Watch Out for Rattlesnakes

Just a word of caution: a small rattlesnake was observed sunning itself on a well-traveled walking trail off Jerabek Park. When you see one of these snakes, by all means, avoid it and do not bother it. Simply detour around the snake. Another rattlesnake was found in a Scripps Ranch garage. For details on that and how to protect yourself, see the article on page 19.

Have Fun at the Fair

Just a reminder that the 14th Annual Community Fair is this month. Don’t miss all the fun on Sunday, May 19, from noon to 7:30 pm. This year will be bigger and better than ever! There will be more rides, food, entertainment, and the popular Green Street. More details are on page 11. I hope to see you there!

Dingeman Carnival

The families and faculty at Dingeman Elementary School are putting on again their fabulous Bob Dingeman Day Carnival on Sunday, Apr. 28. So plan to come and enjoy yourself at our award-winning school and have a good time. The money raised helps keep the highest standards in place for greater student academic achievements.

Remember Memorial Day

Plan to set aside a quiet moment on Monday, May 27, for Memorial Day as we honor our American citizen soldiers who have given their lives to preserve our liberties and freedom. With all the pressures on our society today, it is so important that we honor special days like Memorial Day for our children and grandchildren.

I remember well the members of my combat unit and those who lost their lives in action. All were young and had a full life ahead of them. Especially poignant are the remembrances of the 18-year-olds who never had a chance to live and my sergeants with four and five children who served with me so nobly for years—they were the best.

I cherished and cared for them and they in turn protected and helped me through some really difficult situations, while keeping me supplied with cigars. Of course, they always said “rather Colonel Dingeman chewed on his cheap Roi-Tans than us.” So it went. It was an honor to lead American soldiers in combat through some really dicey situations. They were always there and did their duty.

Library’s 20th Birthday Celebration

What a pleasure it was to attend—with so many residents—the 20th birthday celebration of our wonderful library on Mar. 16. We were honored to have Mayor Bob Filner, Councilmember Mark Kersey, County Supervisor Dave Roberts, and the San Diego chief librarian Deborah Barrow there to present well wishes and citations. We were delighted to see our honored librarian Nancy Assaf, now retired, there as well.

Also, architect Richard Bundy attended. He worked so cooperatively with the community for so many meetings to produce for Scripps Ranch and the city library system a very special and unique library—a place to serve as a community center and to enhance this beautiful spot.

Richard Spaulding, the artist who did the stained glass windows, escorted attendees around the library and explained his stained glass windows with “gusto.” Both the architect and the artist were there to talk about their roles and how pleased they were to see such a fine library center and still so well maintained after 20 years.

It is a tribute to our small city staff and the fantastic work of our volunteers who make it run smoothly from Victoria Mazelli and her many children’s programs to Jack Little to Gaye and Susan Dingeman for providing the duck food sold at Grace’s Book Nook, and the book nook volunteers. The organization of the special computer center and training room was started by Paul Lichenstein and others. Thank you to all the volunteers who over the years have made the library truly a center for activity for the Ranch and an asset to the San Diego library system.

Jim Paterniti and Bob Cavanagh, SRCA vice presidents, on behalf of Bob Ilko, SRCA president, helped me present to the Scripps Ranch librarian, Bob Cronk, a Scripps Ranch Community Service pin. It was in honor of the wonderful volunteers who have made the library so special.

It has been my joy and pride to work on the library over these years and watch it grow in use and reputation. Please support its operation as it serves a wonderful community purpose, as well as a place for wildlife in a beautiful setting. As I was going through some files, I found the actual program for the library dedication and other papers for the library’s archives.

Citizenship in America Still a Privilege

As the issue of amnesty for immigrants in the U.S. illegally continues to dominate the headlines, I am reminded of my 18 years in which I conducted classes at Miramar College for immigrants wanting to apply for citizenship. They needed to learn about America and acquire the information to pass the American history test.

Along the way I taught at least 900 people and still meet them in stores. They come up and greet me as “Professor Dingeman” and thank me for my help and encouragement. It’s a good feeling that these individuals wanted to be American citizens and worked so hard and would do what was required to meet their goal.

The tests are not too difficult and relate to knowing what our American flag looks like and what it stands for. Also, who was Washington and what is Congress and where is it located? I made sure they knew the answers to all 50 questions and never had a failure from a student of my many classes. I will copy and place in the library the tests so you can see for yourself.

Continuing Education

You parents will celebrate the graduation of your children from high school soon. Then you are presented with the next step in education. It is a proven fact, even in these unstable economic times, that an enhanced and focused higher education is good for the individual in terms of wages earned and opportunities for employment.

I suggest those of you faced with the financial burdens of most colleges look into our neighbor, Miramar College, and see what it can offer. It is a good place for the first two years of college to help you get by those expensive years. The education is excellent and the preparation is good as students can head to a more expensive college to complete their degree. I say this as I taught there for 18 years.

I also initiated the first computer-focused classes in Mesa College using the TV for programmed lectures for home viewing followed by scheduled seminars at Mesa College. It got good results in political science and history and saved everyone a bundle of money.

Heritage Sign Completed

As you drive down Scripps Ranch Boulevard and pass the condos, you will be able to see on the right side the vintage Scripps Ranch sign that was lovingly restored by volunteers and then erected as an Eagle Scout project by Tim Wagner. This is the sign from the initial home sales organization I found wrecked in the open space and asked for volunteers to restore and put back up.

It’s just another way Scripps Ranch residents show their respect for, and love of, this fine community. To those who worked on the project, including Dick Kelly, the Eagle Scout counselor, our sincere thanks. Come by and admire the handiwork!

Recycling and You

Remember that San Diego has a very effective government-directed mandate to recycle a fixed amount of all items. So far we are doing fine in recycling, so keep it up and we will meet our directed quotas and avoid fines. Unfortunately, as so often happens when items of value can be recycled, we have scavengers around. We had a scavenger looting the items from the recycle bins we put out. If you see a person going through the bins, call the police and advise them. Try to get a description for police, as well as a license number if there is a vehicle involved.

Looking back at a bit of Scripps Ranch history, I recall when we as a community would collect newspapers to sell to the plant as a way to raise money for our Boy Scout troops. We collected the papers by driving through the Ranch.

We had to guard our supplies, as we had scavengers in trucks come in the middle of the night and empty our storage containers on Pomerado Road. We moved the containers to Jerabek Park, which was lighted. However, when the city distributed the blue containers, we were out of business and the scouts were out of a fundraiser.

Bob Dingeman