Happy Easter

May the Easter season bring you and yours every joy and comfort and the blessing and love of your family. Here in Scripps Ranch we focus on families and spring makes this an extra special time of year. Why not take advantage of Miramar Lake or our trails and spend an afternoon with your family walking through our beautiful area?

Do You Love Wild Flowers?

Scripps Ranch with all the rain is beginning to blossom in many areas that are covered with beautiful wild flowers. You do not need to drive to Borrego Springs and see the desert flowers (though that too is a wonderful family outing). All you have to do is drive down Blue Cypress Drive and then turn on to Spring Canyon Road. You will be delighted and pleased at the display.

Of course when we see everything nice and green, we enjoy it even knowing that come June we will have dry fire fuel season. So enjoy it now while the hills are green and the flowers are in bloom. In the same area as our flowers is our community park, Recreation Center, St. Gregory The Great Church, and Marshall Middle School. If you do not know the location of our beautiful new Information Center on Cypress Canyon Road, this might be the time to drop in and see what is offered; we are sure that you will be pleased.

Meeting with Student Leaders

One of my greatest joys is to meet and speak to young people in their environment at their schools. I am privileged to be able to present the SRCA Certificates of Appreciation to the members of the student councils, student class officers, and workers. This year when I presented the certificates it became even more poignant coming so soon after the shooting at Santana High School. I found the young people alert to the problem and committed to reducing the threats of violence in their school.

The San Diego Unified School District already has in place many measures for the security of the campuses and police officers are available. I hope you have seen the flyer that Principal Dave Le May sent to all parents of Scripps Ranch High School students. If you haven’t, we will have copies in the Library for your use. It sets forth some key facts.

Scripps Ranch High School has in place security measures that are periodically reviewed and updated. Students are encouraged to talk to you and to each other about the incident at Santana and to discuss their possible role in preventing a similar incident by reporting to the school officials, police, or parents any threats they know about. Each young person has an essential role to play on a daily basis and the associated student body leaders and officers are all ready to help. Young people should feel able to confide in an adult or a school official if they hear of threats of violence.

I have received several phone calls asking whether the SRHS and Marshall Middle School would now install metal detectors and erect fences to close or secure the campus? The answer is “no.” This is not considered the best solution. When the term “lock up” is used, it means when an alert sounds all students report to a classroom and the teacher locks the door until an all-clear is sounded. Again working together and reporting even potential threats of violence is the best defense in reducing the possibility of violence in our schools.

Are You a Dog Owner?

If you are a dog owner and dog lover like myself, this is for you. I have received several phone calls this past week asking that I remind dog owners that they always should carry a plastic bag and pick up after their pet if they visit the parks or open spaces. As I have said many times before: do unto others as you would have them do unto you and do not let your dog doodoo befoul our nest. Thanks for your cooperation.

Spring Cleanup Day

Spring Cleanup Day is coming up on Saturday, April 7. I hope you will take this opportunity to cut back on your over-grown vegetation which might be blocking the sidewalks and remove the fire fuel from your area. It is always a pleasure to see how well the Ranch looks and the cleanup days just make it that much better.

Chairman John La Bar and crew will organize and run the effort and the SRCA will again fund the operation. If you have not adopted a specific area for your personal efforts you can contact John. He not only will assign to you your own area, but also he will provide plastic bags for your use. He also will loan you a couple “picker uppers” which are good for reducing the stooping. You must sign out for them as they have been “flying away” recently and residents wanting to use them have been denied this device for assisting their clean up. Thanks to all the volunteers who make the Ranch sparkle! It shows our collective pride in our community.

Annual Meeting of the SRCA

This is your opportunity to hear about the activities of the SRCA and read the annual report of all the activities that have taken place–it is impressive and also can show you an area in which you can become more involved as a community volunteer. There are many areas in which individual effort can augment and supplement the SRCA and the City’s actions.

In fact, it is the volunteers who make the system work whether for the Community Fair slated for Sunday, May 6, from noon until 5 pm at the Community Park, or for the wonderful 4th of July Parade and Picnic. At our annual meeting, we will have our traditional birthday cake for this our 3lst birthday, and we are looking forward with your help to more and better years. See you there starting at 7 pm!

Membership In SRCA

If you have not joined the SRCA, there is still time to do so and add your voice to that of your neighbors speaking for the Ranch in the councils of government and in securing what we need as a community.

We have several pending actions that involve all of the community including the complex school site selection and construction issue as well as the proposed Rancho Encantada development on which we submitted extensive comments for the Planning Commission to use in their evaluation.

Copies of the 30+ page document have been provided to all members of both planning groups and all 19 SRCA District Representatives so you can ask about the evaluation and the implications of the project. Copies are in the Library on the information table by the check out stations. That is where Librarian Nancy Assaf provides copies for your examination of all the information that impacts the Ranch. If we do not have it there, then ask and we will get it for you.

Retirement of Colonel Coughlan

Tom Coughlan retired from the United States Marine Corps and his position as Chief of Staff of MCAS Miramar on March 30, 2001. He was a tireless worker to achieve the best results from the very demanding and difficult move of Marine Air assets from Tustin and El Toro to then NAS Miramar. He was unfailingly cooperative with all the neighboring communities during this period and the results will be lasting. The transformation of the NAS Miramar into the premier USMC air station in the United States is a tribute to his hard work and dedication. We wish him and his family a long and happy retirement. He has been a citizen soldier par excellence and he will be missed.

Water Actions

The Water Authority will offer a briefing and explanation of the water plant expansion at an open house on Wednesday, April l8. The date was changed as the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) had not been completed. A summary of the EIR and project will be provided in the May SRCA Newsletter as this does have a significant impact on the Ranch and its traffic.

The planned briefing by the County Water Authority on installing a pipeline to provide emergency water needs has been postponed until addition data has been collected. The County is considering either trenching to bury a new pipeline or tunneling under the Ranch in order to connect Miramar Lake with reservoirs to the south. We will advise you when information about the proposed project is forthcoming.

School Issues

The main school issue is the selection of a doable alternative site for our new middle school, or the decision to go where we originally planned in the Scripps Ranch business park. We are awaiting the evaluation by the School District and the City as they wade through the maze of legal aspects and the limited set of land parcels from which to choose a school site.

We understand that appraisals for the alternatives sites have been made so we are closing in on an answer. The alternative sites include two USIU parcels, Chabad, Davis Ranch, and the Renzulli property adjacent to Cypress Canyon Park.

We also have received information from the City Director of Parks and Recreation as to the criteria she feels would be required for use of Scripps Ranch park land for schools. Her statements support our position that any use of parkland should be with community concurrence, it should provide equal or better park land, and it must be fully developed so the community does not lose use of scarce park assets while school construction is being completed.

The final point made by the Park Director was that no City funds are available for constructing any new park facilities. This means that additional school funds, which are scarce at best, would be required. This would effectively increase the price of the school, or would limit its capabilities.

Lou Smith, who is in charge of Proposition MM construction, indicated that in general the plans for school construction and maintenance probably would take an additional year to complete from that forecasted. This does not impact on the EBS school which will come on line in September 2001, but clearly points to the need for coming up with economically doable solutions–not only for Scripps Ranch but for throughout the school district. Please try to stay calm, stay cool, discount wild rumors, speculations, and conjectures, and we will try as best we can to keep you informed.

Traffic

Like the weather, traffic is always a major conversational point and will only get more so as we experience increasing traffic on our streets. It has been noted by the police that there is more violation of the speeding limits on our streets and this includes around schools.

If you are guilty of being impatient and accelerating after being held up by traffic, remember the child you save may be your own. Give the kids a brake and drive slowly past the schools and do not park illegally and endanger your child and others by making them dart across traffic. Coming from between cars can be dangerous to their health.

We are asking that the SRCA budget for the coming year include the purchase of portable speed-indicating radar which the RSVP will position at different times on our streets. It will be a reminder to slow down. SRCA District Representatives Bill Staton and Steve Hudson have volunteered to assist and to serve on the SRCA Traffic Committee. Any other residents with the desire to help and or experience are certainly welcome. Call me at 566-6083 and we will set up an orientation led by Luis Biaggi, past Chair, who had to resign because of his work schedule, but who has a wealth of knowledge and experience that can be used to tackle our many diverse traffic problems.