Good News from Disaster

Two years ago Scripps Ranch elementary school children were asked to contribute books to provide a room for children at the new library on the Bataan Peninsula in the Philippines. We collected no less than 36 boxes of children’s books and moved them to Miramar College to join with more collected there.

We were going to ask the U.S. Navy to transport the boxes to the Philippines during a normal deployment, which failed to materialize. Happy to say, when the Navy was transporting emergency supplies to the Philippines after the terrible typhoon, they were able to take the books.

So we have the start of a San Diego room for children in Bataan at last. We may even ask to do that again for the schools in Iraq, as it worked so well for the Philippines and all of the books get a second chance to be useful and enjoyed.

Election of New Mayor

Congratulations to Kevin Faulconer for his election as San Diego mayor. We have gone through the democratic process of voting for a new leader of our fair city. Whether your candidate emerged victorious or not is past and done, and we need to unite in supporting a dynamic and far-reaching program for our city’s best interests. This means watching what happens and making your wishes known to our council office and to the mayor’s office.

There are too many really pressing problems—ranging from pension to budgets—to sit idly by. Resolve to be a participating partner in the renewal process and not only will you feel good about it, the city will benefit as well.

Water Conservation

I am sure we all have read Governor Jerry Brown’s statement of the severe drought conditions affecting California. The local water authorities indicated that the many projects that have been pushed over the past years to include higher dams and more aqueducts mean that we are now slightly better off than other parts of the state. It does mean that the better part of discretion is for all of us to start conserving water as best we can.

We again should adopt the measures we used in the past, which were so successful and we learned to live with. Thanks for your cooperation. The water you save will be your own and your family’s to use.

Fire Safety

With the statewide drought, it means each one of us must be doubly vigilant to prevent any possible start of a wildfire. If you have not done so in a while, check to see that you do not have any fire fuel accumulations along your fences and clear them out. Also, make sure no tree branches are close enough to threaten your roof and eaves. The house you save could be your own.

Carroll Canyon Development

Dialogue continues on the proposed development of the Horizon Church site on Carroll Canyon Road. The proposals to date suggest a possible “big box” store type of development, and many in the community believe this would have a negative impact on Scripps Ranch, especially when it comes to traffic.

Despite the many office building vacancies because of the economic downturn, the ambiance of the park remains very high and should remain so. We have yet to see or hear of logical and acceptable alternatives for the site from the element acting on behalf of the church with our Scripps Ranch Planning Group.

Save Our Scripps Ranch (SOSR) sponsored a community meeting to oppose the possible big box project. Veteran Scripps Ranch resident Vic Landa gave a short review of the activities he and so many Ranch pioneers have engaged in starting in 1969 to set the stage for our community plan and what we have now. We are all indebted to them and such individuals as Paula Oquita, Ivor Lemaire, George Colemen Jr., and Dave Prewett, to name a few. All worked tirelessly in many meetings so many times for an issue on what turned out to be the best for Scripps Ranch. It also meant that we, as a group, collectively looked at the proposals and came up with pertinent comments and suggestions for change and improvement.

We also willingly spent hours to appear before the City Council and Planning Commission to make our case clearly. I personally remember the hours sitting in the council chambers, waiting for our three minutes, then making a successful point and getting approval. This meant doing our homework and presenting it well, as well as avoiding the appearance of “NIMBY”—not in my backyard.

In 1978 we only had portable trailers for schools, and the city felt we did not need permanent buildings. We lobbied the school board and secured Miramar Ranch Elementary School then Jerabek, and we were on our way. We now have our own high school, middle school, and elementary schools through good community efforts and far-sighted actions, including a fair amount of old-fashioned politics.

It meant doing our homework and then presenting the best plan to be adopted to the action agencies. It also meant our Scripps Ranch Civic Association and both our planning groups functioned in harmony and reinforced each other, and we prevailed. The lessons learned should be fresh in our minds and considered, as we still work to get the best for Scripps Ranch. I urge you to get up to speed on the topic, do your research, then make up your own mind about this issue.

Our Sympathies to Our Councilmember

We extend our most sincere sympathies to our councilmember, Mark Kersey, on the unexpected death of his stepbrother from the H1N1 flu virus. Bradley Nolan Kersey, 37, died on Jan. 27, in a Pennsylvania hospital. He leaves behind a wife and four children.

Mark raised the question of whether getting a flu shot would have helped prevent this or lessened the severity of the illness and urged all of us to get vaccinated. Mark said his brother had not received the flu vaccine but had no major health issues.

It’s a lesson for all of us to consider getting an annual flu shot as a good preventative health measure. Of course, you should seek your doctor’s advice before making any health decisions.

Bob Dingeman