Earlier this year, I announced that the city had received a $2.36 million federal government brush management grant. These grant funds will be matched with $3.9 million from the city's General Fund. This will make it possible for the city to thin all 1,190 acres of city open space brush over the next two years.
This action will fully fund the city's Brush Management Program for the first time in the city's history. It will also fulfill one of the key recommendations made in the city's after-action report on the recent October wildfires. In addition to this funding, the City Council recently approved the purchase of a second Fire-Rescue helicopter, which will improve the Fire-Rescue Department's ability to fight these wildfires.
Our community has experienced firsthand the devastating effects of wildfires. We understand the need to have adequate brush management and fire resources at our disposal. During my time on the City Council, I have advocated for increased resources dedicated to protecting our community from wildfire.
Brush management is a key component of fire prevention. I am proud to announce that brush management is not just a top priority for District 5 but is now a top priority citywide. With this funding, the city is taking great strides on the path to wildfire prevention.
Scripps Ranch "firefolk" continue to reach out and help those affected by the 2007 firestorm. Scripps Ranch resident and Cedar Fire survivor Mike Obendorf has been using his extensive computer background to design an innovative online question and answer forum.
The forum entitled "Ask An Expert" is sponsored and administered by United Policyholders (UP), a nonprofit organization. The online forum allows fire survivors to pose post-fire recovery questions to experts, who can immediately provide answers.
Fellow Scripps Ranch "firefolk" and UP outreach coordinator Karen Reimus says, "The extensive volunteer work Mike has contributed to this project will benefit countless 2007 firestorm survivors. His willingness to give so much of his time to help others truly epitomizes the amazing volunteerism that is the essence of Scripps Ranch."
So far this year, more than 4,000 car burglary flyers have been distributed throughout Scripps Ranch. If you look at the numbers through the first four months, this is a good sign. Please continue to protect your property. It only takes one bad month to ruin all of your hard work. Stay vigilant!
Unfortunately, it is that time again when I must switch shifts--that actually took place in early May although you are reading this in June. As such, I will not be available for my regular Coffee With A Cop meetings on the weekends until September. I want to thank everyone who showed up with some very interesting concerns. As always, I am available to help with problems of all sizes at [[email protected]].
When you drive around Scripps Ranch, you see drivers talking on their cell phones. Starting on Tuesday, July 1, two new laws go into effect that deal with the use of wireless telephones while driving. Following are frequently asked questions about the new laws provided by the California Highway Patrol.
- Q: What are the two laws? A: The first prohibits all drivers from using a handheld wireless telephone while operating a motor vehicle. Motorists 18 and over may use a hands-free device. The second law prohibits drivers under the age of 18 from using a wireless telephone or hands-free device while driving.
- Q: What if I need to use my telephone during an emergency, and I do not have a hands-free device? A: Drivers can use a wireless telephone to make emergency calls to a law enforcement agency, a medical provider, the fire department, or other emergency services agency.
- Q: What are the fines? A: According to the Uniform Bail and Penalty Schedule, with the penalty assessments, a first offense is $76 and a second offense is $190.
- Q: Are passengers affected by this law? A: No, only drivers.
- Q: Can I be pulled over for using my handheld cell phone? A: Yes.
- Q: What if my phone has a push-to-talk feature, can I use that? A: No. The law does provide an exception for those operating a commercial motor truck or truck tractor--excluding pickups.
- Q: Does the new law prohibit you from dialing a cell phone while driving? A: No, but drivers are strongly urged not to dial while driving.
- Q: Will it be legal to use a Blue Tooth or other earpiece? A: Yes, but you cannot have both ears covered.
- Q: Does the new law allow you to use a speaker phone on your cell phone while driving? A: Yes.
Scripps Ranch resident Jack Kriz was involved in a serious head-on collision on Friday, Feb. 29, on Pomerado Road. Since that time Jack has been in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit in stable condition. In early May he was transferred to the step-down unit and doctors are beginning to evaluate his status for rehab. He is in wonderful care at Scripps Memorial Hospital, and our family has seen a miracle happen before our eyes. His wife, Kathy, has been by his side every day since the accident, and every day she and her three children are encouraged by his steady progress.
For the first couple of weeks the love and support from friends, family, neighbors, and community members gave our family the emotional strength to remain positive and faithful. There are many people we would like to thank, and we know that words can never truly express our sincere appreciation. Forgive us for not naming names as the list could go on forever, but we are eternally grateful.
Our neighbors held a "Come Back Jack" blood drive in March. More than 115 units of blood were donated in Jack's name--that does not count the donors who went to the Blood Bank another day to donate--thank you! The blood drive lasted more than 10 hours. The Ilko family, along with other close neighbors, were out there the entire day.
Whether it was taking the time to give the gift of life, bringing treats, or just coming out to show you care, every little effort meant so much to our family and really showed the true colors of what our community is all about. Our family has lived in Scripps Ranch for more than 25 years and we are blessed to be a part of it.
Many of you have donated food, gift cards, and flowers, sent motivating messages, contributed to the cleaning service, done yard work, walked our dogs Bailey and Riley, and said prayers for all of us. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Your thoughtfulness and generosity will never be forgotten. Many say they are waiting for more news on how they can help. One thing we can ask for is the biggest welcome home celebration for Jack--when that finally happens!
Although the roller coaster ride is not over, we feel Jack's recovery is on the upswing and doctors are doing their best to make sure Jack will live the fullest life once again. Before the accident, Jack was athletic and healthy--which saved his life. He is intelligent, has a wonderful sense of humor, and is strong willed.
The unfortunate accident left him with too many broken bones to count, with rods surgically placed to reconnect them, severe head trauma, a hip replacement, and other challenges too early to tell. However, Jack lives his life excepting challenges and has told us, in the few words he has said, he can handle the long road ahead. With the support of so many, there is no doubt "Come Back Jack" will be on his feet again soon.
The Loire Valley neighborhood has dedicated a blog to Jack on its website, where family members post updates. Visit [www.loirevalleyhoa.org] and log into the message board: Username=JK (for Jack Kriz), and Password: guest. Thank you all.
Our next concert is on Sunday, June 8, at 6 pm at our normal venue, Hoyt Park. It features Eve Selis and Party Quake and is guaranteed to be a high energy event. Eve and her band blend many styles of American music into high-octane rock `n roll. Then Party Quake will keep you on the dance floor with their music from the `60s, `70s, `80s, and `90s. Special thanks goes to Marrokal Construction, the concert hosts.
- Sunday, June 8: Eve Selis and Party Quake, hosted by Marrokal Construction
- Sunday, July 13: Shockwave and Midnight Rambler, hosted by Coldwell Banker
- Sunday, Aug. 10: Y3K, hosted by Cymer
- Sunday, Sept. 7: Rockola, hosted by Marrokal Construction
- Sunday, Dec. 2, hosted by Canyon Springs Church
Thanks to everyone for all your support. Visit [www.Symphonyinthepark.org] for more information on ways to support this great family event. We are excited about this year's schedule and look forward to seeing you at our concert on June 8.