To become better acquainted with the new principal of our award winning Scripps Ranch High School, Kurt Madden, he invited me to meet with him in July. We had a frank and welcome discussion of his background and approach to the new job.
Kurt is a very experienced and successful athlete, coach of winning athletic teams, and has an impressive resume in a variety of educational positions. He has been responsible for the education of children as a vice principal of a high school and principal of a middle school, as well as other administrative positions that should serve him well.
Most impressive was his personal approach to teaching and handling young people in high school. He plans to meet with parents monthly for their input and comments. His goal is to continue the fine record of SRHS's academic achievements. His enumeration of his educational goals for SRHS are pragmatic and doable and, although ambitious, are very deserving of our close support.
Also, the faculty and staff need our support as they prepare to meet the review of the Academic Accreditation Team this year. We also discussed and reviewed the school board adopted plan, "The Single Plan For Student Achievement," which was prepared by the faculty under Donna Campbell's expert guidance. It sets the pace for enhanced student achievements and ability shown in improved testing requirements in English reading and composition and math competence. Welcome aboard, Kurt, and our best wishes for success!
At times I am overwhelmed at the good fortune we in Scripps Ranch experience living in such a marvelous family-oriented and patriotic community. This seems to particularly shine on the 4th of July when we celebrate the birth of our country in the old-fashioned patriotic way. Our parade this year was a super one with emphasis on the family and love of country. Police estimate it was the largest ever, with no reports of accidents or incidents--another tradition.
I am sure we all send to Bill Crooks, our 4th of July Committee chair, and the members of the committee our heartfelt thanks for all their fine work extending many months: Jany Staley, Bev Cassity, Victoria Mazelli, Bob Dingeman, Ruben Suzara, Nemie Capacia, Elissa Barber, John Thornton, and Jay Wurtzler.
Also, thanks to all our parade marshals, judges, clean-up and set-up crews, parade markers, and ice cream dispensers. Without all of you, it could not have happened. I want to thank my narration team of my wife, Gaye, with the script and Awilda Parada for handling the communication, keeping all the entries in their correct place, and lending some remarks to help identify the entries. And thanks to Andy Nicholas for the wonderful public address system and Darrell Wright for videotaping the parade again.
A special feature of our parades over the years has been the floats entered by neighborhoods. The residents stay up all night preparing some fabulous floats. This year we welcomed an entry from one of our perennial winners, Leafwood Place, with a giant Dr. Seuss float. They are famous for their floats, one made from 1,500 empty beer cans one year!
Loire Valley outdid themselves again with a wonderful animated--wheels turning, yet!--float of the Flintstones, complete with costumed walkers. Not to be outdone, Waldgrove Place, another perennial winner, came in with their fabulous entry.
For you neighborhoods that have not joined together in this effort, you should try it--especially you folks in Miramar Ranch North. This is your opportunity to become part of a wonderful community tradition and have fun. Plan to do your thing next year. We have experienced people willing to assist you on this fun project. Take part next year!
One of the special parts of our parades is the wonderful sense, good feelings, and "happy to be here" shown by all in attendance and participating. Thanks. It really does show that we are very special people in a very special community. I say this with Gaye's and my 32 years involvement in the parades. All of our elected and appointed officials always say it is the finest parade of the year. So be proud for who we are as a community.
We had as special guests this year: San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders; Duncan Hunter, our Congressional representative and good friend for his last parade as our elected representative; State Senator Dennis Hollingsworth and his family; our council member, Brian Maienschein; Brian's able chief of staff, Lance Witmondt--we thank them both for their exemplary service to Scripps Ranch; San Diego Police Chief William Lansdowne; Captain Mike Rosario, from the SDPD's Northeastern Division; San Diego Fire-Rescue Chief Tracey Jarman; City Attorney Michael Aguirre; and, representing the U.S. Marine Corps MCAS Miramar, Lt. Col. Dan Dowse and family.
With the emphasis Scripps Ranch parents place on quality schools and quality education, we were pleased to welcome Katherine Nakamura, our board trustee and board president, as well as board members Mitz Lee and Shelia Jackson. We thank them for all their hard work on our behalf. We also welcomed Marshall Middle School principal Michelle Irwin and her husband, as well as Jerrilee Fischer-Garza, Dingeman Elementary's principal. Thanks and farewell to Scripps Ranch High School principal Donna Campbell. We welcomed her replacement, Kurt Madden, in the parade.
All in all, with our school entries, our athletic all stars, boy and girl scouts, it was a fine parade in the Scripps Ranch tradition and enjoyed by all in wonderful weather. The crowd went down to Hoyt Park for entertainment by a DJ and his hula hoops. Elissa Barber and her crew served ice cream from Baskin Robbins, which was cohosted by Cabrillo Credit Union and the SRCA. Allison Crooks led in singing the national anthem and the Old Pros Run chair, Scott Brown, led the Pledge of Allegiance.
We would be most remiss if we did not publicly thank County Supervisor Pam Slater-Price for all her assistance and arranging for funds to help underwrite our parade this year, as she did last year. That is super and makes it possible for us to do our thing better each year.
The Old Pros Fun Runs and Bike Rides went off with nary a major hitch, which was fantastic. Our compliments to all who worked so hard--even in the very early morning hours--to put on their major fundraising event of the year.
I am sure you have all read and seen on TV the terrible number of uncontrolled wildfires that have ravaged California. It means we all must be vigilant to report any fire and to ensure that we are all taking the maximum individual measures to enhance our own safety.
Each summer we have reports of acts of vandalism and other destructive actions in our parks that detract from the use and enjoyment for all. This is compounded by the fact that our wonderful parks attract "visitors" from other areas, some who have little to no respect for the beauty of the parks. If you see vandalism, please report it to the police so we can nip it in the bud.
We have had reports of improper activity--or at least those against city regulations--in open space. This activity includes constructing forts, digging holes, preparing ramps, cutting down trees, and such. These are not permitted, as city risk management cannot and will not provide insurance coverage for accidents that could happen. Therefore, we will inform the young people involved that it is not permitted. These activities must cease and desist per city direction.
Our recently appointed chair for our Graffiti Busters has left town and we now have a new pair taking over. They can be contacted at 271-8058. We have transferred the paint supplies to them, so please give them a call if you see any graffiti mar our beautiful community. The quicker the graffiti is removed, the less "publicity" the vandal gets.
Old Scripps Ranch was the scene of the gala opening of San Diego National Bank's latest branch office in the old Video Vault location adjacent to Starbucks. We welcomed Charlie Harrison, the new branch manager and his staff, which includes assistant manager and Scripps Ranch resident Matt Leitner, Ted Leitner's son. Ted and Jerry Coleman helped welcome a large crowd who enjoyed a fabulous buffet with presentations to the bank by our own councilmember, Brian Maienschein, and Stephen Lew representing the mayor.
As part of its immediate community outreach, the bank presented the Scripps Ranch Soccer Club and the SRCA with donations. Thank you for your contributions, and welcome to our fine Scripps Ranch community.
Two residents of Grayfox Drive are really following the "going green" route. First of all, Faud's house on the corner of Red Cedar Drive is now equipped with not only a solar heater but he also generates his own electricity and feeds into the SDG&E system. He is also converting his lawn into a zero-scape lawn.
Jack Buck further down Grayfox Drive is an example of what can be done with less water as he has completely redone the front of his house in water conservation measures. It is a beautiful venue and saves more than 50% of his past water use. By all means, drive down Red Cedar Drive and turn onto Grayfox Drive. Faud's house is on the corner, and Jack Buck's is four houses west on the opposite side.
The Water Department is going to revise and reissue its pamphlet on conserving our precious supply of water. Plan to read it and do your part to conserve. It is the simple things that we all can do each day that total up and will make a real difference. So look around and do your part to save water.
We are installing the aeration system for Evans Pond. This should materially assist in bringing up the water quality for the wildlife and the appearance of the pond. I am sure you have noticed the large construction going on. The Evans Pond area will be a delight for the office workers as well as library-goers.
Be sure to give your SRCA district representative or an SRCA officer your recommendation for the dates to hold our traditional Scripps Ranch and SRCA events and activities. Also, feel free to propose new and different ideas for events and happenings to continue the close ties that bind our community.