It is always traumatic to hear about criminal activity in the form of burglaries and other crimes, but even more with senseless vandalism. This indicates some break down in the family structures of knowing what is right and wrong at the fundamental level. Our community Christmas tree is well lighted and has a fence around it, yet each year it is vandalized, and this year was no exception.
At least 15 of the light strings were deliberately vandalized by either breaking them or removing the bulbs. This deprives the community of a beautiful sight. As stated in last month’s SRCA Newsletter, perhaps this would be an appropriate time for parents to remind their children of the fine community we have here and how we all make it better by our actions, not by destruction.
I always like to add a positive item, so please see the following article on the Holiday Celebration in Jerabek Park. It was a fine time, and the tree was beautiful. Also, as one drove around the Ranch, many homes were beautifully decorated and lighted for the holiday season. It made a wonderful sight for our community to enjoy.
The 20th anniversary of the Scripps Ranch family Holiday Celebration in Jerabek Park was a great success. Santa arrived on time with candy canes for all the children presenting unwrapped gifts to the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program.
The Marshall Middle School band played their fine selection of Christmas tunes and the community Christmas tree was lighted after a vigorous countdown. Heidi Brown, Girl Scout chair, had arranged for cookies and hot chocolate and led the singing of all the groups.
We thank Andy Nicholas for again providing the public address system and training the girl scouts to operate it. Also, thanks to Manuel and the crew from the Landscape Maintenance Assessment District who set up the tree for us each year. We collected 39 large plastic bags of toys. A big thank you from all the children who received them.
If you see any unauthorized dumping of mulched material, please call me at 566-6083 or Layton Galloway at 619-236-1369. Please try to get a license number if you can. You do not need to confront the individuals; just report them. Although we generate and then use our own mulch, we do not need the extra. Your reporting will help us curb this.
The second meeting of the new middle school Design Task Force in January allowed participants to develop a series of possible layouts for the school site. This is a challenging site, as it has a drop in level of 150 feet and will require not only extensive grading but probably walls to delineate school areas.
The areas of concern remain traffic circulation, parking, layout for best use of the site, and athletic and other facilities that can also be used jointly by the community. Complicating the issue of layout and physical positioning of the buildings and facilities are easements for a gas line, a large environmentally restricted area, and a water aqueduct.
Also, we need to consider interaction with Alliant International University, which is also undergoing a major construction project and uses the entrance off Pomerado Road and the Avenue of the Nations. The participants are approaching all of the tasks with a wonderful goal: to create the best possible educational facility and opportunity for the children.
All plans are still tentative and there is no suggested layout yet, just lots of ideas to consider. At the next meeting it is expected that we can consider an amalgamation of these ideas that hopefully will result in some specifically focused plans for us to consider. The physical layout of the buildings in campus format is the initial goal, and it remains to be determined whether one-, two-, or three-story buildings will be required.
As I reported in the last SRCA Newsletter, the school district faces a substantial funding shortfall, and this will impact ongoing operations. I am sure we will be called upon to assist and make adjustments. As the middle school is under Proposition MM, its construction should continue at the level we now know. Hopefully by 2006, the financial situation of manning and equipping the school will have been met.
I hope you all had a chance to listen to, or at least read, some of the potential funding problems outlined by Mayor Dick Murphy that face the city with the disastrous budget shortfall in the state. This can place many programs that are considered "nonessential" either in a "deferred" or a "hold" position.
I make this observation as many of the things we ask for in terms of service and response will now be "filtered." We can expect our Councilmember Brian Maienschein to have a restricted capability to help us. We will still submit our plans, but we must be patient.
I have been asked to start a list of major projects that are currently underway and that, hopefully, we will have major progress on or complete this year. In other words, it is a list of "where we are going" as a community.
- Complete the planning for the finest and fully equipped new middle school in the San Diego Unified School District with major input from the community;
- Finalize arrangements for the education of the 6th grade students pending completion of the new middle school, and continue our outstanding support of the total educational effort despite anticipated fund shortages;
- Fully coordinate all planning aspects of new developments and expansions on the Ranch, including the Chabad Hebrew Academy, Alliant International University, Monarch, the Western Pacific Housing project, 4-acre parcel, the water plant expansion, and any others. We will work to ensure that the impact in terms of traffic and other infrastructure issues are all anticipated and fully met;
- Conduct the best-ever membership drive for the Scripps Ranch Civic Association. Our collective voice will really be needed in these times of austerity and tension, and funds for activities will be critical as they are provided from dues collected;
- Support and assist the athletic leagues and other activities that make Scripps Ranch the finest family community in the area;
- Work with city offices, especially our council office, to secure programs needed to maintain our quality of life, including the Landscape Maintenance Assessment District, traffic control, and street and sidewalk repair.
- Continue work on the water plant expansion and the related security aspects of the Miramar Dam and its use with minimum impact on the Ranch;
- Maintain close liaison with designated planning agencies, Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Miramar, and other agencies on any projected developments regarding a new San Diego airport; and,
- Complete specific programs to mitigate the impact of additional traffic on Pomerado Road, Interstate 15, and our streets from any development.
As a representative from Scripps Ranch on the Miramar College Foundation, we are trying to enhance the capability of the Foundation to bring in more and better students, to make an impact on the schooling provided, and support other activities. The state finally authorized construction of new buildings.
Now the concern is that the funds for completing and equipping them will dry up. So, we are attempting to develop a base for financial support. If you have ideas of who can help, please call me at 566-6083. All assistance and advice will be heartily welcomed.
One of the finest and most effective community volunteers of our sister community of Mira Mesa is Bruce Brown. He not only has been chair or president of every activity–including graffiti busting, Park and Rec, parade, Harmonium Board, the Senior Center, Retired Senior Volunteer Patrol, schools, planning, Volunteer of the Year–but he continues his service even now as a member of the City Planning Commission.
Bruce underwent triple by-pass heart surgery this month and is now home and making a fine recovery. For all his myriad admirers and friends, this is welcome news. We wish him a speedy and uneventful recovery.
As we complete a very full and active year, we give a hearty "Well done and thanks for all your splendid and successful support on our behalf" to our Councilmember Brian Maienschein. He has assisted and facilitated our many requests for assistance and service to an unprecedented degree, and we have benefited from it.
I could always count on a favorable reception, no matter what our request, from him, his chief of staff Lance Witmondt, and from our community representative Clint Carney. The coming year, with all it challenges and unknowns, will require a greater and focused effort on his part, and patience and support from a unified and informed community.
I hope you have noticed how Evans Pond by the library is thriving with the added water. We have the greatest concentration of wild ducks we have ever had, so the new water and clean up renewed this truly attractive aspect for our library center.
If you have not taken the children to see and feed all the ducks, this is the time. Please feed the ducks cracked corn or bird seed. Chocolate cake and cookies are a "no no." The water contributed by the Water Authority really "filled the bill" for us, and we appreciate the help from the director of the San Diego City Water Authority, Larry Gardiner.
What can we expect in this new year? Only time will tell, what with financial problems and the prospect of a war. Should we have resolutions, knowing we probably will not follow them? I say resolutions enable you to set a standard for yourself. Here is my simple list:
- Be more attentive, participate with, love, and enjoy my family;
- Be a good citizen of the greatest country in the world. Do my share and make sure my actions contribute, even in a small way, to a better world; and,
- Be aware of the needs and concerns of those less fortunate and assist as I can in helping them.
I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday season and have a happy and healthy new year. Gaye and I were blessed to have our children and two grandchildren with us, which made for a full, noisy, and happy house.
We start the new year filled with hope for our family, our country, and prayers for the safety of all our Armed Forces wherever they may be and whatever dangers and challenges they face. Thanks for helping make Scripps Ranch so wonderful. May 2003 be the best year ever.
Thanks for helping make our Christmas tree collection a real success. We collected more Christmas trees than ever before, and we had minimum trouble at the collection sites thanks to all of your help. This made the city’s collection effort greatly simplified, and, of course, they came more often. I am very proud of the role Scripps Ranch played in initially setting up and running this major program which is now a city success story. Your help makes it work.