A New Year With Challenges

As we start the New Year, we suddenly are faced with an array of challenges to our community in which cooperation and working together will be very important to secure the actions so needed. These include the planning for development in the future urbanizing area of Rancho Encantada, the new middle school, The changes needed in our schools and school boundaries to anticipate the growth in our student population, the changes needed in our traffic management and control system, and the preservation of our community’s quality of life.

This leads to a suggested New Year’s resolution:

I will keep myself informed as best I can of developments affecting my community of Scripps Ranch and will participate as needed in determining the best course of action to maintain our unique quality of life.

Participating in Planning for the Ranch

There is no sense in making a resolution if you know in your heart you will not do it; so let’s make it easier for all. To keep yourself better informed, we will try to include in the SRCA Newsletter all of the information we can, pro and con, for your use. We also will place this information and more on the SRCA web site [www.scrippsranch.org].

The designated organizations that determine community positions on matters are the SRPG, the MRNPC, the SRCA, and the Rec Council. The monthly meetings of all these organizations are listed each month in the Calendar section of the Newsletter.

Residents can attend any of the meetings as all are in the public domain and follow the old-fashioned town meeting concept in which individual comments and suggestions are solicited and heard.

In this vein volunteers can help in the coming actions by becoming involved with:

a. The Scripps Ranch Schools Committee and subcommittees for EBS school and Marshall Middle School;

b. The Scripps Ranch Landscape Maintenance District which meets on the fourth Tuesday to plan maintenance of our open spaces;

c. Two committees for fabulous community activity are the 4th of July Parade and Picnic committee under Jany Staley and the Community Fair committee under Wendy Littooy. The second annual fair will be held on Sunday, May 6.

d. Most importantly, join your SRCA during the membership drive and increase the power of our collective voices. We need you to fill in your membership form which arrived recently in U.S. mail and return in the envelope provided. We will publish a membership form each month on page 7 of the Newsletter. The investment in our future is most important for all residents.

An Example of Constructive Community Work

The proposed development of the future urbanizing area south of Pomerado Road has been assigned to the City Planning Commission for their review and comment on a Precise Plan. This plan is intended to take the place of a normal community plan and to provide the basis for definitive comments.

The Precise Plan has resulted in a draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) which was received in many volumes for comment. The sheer size and number of these volumes and appendices resulted in the community requesting and receiving an extension as the EIR arrived over the Christmas holidays.

A joint committee consisting of representatives from the Scripps Ranch Planning Group (SRPG), the Miramar Ranch North Planning Committee (MRNPC), the Scripps Ranch Civic Association (SRCA), and Save our Scripps Ranch (SOSR) was formed and met regularly to examine in detail and prepare consensus comments for use by the San Diego City Planning Commission.

Individual members of the committee reviewed their sections and prepared written comments first for discussion and then for inclusion in the report to be submitted to the City Planning Department. This comprehensive evaluation and review was done in record time by your friends and neighbors and the full 22-page report was submitted to the City. A summary of the report is on page 25 and we have put a full copy of the text on the SRCA website.

We hope and expect that these thoughtful and well researched comments will provide guidance to the City in evaluating the Rancho Encantada project and preventing degradation of our quality of life that we have worked so hard to create.

Tree Recycling a Big Success

To all of you who delivered and neatly stacked your discarded Christmas trees in Hoyt Park or the Community Park recycling locations–thanks. The City system for pickup of trees worked very well and thanks to the cooperation of all of you who removed decorations and stands, it worked. The trees will be recycled into mulch for the landfill.

Each year we exceed the number of trees collected the previous year. This year it appears many more homes had interior lights and trees because of the power shortage limiting exterior lights. We lighted the community Christmas tree in Jerabek for only two hours each night and hope you enjoyed the beautiful sight.

Rain, Rain — Wasn’t it Wonderful!

The rain, although accompanied by some high winds, did little damage to our open space due to the fine preliminary work of Layton Galloway and our crews. The runoff in the brow ditches, which are cleaned and repaired each year, worked well and we had no flooding.

This was a real boon to our plantings, but of course it also stimulates grass and weeds so the summer will have its full crop I am sure. The air is clear and you soon will see everything sprout green and life renewed. Unfortunately, it also leads to our fire danger in the summer, so we will be vigilant and prepare as best we can.

I have written to the City Attorney asking for a decision on clearing some open spaces near our condos. The City used to have a brush clearing crew, but it was eliminated as an economic measure. We have of course used the brush crew from the probation office, but now the City uses them so we have had a cut back in this support.

If you have an open-space tree that has been weakened and endangers your house, give me a call at 566-6083, and we will have our inspector come out and look at it. This saves us money.

With the considerable rain, I hope we do not have the vandals again doing donuts on our wet grass. If you see them, get their license number and report them to the police immediately. We will aggressively pursue fines since the cost of their damage is considerable.

Los Penasquitos Preserve

If you have not taken the time to visit the beautiful Los Penasquitos (Little White Cliffs) Preserve at Canyonside Park on Black Mountain, this is the time. The area soon will be a lush green color and the Preserve rangers have schedules of many nature hikes throughout the Preserve.

A tour of the historic adobe farm or ranch house occurs each Saturday at l1 am and each Sunday at 1 pm. This is a 45-minute tour of the oldest residence in San Diego. The ranch building features three-foot-thick adobe walls and contains many artifacts from the vicinity, which for thousands of years was an Indian encampment because of the artesian springs that still flow into Penasquitos Creek.

All outings are free and the walks are easy–for all ages and physical conditions–with informed volunteer guides for your pleasure. Try it; you will like it. You can pick up a map of the area and do your own walking in delightful surroundings.

New Fire Station

Many residents have asked when the new location of our Engine Company 37 on Spring Canyon Road will become operational. Although planned to be completed in December, there have been unexpected delays and now with the wet ground, the concrete cannot be poured until the ground is dry. The opening will probably not be until April.

Our new fire station already has elicited a number of words of high praise as to its appearance and its capability. It will be a fitting addition to Scripps Ranch and its unique and stylish appearance will add to our ambiance as well.

We already have secured from Congressman Cunningham a new U.S. flag that was flown over the Capitol as well as a new California flag from Assemblywoman Zettel. So we are all set for the Boy Scouts to make the presentation on behalf of the community. We of course hope to have a suitable ribbon cutting and celebration.

Fire Danger and Your Actions

The recent disastrous fire which was fanned by high winds showed dramatically what could happen to an area with the combination of dry land, winds, and a spark to start the conflagration.

Here in Scripps Ranch, we are faced with a tremendous fire danger with our trees and many shake shingle roofs, so we need to be especially vigilant and remove all fire fuel from our yards and around our fences. Cut back the vegetation and set out for the greenery pickup. The house you save could be your own.

We are blessed with a fine fire fighting team in Engine Company 37, and we can call on support from MCAS Miramar and Poway as needed. We are happy to report that our long-awaited brush rig is expected soon. See the update in News. The new rig was a marathon of work to obtain, but it will give us the capability of immediate application of suppression on any brush fire.

If you noticed a different helicopter flying over Scripps Ranch and landing on Miramar Ranch Elementary School playing field, it is the new Bell which is being tested by the San Diego Fire Department. This helicopter has tremendous application for residential areas like Scripps Ranch for rapid aerial delivery of retardants and fire suppression.

We will be asked as a community to help support its acquisition and deployment as a part of San Diego Fire Department. A very needed and flexible piece of equipment for rescue as well as fire support to be located at Brown Field. Deputy Fire Chief Michael Burner (619-533-4409) is coordinating and monitoring this effort as well as our local Engine Company 37.

New Middle School and Intel

In mid-January SRCA President Marc Sorensen sent to all members of the SRCA who have email, a report on the status of planning for the movement of Intel Corporation into our Scripps Ranch business park. They have purchased 3l acres including lots 6, 7, and 8 which were the preferred site for our new middle school. The City and the School District are examining a number of replacement locations and we hope this can be successfully completed so there is no delay in opening the new middle school in 2005.

I watched Channel l0 when representatives of Intel stated that they would not plan to bring any more “manufacturing facilities” to California because of the electrical power shortages being experienced and lack of action to correct the shortfall. I then called Intel Corporation and specifically asked their representative if this impacted on their plans for developing the business park and was advised that it did not. So it appears that they are still in the future for the business park.

We appreciate the continued, unequivocal support of our Councilperson Brian Maienschien and the School District Superintendent Alan Bersin.