Brush Fire Dangers

The hot weather is upon us. The scrub oak, manzanita, and eucalyptus trees are tinder dry and ready to burn. On Friday, June 28, at 2:23 in the afternoon, Scripps Ranch residents scrambled to save their homes from a wildfire in the area of Kingspine and Rue Fontainebleau.

Fortunately, luck was with us once again. The air tankers were already in the air responding to a fire in the Boulevard area. They were diverted to Scripps Ranch because structures were threatened. So, in no time at all, retardant was being dropped. The fire crews from the Scripps Ranch station were first at the scene and realized the potential for this fire. Additional resources were ordered at once.

Fire crews from several jurisdictions responded and went to work containing the 10-acre fire. Scripps Ranch has enormous potential for a large wildfire. The firefighters at Fire Station 37 are well prepared for such an incident, but need the help of the citizens of Scripps Ranch. Please do the following:

  • Trim trees away from roof areas;
  • Maintain your roof free of leaves, needles, and other dead vegetation and growth;
  • Remove tree portions that extend within 10 feet of a chimney and screen the chimney outlet using inch mesh to prevent sparks;
  • Stack wood piles away from structures, fences, and other combustibles; and,
  • Do not play with matches, fireworks, or throw cigarettes out your vehicle window.

Captain Warren Geiske, Station 37

Message from the Fire Chief

I would like to wish everyone a safe fire-free summer. San Diego is a beautiful city with many outdoor activities available for our youth besides hanging out in canyon areas. Canyons are not safe in the best of times and are extremely dangerous during this hot, dry summer.

Recent canyon fires in Scripps Ranch and Tierrasanta have been started by teenagers. This is a change in demographics from previous summers where younger children experimenting with matches and lighters have started canyon fires. Arson investigators and firefighters have noticed an alarming trend of teenagers hanging around in canyons. They smoke, drink, and start campfires in areas that are so dry the brush does not just burn, it explodes.

I would like parents and teenagers to be aware there is an accountability issue when a fire is negligently set. Parents and teens alike will share in the responsibility of a fire set in canyon or brushy areas. The firesetter will most likely be arrested and enter the juvenile court system and parents will be responsible for the cost of fighting the fire.

As the Fire Chief of a 1,200 member Fire Department, I am concerned about the safety of my firefighters. As a father of six children, I am extremely concerned about the safety of our children, who are using canyon areas as a hangout. I would like everyone to remember nine firefighters have died fighting wildfires across the nation this season.

Fire Chief Jeff Bowman, San Diego Fire and Life Safety Services

Maienschein Directing Brush Removal

I am directing an immediate brush removal program in Scripps Ranch in an attempt to prevent any future fires. As a result of the exceedingly dry conditions, the city currently has an understaffed and overscheduled brush removal crew.

Therefore, I have recruited the services of the non-profit Alpha Project to immediately begin clearing brush throughout the Ranch to prevent future fires from turning into a catastrophe. Alpha Project receives federal grant program funding through the city and will provide their services for free.

This project will last several weeks, or even months. City Landscape Maintenance Supervisor Layton Galloway and Bob Dingeman have identified several areas in need of clearing. They will continue inspecting all areas of the Ranch.

I was disturbed by the danger of the Scripps Ranch fire. It could have easily gotten out of control and destroyed homes, or even taken lives. The Fire Department did an incredible job in containing this fire, and I know that residents are very proud of our fire crews.

Taking all steps to prevent a future disaster is an immediate priority of mine, especially during this dry season. For information on this brush removal program, call my office at 619-236-6655.

Councilmember Brian Maienschein

Miramar Dam Update

In response to Councilmember Brian Maienschein’s letter of April 24 requesting the opening of the gates at Miramar Dam, Governor Davis directed Thomas Hannigan of the California Department of Water Resources to report on the status of the dam closure.

Mr. Hannigan stated the state’s position as: "… until vulnerability assessments have been performed and security measures prioritized based on security needs, there will continue to be an impact on public access to facilities such as this reservoir."

Security assessments are scheduled to be completed by December 2002. To continue pursuing this issue and seek assistance from other officials, Maienschein has contacted the California Department of Fish and Game and the State Parks Department.

Developments and progress will be reported in the SRCA Newsletter, on the SRCA website, and via email. To be placed on an email list, contact Clint Carney at [[email protected]].

Legs for Literacy

Now that you have had time to catch your breath from participating in the Old Pros 4th of July run, start gearing up for the other annual Scripps Ranch Run/Walk. The Cush Legs for Literacy Run/Walk is set for Sunday, Oct. 20, at Miramar Lake.

The 4th Annual Cush Legs for Literacy 5K and One-Mile Fun Walk/Run will again prove to be a worthwhile event benefiting all Scripps Ranch schools. Entry fees are $15 for students and children; $18 for adults.

This fee includes a T-shirt. Also, local businesses will provide refreshments, a balloon artist will be available, and your child can participate in arts and crafts. Raffles and prizes will also be offered. Kids 12 and under receive a medal.

There will be several opportunities to sign up for this event, and volunteers will be at the Farmer’s Market on Saturday, Oct. 19, between 9 am and 1 pm handing out registration packets. We will keep you posted regarding other details, including our need for volunteers.

Please contact Mary at 560-2052 to volunteer for this fun event. Let’s pull together as a community and support this program. Mark your calendars for Sunday, Oct. 20. We hope to see you there!

Pat Matthews, Publicity

Summer Concert

Summer will be even hotter on Sunday, Aug. 11, at 6 pm when The Fabulous Pelicans turn up the heat with their music. You may think you just want to come to watch, but as soon as the children dance with Caroline and Bobby, the adults will surely follow.

We love them for their rock `n roll, we love them for the Buffet songs, and we love it when they play more current hits. So, be sure to start your picnic at 5 pm so you can join in the fun at 6 pm.

The other concerts have been great and we have a few people to thank for their time and efforts. Many of them have served year after year and deserve our praise for their timeless spirit of volunteerism.

  • Chair–Phill Hansen
  • Chair–Cheryl Pritchard
  • Bob and M’Lu Colbourn
  • Donna Demko
  • Dennis Downs
  • Steve Fiorina
  • Cathy Flanders
  • Barbara Hunter
  • John Martin
  • Andy Nicholas
  • Bev and Dan Ornelas
  • Nancy Petit
  • Scott Pritchard
  • Lucy Werneke
  • Adrienne Wurster

Your enthusiasm makes our work worthwhile. Your support makes our labors possible. We hope you will continue to join us at Hoyt Park, at the corner of Aviary and Canyon Lake Drive for each concert. And, we hope you will financially support the concerts in Scripps Ranch. Questions may be directed to our chairs: Phill at 693-1761, or Cheryl at 578-2536.

M’Lu Colbourn

Thank you, Scripps Ranch

As a parent of a student at Scripps Dance Centre, I would like to say thank you to the Scripps Ranch community for all of the support you have given our children over the past three years. Not only are our children having a great time dancing, they are also improving their technique by performing at fundraisers.

Your support has helped the Centre raise $20,000 for such worthwhile causes as the Escondido Humane Society, several programs at Children’s Hospital, the SRHS Musical Theatre program, and multiple scholarships.

Our children are growing into beautiful dancers, and equally important, they are learning to comprehend their unique talents by being encouraged to develop their own style while adhering to the rigorous discipline of dance. The following, excerpted from a quote by Martha Graham, exemplifies Director Kelley Grant’s philosophy of dance: "There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is truly unique."

Thank you, Kelley Grant, for your unique program. And, thank you, Scripps Ranch, for supporting this program for our children.

Rita Danskin

New Library Parking Lot

Parking is often a problem when events are held at the Scripps Ranch Library. A new parking lot adjacent to the library is included in a proposed citywide $300 million upgrade of the library system announced by Mayor Dick Murphy. The City Council was scheduled to vote on the plan on July 30.

Anne Slavicek

Video Vault Refunds

The Video Vault store in the old Vons shopping center has closed. If you have a pre-paid plan, you can get your money back. Call Janet Luz at 792-5258 on Monday, Wednesday, or Friday from 9 am-5 pm. Janet says they have already sent out many refund checks and will do so until everyone’s money is returned.

Water Conservation

How much would you pay to have an expert come to your home and show you how to save water, thus saving money on your water and sewer bills? The city of San Diego Water Department offers its Residential Water Survey Program to owners of single-family homes and multi-family units at no charge. Participants can reduce their annual water consumption by 10-18%.

The Water Department surveyor suggests water-savings opportunities, identifying water problems and offering personalized solutions. The exterior survey assesses the landscape and irrigation system, which accounts for more than 50 percent of total water use, especially during the hot summer months.

The surveyor checks for obvious leaks, which constitute about 3 percent of the daily water use in a home. Homeowners are also reminded of behavioral changes–such as running only full loads in the washing machine.

Some of the following are often provided free: low-flow shower heads, landscaping information, coupons for local nurseries, and other water-wise products. To schedule a survey, contact the Water Conservation Program at 619-570-1999 or [[email protected]]. For more information about water conservation, please call 619-515-3500 or visit [].

Luis Generoso, Water Department

SR Couple in Washington

The annual President’s Dinner was held in Washington, D.C., in June. Among the attendees to this major fundraiser for the Republican Party were Scripps Ranch residents Eric and Linda Benham. The Benhams have lived in Scripps Ranch since 1984 and have been active in Republican politics since 1995.

In addition to President and Mrs. George W. Bush, Congressmen Duncan Hunter and Randy "Duke" Cunningham also attended with their wives, Lynne Hunter and Nancy Cunningham. Due to recent redistricting, Congressman Hunter is now Scripps Ranch’s representative in the House, replacing Congressman Cunningham.