I hope you all stop for a moment of silence and remember to say "thank you" for the sacrifice of the countless men and women citizen soldiers who have fought for our freedoms. In many cases, they have given their lives for what we hold dear. Our Armed Forces face implacable foes in Iraq and Afghanistan, with an aim to disrupt any movement toward democracy. They face dangers almost beyond description. As the slogan says, "Support Our Troops." They have earned our thanks and gratitude. The Old Soldier
The well-attended--about 500-- SRCA-facilitated meeting with Department of Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi was an emotional, as well as uplifting, experience for me, and I am sure for those who attended. We heard residents from Scripps Ranch, as well as Crest and other areas, who lost everything express their hope for the future.
We all shared the feeling of devastation for their total loss and a sincere desire for help so they can get on with their lives. The remarks were forceful, poignant, and sometimes humorous, if a fire can be humorous. But residents were focused on what was needed and on asking for Commissioner Garamendi's help. He repeated that he needs to have communicated to him specifics as to problems encountered so he can assist.
Our thanks to Commissioner Garamendi for returning for the second time and listening and recording our concerns. You may be asked for additional information, although you have provided it ad nauseam. You are an awesome lot!
I feel confident I have done my homework after the fact, but an insurance company CEO reminded us that we must keep up with replacement costs. Also, if you have not inventoried and recorded your personal property, you are reminded to do this and put the video or DVD in a safe place.
Stonefield Development held its groundbreaking in April on Pinecastle Street, which was almost completely devastated by the fire. The developer is rebuilding homes in the area--about 70 of them. This was an amazing reminder of the fantastic progress being made to rebuild our wonderful community.
When we reflect that it has been eight months since the fire, we are on our way. Hopefully, more families will begin to move into their rebuilt homes soon. We can think of no finer family holiday present than for them to be back in their own home. Let's plan to really "light up Scripps Ranch" for the holiday event!
Back in December 2000 Councilmember Brian Maienschein, as our new council member, assigned his friend and colleague Clint Carney to be our community representative. As Clint was the 17th council representative that we have had over the years, I spent time going over Ranch history and community plans. I also informed him of how we, as a community, were doers and got things done and would cooperate wholeheartedly to get progress on projects.
I am happy to say that Clint became the most devoted and effective council representative we have ever had. He facilitated actions, initiated actions, and was always responsive and got things done. The terrible devastation of the fire brought out the very best in Clint. His work in the fire aftermath can only be described as dedicated, effective, stupendous, considerate, and magnificent as he put in 23-and-a-half hours a day as part of Councilmember Maienschein's marvelous and devoted District 5 team.
Clint was seen answering a thousand phone calls, traveling around the fire-ravaged areas surveying and reporting damage--he made the first damage assessment report the day after the fire--helping devastated residents in their time of need, getting water, and securing sandbags. In fact, he did everything he could for everyone. Although Clint is not a Scripps Ranch resident, he performed like a native, and we are all proud to call him an honorary Scripps Ranch resident.
Clint left the council office on Friday, Apr. 30, but we formally thanked him at the SRCA Community Fair in May. We gave him some tokens of our love, appreciation, and affection for all he has done for us. He is not leaving the Ranch, as his new office is in Scripps Ranch, so we hope to tap into his knowledge and skills with the city from time to time.
I consider Clint not only a good and treasured friend but also a community gem. Thanks, Clint, for all you have done. You can take pride that you made a difference when it counted, and it will be a lasting memorial to your efforts here.
Councilmember Brian Maienschein announced his regret at the departure of Clint from his office after four years of outstanding service. Brian said the same level of service will be maintained by his appointed Scripps Ranch representative, Christine Millay. We are fortunate that Christine has been serving for months in a dual capacity, with most of her time spent on Ranch matters. So the official transition will be easy.
Christine has a wonderful smile and a sunny approach to life and getting things done, which helped tremendously during some of our rather grim moments after the fire. We welcome Christine to the full-time position and wish her well. In addition to her other work on the Ranch, she has been manning the council office at the Local Assistance Center in the Information Center. Clint passed on to her all the needed information, so we are set for business as usual.
As we baked in the 100-degree weather, we were reminded that this dries out the vegetation and increases the fire danger. Although we saw a massive amount of brush burn in October, there can still be brush fires. So be doubly careful of a fire, keep a hose handy, remove brush accumulations, and have a fire evacuation plan in effect for your house. It pays to be prepared.
Yes, some residents have cleared trees from their easement slopes and elsewhere, especially on Scripps Lake Drive. We are in fire season, and it creates a fire hazard when trees are cut and the debris remains on the slope for weeks.
All cut trees should be removed immediately. A chance cigarette flipped into a pile of dead brush and branches will quickly spread to houses nearby. The San Diego Fire-Rescue Department is inspecting and issuing citations for creating fire hazards, so please remove any and all cuttings.
The change is hoped to achieve an increase in efficiency, as well as save the city money. Recycling and greenery pickup will still be twice a month. You are complimented on making the greenery pickup and recycling work so well.
At the Community Advisory Group meeting in April we bid farewell to two longtime members: Scripps Ranch Planning Group (SRPG) representative Mike Baksh and library representative Chuck Lentz. Mike no longer serves on the SRPG, and Chuck is moving to La Mesa. We expressed the thanks of the community for their dedication over the years.
The work is proceeding well, and the water level is being restored, so fishing will be permitted starting in July for catfish, blue gill, and, of course, bass. Get your permits! No trout will be put in the reservoir, as the water is too warm.
The new toilets are under construction, and the expanded parking lot is complete, as is most of the work on the entrance. You will note that entrance work was held up so the SDG&E burial of power lines project would not tear up just repaved streets.
Although the vulnerability analysis of the security aspects of this water supply has not been released, the Old Pros 4th of July l0K Run and Bike Ride will be permitted again, we are happy to say. We plan to have a special event at the reservoir sometime after September to formally open up the new facilities. In the meantime, come to the lake! It remains a fine recreational asset kept open despite the construction--a credit to the Water Department and the Advisory Group.
It was with regret that the SRCA accepted the resignation of a faithful volunteer district representative, Kent Calvert. Kent not only served as representative for District 3 but also assisted in committees and activities. He was also in charge of posting the banners that announced our community and SRCA events for your information. Kent will continue as a member of the board for the Retired Senior Volunteer Patrol (RSVP) Foundation. We thank Kent for all his work for the community.
Dr. Pat Keir, Miramar College president and Scripps Ranch resident, has accepted the position of chancellor of an Iowa community college district and will depart after graduation. Spectacular progress in securing state construction funds for campus facilities and improvements has been made during Pat's tenure.
Three new buildings are under construction and will expand the facilities for an ever-increasing student population. In fact, 35% of Mira Mesa High School graduates have enrolled in Miramar College classes in recent years, and Scripps Ranch High School holds advanced classes conducted by Miramar College faculty.
As I serve as the Scripps Ranch member of the Miramar College Foundation, I can attest to Pat's diligence in securing funds for the college and in bringing about change. We wish Pat Godspeed and thank her for a wonderful job. Her mark is on the campus forever. An interim president will serve during a nationwide search for a new president.
Many years ago I was asked to attend a city services class in enforcing Covenants, Codes, and Restrictions (CC&Rs), signs, and codes. Ty Rogers conducted the sessions for volunteers, so we knew what the city could enforce and how we, as volunteers, could make the system work better. It was always a pleasure to meet so many devoted citizens, all working for their neighborhoods.
Ty brought to the area of code enforcement more persuasion than threats and coercion. This worked as he was constantly faced with personnel cuts and had to rely more and more on citizens. Ty Rogers retired after 30 years with the city. We wish him a long and happy retirement. He was presented with an SRCA Community Service pin for 25 years of service to Scripps Ranch.
I am sure you all know that one of the greatest recognitions and treasures of my life in San Diego was when Dingeman Elementary School was named for me. I am still in awe that Wes Danskin was able to orchestrate it. As I go by the school and see my name, I am so proud.
Again this year, Principal Brad Callahan achieved the highest ever Educational Test score of 914 and the number one school rating in the district. He also put on a fine annual Bob Dingeman Day for the kids so they could meet their namesake. The thrill of being greeted by the children is a rush you cannot believe. It was followed by the Spring Carnival--a great day, and so appreciated!
???Please see separate item in the Newsletter summarizing the proposed SRCA Landscape Maintenance Assessment District (MAD) budget for fiscal year 2005, which is to be included in the city budget now being circulated. Since I raised the issue of the city budget, you will have a chance to review and comment on this budget, labeled "austere," starting this month. Be advised that major cuts are proposed in what we conventionally expect in services in order to conform to the state-mandated reductions in city funds. Only the police and fire have not been cut.