Farewell to Kimie Lochtefeld!

At a December Tiger Rally at Dingeman Elementary School, we gathered to give our thanks, compliments, and farewell to our esteemed principal, Kimie Lochtefeld, who departs after six productive years. Kimie was promoted to an area superintendent and will oversee all the schools in the Kearny, Mission Bay, and Point Loma areas.

During her time as principal, Dingeman Elementary achieved remarkable student achievement in many areas—including top test scores and two state awards. Kimie’s love of teaching and her positive attitude meant that Dingeman was always a happy place for students, teachers, and staff. In addition, it enjoyed the widest possible parent support, which all combined for the best in student learning. She goes with our fondest thanks for achievement and success in her new job.

Wonderful Rain Showers

What a pleasure to see the bountiful rain washing the air and nourishing the plants. I am happy to say that both my rain barrels are filled to overflowing from the roof gutters, and this will continue to help water plants. Just a reminder, anytime there is rain, please check after a couple of days to ensure you do not have standing water in places that can breed mosquitoes.

Scripps Ranch and Its Signature Tree—the Eucalyptus

The crowning glory and what makes a difference in the entry ways into Scripps Ranch is our eucalyptus trees planted by Chauncey Jerabek, the gardener for E.W. Scripps. He hoped he could use them for mine timber, but he could not. We have not planted any new “euks” for more than 20 years, as they replant themselves. We were encouraged to plant native trees. The only trouble is there were no trees native to Scripps Ranch, as it was “mesa” land and had chaparral only. We have, however, encouraged all to plant different trees, such as pine, for diversity.

The only problem is now many of our euks are 100+-feet tall. They could be an issue for homeowners and need to be laced—thinning out the bulk of the crown. Euks should never be topped.

For the record, before the Cedar Fire in 2003, many people said our euks would burn and threaten homes. After the fire I went through the Ranch and found only scorched leaves on our euks, but no crown fires, where the flames move from tree crown to tree crown. Do we need and like our euks? In my opinion, they remain our “signature tree” and look good on the Scripps Ranch Civic Association logo and on our streets, but they need to be tended properly so they are not a hazard.

Attention, Dog Owners

Just a reminder for the New Year: please do not allow your dog to make “deposits” on other residents’ yards or the sidewalks. Carry a plastic bag and pick up the “do.” Then please bring the bag back to your trash can. Do not discard the plastic bag in the open space, as someone has to clean up after you. Also, for you who think that your pet can go into the open space to leave his “present,” please be a responsible pet owner and stop allowing this. It is litter and has to be cleaned up by the crew, plus it smells bad for your neighbors.

Thanks for your help. As a dog lover and owner myself, I must admit I do not appreciate a “present” on my front lawn and I am sure no one else does either. A good New Year’s resolution for some, I guess, is to pick up after your pet.

Remembering Our Veterans

As I sit here at my computer I am reminded of the pressing need of many young veterans and their families for assistance during the holidays—things like gifts for their children—and all year long in terms of food and other essentials. If you have not done so, please remember that the need is great and donate to nonprofit organizations. All need your support. Even small donations help.

Holiday Season

I hope you all had a marvelous holiday season. As we drove around the Ranch, we were impressed with the decorated homes and some fantastic displays. I was reminded of the times back in 1960 when we used several strings of lights on the bushes and fabricated light trees and wreaths for our home. In fact, I still have some of the displays in the rafters of the garage.

With my disabilities and old age, I am forbidden to climb a ladder so we decorate the bushes and enjoy the new string of lights. We had an electrician—who we found through the SRCA Newsletter, of course!—install a new outside plug for us, rather than stringing it through an open screen, which is an invitation to burglars.

I hope you enjoyed our fine family Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony in Jerabek Park. It is put on each year by the Scripps Ranch Civic Association and the Scripps Ranch Girl Scouts. We thank Santa and Mrs. Claus for joining us again, and we collected toys for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program.

Thanks to the girl scouts for the refreshments and the Scripps Ranch High School band for our carols. Our council member, Mark Kersey, led the annual tree lighting countdown, and Andy Nicholas provided his audio equipment again! What a nice family event!

Counting Our Blessings and New Year’s Resolutions

As a new year begins it’s a good time to pause and count our blessings. I am thankful that at my age and with my physical disabilities I am able to function with the help of so many in community and church activities. I am particularly grateful for Bob Ilko, Elissa Barber, John and Cindy Taylor, and so many others who offer this old soldier a ride to and from community events and meetings, which otherwise I would be forced to miss. I still get great pleasure in doing what I can and lending my institutional memory to some actions.

My New Year’s resolutions remain fairly consistent over the years:

To love and cherish my total family.

To seek and do what I can for society.

To be a good citizen of this great country.

To continue to help and nurture my fellow veterans.

To continue to help those in need.

Bob Dingeman