Happy Valentines Day to You All

Gaye and I received a wonderful Valentines Day blessing when our oldest granddaughter, Dr. Kori Westin, called and announced that our first great grandchild Kadyn–all the girls have names starting with “K”–was born on Valentines Day.

Mother and daughter are doing well and we heard the first joyful cries of the new member of our family. I hope Valentine’s Day was happy for all of you; ours certainly was.

February 13th — A Singularly Great Day for Scripps Ranch

Some days are special in the history of the life and times of our community, and the Tuesday, February l3, is one of them. First of all at the City Council, the MRNPC represented by Chair Peggy Shirey, New Projects subcommittee chair Steve Goyette, Claudia Unhold, and Pam Montanile presented an articulate, well researched, and amazingly effective presentation. They asked for a denial of the appeal that Shea had made to the City Council for the Gateway freeway center, a proposed project that had been denied previously by the City Planning Commission.

SRCA President Marc Sorensen and I also spoke and more than 30 residents were there in support. Mr. John Steele, Chair of the City Planning Commission, appeared for the first time on our behalf adding weight to our desire to have the project redesigned and have it reflect the goals of our community plan, in particular, to meet our stated goals for a true “Gateway” center.

The amazing thing was despite our opposition and that of the Planning Commission, the City staff report prepared by John Fisher did not include either of our oppositions to provide the Council with a full picture. We are indebted to Councilmember Wear for bringing this out forcefully as needed for proper decisions.

Our Councilmember Brian Maienschein gave an eloquent presentation on our community actions in support of what was needed, and I am happy to say the City Council voted unanimously (7-0) to support the action for denial. The next action by Shea is as yet unclear.

All I can say is “Good show and congratulations!” and thanks as well to Gary and Anita Pryor for all their advice and assistance. It made for a wonderful and successful presentation in the finest Scripps Ranch tradition. If you did not catch the show on TV, we will reproduce the individual presentations and place in a folder in the Library for your reading so you know what was actually said for the record.

Our next event was at 4:30 pm in which the school district acted on establishing the boundary for EB Scripps Elementary School so that plans can be made for opening the school in September. After presentations by the school district staff, Karen Wood, Lynn Parke, Marc Sorensen, and I summarized the work of the community in researching this issue. Residents Jan Selberg and Peter Wulff presented opposing views.

After discussion, a motion was made by Trustee John DeBeck to approve the staff report on the EBS boundary, but to retain sixth graders at Dingeman School in fall 2001. The motion also increased funds to accommodate the sixth graders from $10,000 to $25,000.

DeBeck’s motion, which passed unanimously (5-0), altered the staff recommendation to install portables in the parking lot of Marshall Middle School for one year. In making their decision, the Board noted the cost of moving the portables onto Marshall would have been approximately $100,000 with additional costs one year later to remove them. Also, Dingeman School would have had excess capacity as a result of the boundary change, and would have had to lose teachers if the sixth graders were not retained.

In their remarks, Board members Lopez and Ottinger noted that in their district crowding is so severe that many children cannot attend a neighborhood school and must be bussed outside their community. Kindergartners must use space available in a nearby high school.

After years of working with the San Diego School District, I am pleased to say that we are getting a full measure of staff and Board support. We are fortunate that we can make the recommendations we do and have them supported so well by the Board. This is our third 5-0 vote in a row. This high level of trust and commitment is crucially important to resolve the site selection and construction of the new middle school. At the hearing we asked that the efforts to secure a new middle school site be expedited and to keep the community informed.

The next task before us is to ensure full cooperation and assistance to Dingeman School in this new task of keeping all sixth graders on the Ranch. Marshall Middle School already is over capacity and could not handle any more students without impact on the education provided.

EB Scripps will open as planned as a K-4 elementary school and Principal Rich Cansdale and parents and faculty already are hard at work to make it truly a “signature” school (refer page 37). We especially thank Sue Braun, President of the Board, for all her fine work, as well as Becky Philpott her assistant.

Lerp Infestation of our Trees

The small wasps are still being released, and we hope will have the desired effect. As literally hundreds of our trees are affected, the recent rains are welcome to aid spring growth and help the trees recover. If you are interested in keeping up our extensive open space, please call me at 566-6083 and volunteer to become a member of the Scripps Ranch Landscape Maintenance District Committee. We need your ideas and new energy to replace the three committee members who have retired.

Recycling Reminders

We have been asked to communicate to all residents that the recycling program is working well and the Ranch is really helping in the effort by recycling all their proper material. We still have a few neighborhoods to be added to the program, and these will when additional City funds are added to the program.

The City has asked that those with recycling be reminded of several points:

  1. Do not place the blue recycling and the black garbage containers too close together or they cannot be picked up by the mechanical arm. Place them three to five feet apart on collection days, and it is easy for the operator to pick them up. If they are too close together, the operator either has to stop and get out of the truck or will not pick yours up.
  2. Only place recyclable items in the blue container.
  3. Do not over-fill your garbage and trash container. Hold for next pick up if the can is overly full. The drivers will not pick up items not in the container.
  4. For the greenery pick up, place all cuttings in a trash container, not in plastic bags. Cuttings in plastic bags cannot be picked up because they are not able to be immediately mulched for the landfill and pose a safety as well as a personnel problem. Thanks for your help!

Jet Engine Noise after Midnight

We received a number of phone complaints about jet engine noise after midnight on several occasions. I checked and conscientious aircraft crew chiefs were working late to get their aircraft ready for the next day’s operational flights. We have asked the MCAS chief of staff to put out the word that engine noise after midnight really disturbs nearby residents and is against the Marine Corps standard operating policy. I suggested they instead use the hush houses. We have not had a repeat, but will continue to monitor. This is something I also will bring up at the technical committee and SRCA meeting.

Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP)

One of the most successful and worthwhile programs for seniors over 55 is the RSVP. It has achieved singular results in assisting the police. All volunteers are trained before going out on daytime patrols and assist the police in keeping our two communities of Mira Mesa and Scripps Ranch safer.

If you would like to get more information about joining RSVP, please give the police storefront a call at 538-8120 or call me at 566-6083. We also need a Scripps Ranch resident or two to serve on the board of Directors. Ralph McCort and Sam DeMartino, founding board members, have resigned after seven years, so we have two vacancies.

Your responsibilities would be to attend one meeting each month at 8 am on a Wednesday and assist in fundraising and good works. It is very satisfying, so give me a call. As secretary I will provide you information how you can join or help the program.

Motorized Scooters

The San Diego Police Department has issued specific rules for the authorized operation of a motorized scooter. Copies are available at the storefront and Scripps Ranch Information Center. Here is a summary of the rules for use:

  • Must wear a properly fitted bicycle helmet when operating;
  • Operate on streets not sidewalks;
  • If operated at night, must have authorized lamps and reflectors;
  • Ride in bike paths when streets are so marked;
  • Not subject to registration, driver’s license, license plates, or financial liability;
  • Must not operated over l5 mph;
  • Must be equipped with a brake; and
  • Operator must be 16 years of age or older.

Parking Restrictions

Do you live in an area in which unthinking individuals park their cars so they block your entrance and exit from your driveway or garage? If you do, there is a remedy. You can complete the SDPD request form and deliver the form to the police storefront in the Regional Teen Center Building on Mira Mesa Blvd. near the senior center and IHOP.

This form may authorize you to paint the curb red for 3-5 feet on each side of your driveway. When approved, this area constitutes a legal “No Parking Zone” and a vehicle, including your own, can be ticketed for violation of the California Vehicle Code. If you live by schools and other public places, you are particularly at risk for this type of unkind parking.

Know Your Beat Officers

At the last community meeting with Lt. Dan Christman, Northeast Division, San Diego Police Department, we reviewed crime statistics and other matters. I asked if we could add the personal touch back to our Beat 211. In the past, we had the same officers for years, and they got to know our community and we got to know them.

We also published their names so you could wave and say hello as they came by. We will resume publishing the Beat officers names for your use. Say, “Hi!” They protect all of us and enforce the rules of the road. Beat 211 officers are assigned to three watches:

  • 6 am to 4 pm: Alveta Blaylock;
  • 2 pm to midnight: Tito Santos and Christina Aguilar; and
  • 9 pm to 7 am: Michael Alberts and Patricia Krall.

Thanks to Supervisor Pam Slater

Scripps Ranch has been able over the past years to secure the services of the County probation crew for needed brush clearing on the Ranch. We were able to get a crew of 40 men to work all day on our projects for a total of $364 per day. With the abundance of trees, fire fuel accumulates rapidly and needs removal.

When we heard that the County is closing down the Honor Camp, we were concerned that this valuable County service be retained. Happy to say we have received this assurance in writing from Supervisor Slater that we will continue to receive County assistance.