School Days, School Days

We have started our school year with the continued hope that it will provide the best possible education for all the children enrolled in our fine schools, both Ranch residents and others enrolled by choice. I always feel I need to remind all parents that it is essential they help with the education through reading and ensuring homework is done. Our schools have been singularly successful with parent assistance, and the outstanding test scores in the past reflected these combined efforts that helped the students.

Here on the Ranch, a reminder that you will be asked to donate money to the school foundations, which enable the children to enjoy programs such as music, art, and more. So, if you are able, please give to your child’s school.

Successful Committee

For 35 years we in Scripps Ranch have had a very active and participating Schools Committee. It meets on the third Wednesday of each month during the school year at 4:30 pm in the Marshall Middle School Community Room. It is attended by each of the six principals, elected parent representatives from each school, and members of community committees. In addition, our district area superintendent attends, as does our school board trustee Kevin Beiser, when his schedule allows.

During the meetings we try to focus on what is best for our educational programs and hear about district action pertaining to classrooms and activities. We also receive a report on state and local budgets. Over the years we have been able to maintain the best relations and the highest responses from our school district colleagues. Everyone is welcome to attend the meetings.

Support Our Community

There are many ways in which Scripps Ranch residents can support our fine family community. So pick and choose your favorite activity and support it with your friends and neighbors. My favorite is the Scripps Ranch Civic Association (SRCA). Join at www.scrippsranch.org/join and send in your dues, which make our many community activities possible.

Thanks for Conserving Water

To all who have followed the requested water conservation schedules and measures, I send a hearty thanks—we have collectively exceeded our quotas! Our continued conservation measures will be needed for the foreseeable future for sure.

Have you purchased your rain barrels for collecting the expected rains from the potential El Niño? I am just now using up the rainwater we collected during the last unexpected heavy rain, so it has been very useful in watering plants. My wife, Gaye, erected a bird bath in the backyard for our feathered friends who need water for drinking and bathing during the drought.

Supporting our Citizen Soldiers

As a staunch supporter of all veterans activities I receive up to 20 requests each month for donations to various veterans groups and those supporting veterans families. Particularly welcome are those for veterans who have suffered the most terrible of wounds and loss of limbs and live with the horrors of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

I recently began supporting Dogs For Heroes, which places former service dogs back with a handler with PTSD. The dogs do a wonderful job for the men and women. The horrors of war, unfortunately, do not go away no matter how skillful the surgeons do their jobs. The disability remains, as I know all too well.

I suggest you select one or two veterans organizations—such as Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) or United Service Organizations (USO)—and support them. Your assistance needs to be in a small way but consistent to be most effective. We still have many of our all-volunteer armed forces in dangerous conditions, so they need our support and prayers for safe success as they protect our freedoms.

Citizen Statesmen

As a historian I decided to look up past elections to see if what we are experiencing now was different or expected. I found it is both similar and discouraging. First of all, our founding fathers expected men to run for elected office as a civic duty and to serve their country as citizen statesmen. They expected them to serve in the capacity and then move back into civilian life.

In today’s world we have men and women who seem to run for elected office all the time and become professional politicians serving their own constituents and, of course, themselves. We also find many are wealthy enough to fund their own expensive campaigns. Most, however, seek the endorsement and financial support of various outside interests such as businesses doing work for the government, labor unions, and so forth. Most expect preferential treatment as payback. Then we have our present form of dysfunctional government, regardless of party affiliation.

So look for the citizen statesman candidate and remember in elections, you hear the good and the bad. Make your own choice and, of course, vote. Our democracy remains the best in the world, but we need to work to keep it that way by our individual and collective actions locally and nationally.

Bob Dingeman