Horrific and Deadly Fires

Deadly fires in Southern and Northern California recently were stark reminders of how quickly a firestorm can decimate entire areas. The Camp Fire in Butte County is now the state’s deadliest wildfire. As of press time, dozens of residents were killed, some stuck in their cars while trying to evacuate. Entire communities were devastated and thousands of homes leveled.

The Scripps Ranch Fire Safe Council (SRFSC) was formed after the 2003 Cedar Fire hit our community. Thankfully, no one in Scripps Ranch was killed, but hundreds of homes were destroyed.

One of our goals is to help you be prepared when the next fire hits San Diego. Our website at www.srfiresafe.org has many resources, including a community evacuation map. We worked with the Scripps Ranch Civic Association, City Homeland Security, and San Diego Police and Fire-Rescue departments to devise a plan to help you evacuate quickly.

However, during emergencies, situations change, so the evacuation map is only a guide. Please follow law enforcement instructions during a disaster.

The SRFSC held an Open House at Fire Scripps Ranch Fire Station 37 on Spring Canyon Road. Many residents came by to get information on how to help make their homes more fire-safe. The kids got to tour the fire station and sit on the trucks. It was a great community event. We thank Capt. John Bowens and his crew for their hospitality. We also thank them, and all first responders, for their incredible work every day to keep us safe.

We held our 12th Annual Golf Tournament, where we raised money to help our community. Thanks to all of our golfers. In addition, The Glen at Scripps Ranch donated $20,000 to the Fire Safe Council. We are so grateful for this contribution that will help us with an important project we are working on with the San Diego Police Department.

We want to purchase equipment to stock 10 locations on our evacuation route with equipment first responders would need in an emergency. This includes traffic cones, flares, vests, signs, barricades, and sheds to store everything. We estimate this project will cost $75,000. If you would like to donate, we have set up a Venmo account. We appreciate any contributions.

To reach us, email [email protected] or call 858-201-3711. We hope you all have a safe holiday.

Neighborhood Watch: Have a Crime-Free Holiday

It’s hard to believe that Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa are right around the corner. With that in mind, here are a few tips to safeguard your home from holiday burglars.

  • Don’t put your Christmas tree with its holiday gifts in front of a window where someone may be tempted to smash the window and dash away with your packages.
  • You may not be able to lock a window if you run an extension cord through it to power your light display. Have an exterior outlet installed by a licensed electrician.
  • Packages left on your porch are an easy target that most criminals will not pass up. The majority of these thefts happen during the day. Criminals may follow delivery trucks and take the package as soon as it’s put on your porch. Sign up for delivery alerts, and if you are not home ask a neighbor to help.
  • Don’t leave an “inviting” answering machine message that says you are away for the holidays.
  • If you leave town ask a neighbor to watch your home and collect flyers or debris from your driveway and porch. Also contact the Retired Senior Volunteer Patrol and request a Vacation House Check. Download the form and instructions at www.scrippsranch.org/watch.
  • After the holidays don’t advertise the gifts you received by piling boxes from big-ticket items next to your trash can. It’s like an invitation to burglars, letting them know you have expensive items to steal. Break down the boxes and put them in non-clear garbage bags.
  • Mark new gifts with your driver’s license or ID number.

For more about the Scripps Ranch Civic Association Neighborhood Watch program, please visit www.scrippsranch.org/watch. To reach us, email [email protected] Here’s wishing you a joyful and trouble-free holiday season.

Cheryl Shaw, SRCANW Chair

Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony

Ho, ho, ho! Santa is on his way to Scripps Ranch for the 36th Annual Scripps Ranch Girl Scout Tree Lighting Ceremony. It’s on Sunday, Dec. 9, from 3 to 5 pm at Jerabek Park and is co-hosted by Junior Troop 3154 and the Scripps Ranch Civic Association. The Symphony in the Park Concert is right after this event, also in Jerabek Park (see the next article).

This year’s theme is “Winter Wonderland,” and we again will collect toys and games for Toys for Tots. Every scout who donates will receive an event patch. Other festivities include winter-themed crafts, winter wonderland and snowman décor, a Santa visit, and carols.

The Girl Scouts will host a bake sale featuring tasty items from brownies to cookies and other festive treats and warm beverages. Bring a few dollars for these snacks, which will be $1 each. Proceeds from the bake sale benefit the Girl Scout SHARE program that helps fund activities for girls who cannot afford them.

This event is sure to put you in the holiday spirit! Hope to see you there!

Symphony in the Park Holiday Concert

After the Tree Lighting Ceremony, stay at Jerabek Park for the Symphony in the Park Holiday Concert, which starts at 5 pm. This community tradition will feature Christmas Tree-OH. Band members Eve Selis, Mattie Mills, and Marc Intravaia will entertain us with Christmas carols and more, so everyone can sing along.

Then at 6 pm the jolly man in the big red suit shows up…again! You see, he takes a break after the Tree Lighting Ceremony, then comes back! The children get so excited to greet Santa, chauffeured by Fire Station 37’s truck, complete with flashing lights.

Bring low-back chairs and blankets if it’s a chilly night. You can bring snacks and beverages or buy some of the goodies that the Girl Scouts will have for sale. Don’t miss this wonderful event!

Cheryl Shaw, Symphony in the Park Committee

Scripps Ranch Teens Build Playground

Sixteen sophomore boys made a decision that will not only change their worlds but will ultimately improve the lives of needy children in Tijuana. They joined together to develop, fundraise, and construct a Build A Miracle playground.

These student athletes, a tight group from Scripps Ranch and Cathedral Catholic high schools, have played and competed in sports together, some since kindergarten. All are keenly aware that they were blessed at birth to have safe, clean parks to romp in, equipped with swings and climbing structures. They didn’t have to dodge broken glass or crumbling dirt holes.

So these teens are pooling their youthful energy to create a safe playground in the poor neighborhood of El Florido. This will allow less fortunate kids to be active and wholesome and have a safe place to play.

The Playground Project boys teamed up with Scripps Ranch-based charity Build A Miracle (BAM), led by Scripps Ranch residents Chris and Julianne North. BAM has had a strong presence in Mexico for 17 years. In fact, BAM has built 338 houses, a community center, and sport court, thanks to generous donors and the sweat of volunteers like these teens.

One hundred percent of all BAM donations go directly to build the playground. The young men started their advocacy and fundraising campaign at the November meeting of the Scripps Ranch Philanthropic Chicks, another homegrown charity actively seeking to improve the lives of others.

To complete the playground the boys need to raise $55,000 for materials and professional labor. In addition, the boys will make many trips to prep the area through lots of manual labor and to interact with the kids. They need your support.

If you’d like to help, you can send a check for any amount to “Build A Miracle.” Mail it to: Build A Miracle Playground Project, 12461 Kingspine Avenue, San Diego, CA 92131. You will receive a receipt from BAM for tax purposes as they are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Also, you can donate online at www.buildamiracle.net. Again, please direct funds toward the “Playground Project.” If you have any questions, please email Kathleen Merkin at [email protected]

Have Lunch with Santa!

Winter is here and that means Santa is on his way! Join us at the Scripps Ranch Recreation Center for our annual Lunch with Santa on Friday Dec. 14, from 1:30 to 3:30 pm. Activities include a hearty lunch, cookie decorating, crafts, and a chance to take a photo with Santa. Tickets are on sale now through Saturday, Dec. 8, or until we sell out. Ticket purchases are completed in person at the recreation center office. Please call 858-538-8085 before arrival to confirm tickets are still available and registration is being accepted.

9th Annual Becky’s Gift

Becky’s Gift is in full swing and close to collecting 1,000 toys for families affected by cancer this holiday season. We still need help to reach our goal! We are delivering the toys to the Oncology Associates of San Diego, UCSD Moores Cancer Center, and South County Hematology Oncology. The families being treated for cancer can select a toy or toys for their children.

The patients are very thankful! They can concentrate more on getting healthy and less on the financial and emotional stress of the season. For more information, go to www.facebook.com/BeckysGift.

If you would like to donate an unwrapped new toy or gift card for children from infants to 16 years old, host a toy drive event, or have a toy collection box at your business, we would appreciate your help to reach our goal this season!

You can drop off toys at Scripps Rock Dental, 12112 Scripps Summit Drive, Suite C, or Saint Gregory the Great Catholic School at 15315 Stonebridge Parkway. For questions, email Christie Jackson at [email protected] or Becky Walton at [email protected] Thank you, Scripps Ranch, for making a difference! Happy holidays!