Since the beginning of the year, two citizen volunteers and I have left flyers on doorsteps and vehicles parked in neighborhoods that experienced higher than normal car burglaries in 2007. As of February 8, we have distributed more than 900 flyers to your neighborhoods. The flyers are reminders of simple preventative steps you can take to mitigate your chances of being a victim.
We will continue our flyer distribution until May with hopes of delivering more than 2,000 flyers. If you see one of us in your neighborhood, please feel free to stop and say hello. My volunteers have been instructed to give out my phone number and email address when they have questions they cannot answer.
In February Lieutenant Dawn Summers left Northeastern Division for Central Division. Lt. Summers has been instrumental in giving me the time necessary to focus on projects that specifically address issues in Scripps Ranch. I wish her well in her new endeavor.
With the departure of Lt. Summers, Lt. Richard O'Hanlon arrived from Eastern Division just down the I-15. He brings a great deal of knowledge and experience with him to our command. His duties will include supervising the sergeants and officers who patrol Scripps Ranch. Please welcome him.
As I enter my final year as your City Councilmember, I am so proud of all that we have accomplished together to benefit your community. Despite two major natural disasters and other obstacles along the way, we have built stronger neighborhoods and greatly improved the quality of life for our families.
My district budget priorities for the upcoming fiscal year include first and foremost the additional allocation of resources to road resurfacing and slurry sealing. For the past few years, I have fought to obtain the necessary funding to resurface some of our community's major roads, while trying to ensure that potholes are filled and patched in a timely manner. While we had success last year in getting a major portion of Pomerado Road repaved, more needs to be done. I remain committed to fighting for a fair share of resources for District 5 road improvements.
Additionally, I once again will advocate for increased resources to be dedicated to thinning and managing the overgrown brush that plagues our city's canyons and open spaces. Brush management is an ongoing battle for the communities of District 5, and regular maintenance is a critical tool in helping to prevent wildfires. I therefore urge my council colleagues to make brush management a citywide priority in this year's budget discussions.
Increased funding for public safety remains my top citywide budget priority. Over the past couple of years, I have focused my efforts as chair of the Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee to catching up on deferred maintenance. I believe ensuring police and fire have sufficient resources and equipment is critical to maintaining and improving our quality of service and protection.
As we enter into another year of budget negotiations, it is my belief that our resources should be focused on restoring core city services and rebuilding our infrastructure. I will continue to advocate for the best and most prudent use of our tax dollars. I look forward to working to bring forth the most responsible budget for the people of San Diego.
As I enter my final year as your councilmember, I want to say what an honor it has been to represent your community. Thank you for the support you have given to me, and I look forward to another productive year.
As you know, the wild grasses took last year off...no rain. Not so this year! Here's what's coming. The grasses and weeds are growing and have a great start from the rains so far in 2008. By mid-spring they will reach up to six feet in many of our open areas, along our trails, and behind our homes. After May 15 this lush vegetation will quit growing, begin to turn brown, and dry out.
From July onward they will be flash fire fuel, which is extremely volatile and fast burning. If there is oil laden eucalyptus residue in the area, particularly in the neighborhood's firebreak areas, these flash fires can take on a whole new meaning. Long burning firebrands, smoldering like punk, can blow into nearby residential neighborhoods on winds created by the fire itself as it burns upward along hillsides.
Your best protection is to "fireproof" your homes as much as possible. Replace wood shingles! Cover openings into the attic with quarter inch screen, and much more. For additional information about this, please visit the Scripps Ranch Fire Safe Council (SRFSC) website at [www.srfiresafecouncil.org].
Next, protect yourself with defensible space. Now. That means remove the fire fuel from your 100-foot firebreak areas. This is a neighborhood project because the entire firebreak must be cleaned up, not just spots along the way. We have created more than 10 miles of firebreaks in the past four years. Many of these will need maintenance after May 15--easier with a weed eater than a chainsaw.
If your firebreak area is still laden with volatile fire fuel after the two big fires and still has not burned, count yourself among the lucky. If you're waiting for the city or someone else to create your "defensible space" for you, think long and hard about what's at stake. You could reach the SRFSC at 945-6303 or [[email protected]].
On Feb. 1 new passport applications went into effect. The old applications are no longer accepted. Prices also went up by $3, to $100 for an adult passport. A child's passport--under 16 years old--is now $85. The fees are payable in two checks, one to the U.S. State Department, and $25 to the City Treasurer.
Children under 16 must now be accompanied by their parents during application. If a parent cannot be present, a notarized letter that gives permission for the child to apply for a passport must be presented.
In addition, the Information Center also will accept applications for new passport cards. Passport cards are intended as a convenient alternative to passport books and are good only for land crossings at the Mexican and Canadian borders. For adults who already have a passport book, they may apply for the card and pay only $20. First-time applicants will pay $45 for adult cards and $35 for children.
Two colonels hatched the plan. Dr. Robert D. Dingeman, a former colonel with the Army's 101st Airborne Division and now an orthopedic surgeon in Fairbanks, Alaska, talked to his dad, Scripps Ranch's Robert E. Dingeman. The topic: doing something to help schools in war-torn Iraq. Our Bob Dingeman was off! The man for whom Robert E. Dingeman Elementary School is named knew Scripps Ranch children! They would want to be part of the project.
When he told the students what was needed-- pencils, pens, pads of paper--donations poured in. No guests for the Dingemans for a while! The guest room was bursting at the seams with items from Jerabek! Miramar Ranch Elementary's lobby also was filled. Bob had already sent six soccer balls, contributed by Play It Again Sports, to four Iraq schools. The Scripps Ranch Soccer Club came up with nine more.
All the Scripps Ranch public schools got in the spirit of giving. The schools said they wanted the 101st Airborne soldiers in Iraq to make the deliveries to the Iraq schools. Home Depot donated boxes for shipping and told Bob to contact their headquarters. They'd like to continue doing it. Staples in Poway offered up cartons of pencils and sharpeners. What a great community sprit of giving!
For more about this project, contact Bob at [[email protected]].
Scripps Ranch High School families are needed to host high school students from Europe, Latin America, or Asia. As a Center for Cultural Interexchange host family, you will host a student in your home for five or 10 months. Please visit our website at [www.cci-exchange.com] or call Jackie at 949-872-1817.
We live in an area where financial challenges are growing at an astronomical rate. Many American families have lost their primary residence. U.S. credit card debt has soared to an all-time high of $915 billion. Although such hardships may seem to be monetary issues, lack of moral and character education play a major role. In response, Mind Treasures--a nonprofit organization started in 2006 in Scripps Ranch--has created an innovative method of teaching finances through character development.
Through Mind Treasures' programs, attendees--kindergarten through retirees--learn to build a solid foundation in: saving, investing, sharing, and spending. The program helps develop key characters such as: responsibility, moderation, thankfulness, and generosity. Furthermore, this development is complemented by learning elements of the local economy and financial system, including goals, budgeting, credit and borrowing, taxes, and more. In 2007 the California Department of Education endorsed this program as a resource for public schools.
The Easter Bunny plans an appearance at the Scripps Ranch Farmers Market and Art Festival on Saturday, Mar. 22, from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm. Mark your calendars now! Bring your cameras for a great photo opportunity. The Easter Bunny will hand out sweet treats to young and old alike. The market is open Saturdays from 9 am to 1 pm at Ellen Browning Scripps Elementary School on Spring Canyon Road.