June is a special month for Gaye and me--we celebrate our 62nd wedding anniversary and I turn 86 on Thursday, June 12. Never thought with all my combat I would ever be fortunate enough to reach this age, but I am so grateful. I must admit that I am even more blessed that I have been able to be of service to this great country and this fine community for the past 31 years. It has been a labor of love. Speaking of love, my lovely bride and I celebrated our anniversary in Hawaii.
The Scripps Ranch Schools Committee's Transportation Subcommittee is hard at work finalizing plans for the continuation of the Marshall Middle School bus program. It is self-supporting from users, and the subcommittee hopes to get it all in place before the end of school. Although the district handles the contract, parents pay for the service.
As I mention schools, I hope all read the article in The San Diego Union-Tribune in May by the new school superintendent, Terry Grier. He set forth his views on the measures required to meet the daunting requirement of the budget cuts from state-mandated programs. He addressed the draconian measures that have to be adopted, such as issuing termination notices to teachers and the problems this creates in the district. I am sure he did not anticipate such a shocking condition when he applied for the job.
The school board is wrestling with all these issues, and we need to be patient--while very concerned as to the impacts--as they resolve them. The state mandates how the funds would be spent making for very limited financial flexibility remaining for the district to meet goals. That adds to the trauma.
Funds are going to be needed. All our schools are now holding what are very significant fundraising activities. Please patronize them as this coming year, more than in the past, we as a community must step forward with our finances and help the principals and faculty do their fine job for the children.
I used the opportunity to also present certificates of appreciation from the 101st Airborne Division in Iraq for all of the school supplies we sent to the children of four schools in Baghdad. It was our way of making a difference in the children's lives. Thanks again to all of you who helped in the program. You are reminded we sent 46 boxes of school supplies averaging 23 pounds each.
Scripps Ranch community representatives were the lead elements in the last three fundraising ballot propositions of the school district. The district hopes to place a new proposition on the ballot in November. The process for this new ballot measure was unique in that the individual school cluster committees are being asked to identify their needs for maintenance and facility improvement and submit suggestions. Our school cluster includes Scripps Ranch High School, Marshall Middle School, and Dingeman, Ellen Browning Scripps, Jerabek, and Miramar Ranch elementary schools.
The district called for a meeting with members of the Scripps Ranch school cluster. We met at Scripps Ranch High School in late April, when all the schools were asked to report their needs and requirements. These will be consolidated for another bond issue similar to Proposition MM for specific improvements to schools. Keep in mind this is how we got the basic funding for Marshall Middle School and other improvements. Stay tuned for more specific information.
We insisted that in order to secure as wide support as possible for continuing the tax assessment, all of the needs must be included in the wording of the ballot proposition that is drawn up. This would assure all schools that their needs would be met and not siphoned away.
A San Diego Union-Tribune front page article concerned the trials and tribulations of the city in finally securing the $2.3 million from FEMA for brush clearing. Two or more lessons learned. One is that the government operates slowly. We already knew that, as well as the fact that persistence pays off.
Of particular note to Scripps Ranch residents is to examine the plan of attack and see, for lesson two, that we get our fair share of possible assistance. Yes, we admit, it is long overdue. Let's make sure what we get is well done and accomplishes the tasks before us. Certainly a good indication so far.
We are entering our dry season and we have lots of dry grass. Therefore, the fire alert for the coming year is high. That means all of us must be especially careful and observe all safety rules. By all means, immediately call 911 if you see a fire of any type. The faster the fire is reported, the faster something can be done to respond and contain it. Better yet, make sure no fires start.
Your most precious right as an American is your right to vote for the candidate and issues of your choice. It is your right, privilege, and duty to express your preference and your views in the form of voting. Absentee balloting is becoming very popular and easy to do. I prefer that I have the right as a citizen to a ballot and can make my mark as I see fit. Do it and you will feel good about being a part of democracy. Vote on Tuesday, June 3, for the candidate of your choice, as we prepare for the final vote in November.
The Ranch is famous for putting on the finest patriotic community 4th of July Parade in Southern California, bar none. This year the 4th of July Committee promises to maintain and, hopefully, improve on this enviable record of superior community parades. As July 4 falls on a Friday this year, it starts a long weekend for most people, adding to the enjoyment for all.
Chair Bill Crooks and his committee are meeting to finalize preparations so you will enjoy it in the traditional manner, ending up as usual for a further celebration in Hoyt Park after the parade. Plan to attend. You will enjoy the community flavor of the parade with your neighbors in the finest community in San Diego County. For more details on the festivities, see page 5.
Hope all of you enjoyed the wonderful spirit of the annual Community Fair in May, followed by the first Symphony in the Park concert. Special thanks and appreciation go to all of the hardworking and dedicated volunteers who made it so nice. Particular thanks to Bev Cassity for again chairing and doing a terrific job!
Also, thanks to Bill Crooks, who along with Jany Staley, handled the tremendous job of coordinating traffic, parking, safety, and all that goes with it. And to Mary Drummond who handled the registration and assisted vendors and residents alike. All in all, a fine show again. And, of course, thanks to all the members of the committee without whom it would not be possible.
The Garage Sale went very well and we extend our thanks to our sponsors, Coldwell Banker. Clean-Up Day also went well thanks to our good friends from the Kiwanis Club. However, we have seen a spontaneous creation of dump spots. We have individuals dropping off old desks, beds, cuttings, and mattresses at Hendrix Pond's Landscape Maintenance Assessment District collection site and on street corners. In some cases we have found names and addresses and contacted the individuals to do their part and it sometimes works. Be advised that we will ask Code Enforcement to cite the individuals for littering in the future.
I say this as I drove around the Ranch the Friday before Clean-Up Day, and I must compliment you residents--the Ranch looked fantastic! Thanks for showing your pride. What I do is drive around and isolate areas that need work. We schedule a short overtime crew on Saturday to drive around and help collect items left in various places. By all means, if you have a group that would like to help keep our homes neat and clean, select a part of a park or open space and clean it up. The area you clean up is part of our home and frankly shows our pride in community as well as keeps up our property values.
We asked the county to come out to Hoyt Park and check for potential mosquito breeding sites, such as under the Aviary Drive overpass and storm drain. They came out and gave us a good spray to prevent against West Nile virus, which is carried by mosquitoes. If you see mosquitoes in Hoyt Park or in the vicinity, email me at [[email protected]], and we will do this again. In fact, be sure you do not have standing water around your home where mosquitoes breed quickly.
Just a reminder that we are entering into our dry season and the snowpack is only at 67% of usual, so we need to be diligent about conserving water. I have been asked for some simple hints as to what you as an individual can do? These are proven ideas, and when multiplied by thousands, really make a difference.
- Water your lawn once a week. Do not let water run in the street.
- For those who love to wash cars, wet it down, rinse with a sponge, and then hose it down again. You save 50% percent of a normal wash job.
- For those who love long showers--don't. Follow the Navy rule: wet down, soap up, and rinse off.
- Water your plants with a sprinkler.
- Run the dishwasher only when full.
- When you wash your hands, turn off the water after a rinse, soap up your hands, then wash them off.
- Refuse: The city will refuse to accept any more refuse for the landfill.
- Produce: This farm is used to produce produce.
- Object: I did not object to the object in question.
- Bass: A large bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
- Invalid: The insurance policy was invalid for the invalid.
- Row: There was a real row among the oarsmen as to how to row the boat.
- Boat: The fisherman was unable to boat the fish he caught into the boat.
- Wise: If you are called a wise man, you are revered, but not if you are a wise guy.