Safety Plans Work During School Lockdowns

All schools have a Safety Plan that is put into action in case of an emergency. Unfortunately, two Scripps Ranch schools were forced to use their plans recently. On Friday, Mar. 6, Marshall Middle School was locked down due to a bomb threat emailed to school police. MMS was one of four schools mentioned in the email. The school immediately instituted a lockdown and kept students in classes. After following procedures, the children where moved to the blacktop, while school police and San Diego police carefully checked the campus, using police dogs. Nothing was found and no one was hurt.

Then on Tuesday, Mar. 10, Scripps Ranch High School was placed in a lockdown due to two unknown people on campus. The young men were approached by school security. One suspect ran away, the other—a 19-year-old—was handcuffed and secured. The second suspect—an 18-year-old—was arrested a short time later in a nearby condo pool area.

According to SRHS Officer Henry Ramelli, both are persons of interest in a series of Poway burglaries. The suspect who ran away had outstanding felony warrants on burglary charges. Officer Ramelli said the suspects told him they were in the area after a party from the previous night, and they came on campus to find a computer to get on Facebook and find a ride home. No weapons were found on the suspects, and no one was hurt.

Both principals used these incidents to evaluate their Safety Plans. MMS principal, Michelle Irwin, was pleased with how the plan worked. “Our staff knew exactly what to do and supported our students to keep calm during this situation. We debriefed with our staff and brainstormed ways to make situations like this better. One idea is to provide colorful vests so staff and students know who the specific points of contact are, since there were many staff members helping and everyone ‘blended’ together.”

At SRHS Ann Menna said, “Although this situation turned out to be a low-level threat, it was a threat nonetheless. Lockdown procedures were initiated and carried out as previously practiced. We debriefed and did not find any major issues.”

Both principals kept parents apprised of the situations on campus through emails, text messages, or automated phone calls. The Safety Plans at all the schools was discussed at the March meeting of the SRCA Schools Committee, comprised of parents, principals, and community leaders.

Special Recognition for Extraordinary Bravery

It’s being called nothing short of miraculous—Scripps Ranch resident Kyle Kraska’s incredible recovery from six gunshot wounds. Even his doctors tell him he’s a walking miracle. Less than three weeks after the horrible crime, Kyle thanked the community for its support at the Scripps Ranch Civic Associations’s (SRCA) Recognition Night on Monday, Mar. 2.

The event honors our community volunteers. It included a special presentation to residents Scott Bartolomei and Bill Feather, who came to Kyle’s aid after the shooting. After the SRCA thanked Scott and Bill, Kyle was called up to say a few words. Many people in the audience did not know Kyle was in attendance, and there was a collective gasp as he walked to the front of the room. That was followed by an immediate standing ovation for Kyle’s bravery and extraordinary strength.

Kyle thanked Scott and Bill for coming to his aid, and credits Scott with saving his life. He said Scott’s positive words helped him focus on getting through the tragedy.

One month and one day after the shooting, Kyle returned to work as CBS News 8 sports director. Since he’s from Boston, the phrase “Boston Strong” has been used to describe his remarkable courage.

Neighborhood Watch:

Car Break-Ins Increase

Scripps Ranch is experiencing a large number of vehicle break-ins and thefts. In January and February, 20 of these crimes were reported. It only takes seconds for a thief to open an unlocked door or smash a window and steal property. Here are tips to avoid being a victim:

  • Don’t leave valuables in your car, even if they are out of view. Thieves know to check under the seat, in the trunk, glove compartment, and underneath blankets.
  • Don’t pull into a parking space, then hide your purse in the trunk. Someone may be watching you. If you must leave your purse behind, put it in the trunk before you get there. It’s still no guarantee it will be there when you get back.
  • Don’t leave mail or financial papers in your car to avoid identity theft.
  • If you use a portable GPS, don’t leave the empty mount visible.
  • If you leave charging cables plugged in, be sure the end that connects to your device is visible or a thief may think you are hiding a connected phone or iPod.
  • Don’t leave a garage door opener in your car, except in a locked garage.
  • Lock your vehicle and set the alarm.

For emergencies, dial 911. For non-emergencies and to report suspicious behavior, call 858-484-3154. For more information about the SRCANW, visit To reach us, email [email protected]

Cheryl Shaw, SRCANW Chair

Helping You Be Prepared

We are still working for you even though we said goodbye to our founder and mentor, Jerry Mitchell. Jerry and his wife, Dona, moved to Oceanside to be closer to their children. We are still assisting with fire preparedness in Scripps Ranch.

We have some activities coming up. Saturday, May 2, is National Wildfire Community Preparedness Day, a good time to check around your home and address any problems. Also, we’ll have a booth at the SRCA Community Fair on Sunday, May 17, and our annual Golf Tournament fundraiser is set for Saturday Oct. 17. We’ll have more details soon.

For more information, please contact us at [email protected] or 382-7694, and visit our website at

Community Garage Sale and Clean-Up Day

The annual Scripps Ranch Community Garage Sale, sponsored by Coldwell Banker Residential, is on Saturday, Apr. 18, from 7:30 to noon. It’s a chance to sell or purchase unique “treasures.”

If you are a seller and want your address on the garage sale map, please call 621-5294 by noon on Thursday, Apr. 16. Garage sale signs may be picked up at the Coldwell Banker office at 9872 Hibert, Suite D-4—near Trader Joe’s. Maps will be available starting at 7:15 am that Saturday at the Coldwell Banker office.

The next weekend, Saturday, Apr. 25, the SRCA hosts spring Clean-Up Day. It’s a chance to get rid of the items you didn’t sell at the garage sale! From 8 am to noon, there will be trash bins at the SRCA Community Center on Cypress Canyon Road and off Meanley Drive. Please be prepared to unload your vehicle. Check the SRCA Facebook page for updates on locations.

Scripps Ranch Parks to Get Smart Water Controllers

While the city asks residents to cut back on water use, it’s important for the city to do so as well. I have authorized funding for new smart landscaping controllers at six Scripps Ranch parks. The smart controllers sense moisture levels in the ground and only turn on the irrigation system when needed. The parks receiving the upgrade are: Cypress Canyon Park, Jerabek Park, Lakeview Park, Semillon mini-park, Forestview mini-park, and Hoyt Park.

Smart controllers are available for residential irrigation systems, and you can get a rebate through SoCal Water Smart at Rebates start at $80 or $35 per controller station for large residential sites.

Also, let me know if you see wasteful water uses on city property. Email me at [email protected] or call the Waste No Water hotline at 619-533-5271.

Councilmember Mark Kersey

Inspirational Former SRHS Teacher Passes Away

Beloved former Scripps Ranch High School teacher Abdo Mena (above right) passed away on Wednesday, Mar. 11, after suffering a brain aneurism. He taught at SRHS for years and moved to Orange County this past summer to be closer to family. He led the SRHS Robotics team—named “Easy as PI”—that competed annually. He was the founding instructor of the Green Technology program at SRHS. Mena’s passion for engineering, robotics, the Solar Boat Project and Green Tech was the basis for the development of business partnerships with companies such as Lockheed Martin and Solar Turbines.

Mena was instrumental in establishing the agreement with San Diego State University that created an avenue for SRHS students taking engineering classes to be admitted to SDSU. He inspired his students and was always willing to help.

Mena was a bright and positive staff member. His warm personality and sense of humor will not be forgotten. He leaves behind a wife and two young daughters, the youngest only 11 months old. He donated his organs, giving until the very end.

IMPACT Scholarships

Calling all college-bound student-athletes! Todd and Melanie Durkin, Scripps Ranch residents and owners of Fitness Quest 10 in Scripps Ranch, are awarding a $2,500 scholarship to a Scripps Ranch High School student-athlete as part of their IMPACT Foundation. The scholarship goes to a deserving senior who has demonstrated superior leadership, community service, and dedication to school and sports. To apply, visit The deadline is Wednesday, Apr. 15. For questions, please email Todd at [email protected]

Hop to the Farmers Market

The Easter Bunny hops over to the Scripps Ranch Farmers Market on Saturday, Apr. 4. Join us from 10 am to noon. We invite you to check out the newly remodeled market. We are open year-round on Saturdays from 9 am to 1:30 pm. For information, visit