked are those who gave their lives and are not here to receive our thanks, but we can thank their families and those now serving our country and their families.
It is the individuals who paid the supreme price, their lives, for our freedom that we honor not simply in words but in deeds. The men and women who experienced the horrors of war firsthand with all its destruction and loss of life cherish a deep sense of dedication to a worthy cause and service to our country.
All of our young people need to be reinforced with a sense of pride in serving our country. A sense of pride in family and the willingness to go that extra mile for our country. It is to you that the member of the World War II generation passes its mantle. Wear it proudly.
Recently I attended a short memorial service at Dingeman Elementary School with a U.S. Marines platoon present, and it was inspiring for all. A high point for me was seeing the happy interest shown by the students, talking to the Marines and racing them around the playground. Imagine in another country where their military is feared and not revered. Singing our national anthem brought tears to our eyes and I hope inspired the children.
Looking over the sea of shining young faces and their wonderful teachers, I felt strongly that they are the hope of the future and deserve the best life and education we can provide them. Knowing they must also do their part to make it work. Service to your fellow man and especially to your community and country remains a high calling for all.
As I stood there I remembered taking my unit into combat in the Korean War. We as a country had shamefully neglected our armed forces and here we were being sent into a life and death situation. Many of the infantry men were poorly trained and had not even fired their own rifles. This not from lack of desire but lack of funds from Washington. The troops just wanted a better chance to succeed, and with great valor we defeated the enemy.
We are going through a searching period of both our political and our economic world with both being attacked from many sides. We are not sure of the outcome except to know that American goodwill and promise will prevail with our collective help and wholehearted participation. There has been a reawakening of love of country and patriotism.
As veterans of long past wars like myself pass from the scene, there are thousands of other veterans ready to pick up the torch and carry it for our country. We pass this mantle of service and honor to these new veterans and ask your support. When the Iraq and Afghanistan citizen soldiers and warriors return, see that they return to their jobs, see that they receive the honor they have earned, see that America honors its own veterans.
As 2008 and Veterans Day closes, may there be a recommitment to duty, honor, and country. They are the ideals that have made our country strong and the haven for all people of goodwill, not just in war but in peace. When needed worth living for and as needed worth dying for in war.
A time honored right of American citizens comes into play this November when we are asked to vote on many candidates for offices, as well as the usual host of California propositions sponsored by special interest groups. We hear and read so many things pro and con about candidates and propositions, we must have our own "truth filter" system to winnow out the truth from the political items and often misstatements. The words of advice are to first read the voter pamphlet, write down your decisions, then vote the way you personally feel is best for the country.
If you were unable to attend our warm farewell to Brian before the SRCA meeting in October, there is still time to send him your best wishes and thanks at [[email protected]]. During the past eight years, Brian has served our community ably and well. Most important, he was dramatically effective and responsive to our community needs. This ranges from orchestrating the Cedar Fire recovery with a magnificent performance to everyday street sweeping.
Interested in our activities, we could count on his presence for the annual Christmas tree lighting, 4th of July Parade, ball games, awards ceremonies, and so much more--all for the community of Scripps Ranch. We are grateful and thank him for his singularly high performance on our behalf. He has made a real difference in our collective lives, for which we are grateful.
The devastating brush fires remain vivid in our memories. We are still in our high fire risk period, and we all need to be especially careful of all fires and possible fires that high winds can fan into destructive firestorms.
Our October issue of the Newsletter recounting our fire experience should become a classic for other communities and is a shining example of neighbors responding to neighbors--Scripps Ranch at its best. I read the stories and relived them with a deep sense of pride in our Scripps Ranch families.
One of the really good things about attending the annual San Diego Police Department (SDPD) Foundation meetings in Mission Valley is to get updates on problems and solutions and making do with less money and still doing a terrific job for San Diego. The reports of the various departments from aviation to dogs was certainly heartening to hear.
The SDPD has embarked on a program that will impact most families and that is to help curb the role of sexual predators on the Internet. The San Diego Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force has prepared pamphlets that I sent to the Information Center. The pamphlets suggest healthy choices for children who are estimated to spend 44.5 hours per week watching all types of media. Especially valuable is an agreement that parents and children can sign to help them deal with this problem.
I got a welcome call from the Scripps Ranch Girl Scouts' Andrea Tribolet, the new chair of the Girl Scout Committee. They are looking forward to again sponsoring this wonderful family event. As you know, this has been a tradition in Scripps Ranch in which the SRCA and the Girl Scouts combine and support the annual Christmas tree lighting and collecting toys for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots drive.
- Date: Sunday, Dec. 14;
- Time: 4:30 pm, can bring presents to Santa who arrives at 4 pm;
- Location: Jerabek Park Community Christmas tree;
- Tree lighting: Approximately 5 pm, hope council member is there to do the honors;
- Refreshments: Hot chocolate and cookies provided by the Girl Scouts;
- PA system: Andy Nicholas; and,
- Music: Marshal Middle School band, and all sing Christmas carols and Hanukkah songs.
Thanks for all your reports of possible lerp-infested trees. We now have a map with the reported locations and, frankly, it is disturbing to see the extent of the infestation. Gaye and I drove to Julian for apple pie and sightseeing. We noted many eucalyptus trees lining Ramona's main street infested with the lerp. So it is unfortunately fairly widespread, and we are not the sole source for the potential spread to other areas. I am meeting with the county agriculture agent and will provide more information as I get it.
We are continuing our detailed study and evaluation of the operational effectiveness of our Scripps-Miramar Maintenance Assessment District (MAD). Also, we are reviewing the actions and policies of the city Park and Recreation Department. As we have stated, our aim is to ensure that we have created and operate the most cost effective and responsive MAD going. That all our efforts add to our quality of life and the value of your homes and property.
We have gone through several potential budgets and met with the Boyle Engineering people to discuss how they prepare the annual Park and Recreation Department MAD reports, which set the pace for expenditures and action. This becomes even more important as our country faces some daunting economic challenges, and we must assure all that we are using our available resources in the best way. Unfortunately, the city makes policy changes from time to time that inhibit or restrict our actions, so bear with us as we try to work through these.
No matter what, we will need, we are sure, more financing just to maintain our status quo. I am sure you got your property tax bill with the $141 for assessment, which will not be able to cover all the increases we expect in costs for utilities and other services requiring major adjustments. Always difficult in the face of continuing needs.
One of the truly wonderful things we hold in Scripps Ranch is our Fall and Spring Clean-Up Days. We just held our Fall Clean-Up Day the last weekend in October. These are half-day efforts in which all have the opportunity to cut back vegetation and bring to the collection point, empty out "stuff" in your garage, and spend time cleaning up and picking up our beautiful home.
The good news is enrollment was slightly up in the San Diego Unified School District, reversing the trends statewide. This is important as the district is reimbursed by the state for the number of students enrolled and attending. In other words, we are reimbursed funds based on the head count of students coming to schools each day so truants are bad for school finances.
All of our schools are using the Super Pledges to collect funds, which they use to better the educational processes of their schools and allows the principals a bit more flexibility in operations. So if you have not made your pledge, there is still time to do so for your own school.
We celebrated the 30th anniversary of the opening of another award winning elementary school--Jerabek. Friends, faculty, students, and neighbors gathered in October to wish a happy birthday to the school. Some of the original faculty members were present.
It was my privilege to join the festivities. It also was an opportunity to express our community thanks to those who worked so hard to secure the fresh grass for the playing field, which made the event a tribute to Chauncy Jerabek. He was the gardener for E. W. Scripps and planted the 26,000 eucalyptus trees--the signature tree of our community.
Jerabek has been a shining example of the wonderful and supportive relations between the families, faculty, and students. All this combines to achieve the finest academic atmosphere and the highest educational achievements.