Vol. 128 Issue 8
Thursday, April 10, 2014
Ramona Sentinel ramonasentinel.com
Ramonaâ€™s Community Newspaper Since 1886
First parts of bypass stay, say planners By KAREN BRAINARD
â€˘ With a little help from his aunt, Diego Ledezda, 3, enjoys Founder's Day. AA3 â€˘ Work progresses on Tractor Supply Co. building. AA4 â€˘ An interest in arts and crafts blossoms into an event that will fill Town Hall on Saturday. A1
Two of the three phases of the proposed South Bypass remain on Ramonaâ€™s recommended road priority lists. The Dye Road Extension, also known as Phase 2 of the South Bypass, was included in a Top 14 list of capital improvement project priorities by a majority of the Ramona Community Planning Group at its April 3 meeting. Phase 1 of the South Bypass, extending Dye Street from state Route 67 and Mussey Grade Road to Dye Road, didnâ€™t make the Top 14 but was added to a list of road projects that the planning group is recommending the coun-
ty pursue with Caltrans. Many of the residents attending the plannersâ€™ meeting in the library Community Room booed the decisions as they walked out after the vote. The planning groupâ€™s Transportation and Trails Subcommittee dropped the two projects from the RCPGâ€™s 2009 Top 10 list when it met March 24, and presented its draft lists to the planners for consideration on Thursday. The meeting room was packed with many residents voicing opposition to the South Bypass, saying it would hurt Main Street businesses, cut into peopleâ€™s properties, de-
Sentinel photo/Karen Brainard
See BYPASS, page AA2
Ramona Community Planning Group chair Jim Piva explains the three phases of the proposed South Bypass to a crowd at the groupâ€™s meeting April 3.
Who will wear the crown? â€˘ Intermountain Fire & Rescue has bragging rights to a flashy new fire truck. A1
â€˘ Sunday begins Holy Week for Ramona's Christian congregations. A8 â€˘ Service to the community is what Kiwanis looks for in Ramona grads. A11
â€˘ Bulldog boys track and field team hopes for first league win Thursday. A16 â€˘ Tennis team starts spring break with a shutout. A12 â€˘ Ramona High School golfers continue to pile up victories. A14 â€˘Bulldog softball enters league play with 7-7 record. A23
ALSO â€˘ Crime Reports AA3 â€˘ Calendar A3 â€˘ Teed-off TEA'd A4 â€˘ Obituaries A8 â€˘ Classifieds A17 â€˘ RE Showcase A23
Sentinel photo/Regina Elling
This female mockingbird uses a birdhouse as a vantage point to gather more supplies for the nest she is building in a nearby pine tree.
Opinions vary on basketball coach traits By BILL TAMBURRINO Opinions varied from wanting a coach who encourages multi-sport athletes to one who encourages year-round single-sport play when Ramona High Schoolâ€™s principal and athletic director discussed and asked for comments about the hiring process and search for a new boys varsity basketball coach at the school. David Reichner, the schoolâ€™s boys
varsity basketball coach for the past three years, resigned at the end of the 2014 season. Principal Chris King told the 21 people at the April 2 meeting that, while he prefers hiring a teachercoach, he has an open mind. â€œThere is nothing like having a coach that is a teacher at the school,â€? said King. â€œA teachercoach can inspire the student/ athletes academically, athletically and can help build interest in the
program among the students on campus. Good teachers are good coaches and good coaches are good teachers. I am biased but I will keep an open mind.â€? Approximately 20 candidates from all over the United States and Costa Rica have expressed interest in the opening, said Damon Baldwin, athletic director. Notices of the job opening are on See BASKETBALL COACH, page AA3
Presorted Standard US Postage PAID Ramona CA Permit No 136
Community foundation schedules Grant Seeker Forum Ramona Community Foundation will share its 2014 grant guidelines when it holds its third annual grant seeker forum in the Ramona Library Community Room at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 16. The foundation will award $30,000 in grants to Ramona nonprofits, schools and/or government agencies. Proposals of $1,500 to $7,500 will be considered. The focus of this yearâ€™s guidelines
is â€œCivil Society â€” Civic Engagement and Leadership.â€? The foundation will accept proposals for programs that demonstrate the ability to build a more vibrant and civically engaged community. Proposals with an emphasis on supporting projects and programs that enhance the community will be accepted. Desirable projects will inspire community pride and revitalization, increase dialogue
and increase the broader participation of the community. Ramona Community Foundation is committed to the supporting organizations, projects and programs dedicated to improving the lives of those who live, work and play in Ramona. The purpose and vision of the foundation is to improve quality of See FOUNDATION GRANTS, page AA3
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Sixteen girls will be competing in the annual Miss and Teen Miss Ramona Pageant that will take place at the Ramona Outdoor Community Center on April 12. Doors open at 6 p.m. The pageant begins at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $10, available at the gate. Vying for the title of Miss Ramona are four contestants: Brenna Brean, Courtney Ford, Andrea Proctor and Chersten Sandvik. For the Teen Miss Ramona title, the following girls are competing: Elizabeth Bowersox, Karissa Brown, Samanda Ceballos, Aixa Cedillo, Taylor Davis, Lucia Hernandez, Shannon Huff, Brooke Hurtado, Samantha Laws, Jordan McEntee, Megan McLellen, and Ciara Webb-Martin. Competition begins before the eveningâ€™s festivities, noted Pageant Director Jill Fleming. During the day the girls will complete the interview portion of the event and meet with judges. Each contestant also gives a speech before the Saturday evening event. This yearâ€™s theme is Mardi Gras and each girl is designing a mask to match the evening gown she will wear when escorted in for the formal portion of the evening, said Fleming. The masks will be on display so event-goers can vote on the one they like best. Also during the pageant each contestant will give a â€œgolden nuggetâ€? â€” â€œa little piece of history about Ramona,â€? said Fleming. In addition, a judge will ask each girl a question. Crowning the winners will be 2013 Miss Ramona Brianna Abarca and Teen Miss Ramona Shannon Singleton, both of whom Fleming praised for their â€œexemplaryâ€? roles representing the community at events during the past year. This yearâ€™s winners will receive a savings bond â€” valued at $600 for Miss Ramona and $450 for Teen Miss Ramona.
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stroy rural areas, and create unsafe roadways because drivers could increase their speed. RCPG Chair Jim Piva told the crowd that the South Bypass Phase 3, from Warnock Drive to Keyes Road to state Route 78, has not been supported by the planning group. “There is no Phase 3 even on the books at the county. So if your concern is in that Phase 3 area, come back in about 50 years ... because that’s when the county or everyone else will probably be talking about it,” he said.
April 10, 2014 From page AA1
Joe Minervini, who lives on Cecilia Jo Road, which would be affected by Phase 1, asked that, if Phase 3 will not be addressed until 50 years from now, why not get rid of it, because property owners have to disclose the proposed route when selling. Esline Witte said she moved from Santa Ysabel to Cecilia Jo Road to avoid the bottleneck at SR-67 and Highland Valley Road. “I bought in Ramona because of the rural community. I was not told of the South Bypass when I bought it,” she said.
John Hancock, another Cecilia Jo Road resident, said, “It seems to me Phase 1 and 2 are just shortcuts to the Estates.” Resident Joe Cahak said he was a member of the master road plan committee that recommended the South Bypass years ago for several reasons. “One was the amount of traffic headed to the Barona Reservation as well as to the Estates, about a third of the traffic through our community,” he said. “And the amount of traffic coming out of south Ramona, and certainly through our Main Street.” Cahak and planning group members noted that a proposed North Bypass had been abandoned years ago. “Throw away the South Bypass and we lock ourselves into the existing traffic problem, growing and increasing year by year for the rest of our lives,” Cahak said. Several people acknowledged that Main Street traffic will continue to increase as the residential developments of Cummings Ranch, off
Planning group members listen as San Diego Country Estates resident Joe Cahak reviews the reasons planners recommended a south bypass years ago.
Highland Valley Road, and Montecito Ranch, off Montecito Road, are built. “I think we need to look at the community as a whole,” said Carol Fowler, who serves as vice chair of the Ramona Village Design Group. Besides cutting back on traffic, Fowler said the bypass could help Ramona businesses. Fowler said it is not safe for pedestrians to cross Main Street in Old Town. “Who wants to go look at murals when you have to risk your life crossing Main Street?” she asked. She also noted that there are a lot of vacant stores. “A congested Main Street does not benefit business,” said Planner Torry Brean, who added that the bypass should be referred to as an alternate route. “In the long run it will make Ramona a more attractive destination.” Planner Jim Cooper, however, said he has seen restaurants full of visitors who are traveling through town on weekends. “We have a town that I
Sentinel photos/Karen Brainard
Joe Minervini shows a diagram of South Bypass Phase 1, which would extend Dye Street by state Route 67 and Mussey Grade Road to Dye Road. Minervini, whose property on Cecilia Jo Road would be affected, opposes the plan.
“A congested Main Street does not benefit business.” Torry Brean, member Ramona planning group think is enjoyed by many, many visitors,” he said. Safety has been cited as a reason for the Dye Road Extension, or Phase 2, which has 90-degree turns where Dye Road intersects with Ramona Street and again with Warnock Drive. Improvements would round out those turns. Resident Ken Brennecke brought traffic collision statistics that showed that in the past five years five accidents have occurred at Ramona Street and Warnock Drive with no injuries or deaths, and nine at Ramona Street and Dye Road with just one minor injury. “So I don’t really think safety is a consideration for the Dye Road Extension at all,” he said. However, even if Dye Road were dropped from the list, it is still in the county’s Mobility Element as part of the 2010 General Plan Update, according to Mike Aguilar, project manager with the county’s Department of Public Works. Aguilar said the county is just asking for a Top 10 list and would work to-
Planning group’s recommended road project lists Ramona Community Planning Group Capital Improvement Road Priority List (not numbered by priority) 1. San Vicente Road, from Warnock Drive to Wildcat Canyon Road. 2. Ramona Street, from Boundary Avenue to Warnock Drive. 3. Traffic signal for 10th and H streets. 4. Mussey Grade slope and drainage improvements. 5. Bridge over Santa Maria Creek on 13th Street. 6. Paving 13th Street from state Route 67 to Walnut Street. 7. Dye Road Extension (Phase 2 of South Bypass). 8. San Vicente Road from Wildcat Canyon Road to San Diego Country Estates limit — road improvement. 9. Sidewalk and pathway on east side of Ramona Street, from Boundary Avenue to Hanson Lane. 10. Sidewalk and pathway on south side of Han-
son Lane, from Ramona Street to San Vicente Road. 11. Road improvement for alleyway from Fifth to 11th streets. 12. Create road from Boundary Avenue to Etcheverry street to align with Equestrian Trail (for secondary access to Hanson Elementary School on Boundary, which dead-ends. 13. Improve Etcheverry Street from Hunter Street to SR-67. 14. Improve Kelly Avenue from Pala to Etcheverry streets.
Projects important to the community that shall require county coordination with Caltrans 1. SR-67 and Highland Valley/Dye Road intersection. 2. SR-67 and 14th Street. 3. SR-67 and Montecito Road. 4. Phase 1 of South Bypass — new road from SR67 and Mussey Grade Road to Dye Road.
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ward fulfilling it. However, he added, if the county has an opportunity to fund or proceed with certain roads on the Mobility Element, those projects will be considered. Planners Scotty Ensign and Carl Hickman supported Phase 1 of the bypass, saying it will give Mussey Grade Road drivers an option to get to Dye Road. Once the SR67 and Highland Valley/ Dye Road intersection is improved, they said, traffic will flow faster during rush hours and it will be more difficult to turn off Mussey Grade onto SR67. A few people spoke against the Ramona Street Extension, but it remains on the list. The planning group voted to submit the recommended lists (see sidebar) to the county for consideration by an 8-3 vote with Cooper, Richard Tomlinson and Kevin Wallace opposing. Donna Myers and Ensign recused themselves because they live on streets that were listed, and Matt Deskovick and Paul Stykel were absent.
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