What's Happening

4th of July Parade

Just one more reminder that our 4th of July Parade is on Sunday, July 4, at 10 am on the usual route past the Vons on Scripps Ranch Boulevard. We are striving to continue the tradition of the "most patriotic and best community parade in Southern California." Plan to attend and avoid the traffic off the Ranch. Have a safe 4th at home!

We also need to reinforce our beliefs in what our country stands for. No matter how you feel about what's going on in Iraq, we should support our troops!

This will be a special 4th of July for Gaye and me--the parade narrator and a parade committee member. Our eldest granddaughter, Dr. Kori Weston, and her husband, Dr. Greg Weston, and our two great granddaughters, Kadyn and Erin, will join us for the parade. Kori remembers attending the parade when she was just 10 years old and wanted her children to have the same experience. Needless to say, Gaye and I will be delighted to have them all with us.

Clean Up for the 4th

We will entertain thousands of visitors in Scripps Ranch over the 4th of July holiday. This is your chance to show your pride in Scripps Ranch and your resiliency of spirit by cleaning up your streets and homes so the Ranch sparkles. Then come out and enjoy the patriotic 4th of July activities with your friends and neighbors in America's finest community--our home, Scripps Ranch.

It's Vacation Time--Give the Kids a Brake

The city painted in yellow safety crossing lines again at the intersection of Aviary and Red Cedar Drives just in time for vacation. We are reminded that vacation time is here, and we all must be especially alert that children can and will run into the streets chasing balls and just acting like children.

Give them a brake! Please be especially watchful. Respect the yellow crosswalks by schools even during vacations so you do not get into bad habits.

Miramar Lake and Water Treatment Plant Updates

Miramar Lake reopens for fishing on Saturday, July 10. There will be blue gill, catfish, and bass, but not trout.

Work continues on a round-the-clock basis for several weeks on the Water Plant expansion project. This is required to meet the deadlines for contract work completion. We are making every effort to reduce the noise and dust from the construction. Thanks for your patience.

The work is coming along according to schedule, but disruption of traffic for undergrounding the SDG&E power lines continues for several more weeks.

Congratulations, Bob Ilko!

In June the chair of the SRCA's Project Phoenix, Bob Ilko, was honored by Channel 10 with their Leadership Award. Bob has been a tireless worker, putting in hundreds of hours helping residents recover from the terrible Cedar fire. This is a well-earned and suitable recognition of his tremendous efforts on our behalf. We also thank his wife and children for making Bob "available" so he could do all his good works.

Some Welcome Assistance From the City

We identified at least 1,200 more trees along Pomerado Road and other areas adjacent to homes that do not show signs of coming back after the fire. Although many trees immediately sprouted new leaves, with nature rebuilding our community, we have identified those trees that did not. So these selected trees should be removed if they pose a potential safety hazard to traffic or homes.

Most of this is city work, not Landscape Maintenance Assessment District budgeted work. So at our request the city, despite funding limitations, will assist us in funding this work. We will use our crews for maximum efficiency and cost savings. Incidentally, we still cut the logs up and stack them so you can pick them up for firewood. Be careful, though, when parking along Pomerado Road, and pull off as far from the driving surface as you can. Be safe.

Impact of City Funding Crunch

We hope to have a definitive statement for the next SRCA Newsletter of the impact of the stringent city budget cuts on services in Scripps Ranch. As the budget is still undergoing changes and we all want a piece of the action, it is better not to speculate on cuts and wait until the budget is finalized.

I dare say, many will find the cuts, as well as the additional fees, unpleasant. Many valuable and traditional services may be curtailed or now have a fee. We in Scripps Ranch are known for our fantastic support of our community.

This support and your financial contributions will really be important this year. So plan to remain contributors of your time, energy, and, of course, your funds for many worthwhile projects that need to continue. We expect the city to continue to provide us our fair share, and then we will step in and do what is needed at a higher level.

SRCA Fire Relief Fund

The committee for allocating the funds accumulated in our SRCA Fire Relief Fund has met several times and already has sent out two letters to all those who are on our current contact list for residents who suffered losses. A new revised letter will be sent out soon to again inform all fire-affected residents about the fund and their options. This letter will also be on the SRCA website at [www.scrippsranch.org] so that it can be downloaded and filled out.

All those who feel they are eligible for the relief fund MUST return one of the letters we have sent in order to receive funds. There will be an open meeting on the fund distribution plan in mid-July. We are efforting to hold it in St. Gregory's parish hall. We will email fire-affected residents--if we don't have your email, please send it to us at [[email protected]]--and post the meeting date, time, and place on our website. At this meeting the committee's plan for allocating the funds will be discussed and community input taken.

Sixth Grade Graduation

Dingeman and Miramar Ranch elementary schools graduated the 6th graders who remained on campus because of the overcrowding at Marshall Middle School. The sincere thanks and appreciation of the community goes out to the principals, staff, faculty, and, of course, the parents and students of both of these schools. Thank you for again stepping forward in the Scripps Ranch tradition and accomplishing a superior job taking care of and educating our young people.

Schools Committee Meeting

The SRCA Schools Committee met in late May and again addressed the status of events and incidents at Scripps Ranch High School and the actions taken to date to deal with these incidents. A frank and open discussion was held on all matters with the principal, Dr. Bobbi Forcier, and school district officials. (Please see page 29 for more details). Discussions were held as to how the situation could be eased with the prospect of increased enrollment next year.

This makes SRHS a "crowded" school. The reports in The San Diego Union-Tribune of decreasing enrollment in the San Diego Unified School District do not apply to SRHS or to our other schools. The most recent demographic projections have been amazingly accurate for Scripps Ranch schools.

All schools conducted academic achievement testing again and based on last year's fabulous results, we expect and hope that the results will be so good that Scripps Ranch continues its tradition of having award-winning schools. Even though the financial rewards promised by the previous governor for academic achievements for the teachers may not fully materialize, the benefit and honor to our schools and the community has been great. Thanks to all you parents who are the key to making it work. With your support, guidance, and assistance, your children excel.

Small Pet Owners Beware

We live in an area in which the coyotes roam freely. They are wild animals, so do not set out dog or cat food for them, as once you stop feeding them they could return and dine on your small dog or cat. They can jump fences easily.

If you are in the habit of letting your cat or small dog out for an evening walk, don't. Or make sure you go out with your pet and be sure the coast is clear. Remember, a coyote could be there. Coyotes can be quite aggressive if they feel cornered, but mostly they will simply run away. We all realize that pets like to be let out, but your cat or small dog is no match for a hungry coyote.

Good News

Happy to say that our Landscape Maintenance Assessment District manager, Layton Galloway, was released from a short stay in the hospital with a good report. He is back to work doing his usual outstanding job for us. I have been taking the phone calls, so you can either continue or go back to calling Layton for examining trees, backyards, and such.

Retired Senior Volunteer Patrol (RSVP)

It does not seem possible that a group of us met 10 years ago and formed the RSVP for Scripps Ranch and Mira Mesa. Since that time, the RSVP has established an enviable record helping augment the police presence and particularly handling the vacation house checks, the You Are Not Alone (YANA) program, the shut-in checks, traffic controls, and so much more.

The work of the RSVP becomes even more important as the San Diego Police Department undergoes some major shifts in personnel and activities. If you are interested in devoting some quality volunteer time, please call the police storefront at 538-8120. New recruits are needed. You will enjoy the fellowship and the service to your community.

Patriotism and D-Day

I am sure you all were filled with strong emotions as you saw and reread of the epic courage shown by the thousands who participated in the D-Day invasion. It was inspiring and, I hope, made a lasting impression again on all. As this was the 60th anniversary it will probably be the last one where veterans can show up.

In l964 I was the American planning officer who helped plan for and organize the 20th anniversary celebration of the landing while assigned to Paris. I remember well the reactions and emotions of the soldiers and sailors who returned to the celebration thankful to be alive and convinced they had functioned and risked their lives for a noble cause.

I also remember the emotions of French citizens who welcomed being liberated by our actions. God bless our American citizen warriors and their families. May they rest in peace, secure in the knowledge that their sacrifices were not in vain and they are remembered.

Yes, It Happened Again!

I had another birthday on June 12, and I am now 82 years old. It does not seem possible, but considering the alternative, most welcome. For more than 40 years I have been the master of ceremonies at the annual West Point Founders Day dinner in March, where we honor the youngest and oldest graduate present. Lo and behold, I found that I was the oldest graduate present this year.

I have reached the age where I try to perform as best as I can. But please recognize that the passage of time and wear and tear has taken its toll, and I may not be as rapid in response as I was. I am eternally grateful for all the good wishes I receive, and it really pleases this old soldier. It also keeps me "working" at my favorite occupation--Scripps Ranch!