Holiday Tree Lighting

It’s time to light up the community Christmas tree and celebrate the holiday season! Join us on Sunday, Dec. 14, at from 4 to 6 pm at Jerabek Park.

This is a longtime festive community tradition complete with hot chocolate, singing carols, and visiting with Santa. We also invite you to bring an unwrapped toy for the Toys for Tots program put on by the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve.

This event is sponsored by the Scripps Ranch Girl Scouts and the Scripps Ranch Civic Association (SRCA). Bring a coat for the cool weather, gifts for kids, a flashlight for reading the words of the carols, and enjoy a wonderful community event.

Safeguarding Your Pets

I was distressed, as I am sure many of you were, to read of the many incidents in which beloved pets had become easy prey to coyotes. I checked with Fish and Game and they said that with the drought, the number of rabbits—which are favorite coyote prey—are dramatically reduced this year. This makes all pets more vulnerable to attack and requires more due diligence on your part. So do not think you can let your cat or dog out into the fenced backyard and leave them for a while, as a coyote can easily scale a fence and will. I must mind my own words, as I normally put out our small dog, Ernie, at 10 pm each night. I will make sure I go with him.

This means if you are a member of the Pet Advice for Wise Seniors (PAWS) Club, spread the word and comply with it. I was reminded of this as we interviewed the founder and president of the PAWS Club and Scripps Ranch High School senior Daniel Weiner, who won one of the Bob Dingeman SRCA Scholarships!

America and Its Elections

American held its election with no riots, no fights, just at times long and contentious campaign statements. Of concern to me, and probably many of you, was the truly obscene amounts of money spent on the elections. As I used to say in the political science class I taught after an election, what is still needed is to control the amount of money authorized to spend for campaigns and the professional experts who reap the millions for their efforts.

I hope your candidates won and the issues you supported passed, and you can begin to expect great things for San Diego and America. If not, there is always another election. I pray we have elected individuals who will consider first and foremost the needs of our country and are able to cooperate with one another in truly bipartisan fashion for the best solutions.

Making Your Voice Heard

One of the troubling things that happens to all of us as we grow older is to have sincere concerns about things yet feel no one in the political world is listening. Since I retired from most of my community agencies when I turned 85, I receive at least 20 pieces of mail every day. I dutifully complete the many surveys and comments for seniors, Social Security, veterans, and schools. Although I’m 92 and retired, I still enjoy keeping up to date on things, especially locally. I am asked to offer my views on issues that, of course, I provide and sign petitions and so forth.

The point I am making is that I am more housebound, and with my combat disabilities and increasing deafness, I must rely more on my email and the mail. I also use, of course, our fine SRCA Newsletter for Ranch news and the U-T San Diego for city and national news.

You can help this old soldier continue to do a better political job representing your views about seniors and veterans if you would send me your questions or comments via email to [[email protected]]. Make them short and to the point, and I will try to respond. Thanks a heap.

Honoring Our Veterans

A fine Scripps Ranch traditions has been to honor our veterans in a program in which all of the schools’ music groups sing patriotic songs. For years it was held at Scripps Ranch High School, and now it is at St. Gregory the Great Church. It is organized by Katherine Girvin, the Marshall Middle School choir director.

It was held in November and was a wonderful event. We owe thanks to Katherine and all the young people who made it so special. It was my honor and privilege to say a few words about veterans.

A Sad Farewell

Tim Hilgeman, longtime music director at St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church, passed away at the young age of 51. Tim loved music and he taught others to love music. He directed choral groups and choirs throughout the city.

His love of music led him to perform at literally thousands of weddings and church services over the years. Tim leaves behind his loving wife, Bernadette, and six children, as well as a legacy of Christian service to our community.

Support Water Conservation

As you know, we are in the midst of a severe drought. So I asked what we could do to reinforce water conservation. The answer was simple. A family should sit down and record its water use. Then develop a list of where they could conserve water. I tried this and came up with some easy methods for our home.

  • Install low-flow toilets.
  • Take short showers and install new low-flow shower heads.
  • Wash dishes with a full load and do not rinse them first.
  • Do not let the water run when brushing your teeth.
  • Only run a full load in the washer and use cold water to save on gas for heating the water as well.
  • Check and replace lawn sprinkler timers and adjust for best spraying.
  • Take your car to a car wash.

It’s really little impact on our standard of living but we will see the impact on water use. It is worth the effort and hope for some significant conservation of scarce water.

This led me to send a letter to our councilmember, Mark Kersey, asking him to initiate action for the city to consider use of the recycled water stored in Lot #5 of the Business Park for irrigation, rather than dumping it in the ocean as is done now. There would be easy access by tanker trucks to fill up and carry the water, say to agriculture as needed on the farms.

Bob Dingeman