Our New Middle School

On February 28, Lou Smith of the San Diego Unified School District presented to the community that they had selected option "D" for the preferred site of the middle school. Option "D" is lots 3 and 4 of the business park. Lou reported that all four sites had been evaluated in the second Environmental Impact Report (EIR). All the sites, which are shown on page 27, had pluses and minuses, but any one will work.

The final EIR is now available, and the staff report to the Board of Education (BOE) will be ready on Wednesday, Apr. 3, for presentation to the BOE on Tuesday, Apr. 9. Lou invited organized groups and individuals to make comments to the BOE.

We will have a community meeting on Monday, Apr. 1, at the Scripps Ranch High School auditorium from 7 to 9:30 pm. This will enable members of the Scripps Ranch Planning Group (SRPG), Miramar Ranch North Planning Committee (MRNPC), SRCA, and Rec Council to hear community concerns, reactions, and recommendations. Each resident will be allocated a three-minute time period to present his or her views so as many as possible can be heard. The meeting will be recorded.

Lou mentioned that more than 600 comments were received from all sources for the second EIR. The SRPG, MRNPC, and SRCA will consider the report and its impact on the Ranch. Each organization will, I am sure, present their report to the community via the Newsletter and SRCA website.

This is a very important decision for the future of the Ranch and deserves all of our best efforts. The process was extended to compile another look at potential sites–everyone has an opinion it seems on each. So we probably have added a year to the opening date of the school. Contact your SRCA District Representative with your view, as the window of opportunity is very narrow for last-minute comments.

SRCA Meeting Highlights

The SRCA meeting on March 12 included the following actions:

  • The SRCA position taken in support of the Rancho Encantada agreement, which was prepared by the "Big Five," failed to receive a motion to reconsider. The proposal by resident Craig Jones to amend and modify this agreement is not supported.
  • Nominations for SRCA officers can be submitted to Secretary Bob Dingeman at 566-6083, or sent in writing to: 10292 Aviary Drive. These will be published. The incumbent officers indicated they would accept nomination for reelection. Anyone desiring to run for election as a District Representative is encouraged to send in their name.
  • A new director, Paul Lebidine, was elected for District 16 and assumed office.
  • Membership Committee will send out more flyers and have a second mailing. A new membership decal is being distributed to all new members, as well as the fine Park and Trails map.
  • Community Faire Chairperson Bev Cassity announced plans for an expanded Community Faire for Sunday, May 19. So, put it on your calendar for a day of family fun. Come early and enjoy, then make it a double header event and go to the Symphony in the Park for a finale.
  • SRLMD Committee Chair Bob Dingeman announced action to replace play equipment, remove dead trees, and prepare for the ballot measure.
  • Bob Cavanagh reported important progress on the Information Center improvement. He thanked Councilman Maienschein for allocating $3,500 for additional supplies and equipment for the center and the GIS system. The equipment will include meeting tables, reworking of the corner cabinets, and tables for the GIS system. The SRCA has donated a large-format printer for the GIS. President Marc Sorensen thanked the council folks who will vacate their office so the SRCA Newsletter can begin its expanded operations at the Information Center.

Join the SRCA

If you have not yet joined your friends and neighbors in the SRCA, there is still time to bring our unified voice to bear on solving problems. We help individual organizations and sponsor and conduct events that help make the Ranch such a special place.

I have application forms. Just call me at 566-6083, or pick them up at the Scripps Ranch Information Center on Cypress Canyon Road. And, just a reminder, memberships should be renewed each year. All the membership fees return to the Ranch in support of worthwhile activities on your collective behalf.

Meeting with Lt. Brown, SDPD NE Division

We met with Lt. Brown to review crime statistics and to go over police actions and reactions to community concerns. The following were included:

  • All residents are reminded to lock their cars and garages. Any merchandise should be locked in the trunk and kept out of sight.
  • Carry your purse or lock it in the trunk. Do not try to stow it under the seat. This invites thieves.
  • Lock the right front door when you get in the car so a thief cannot open the door and steal a purse on the seat.
  • Speed monitoring devices will be positioned throughout the area to remind you of your speed. Traffic tickets may follow enforcement actions.

City Budget Projections

On your behalf, I submitted a list of Scripps Ranch budgetary concerns to the city manager for his consideration in the coming budget. It was unfortunate timing that the school meeting with Lou Smith to announce the results of the middle school EIR and this meeting were held at the same time. I spoke directly to the city manager after the meeting and he acknowledged our concerns. Summarizing them in brief:

  • The city must initiate a planned and supervised program to repair the damaged infrastructure, including roads damaged by digging and not properly repaired.
  • Few cuts should be made in the already slim budgets for the library and the Parks and Rec Department. We will continue to help the city as much as possible, and we expect to continue to receive our fair share of city services.
  • The standards for fire and police safety in our area should be retained and not reduced, as they are at the minimum level now.
  • City programs to repair and replace worn out sewer, water, and other utilities must continue so that services will not be interrupted. Do not continue to defer maintenance.

New Captain at Company 37

We welcome on board a new fire captain, Robert K. Hartnett, who transferred in from another station. In talking with him, he is delighted with the crew and accommodations of our Fire Station 37 on Spring Canyon Road. The word is out throughout the fire department that this is the station to be assigned to and, of course, our community benefits by superior personnel protecting us.

Removing Lerp-Killed Trees

Using the special $60,000 fund Councilman Maienschein secured for us, we are gradually removing the many dead eucalyptus trees from our open space. We are concentrating on those that pose a special safety problems to homes and hikers.

We cannot remove trees from private property; however, we will assist individual homeowners in suggesting a reliable tree arborist. We queried all residents on Scripps Lake Drive about their help in removing some of the dead trees from the slopes. Those trees could fall and injure a motorist.

On March 9, we had our tree crew remove most of the dead trees as a community service, leaving the wood for fireplace use. We thank the residents who helped make this possible. The individual homeowners own the slopes, so any fallen tree could subject them to lawsuits. This helps remove that problem and is good for the community as well.

As we will be removing many trees, we are investigating securing small trees to replant that are resistant to the lerp. Planting those trees will be a wonderful project for the Girl Scouts and others to help beautify our homes. We will communicate more as we develop this program. The crowning glory of Scripps Ranch is our trees, which makes us special.

New Play Equipment

You may have noticed we are finally getting the replacement play equipment in our tot lots. The equipment meets ADA standards, which are very strict and which the city is now enforcing. We may have to replace the play equipment in Hoyt Park, as well as replace the surfacing material. The needed repairs to the Hoyt Park equipment have been made and we will try to place all back on line as quickly as possible.

I have tried to insist that all of the play equipment in our Landscape Maintenance District (LMD) areas, including Hoyt Park, be paid for by your LMD dollars. But, when the city takes out any equipment, regardless of the reason, the city should bear the cost of replacing it and repairing anything damaged.

Special Event

On March 16, the United States Military Academy at West Point celebrated its 200th anniversary. I was the master of ceremonies at the Annual Founders Day Celebration for the 44th time in my life at MCAS Miramar. Through the 200 years of its existence, West Point has served our wonderful country well in peace and war. The motto "Duty, Honor, Country" still rings loud as the goal for the citizen soldiers of America.

22 Years of Service in Local Community Planning Group

On March 5, I completed my 22nd year as a general member, member, and officer of the Miramar Ranch North Planning Committee. I had previously served, sometimes concurrently, for l4 years with the Scripps Ranch Planning Group (SRPG). This was for me, and I am sure would be for all, a most challenging, interesting, and productive volunteer assignment.

When the city offered to form the SRPG in l976, Scripps Ranch pioneers Paula O. Quita, Nada Borsa, and others stepped forward and helped draw up our award-winning community plan. It has served as a City of San Diego model ever since.

The same occurred in l980 with Miramar Ranch North. Yes, more than a hundred of your friends and neighbors held hundreds of meetings, spent thousands of hours in deliberations and research, and appeared before city agencies and committees to create a wonderful family community.

When we started, there were 900 homes. Now, there are more than 10,000, with award-winning schools, well-maintained parks, and homes in which people take pride. Working together as a community, we have been able to not only preserve the very special feeling of community and quality of life, but also to enhance it.

The planning groups are in the forefront of this effort and I salute the hundreds who have served with me over the years. All can sit back and say "the battles were long, the conflict was intense, but the results were good. I had a part in making it so and am proud of it."

I am proud of all who have worked so hard, and are continuing to work, for our Scripps Ranch. Take time to thank your planning group members, or better yet, volunteer to join and become a key player in our community. It will be a pleasure to see the results of your efforts.

[Ed note: Thanks Bob, our community owes you more than we will ever know.]