Farewell to a Fellow American, Jack Bryant

Jack Bryant, a resident on Aviary Drive and neighbor for many years, died after an operation and was buried with full military honors at Fort Rosecrans Military Cemetery. Jack was a typical World War II veteran who started out from a small town and attended flight training. He served in the Army Air Corps and then the Air Force as a bomber pilot.

After retirement Jack brought his wonderful old car collection to Scripps Ranch and was a feature for years in our parades with his vintage vehicles driven by our postal carrier Bruce Browne. An excellent mechanic, he was reputed to be able to fix anything with a screwdriver and baling wire. His many old cars–one from 1904–were a hit in the parades, even if we were a bit concerned about whether the cars would make it. I still remember riding with Jack and then- Mayor Maureen O’Connor in his Phaeton, just as my family had back in 1929.

We will miss Jack and his touch with history in his old cars. It helped make our 4th of July Parades so special. Jany Staley has planned another super event for this year. Who knows, Jack may join us if we can get one of his vintage cars into the parade.

4th of July Parade and Party

Mark your calendar and enjoy our biggest celebration of the year–the SRCA 4th of July Parade followed by fun in Hoyt Park. We start at 10 am, and if you are not sure of a viewing area, anywhere along Ironwood Drive is fine. Or, park at Vons and be close to the narrator–yours truly again. There is a map of the parade route on page 7.

We have invited some of the veteran Marine Corps personnel from Marine Corps Air Station Miramar’s 3rd Marine Air Wing and Camp Pendleton to be our guests. We can say thanks to them as representatives of our citizen soldiers.

Miramar Lake Update

First of all, the construction at the intersection of Mira Mesa and Scripps Ranch Boulevards is almost done and the hard rock has been removed. Thanks for your patience. We will have some all day–including Saturday–work for two weeks in the actual plant that requires continual work, so be patient.

I am sure you have noticed the water level is back up as the new aqueduct is now in place. The new parking lot is being paved, which will help access and use. Remember, the reservoir is still closed for aquatic use.

I guess a really important bit of news is that we have again secured permission to allow runners and bike riders to cross the dam with special security provisions for the 4th of July festivities. We greatly appreciate this authorization from Larry Gardner and the City Water Department, and thank our Councilmember Brian Maienschein for his assistance again. The Scripps Ranch Old Pros have arranged for the very effective security, so again your cooperation in making this work is appreciated.

Housing at MCAS Miramar

The long-awaited Environmental Impact Study (EIS) document has been completed, and Dorothy Mildice is arranging for an information briefing on the three sites being considered. The locations are: the Highway 52 site; the site on the base close to StoneBridge Estates (formerly Rancho Encantada); and, the site within the base and using only internal roads close to Alliant International University.

It is expected the three sites and alternatives will be presented to the Secretary of the Navy for his decision and his direction to pursue one site as the "preferred" site and to initiate the Draft EIS for comment. At that time we can submit our comments. The Navy and the Marine Corps are about 6,000 housing units short for families, so we anticipate this will finally be done and work started.

The StoneBridge Estates site would use Pomerado Road for access, so it remains low on our priority, as StoneBridge Estates will already overload Pomerado Road. Please see Dorothy’s article on page 17 announcing the time, date, and place for the meeting with Navy officials, and please plan to attend.

Park Acreage Report

We asked for and received a report from the city as to their version of authorized and available park acreage on the Ranch. Over the years we have asked for this information and received a variety of differing versions and numbers. We need this for determining, for example, "joint- use acreage" with the school district and to find out who maintains them.

We now have a document on which we can comment as to its accuracy and content. The question of total acreage always comes up and remains a pertinent item, especially when the city bases its financial support on listed acreage of parks. Listing as "usable 20 slopes of hills," for example, serves very few of our recreational needs and uses. We especially need this now to clarify funding and perhaps how a joint-use parcel can work with our new middle school.

School Status Update

We invited Lou Smith from the San Diego Unified School District to come to the SRCA meeting in June to update all of the Ranch on the status of acquisition and planning for the new middle school and any problems being encountered. Please see page 17 for a complete report.

City Fiscal Actions

To make ends meet and also to retain as many services as possible, the city is undergoing an agonizing appraisal of what is important and needed and what can be eliminated or postponed. As we stated last month it may require us to assume greater roles in sweeping street and gutters and doing other such things.

It also means being patient and not responding to rumors of cuts in service until they are approved. There will be more and, in addition, the city is forced to try to identify areas in which they can secure additional funds through fee increases–always unpopular, but needed. We will try to keep these as low as possible through community action and working with the council office.

An example is the few streets that have been recently slurry coated. This was done using funds remaining from the past fiscal year. As to what streets are selected, the city selects them and stops where they decide, so we have some strange patterns. At least we are slowly getting some of the streets done.

I have asked again for a street map of the "planned and scheduled" street repairs and slurry coating so we know what "could" happen. We have one from last year that, of course, is not being followed, so we will try again.

Vandals Strike Again

Vandals struck again in the Giant Grove area despite some apprehensions by the police and clean up action by your Landscape Maintenance Assessment District (MAD) crews. As reported, more than 11 trees were cut down with axes, forts were created with digging and branches, trucks were driven into the area, and concrete was poured for some structure that has been removed.

Thanks to some action by vigilant residents, they have thwarted some of the actions but apparently the vandals come in at night as well. It has caused the MAD to spend at least $6,000 of funds to clean out the debris and remove the fire hazards and trash left behind, including boxes from paintball devices and a cache of paintballs left behind for use. Three individuals have been apprehended and released.

Our major concern is the potential for fire from smoking and other activities and, of course, the destruction of your open spaces. We have again contacted the commander of the San Diego Police Department’s Northeast Division and asked for surveillance and enforcement. The Giant Trail is beautiful and the threats to the area have to be taken seriously. Your help in stopping these actions is needed.

Scripps Ranch High School Awards Night

The annual Scripps Ranch High School Individual Awards Night was held in June. Three seniors were awarded the SRCA Bob Dingeman Community Service Scholarship.

These outstanding young people exemplified community service while maintaining excellent academic standards, participating in school activities, and playing sports. When you see them, congratulate them and wish them success in their future endeavors. They are: Stephen A. Sampson, Christina Rea, and Ann Walkush.

End of School–Give the Kids A Brake

Just a reminder that with the end of school, children tend to play more in the streets. They also enjoy their freedom and sometimes act without thinking of the dangers of using the street as a play area. Please be careful, be watchful, and give the kids a brake.

We Did It Again

The 6th grade at Dingeman Elementary School–our second batch–graduated in June. They said it would be possible by hard work and skill. Principal Brad Callahan, the teachers, the parents, and the students planned it, lived it, and succeeded. It was made possible by working together for the best interests of the students. We are proud of all of you.

We as a community are preparing for Miramar Ranch Elementary School (MRE) to follow this example and retain their 6th grade. The lessons learned from the Dingeman experience are being followed and direct coordination between Dingeman, Marshall Middle School, and MRE is the rule.

The following teachers of Dingeman Elementary School were presented Community Service pins upon their retirement for their years of service to our community and to the children. Congratulations and best wishes in your retirement–you will be missed.

  • Barbara Whelan, 2nd grade;
  • Barbara Hanna, 2nd grade;
  • Barbara Andrade, 2nd grade;
  • Peggy Kermath, 3rd grade; and,
  • Carole Jewell, 3rd grade.

Maintenance of Grass Slopes Near Recreation Center

When I received several phone calls asking about the lack of maintenance of the slopes around the Rec Center, I went and talked to the manager. It seems this area was assigned to the center in March, without any funds to maintain them.

So, there remains a question of priority for watering and maintenance, and the playing fields and grass for the playground must take priority. It is not being neglected, but a full maintenance program remains to be developed and funded.

Fire Season

Although we have periods of "June gloom" with some rain, all are reminded that we face a potentially disastrous fire season again this summer. Now is the time for all of us to look at our yards, brush, and trees and cut back and clean out grass and flammables to prepare the way for a fire-free summer. Scripps Ranch is still split between Engine Companies 44 and 37 in terms of coverage, but we are happy to say that, to date, coverage has been fine. We want it to continue that way.

Thanks Again

Thanks for the phone calls and best wishes on Gaye and my 58th wedding anniversary and my 81st birthday. We celebrated with a fabulous two-week trip to Hawaii on our favorite island of Kauai–lots of nostalgia–and then went to Texas to see our great granddaughter and family. We will have our son and two other granddaughters for visits, so we count our blessings.


Rattlesnake Report

With all of the rain and vegetation, and now the sun, we are experiencing a rash of reports of fairly large rattlesnakes coming into yards. This is normal and wherever there is a lot of construction, it seems to disrupt the pattern and they seek greener pastures– your backyard. There may be an initial tendency to get a shovel and smack the snake-do not! Call Animal Control at 236-2341, and they are usually prompt in coming out and safely removing the snake. We tend to forget that this is snake and coyote territory; just do not feed them or attempt to kill them. Let the experts do the removal and return them to the wild.