President’s Report

SRCA Opposes Apartment Proposal

The role of the Scripps Ranch Civic Association (SRCA) is to provide information to residents about events, people, and developments that occur in Scripps Ranch. It is also part of our mission to let decision makers such as the city, county, state, and school district know what residents care about.

We did not oppose the 600,000-square-foot Watermark retail and office complex and supported The Glen at Scripps Ranch retirement project. We opposed others projects such as the Carroll Canyon “big box” retail proposal, which is no longer being pursued. Now we oppose the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) redevelopment proposal for the Innovations Academy Charter School site at the corner of Scripps Poway Parkway and Spring Canyon Road.

We evaluate every project on its own merits. In the case of the district proposing a 98% residential and 2% retail/educational project, it is an easy decision to oppose. Four community groups—the SRCA, Miramar Ranch North Planning Committee, Scripps Ranch Planning Group, and SR Recreation Council—voted to strongly oppose this project.

The district first asked residents in 2014 for ideas for the site and in the next 11 months they went off to find an interested developer. At some point in the process, the district made a strategic decision of not vetting its response for development with the community before negotiating with the developer. The district gave the community less than two months to learn, understand, and question a large residential proposal. In normal circumstances we may have 18 months. Not a single resident has come forward in support of the redevelopment proposal.

The SRCA and the planning groups have worked, and continue to work, hundreds of hours behind the scenes trying to get answers to questions so that the community and school board members can make an informed decision about the project. We have taken a “trust but verify” approach to doing our due diligence.

We asked the district for a postponement of its decision to finalize its 66-year lease agreement to give more time to vet the project. School board president Mike McQuarry refused to grant that request, so the community groups voted to recommend denial of the project.

As of press time, the school board was expected to vote on the project on Tuesday, Jan. 26. Please check the SRCA social media sites—Facebook,—for the latest developments.

Our school board trustee Kevin Beiser came out against the project. Following is his statement. We thank Kevin for his time in addressing the many concerns the community brought to his attention.

Bob Ilko, SRCA President

Kevin Beiser Opposes Project

“I oppose the San Diego Unified School District proposal to develop the property where Innovations Academy Charter School is currently located into a four-story, 264-unit apartment complex.

I have several serious concerns regarding the proposal. The community planning groups evaluated the proposal and voted unanimously against such a development, which is seen as detrimental to the community. It is also of note that the development proposal was presented to the community and the school district in its current form without a back-and-forth dialogue to create a project that would be amenable to the needs of the community and fit better with the community plan.

Another major concern is for the children currently enrolled in Innovations Academy. Without a facility for the school to relocate to, I cannot support removing the school and the children for the sake of a development project. In addition, there is no new identified location for the longtime Scripps Ranch Farmers Market.

I feel that this particular development has many negative consequences that far outweigh any benefits.”

Volunteers Create Beneficial Connections Every Day

Volunteers are the lifeblood of the SRCA and Scripps Ranch. While the SRCA operates like a town council, we are completely volunteer-run. Every day an SRCA volunteer is ready to help you with neighborly assistance, often working behind the scenes.

How can you help support these beneficial volunteer connections?

  • Volunteer with the SRCA! We have a variety of positions, one of which we’re sure will match your time, skills, and interests—
  • Thank a Scripps Ranch volunteer in person and honor him or her now for special acknowledgement at SRCA Recognition Night on Tuesday, Apr. 5—
  • Join the SRCA as a member to help fund the advocacy, activities, and communications provided by volunteers—

As an SRCA member and volunteer, you are an integral part of our community by supporting the connections that lead to individual and community solutions. If you have any questions, please mail us at [email protected]

Jan McGinn, SRCA Membership Chair

SRCA Recognition Night

The SRCA Recognition Night 2016 deadline is near, so please submit names of our deserving volunteers. The deadline is Sunday, Feb. 28. It’s easy to honor that special volunteer online at SRCA Recognition Night is on Tuesday, Apr. 5, from 6:30 to 9 pm at the Scripps Ranch Library.

If you have a company or know someone who would like to sponsor a segment of this year’s event, please contact us as soon as possible. This special night honors those who volunteer for our community by helping with beneficial projects, programs, and events in Scripps Ranch.

To learn more about the background, mission, presentation, volunteer honorees, and more, visit See event night pictures at We hope to see you at this special community event in April. If you would like to volunteer and help our committee, please contact me at [email protected]

Vince Petrucci, Recognition Night Chair

Celebrating Our Cultures
17th Annual SRCA Community Fair
Sunday, May 15

This year’s Community Fair will showcase and celebrate the many cultural, social, and global traditions in our community—Indian, Filipino, German, Mexican, European, Chinese, Korean, Dutch, African, English, American, and more!

Join the celebration by signing up your group as an exhibitor or performer to showcase your culture. All businesses, vendors, nonprofits, performers, and cultural groups can join in the fun through a sponsorship, booth space, or performance spot. Make a reservation now and enjoy being a part of the pre-event publicity. Go to

In addition to new exhibitors and activities, your favorites will return: Green Street; Kids’ Zone; Wine and Beer Garden; community performers; and a rocking band concert that night. Stay tuned as details unfold. Visit or contact us at [email protected] or 397-5747 for questions. Check out last year’s fun on our webpage and click on “2015 Pictures.”

Jan McGinn, Community Fair Chair

Aging Successfully in SR

Healthier Living Workshops

Sponsored by the county, the Scripps Ranch Friends of the Library, and Scripps Ranch 50 Plus, this free six-week set of workshops, “Healthier Living with Chronic Conditions,” is for anyone interested in learning how to manage their health challenges—from diabetes to arthritis to anxiety and everything in between.

The workshops are also for people who want to develop a healthier lifestyle and for caregivers, friends, and family of those dealing with health challenges. During the six classes, you will enjoy a small group led by peers trained in self-management, discover ways to better manage your health challenges, explore ways to reduce fatigue and pain, and problem solve.

Attendance at all workshops is recommended. Dates: Wednesdays, Feb. 10, Feb. 17, Feb. 24, Mar. 2, Mar. 9, and Mar. 16, at the Scripps Ranch Library from noon to 2:30 pm. Registration is requested. To sign up, call 495-5500, ext. 3.

Senior Living Tour

  • Friday, Feb. 26, 11:15 am
  • Oakmont of Escondido Hills

This retirement community is on a lush six-acre campus with views of the Escondido hills and is within walking distance of Westfield’s North County Fair mall. Amenities include formal dining, wellness center, private dining, movie theatre, salon and day spa, garden areas, game room, walking paths, library, pool, activity room, and art studio. There is also a business center and fitness center. There is no buy-in, only monthly fees. Oakmont of Escondido offers: independent living; assisted living; and memory care at a secure neighborhood within the community.

We will meet at the SRCA Community Center, 11885 Cypress Canyon Road, on Friday, Feb. 26, at 11:15 am. The bus departs at 11:30 am. We will tour Oakmont and have lunch. We also will have a brief presentation about proposed plans for developing an assisted living community in Scripps Ranch by Oakmont Senior Living. RSVPs are required. Email [email protected] or call 397-5747, option 1, and leave a message.

Classes at the Library

These classes are sponsored by the Scripps Ranch Friends of the Library.

OASIS Class 101.2

Learn to Draw in a Day

Saturday, Feb. 20, 10 am–noon

This is a beginning class for people who want to learn an easy method to draw anything! Learn some of the techniques from the work of Mona Brookes and Betty Edwards. All supplies are provided. The class is free, but space is limited. Please sign up at the library’s front desk.

Alzheimer’s San Diego Class: Safety and Independence at Home

Wednesday, Feb. 10, 6–7:30 pm

Home safety is an important consideration for people with physical or cognitive disabilities. This free class provides tips on reducing household injuries, fall prevention, medication safety, and reducing the risk of wandering in those with memory impairments. The presenter will be Amy Abrams, MSW/MPH, of Alzheimer’s San Diego. No registration required.


In addition to the usual pickleball times, a new program is starting. On Mondays, starting Feb. 1, there will be a beginners pickleball class from 4:30 to 5:30 pm at the SR Recreation Center, 11454 Blue Cypress Drive. Please register at the Rec Center or

SSR in February

Check out lots of new activities this month: mountain biking in Sycamore Canyon, hawk-watching in Ramona, a hands-on permaculture gardening workshop, and star gazing! And remember, Sustainable Scripps Ranch (SSR) is a standing committee of the Scripps Ranch Civic Association (SRCA). If you haven’t renewed your SRCA membership for 2016 or signed up for automatic renewal, please do it now at! Thanks! For more about us, see our webpage at

Mountain Bike with a Ranger

  • Saturday, Feb. 6, 9–11 am
  • West Sycamore staging area, dirt lot at east end of Stonebridge Parkway

Enjoy cycling through this new, right-next-to-us portion of Mission Trails Park. Ride a new wide single-track trail down and up through Beeler Canyon, 10 miles or less. We’ll start on gentle service roads through a classic chaparral habitat where you may see birds of prey rising to eye level on thermals from the canyons below. If you are new to riding, this is for you!

You can enjoy the vistas and get to know the park with ranger Araceli Dominguez while increasing your mountain biking and nature skills. Come early and volunteers from the San Diego Mountain Biking Association (SDMBA) will help you make adjustments to your bike.

This is the second in a new series of Guided Beginner and Family Nature Rides. All rides are on the first Saturday of each month at different locations in Mission Trails Regional Park. Each is progressively more difficult, so you can try new skills and get comfortable with your bike. Enjoy some or all of the rides in this series. Remember to bring plenty of water, sunscreen, and food.

Hawk Watch

  • Saturday, Feb. 6, 10 am–1 pm
  • Begent Ranch at the Ramona Grasslands, 18528 Highland Valley Road

Observe resident and wintering raptors, including golden eagles, prairie falcons, and up to 17 more raptor species that have been seen at this raptor hotspot. Bring binoculars if you have them, sturdy shoes, layered jackets, and hats. The program begins promptly at 10 am, rain or shine, with a recommended 9:30 am arrival. If you want to carpool, email Steve Carter at [email protected] Note: Hawk watches happen every Saturday in February, in case you can’t join us for this one.

West Sycamore Volunteer Crew

  • Sunday, Feb. 7, 8 am

Weather permitting, meet at the West Sycamore staging area at the far east end of Stonebridge Parkway. Wear long pants, sturdy closed-toed shoes, layers, and bring work gloves, hat, sunglasses, and so forth. For more information, contact ranger Andrew Miller at [email protected]

Permaculture Intro and Hands-on Workshop

  • Saturday, Feb. 20, 1:30–4:30 pm
  • Scripps Ranch

Alden Hough of the Sky Mountain Institute is an experienced trainer and practitioner of permaculture—a largely self-sufficient method of growing things within a sustainable, harmonious ecosystem.

Following a short lecture we’ll analyze the permaculture progress within a Scripps Ranch backyard and then complete a hands-on project. Space is limited, so reserve your place early via email to [email protected] Cost is $25 per person, payable at the event.

Note: Our monthly Garden Share will be at the same home after the workshop.

West Sycamore Third Sunday Guided Nature Walk

  • Sunday, Feb. 21, 8 am

Join Mission Trails ranger Andrew Miller at the West Sycamore staging area for his monthly 90-minute guided nature walk. See for details.

Special Event: Free Star Gazing

  • Friday, Mar. 4, 6:30–about 9:30 pm
  • West Sycamore staging area

George Varga of the San Diego Astronomy Association will help us view many of the amazing objects in our night sky, including stars, clusters, nebula, and possibly galaxies. Everyone gets a chance to view an object through an eight-inch telescope. If you have a telescope, bring it. Please no white flashlights as they ruin our night-adapted vision. Red lens flashlights are fine. Rain or clouds cancel the event. If you plan to attend, email [email protected] and you’ll receive the final status, time, and location details.

Tip of the Month

Free Zero Waste Shopping How-To Workshop: Saturday Feb. 20, 10 am– noon. San Diegans lead the state in waste generation. While parents learn how to minimize trash, kids can enjoy arts and crafts by decorating reusable bags. Stay for a tour of the community farm and an opportunity drawing for prizes. Location: the Compost Campus of Ocean Knoll Farm, behind Ocean Knoll Elementary on the 840 block of Bonita Drive, Encinitas 92024. Pre-registration is suggested:

Bob Ilko
SRCA President