Our Nation Grieves Again
We all join in prayers of sympathy to the families of the gallant astronauts who died in the destruction of the space shuttle. While we do this, we remember the words of the shuttle commander that there is inherent in all great human adventures an element of danger which the astronauts knew and accepted, all the while demanding and expecting adherence to the highest standards of safety in operations.
We Americans are known for our pioneering spirit and breaking the bounds of today for tomorrow’s good. The space program is all about searching for new horizons for mankind, reaching for the stars, and extending man’s grasp of the universe. We salute the astronauts and honor their sacrifice. They are now the shining stars of America–the new American heroes.
Water Department Wall and Large Shiny Letters
We are requesting that the Water Department remove the large shiny letters from the new wall by the library, as they are a distraction, not an addition, to the Water Department plant. Unfortunately, it is now listed as "public art," and this requires the artist’s permission to change it now that it is erected.
Be assured, it was never completely explained or coordinated in the planning over the past three years of the community forum. As we have established and maintained a very amicable and constructive relationship over the years with the Water Department on this project, we anticipate the removal of the letters.
It will then be our collective charge to come up with an appropriate place for the signage and perhaps their installation somewhere else on Scripps Lake Drive, including the Red Cedar Drive entrance to the plant. Despite the best of intentions, the perception of an artist and the reality of community impressions and needs often do not agree. But, this should be aired prior to installation, not after.
We have lots of news about schools, so please read the article written separately by the SRCA Schools Committee on page 27. We are making progress at a very critical time for the San Diego Unified School District. As you have read, the district faces monumental challenges in terms of budget cuts, retention of programs and facilities, and just continuing to do the job of educating our children as best we can. We in Scripps Ranch are in the forefront of this effort with lots of cooperation and self help. The support of all parents is now even more critical.
Retention of 6th Grade–In February Joyce Berzle, Denise Ouellette, Michelle Bute-Bourke, Brad Callahan, Jennifer Wroblewski, and Bob Dingeman appeared before the Board of Education (BOE) and made a presentation regarding the school district’s recommendation on the retention of 6th graders at Miramar Ranch Elementary School (MRE). The BOE unanimously approved the district’s recommendation to retain the 6th grade at MRE beginning in the fall of 2003. They will use all of the experience gained from the Dingeman Elementary School retention.
We asked for and received–even in these times of austere budgets–extra money for books, supplies, and other needs which we found made the Dingeman program work. As both Dingeman and Miramar Ranch elementary schools must retain their 6th grades until the new middle school opens in 2006, the extra funds are critical to our program. Our thanks to Jan Hintzman, Roy McPhail and, of course, the BOE.
New Middle School–A final site plan is emerging from all the work and meetings of the planners and residents for our new middle school. See page 27 for a draft site plan. From this site plan, detailed drawings can begin on buildings and other facilities. A complicating issue arose, as you may have read in the Union-Tribune, concerning $5 million that an Independent Citizens Oversight Committee recommended be cut from the middle school budget.
At issue is the amount of funds that the Scripps Ranch community could allocate to the project from our designated community funds. As the community does not have direct control over any of the funds but must secure the permission of the City Council for expenditures, we do not have any "community funds in the bank."
The funds we have are specifically earmarked and, in most instances, restricted as to their use. However, some of the Special Park Fund could be used, as they have in the past, to develop playing fields for school and community use–with an appropriate Joint Use Agreement between the city and the school district.
Although this is a matter of discussion, the facts are we really have limited ability other than for joint use to facilitate funding. Please see the detailed article on page 15 of the Newsletter by SRCA President Marc Sorensen. I have also assembled a packet of information that I can send to anyone. Copies will be placed in the library. Our community aim remains for the new middle school to be ready by 2006 and contain all of the facilities to make it a fully functional middle school for the future.
Administration–Please be flexible and willing to assist and help out in the classroom and in the schools. Our principals, teachers, staff, and students, as well as you parents, will I am sure feel the stress of changes that the budget crunch will create. Your support and assistance becomes even more valuable than it has in the past. We count on you.
Scripps Ranch Ambiance
After residents read the article by the Donigans in last month’s Newsletter, I received many phone calls saying "right on," "I agree," or "I will help." The article stated that some areas are starting to go downhill because of cars, boats, and RVs parked on city streets for extended periods of time. Community members asked that I repeat for our new residents some of my past remarks on my perspective, after 26 years, of the "ambiance" of Scripps Ranch and what makes it such a fine community. That is always a labor of love for me.
First of all, we thank the Donigans for their very pertinent statements, for reminding us of where our community is beginning to show some "fraying," and for suggesting what we as individuals can do about it. If you did not read the article, please do so. We need your help.
The earliest impression one gets of Scripps Ranch is of its trees, its well-kept homes, and its cleanliness. When you meet the people, even new residents, you are impressed with a unique sense of "belonging."
There is also the special relationship with what we call "the Ranch." It shows in the outstanding support given to our schools, scouts, athletic leagues, annual Clean Up Days, fabulous 4th of July celebrations, and many other activities. All of this goes into our quality of life.
Over the years, in my many appearances before the City Council and other bodies, I have used the term "preserve our quality of life" to support our positions and recommendations. This includes the tangibles, as well as intangibles, of a wonderful library, fine schools, a superb fire station, terrific youth and adult organizations, and effective and responsive community organizations, planning groups, and churches.
We are a family-oriented community dedicated to keeping and enhancing our "quality of life." Our tradition of doing our homework, coming up with "doable" solutions, and then implementing the decisions makes us the envy of other communities. From all the remarks to me from elected officials, our dedication is appreciated and effective.
We have achieved much and have a lot to be thankful for. The torch of our ambiance still burns bright. Let’s keep it that way in the finest family community in San Diego–our Scripps Ranch!
Police and Fire Services
You have all read about the city’s budget crunch and the possible or probable impact on services. (See the article on page 17 by our Councilmember Brian Maienschein). In Scripps Ranch we have one fire station. It is centrally located and has a single engine along with our brush rig. The paramedics and ambulance were sent to Fire Station 44 in Mira Mesa. So, reducing from one is difficult.
Also, Beat 211 of the San Diego Police Department’s Northeast Division is still the single officer we have had since l976. So, reduction in coverage and capability will remain a real problem for our commander, Captain Nancy Goodrich. We know we must accept our fair share of reductions in service, but not to the endangerment of our residents.
New Era in Graffiti Busting
Mayor Dick Murphy directed the San Diego Police Department’s Eastern Division to assign two sworn officers to form a Graffiti Investigation and Follow Up Team. They will photograph the graffiti and then, hopefully, identify and bring to trial the individuals who are defacing our public buildings. The SDPD captain is a Scripps Ranch resident and was a patrol member here, so he knows our efforts and has assured me of his cooperation.
I have reached the age and have certain infirmities that make removing even the occasional graffiti, although personally satisfying, hard to do. I cannot climb up to the areas to apply the paint and remover. This is the chance for a resident to step forward to do a major service for the Ranch and head this committee.
You will receive much assistance. Call me at 566-6083, and I can assign to you the paint, rollers, and other items you need. Thanks.
RSVP Volunteers Needed
I am sure you have all seen the Retired Senior Volunteer Patrol (RSVP) vehicles that patrol our streets and assist the police. With projected cuts in the SDPD, their work is even more important.
If you are able to devote the time to training and then patrol assignment, please call the storefront and volunteer. We will welcome you and can use you.
Volunteers should be able to drive a car, but we can accommodate you as a "ride along" to operate the radio and do other tasks. The vacation house check, as well as patrols, have become a real asset to the SDPD and our community, and the work is very self satisfying. Call Dale Iwig, Scripps Ranch resident, at the storefront at 538-8120.
The annual budgets for the two Landscape Maintenance Assessment Districts (MAD) are being formulated based on the ballot approved additional assessment. This gives us the necessary flexibility and funds to continue maintaining our open spaces. As this is an assessment on us, the city budget crunch could reduce the city’s contribution.
We, however, always insist that we get our "fair share" of city authorized funds and will continue to do so. I met with the new director of the Park Department and was quite impressed with her "can do" attitude. She will need it, as it seems that when money is short, libraries and parks always get cut from discretionary funds. Thanks for your support.
A Good Friend Dies
On January 28 longtime Scripps Ranch resident and wonderful citizen died–Chuck Miller, M.D. Chuck and his wife were active seniors, participating and helping in many ways. Chuck served as the chief of anesthesiology at Mercy Hospital. He was also one of the founding members of the Scripps Ranch/Mira Mesa Retired Senior Volunteer Patrol (RSVP) and served our community in many ways for years.
With his gentlemanly manner and sense of responsibility, he was always a wonderful participant and effective volunteer. Chuck lived, in the words of his family, "a glorious life." Well done, Chuck. God bless you and your family.
Scripps Ranch At Work
Several recent actions clearly illustrate the "Scripps Ranch spirit." The first was the outstanding, considerate, and professional way our community discussed options and came to an effective solution on what to do about overcrowding at Marshall Middle School.
The second was when our toilets in Jerabek Park were extensively vandalized and defaced with obscene with graffiti. Although we quickly obscured the graffiti, it was a mess. I called Scripps Ranch resident and professional painter Tom Hans and asked him to look at it and see if he could repaint it. Tom looked, then immediately repainted the inside and outside and left us enough paint to obscure any other graffiti. I called Marc Sorensen, SR Rec Council chair, and he authorized payment for Tom’s work. Scripps Ranch self help in action.
Lastly, I was walking by Miramar Ranch Elementary School’s playing field with my dog "Roadie." I saw a large number of fathers with their youngest sons starting T-ball practice–families working together. I hope this sharing communicates what we have as a community and hope we keep it up.
It is recommended that before you start any major modification of the structure of your home, fence, or roof that you make a trip downtown to the city permit office and check out the bureaucratic maze you should go through. This will hopefully eliminate later problems of lot lines, code violations, and the like.
The city center is designed to assist and, hopefully, rapidly answer your questions. But, be persistent so you know the rules and get the most for your money. Nothing is so distressing to a homeowner than to find a completed addition is out of code and needs to be removed or your property cannot be sold.
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