Air Conditioning Relief for Scripps Ranch Students

I am thrilled to tell Scripps Ranch that air conditioning is on the way for all its schools. Children have suffered far too long in overheated classrooms that have resulted in serious health issues.

At the February 12 Board of Education meeting, the school board approved my motion to use Prop Z funds to bring immediate relief to children in the hottest areas of the district, including Scripps Ranch. Installation of air conditioners could begin as early as September. It will take 18-24 months for installation in all classrooms that need it. District staff will determine where the project begins, and as of press time, that information had not been decided. While this is a temporary fix until all hot schools get central AC, district staff says the air conditioners will provide “significant” relief for students.

The Scripps Ranch schools that will get relief are: Dingeman, Jerabek, and Miramar Ranch elementary schools. As for Scripps Ranch High School, plans are currently underway to install central air conditioning as part of phase one of a Whole Site Modernization (WSM) project, using other Prop Z funds. At this time, architectural plans are being designed, which will then go to the state for approval. The projection is to begin installation between April and June of 2014 at SRHS. Ellen Browning Scripps Elementary and Marshall Middle schools already have air conditioning.

As a teacher, for years there was no air conditioning in my classroom. Students struggled to learn while sweat poured down their faces, despite having several fans. When my school was remodeled and air conditioning was installed, students could focus on learning.

A 1998 San Diego Grand Jury report highlighted the problem in the district with a report entitled San Diego’s Educational Sweat Shops. It clearly articulated what parents and students have been aware of for years–that the oppressive heat is a health and safety risk. Evidence cited headaches, nose bleeds, and other heat-related illnesses.

 

It also documented some classrooms reached 102.5 degrees on hot days. The report urged the Board of Education to install air conditioning–15 years ago!

This is nothing new for Scripps Ranch. Parents and staff report that students pass out, throw up, and are forced to go home when classrooms exceed acceptable temperatures. Thermometers placed in classrooms measured above 100 degrees at many schools.

After being elected to the San Diego Unified School Board in 2010, I made it a point to visit campuses and listen to administration, staff, parents, and students about how I can help improve schools. While visiting countless classrooms at schools throughout the district, I felt the heat firsthand. The kids and staff everywhere had a common refrain: “The heat is unbearable. Not only is it a health concern, but it also makes learning almost impossible.” I began working with Superintendent Bill Kowba and central office staff to find solutions.

Prop S funds were already allocated by the previous school board and were not available for air conditioning. When drafting the ballot for Prop Z, I strongly advocated that specific language be included for “air conditioning” in hot schools. Voters approved the bond measure in 2012, providing almost $3 billion for improving schools.

I asked staff to explore the cost of installing immediate relief to hot climate zone schools. The preliminary estimate of $9 million would provide air conditioning to all 59 schools in hot climate “Zone 3”–that’s 2,000 classrooms impacting tens of thousands of students.

The Scripps Ranch community took the lead to convince the other board members to help the children. Gloria Tran and countless other parents, staff, kids, and community members launched one of the largest lobbying efforts in recent memory. The parent/teacher foundation presidents all sent information to their school communities. Special thanks to Shana Smith, Jaylene Farry, Linda Bay, Tracy Jewell, and Tasha Jessup. They began an email campaign that shared personal stories of health problems that showed the “sweat shop” conditions were a frightening reality.

The Dingeman Elementary School community stepped up. Led by Jaylene Farry, parents united. Mary Hobbib and Nancy Emtage addressed the school board about the atrocious conditions. In addition, Scripps Ranch High School junior Cydney Jackson eloquently shared her experiences in the overheated classrooms at the high school.

The community came together to not only advocate for what is right for the Scripps Ranch children but for all kids in the eastern region of the school district who suffer on hot days. Parents and staff in other school clusters also advocated for this motion. It was very powerful to have a broad coalition of parents working together for the common good.

To receive a few emails on an issue is not uncommon. But to receive hundreds of emails every day for almost a week from schools all over the district is unprecedented and a clear cry for help.

My motion passed 4-1, with trustees Marne Foster, Richard Barrera, and John Lee Evans joining me to vote for it. Scott Barnett voted against it.

Parents must remain vigilant to ensure the board continues to protect the health and safety of children. I want to send a special thank you to the thousands of parents, staff, and students who emailed the school board to help bring an end to our “educational sweat shops.” Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Kevin Beiser, VP SDUSD School Board

Firefighting in Scripps Ranch

In February I visited Scripps Ranch Fire Station 37 with Chief Javier Mainar. We inspected the site and talked with the crews about the strengths and challenges of the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department’s operations in Scripps Ranch.

Fire Station 37 has been in service since October 2001, which makes it relatively new among department facilities. It is equipped not only with a standard fire engine, but also a brush engine–for fighting fires in off-road terrain–and a medic rescue rig, which is both an ambulance and mini-rescue rig, with rescue equipment such as the “Jaws of Life.”

The station is equipped to respond to many types of emergencies, but the majority of calls in Scripps Ranch are medical/rescue. In fact, roughly 78% of the calls received by Fire Station 37 between July 2011 and June 2012 were medical/rescue calls. With these figures in mind, one way the department could more efficiently expand its operations in the area could be through Fast Response Squads, mobile units set up to handle medical calls without the expense of building a new fire station.

As a member of the City Council’s Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee, I will call for the implementation of a Fast Response Squad Pilot Program to evaluate this innovative model and its impact on response times. The locations for the pilot program have not been determined.

In addition, our firefighters should have the equipment they need to combat deadly wildfires. We know that facilities may be an issue as well. A 2011 report to the City Council identifies the need for 10 new fire stations, one in Scripps Ranch. As chair of the Infrastructure Committee, we will work on how to invest in critical public safety infrastructure while being fiscally responsible.

Let me know your thoughts on fire safety at [[email protected]].

Councilmember Mark Kersey

Aggressive Solicitors in Scripps Ranch

The Scripps Ranch Civic Association’s Neighborhood Watch (SRCANW) is receiving a large number of emails regarding suspicious activity or aggressive unlicensed solicitors. Please call the San Diego Police Department’s non-emergency line at 484-3154 if you are a witness to either of these. Give as many details as possible. Please follow up with an email to [[email protected]].

Call 911 if you see a crime in progress or if you personally feel fearful. Thanks to you, Neighborhood Watch is working! If you haven’t registered, sign up today at [www.scrippsranch.org/watch].

Cheryl Shaw, SRCANW Chair

Scam Warning

You may have received an email or phone call saying you won a foreign lottery. Postal inspectors are warning you not to respond because there are scams involving foreign lotteries. During the past three years victims lost more than $42 million to these scams.

If you or a loved one receives an unsolicited offer, postal inspectors suggest:

  • Hang up the phone, delete the email;
  • Don’t give out personal or financial information to anyone over the internet or phone;
  • Never wire or send money to anyone, anywhere who says you have won a foreign lottery;
  • Don’t let anyone pressure you into making an immediate decision; and,
  • Never purchase anything until you get all information in writing.

If you are a caregiver to an older person, warn him or her. Older folks are a primary target of scammers. In most circumstances, foreign lotteries are illegal. For more details, call the U.S. Postal Inspection Service at 877-876-2455 or visit [www.DeliveringTrust.com].

Community Garage Sale and Clean-Up Day

The popular communitywide Scripps Ranch Garage Sale is on Saturday, Apr. 20, from 7:30 am to noon. Each spring, Coldwell Banker Residential sponsors the garage sale. If you are a seller and want your home on the garage sale map, call 578-5510, ext 300. Garage sale signs may be picked up at the Coldwell Banker office at 12036 Scripps Highlands Drive, next to Chili’s, starting Monday, Apr. 1. If you are a shopper, you can pick up garage sale maps at the office starting at 7:15 am that Saturday morning.

The SRCA-sponsored Spring Clean-Up Day is the next weekend, Saturday, Apr. 27. This is your chance to get rid of the items you didn’t sell during the garage sale! Look for more information in the April SRCA Newsletter.

4th of July Fireworks

Dear Community Members,

On behalf of Scripps Mesa Fireworks, I would like to thank you for your continued support of our “neighborhood celebration,” the annual 4th of July Fireworks. Every year, our community has had the joy to participate in a long-standing tradition, the 4th of July Parade and evening fireworks spectacular.

As you may know the fireworks show almost did not happen last year. This year the Scripps Mesa Fireworks Committee is starting its fundraising early to ensure the event takes place. Our goal is to raise $30,000 to cover a 20-minute show and all of the safety features and requirements. We ask for your generous support in one of our sponsorship levels:

  • Silver Sponsor–$1,000, for five willow shells and two bottle rockets
  • Brocade–$500, large spherical break of stars with trails
  • Beehive–$250, color stars that illuminate into a beehive appearance
  • Chrysanthemum–$100, a dense spherical burst of star
  • Crossette–$50, shell that splits usually in the shape of a plus sign
  • $25, $10, or any other amount

We hope we can count on your generous donation to ensure our neighborhood celebration and Independence Day tradition continues. To donate or for questions, please visit our website at [www.scrippsmesafireworks.org]. You also can reach us at 232-4463. Thank you in advance for your consideration.

Mitz Lee, Fundraising Committee Chair

Scholarships: Apply Now!

Local groups are generously offering scholarships to Scripps Ranch students.

SROP Scholarships

The Scripps Ranch Old Pros award scholarships to deserving graduating seniors who live in Scripps Ranch. The scholarships are up to $1,000, with more than two dozen winners last year.

The selection is based on athletic and academic achievement with consideration given to extracurricular and community activities. Applications are in the counselors’ offices of local high schools. For questions, please contact me at 449-2112 or [[email protected]].

Doug Roche, SROP Scholarship Chair

Athletics and Academics

The Scripps Ranch Women’s Athletic Club (SRWAC) offers an annual athletic and academic scholarship. We urge high school female athletes to apply.

Eligibility requirements are:

  • Scripps Ranch resident (92131) for the past two years;
  • Female senior graduating in June;
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA; and,
  • Active in sports/community service.

Applications are available at local high school counseling centers and electronically and must be postmarked no later than Wednesday, May 1. Contact Sylvia Ferrer-McGrade at [[email protected]] or 693-1600 for further information. Winners are announced at the Scripps Ranch High School Senior Awards Night and a Symphony at the Park concert.

SRHS Senior Girls

The Scripps Ranch Women’s Club funds scholarships for Scripps Ranch High School senior girls. Applications are now available on our website at [www.srwomensclub.org]. The deadline is Wednesday, Apr. 10.

Community Service Scholarship

Applications are being accepted for the 2013 Sean Maloy Community Service Scholarship, established in memory of Sean Maloy, to recognize a student with an exemplary commitment to community service. The $500 scholarship is offered each year to a high school senior who lives in Scripps Ranch.

The application due date is Sunday, Mar. 31. For more information, please contact the San Diego Foundation at [www.sdfoundation.org], Karen Christian at [[email protected]], or your high school counseling office.

SRHS Student Learns about State Government

Andrew Erickson (pictured below left with Brian), a successful student and baseball player at Scripps Ranch High School, recently began volunteering in my local office, on Mira Mesa Boulevard in Scripps Ranch. He is dedicating many hours each week to serve the residents of our community. I applaud his efforts and desire to learn about state government.

I really enjoy having local students intern in my office, and I’m happy to be able to provide them with some valuable work experience. Andrew’s work ethic and dedication are a fine example of the quality of young people in our community. Andrew is a terrific young man, and I’m confident he will succeed in whatever he chooses to do in the future.

Assemblyman Brian Maienschein

SRHS Success Story

It’s wonderful to hear about successful young people who grew up right here in our community. Ashley Mathews (above) is one of them! Ashley is a native Scripps Ranch resident and the daughter of proud parents Mark and Patricia Mathews. Ashley was the Scripps Ranch High School Associated Student Body (ASB) president and the number one dancer on the SRHS dance squad for four years.

She subsequently auditioned and made the San Diego State University varsity dance team in her freshman year. She is currently a junior majoring in business. You can catch her in action on the field and floor at Aztec football and basketball games!

New SR Businesses

Home Care for Those in Need

Do you have a loved one in a neighboring community who needs care? Someone who wants to stay in their home and remain as independent as possible? A new business in Scripps Ranch can help you! For more than 30 years, Griswold Home Care has provided high quality, loving, and safe in-home care and non-medical services for families and loved ones just like yours. And now, there is an office close to you!

Our schedules are so demanding that there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. We can help you by providing services to preserve independence, in-home safety, and quality of life for those who require care but wish to remain in their homes. No matter what the level of care–companionship, hospice, post-surgery, or keeping a watchful eye on those with dementia or Alzheimer’s–we strive to enrich the lives of clients and continue their independence.

If you have loved ones in the Poway, Escondido, Ramona, Lakeside, and Santee areas who need care, consider us. The owner is Barry Howland, a 14-year Scripps Ranch resident dedicated to in-home care. Please call 635-5539 or visit [www.griswoldhomecare.com/poway-escondido-santee].

Veterinary Office Open

The Scripps Ranch Veterinary Hospital in the “old” Vons center at 9990 Scripps Ranch Boulevard is open again, with a new owner, new staff, and new equipment. Dr. Karen Kurowski is the new owner. She received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. She’s a caring veterinarian, whose intelligence, warmth, and patience earn her the trust of her clients. She devotes whatever time is necessary to ensure her clients understand their pet’s condition.

In her spare time Dr. Kurowski, her husband, and son run regularly with their dogs, Mojo and Milo. They also share their home with several rescued cats.

Call the new office at 549-4300 or visit [www.ScrippsVet.com].