As a community and as a nation, we went through a lot this last year--from a war to a destructive fire. Let us hope the coming year will be a better one for all of us. There is one New Year's resolution that is appropriate and it is: "I resolve to continue the good works started last year, and particularly those initiated during Firestorm 2003."
It was so impressive to see the wonderful cooperative, helpful, and upbeat spirit of all Scripps Ranch residents from October on. We always knew we had a fine community; now we know we have the finest.
Bill Rick Sr., founder and chief engineer of Rick Engineering and a community leader, died after a short illness. Bill headed the company that was hired to prepare most of the plans for developing our community in consonance with our award-winning Community Plan of l977, which he helped write.
He participated monthly in all of our community planning meetings as we developed and revised the plans for new neighborhoods, with emphasis on quality of life. He insisted the plans include proper financing for the needed infrastructure and other facilities that have contributed to making Scripps Ranch the finest community in San Diego.
Bill was not only cooperative but also a visionary with a keen sense of history. He included livability into all of our plans, and we could count on his wisdom and quiet confidence, as well as his ability to couch development plans in the proper language for the developer and the city to get the job done.
We could always count on his support for our needs and in our appearances before the City Council for approval of projects. Bill also served San Diego well as a port commissioner and in many other volunteer ways. He was a gentleman, yet a giant in ability and in missions accomplished. He counted his work in Scripps Ranch as one of his finest engineering legacies, and we are grateful.
The SRCA will host our customary Candidates Night to allow you to hear and question the candidates for public office running in the March primary election. Mike Gallivan, SRCA District 1 representative, will again chair the event, with our experienced moderator, Rick Parke, handling the microphone.
Holiday Celebration: It went off well in Jerabek Park with a wonderful family time and lots of good cheer. Many toys were collected for Toys for Tots. Unfortunately, vandals struck the tree lights, but we were able to restore them for your enjoyment.
Pomerado Road Work: I hope you appreciate the fantastic job our Landscape Maintenance Assessment District crews have done to remove the fire damages on Pomerado Road. The area is already starting to turn green, and you can see the fire-damaged trees beginning to put out new green shoots. Nature replenishing itself. All of the burned wooden supports for the guardrails have been replaced for safety.
Recognition Night: Join us at our rescheduled Recognition Night on Tuesday, Feb. 10. The number of volunteers who have done fantastic things are legion, and we will recognize them properly in Scripps Ranch tradition.
Christmas Tree Recycling: Although we were limited to the single collection site at the Community Park, it went well. When residents dropped off trees in the traditional Hoyt Park area, the city came and picked them up. Thanks for your assistance in making the recycling project work so well.
Membership Drive: Starting with the last Newsletter issue, we started the best Membership Drive ever. If you have not sent in your membership, please do so and ask your neighbors to join the SRCA and help the Ranch. Then, volunteer to help--it is your community.
Street Repairs: We do not know what the funding will be for street repairs, but we will do our best to get our share. The streets in many areas need refurbishing, and we will continue the planned efforts published last year. Where there is major work, we have asked that the entire street be repaved for the long haul.
Underground Installation of Power Lines: SDG&E worked during the holidays to bury the power lines that run past Miramar Ranch Elementary School on Red Cedar Drive. They will continue their work in conjunction with the Water Plant expansion on Scripps Lake Drive and Scripps Ranch Boulevard The good thing is that they will repave the street when completed.
Water Treatment Plant Expansion: Be alert for the next two months as you go down Scripps Lake Drive. The new entrance is being constructed and traffic will occasionally be one-way, but with a road guard.
Evans Pond: Yes, we have been able to add more untreated water to Evans Pond, compliments of the Recreation Council and the Water Department. Nice for the ducks, and, of course, a backup water source for fire.
Candidates Night: As mentioned above in my report, we will hold a Candidates Night so you can meet the candidates for public office. Again, it is on Tuesday, Feb. 17, at 7 pm at the Scripps Ranch Library. Hear the candidates and make your choice in the election.
Community Emergency Reaction Team (CERT): Scripps Ranch resident Steve Walker is working with Battalion Fire Chief Bowlin to get our CERT organized and functional as a trained augmentation to the fire department.
Middle School: Purchasing arrangements for the land are being completed, and our subcommittee is working with the San Diego Unified School District on some plan changes and joint-use facilities. It is still set to open in fall 2006.
Project Phoenix: Under the leadership of Bob Ilko, the committee is still doing a yeoman's job of assisting residents, and we have our first home under construction. Major work with insurance, as well as permits, continues. This is a long-term project that you can join.
Event and Committee Chairs: If you are so inclined, there are vacancies for committee chairs and committee members. Some of the openings include the 4th of July Celebration and the Landscape Maintenance Assessment District. So, do not be bashful; step up and do your thing. You will love it.
No end of the year report would be complete without a reminder that the traffic violators in Scripps Ranch are probably us, not someone from out of town or off the Ranch. Slow down, respect the other driver, and this will be a finer place for all.
The annual report of your RSVP activities for the year was published at the Foundation board of directors meeting in January. The record is remarkable in what the RSVP has done to enhance our collective safety and augment the San Diego Police Department.
- Bank checks--66,000;
- Citizen contacts--2,773;
- School patrols--21,154;
- Vacation house checks--15,347;
- You Are Not Alone (YANA)--15,589;
- Library patrols--2,309; and,
- Patrol hours--57,821.
Our collective thanks go out to these senior citizens who help make our neighborhoods safer. If you are over 50 years of age and can drive a vehicle, check into the police storefront in Mira Mesa and become a volunteer. You will like the service to your fellow residents and the company you keep.
Channel 10 News honored three Ranch residents with the 10 Leadership Award in November for spearheading efforts to provide food and comfort for those displaced by the fire. They are Old Pros Rich Brown, Tim Forrey, and Ray Calhoun.
Rich served more than 2,000 meals to fire-affected residents at St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church. Tim and Ray put together two cookouts for residents along Birch Bluff Avenue. Our congratulation to all three who join the pantheon of fantastic volunteer workers here in Scripps Ranch.
During the tensions and trauma of Firestorm 2003 and its aftermath, the actions of hundreds of our residents were fantastic and can only be said to be phenomenal. Some have marveled that in our great "I am" society that the milk of human kindness would still be there, but it was--in spades.
It was the wonderful spirit of America in operation. Let us all vow to continue to work for a better world for all. There are many areas in which you can and should donate your time, interest, and skills--whether mentoring a student in school, picking up trash, or serving on a committee. All combine to make for a better life for all and bring with them satisfaction and rewards in terms of results.