Have you ever had the thought "I’d love to help our community, but I don’t have the time"? Well, now there’s a way to do it that takes literally minutes. I’m talking about joining the SRCA. The funds raised go back into the community. And, it’s an easy way to show how much you appreciate our quality of life.

The SRCA membership drive starts this month, so now is the time to join or renew your membership. Turn to pages 5 and 44 for details about the community events, organizations, and issues the SRCA supports or sponsors. Then, fill out and send in the membership form on page 45, and join your friends and neighbors in helping your community.

Talk about people who support our community–135 volunteers were honored at the annual SRCA Recognition Night. It’s how we show our volunteers how much we appreciate them.

The Scripps Ranch Citizen of the Year 2002 is Bob Ilko, one of the hardest working people on the Ranch. He dedicates so much time to help our community. I get tired just reading about all he does. Congratulations, Bob!

This year, we started a special honor, the Scripps Ranch Volunteer Hall of Fame, and inducted three special people. Our Recognition Night coverage begins on page 7, with eight pages of honorees.

Big news begins this new year–news about our schools and a huge pipeline project that will impact our community for years.

This month, you get a chance to learn about the San Vicente pipeline project. It is a massive project that will tunnel under areas of our community for a water pipeline. You can find out more information at meetings to be held this month. Details are on page 23.

A decision will be made soon about which elementary school–Miramar Ranch or Jerabek–will become a K-6 school in the fall. That’s because until our new middle school is built, Marshall is at capacity. Read the latest on page 31. Then, attend this month’s SRCA meeting, where this issue will be discussed. That’s on Tuesday, Jan. 14, at 7 pm at the Scripps Ranch Library.

One of your neighbors almost became the victim of a horrible crime. When she told me this story, chills ran up my spine. She wanted to share her story to warn others. Even though we live in a wonderful community, unfortunately, no place is immune.

Please read her story on page 25, and heed her warning. Also, our Community Relations Officer Steve Higuera weighs in with tips to stay safe in your home and while you’re out.

The Scripps Ranch community lost one of its young members recently. Christina Leighton was a very special young girl who, despite many obstacles, lived her life to the fullest. We could all learn a little about appreciating life from her. Read about Christina in this month’s Spotlight on Scripps Ranch on page 57.

We must apologize to the Scouts. They sent in some great stories, but we just didn’t have the space to print their entire articles. So, here’s what we did. Turn to page 61 to whet your appetite about all that’s going on. Then, go to the SRCA website [] to read all the entertaining details. Many of the articles are written by the scouts themselves. Nice job!

If you make New Year’s resolutions, good luck with yours. I’m keeping mine simple this year. I’m going to try to appreciate the little moments because I’m learning they are what matter most: my baby’s first wobbly steps; my toddler running into our office when I’m working, giving me a big hug, and telling me "I love you;" or, a knowing glance between my husband and me that we’re in this together.

My wish for you and your family is a year filled with wonderful moments to appreciate!

Gloria Tran, Editor