Help From Our Friends

You know how the Beatles' song goes: "I get by with a little help from my friends." That could be the theme for Scripps Ranch this past year. When that horrible fire devastated our community, friends and strangers helped turn a tragedy into an event that made Scripps Ranch stronger than ever.

As you know, this month marks the one year "anniversary" of that awful Sunday. When we asked the fire folks to share their thoughts about what stood out for them most this last year, we were overwhelmed with the response. Their stories are poignant, bittersweet, and even humorous. All of them will touch your heart. Be forewarned, though, have a box of tissue handy.

Starting on page 50, read excerpts from their thoughts--there's not enough space in the Newsletter to print their entire stories. Then go to the SRCA website at [www.scrippsranch.org] for their complete articles. We thank them for sharing their stories and for personifying strength and grace under pressure.

The fire folks also tremendously helped future fire victims. Through their willingness to fight the good fight with the state government, they got bills passed into law that will be crucial to those who lose their homes in the future.

While dealing with rebuilding, insurance, and so many other issues, many traveled to Sacramento or contacted lawmakers, urging them to pass these bills. Please see page 9 for details.

Right after the fire, many people wanted to be with friends and neighbors. Being with others seemed to make things a bit easier. The SRCA thought the community would like to get together on the Sunday of the fire anniversary, Oct. 24. So, we're hosting "Community Unity: Scripps Ranch Stronger Than Ever" for the entire community. Bring the kids for free food and games! Please turn to page 9 for details.

Later that day, St. Gregory's hosts a nondenominational service to bring the community together. Please join us and get a little help from your friends on what will be a tough day for many of us.

The Scripps Ranch Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) shares important information they are learning. Page 19 has details on how to make a family disaster plan.

We got a lot of help from our friends to get our cover pictures. Thank you to Scripps Ranch residents Steve Jilka and Larry Gabele for the current picture, and The San Diego Union-Tribune for the 2003 picture.

We bring you the redesigned Newsletter cover this month. We wanted to highlight the pictures for this issue, but, in the future, we will include headlines to point out important community stories.

I want to thank our graphics editor, Victoria Mazelli, for her extraordinary work, and about 30 revisions, before we had the cover. And, huge thanks goes to Raffi Siyahian, an ad executive and neighbor, who donated his valuable time to weigh in on the design and gave us the tag line: "Bringing Country Living Home." Thanks so much, Raffi!

Other community news this month:

  • Candidates' statements, page 25;
  • Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi holds a public hearing on "underinsurance," page 9;
  • SRHS principal update, page 19;
  • Community Garage Sale and Clean-Up Day, page 5;
  • CUSH Legs for Literacy Run/Walk, page 21; and,
  • Children's Hospital Kid's News Day, page 69.

I hope the fire folks know what an inspiration they are to so many. A tragedy that could have torn our community apart instead made it invincible. Scripps Ranch now embodies the word "community" for the entire nation.

Gloria Tran, Editor