Scripps Ranch News - March 2021

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Volume 4 Issue 4 • March 2021





“Head in the Clouds” by Sajana Ganti

SDMA features student artists


Starts on page 5

By Nick Ng

he San Diego Museum of Art (SDMA) will exhibit original artwork of local students from kindergarten to 12th grade in its 46th biennial Young Art celebration. The exhibit also features artwork from three Scripps Ranch High School seniors: Sajana Ganti, Charlotte Moore and Irene Kim. Their submitted works are part of the exhibit’s theme of “My World, Our Planet,” a theme that brings awareness to environmental and sustainabilSajana Ganti ity issues. Ganti, who started to draw at age seven, said that her artwork, “Head in the Clouds,” was not originally intended to be a museum exhibit. “My AP art teacher, Ms. Brady, found out that the museum was doing this exhibition,” Ganti said. “So, she chose three of our pieces to submit, and the three of us got into the exhibit.” “Head in the Clouds,” which was drawn with Prismacolor pencils on a cardboard stock, is part of Ganti’s art portfolio in which she depicts the theme of “imagination” and the “concept of daydreaming.” “This piece is more focused toward nature and someone just being one with nature,” Ganti explained. “Each of my pieces has a person in them, and each piece centers around an idea. So, this specific piece is about a woman’s connection with nature.” Moore’s painting of a bighorn sheep, titled “Ram,” was created with acrylic paint on canvas. “This painting is about the natural beauty of animals and their importance to the environment,” Moore said. “The peaceful expression on the ram’s face is meant to show the serenity that can be found in nature.” Kim’s artwork, “Assistant Animals,” focuses See STUDENT ARTISTS, Page 12

• NEWS, Pages 2-4 • FACES OF SCRIPPS RANCH, Pages 5-11 • LEISURE, Page 12 • SCHOOLS, Pages 13-14 • SPORTS, Pages 15-16 • HOMES, Pages 17-20




Take the COVID-19 Quiz

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By Arthur Blain, MD, FAAFP 1. With in-person classes planned at local public schools, is it possible to completely stop stu-

dents from bringing COVID-19 home, infecting their parents, siblings or grandparents? Yes ___ No ___

2. Some say youngsters are not seriously affected when they catch the coronavirus. Is this true? Yes ___ No ___ 3. Can someone who has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 still spread it to others as a carrier? Yes ___ No ___







4. Most sports are beginning for young people again. Is there a 100 percent guarantee that participating athletes will not catch COVID-19 and spread it to teammates, classmates or bring the coronavirus to their home? Yes ___ No ___



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Dr. Blain is a boardcertified Poway family physician and board member of the California Prostate Cancer Coalition with 24 years of medical experience, both in the community and with the military. He provides office and telemedicine care for COVID patients and all medical issues. He lives in Poway with his wife, four sons, two dogs, two cats and a Lion Head rabbit. When not coaching youth basketball, soccer and running, he runs ultra-marathons and enjoys open water swimming.

ANSWERS, Page 4 The free community newspaper, neighborhood website and social media network for Scripps Ranch Scripps Ranch News is published monthly and mailed directly to homes in Scripps Ranch.







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9984 Scripps Ranch Blvd. #312 San Diego, CA 92131 Copyright & Licensing The entire contents of Scripps Ranch News is copyrighted. Copyright 2021, Scripps Ranch News; Seacoast Media Lab, LLC. All rights reserved.



March 2021 | Scripps Ranch News


Von Wilpert co-chairs COVID-19 committee SCRIPPS By Bella Ross


s San Diego begins to approach what some have regarded as the tail end of the coronavirus pandemic, the San Diego City Council has launched a new committee intended to better organize the local response to COVID-19. The COVID-19 Response and Recovery Committee, co-chaired by Scripps Ranch Councilmember Marni von Wilpert and City Council President Jennifer Campbell, will not have access to the kinds of sweeping public health powers held by the County of San Diego and State of California. Its roles include considering and proposing legislation (but no power to approve it); providing a public forum for community input; monitoring and evaluating the city’s response; providing oversight; and addressing disparities exasperated by the pandemic. The creation of the committee was unanimously approved by the City Council on Feb. 22. Von Wilpert said this indicates a big change from the Council’s previous organization of COVID-19 response efforts. “Instead of having all nine city council members individually trying to solve these problems, now we have a dedicated committee on City Council to think about these things and have a forum to bring them to,” von Wilpert said. While the City has its own COVID-19 response, larger elements such as vaccine distribution and testing primarily fall under State and County control. Despite this, the committee will play an important role in ensuring the local response to the pandemic is meeting the needs of the community and following best practices. A significant part of this is serving as a watchdog over spending of the city’s $248 million in federal CARES Act money. “We need to do an audit of that at the City Council to see how the mayor has spent it and be sure that we’re using taxpayer dollars responsibly,” von Wilpert said. Another area where the committee could be a big help is in serving as a liaison between small business owners and the city. Von Wilpert said this is a particular point of concern among Scripps Ranch business owners, some of whom have reported having trou-



Roles of the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Committee

• Consider and propose legislation (but no power to approve it) • Provide a public forum for community input • Monitor and evaluate the city’s COVID-19 response • Provide oversight on the distribution of relief funds • Address equity and disparities exasperated by the pandemic District 5 San Diego City Councilmember Marni von Wilpert

ble navigating complicated reopening guidelines or applying for COVID-19 business loans. “We want to have small businesses come in and testify at the committee hearings and tell us how things have been working for them on the City level,” von Wilpert said. She said the committee will also work to ensure long-standing social inequities are not being overlooked or exasperated in the city’s pandemic response. Although the vaccine rollout, in particular, is primar-

ily in the hands of the State and County, the committee retains the ability to solicit feedback from the community and uplift those concerns when necessary. This function of the committee’s work will likely extend long after case rates begin to approach more comfortable levels. “Even after the public health crisis is over, the economic and social effects of the pandemic are going to be longer lasting,” von Wilpert said. “Part of this committee is about helping people re-

cover even after this is over.” That means making sure key industries, such as hospitality, are able to recover after the dust settles. It also means ensuring citizens who’ve benefited from pandemic-era policies such as rent relief and eviction moratoriums are adequately supported once those programs’ days are up. Citizens who have questions or concerns regarding San Diego’s COVID-19 response may contact Councilmember Marni von Wilpert’s office at (619) 236-6655 or email MarnivonWilpert@

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Answers to COVID-19 quiz from page 2 1) No – COVID-19, influenza and the common cold are all very contagious and it will never be possible to completely stop students from bringing them home to family members. Children represent about 13 percent of all COVID-19 cases in the U.S., and often show no symptoms, presenting a significant but sometimes undetectable risk for their family. COVID-19 remains especially dangerous for the elderly and those with comorbid conditions such

as diabetes, heart disease, obesity or other diseases. COVID-19 also disproportionately affects Hispanic and non-Hispanic Black children at higher rates than non-Hispanic white children. These risks are multiplied by the fact that there is currently no COVID-19 vaccine for children umder 16 years old. 2) Yes – Children younger than 10 to 14 years old are less likely to become infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, compared to people age 20 and older. Moreover, children do

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not become as sick as adults and often have mild or no symptoms. This is not true for newborns and babies under age 1 who might be at higher risk of severe illness with COVID-19 than older children due to their immature immune systems and smaller airways.

Most sports-related spread of COVID-19 does not occur during sports participation, but from social contact. The COVID-19 rates of participants in any sport are directly proportional to prevailing community disease rates rather than inherent aspects of any given sport.

3) Yes – COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness at preventing spread of the virus to others as a carrier depends on which of three available vaccines you got (Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson). The Pfizer vaccine is more protective than the other two, but all three vaccines do a reasonably good job at preventing COVID infection. No vaccine is 100 percent effective at preventing any infection. One study noted that 24 percent of COVID transmission was caused by people who were infected with the virus but never developed any symptoms.

5) Yes – COVID-19 is often spread by people without any symptoms, emphasizing

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By the Scripps Ranch Fire Safe Council Each year since 2003, firefighters from throughout the County come together to participate in the San Diego County Wildland Drill. Now in its 18th year, the County Wildland Drill takes place each year in the spring prior to our peak fire season. This event is a tremendous opportunity for local fire agencies to train together with several goals in mind. Training together in advance of a large-scale fire or other type of disaster is beneficial for many reasons including: firefighters from different agencies meet and get to know each other; first responders who practice re-

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4) No – Students participating in sports can and will spread COVID-19 to classmates and family at home, and risk varies by sport. Non-contact sports show lower rates of COVID-19 than contact sports, and outdoor sports show lower rates than indoor sports.

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sponse techniques and capabilities during simulated exercises will be better prepared for effective disaster responses; flow of information and decision making can be improved and training opportunities like these allow for continuous growth in skill levels. Another great benefit is that it’s advantageous for firefighters to make mistakes during a training exercise versus during a true emergency. Each year, the County Wildland Drill changes locations to familiarize firefighters with the unique challenges of various communities. This year, the drill will be conducted between the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar and the community of Scripps Ranch. The drill cadre has been working closely with representatives from the Scripps Ranch Civic Association, Scripps Ranch Fire Safe Council, Scripps Ranch Maintenance District, The Glen at Scripps Ranch and Alliant University. A great partnership has developed, and the drill staff is looking forward to an extremely productive event for the community and the fire service. The focus of the drill is to train firefighters how to respond to large campaign fires during COVID times as well as wildland fire operations such as defending buildings, effective use of available resources, equipment deployment, laying hoses, entrapment, safety, communications and tactical priorities. It will be a comprehensive full-day preparedness exercise from check-in to demobilization. The training is designed for engine company personnel and strike team leaders. This event takes place May 3-5. The schedule over three days provides the ability to accommodate participation from the various shifts at each agency to train more than 750 firefighters. For more information, contact Sonny Saghera: (619) 490-9897.

March 2021 | Scripps Ranch News




Scripps Ranch: What we like about you Meet some of your neighbors:

Lives filled with experience, faces full of character and hearts brimming with passion for their community Michelle Abella-Shon

Volunteer chair of the Miramar Ranch North Planning Committee and project manager for the City of San Diego About: With a background in urban planning and architecture, Michelle is recognized as a visionary and a community leader. She is a lifelong advocate on conservation, sustainability, preservation of eco-systems through ground-breaking strategy, community sense approach and civic engagement while deeply engaged in promoting the values of architecture and urban design and plan-

ning. She is a contributor to various social media platforms, talks and webinars on planning-related topics to address density, walkability, affordable housing, redevelopment, revitalization, protection of local neighborhoods, responsible growth, policies and regulations, design and other social perspectives. What I like about Scripps Ranch: Living in wonderful Scripps Ranch for the last 23 years has truly enhanced our quality of life, meeting a diverse group of neighbors from all walks of life with convenient access to essential amenities and services such as parks, trails, open spaces, Miramar Lake, pond, public library, good

schools, fire station and commercial centers.

Darrel Brown

Owner, Savagewood Brewing Company About: As the purveyor of the true Scripps Ranch neighborhood brewery, I have worked to support our community in any way we can. Fundraisers, school and team sponsorships, neighborhood outreach – we love our community where we live and work. What I like about Scripps Ranch: Scripps Ranch is truly a magical place. You See FACES OF SR, Page 6

Suha Chari

Board member, Sustainable Scripps Ranch

About: I host a Food Waste Drop Off Hub run by Food2Soil. My intention is to foster and be part of a closely knit community with a warm, friendly and joyous environment, where we take care of one another. What I like about Scripps Ranch: I enjoy the undulating walks of Scripps Ranch, cherish its tree cover and all the meandering trails in the vicinity. The opportunities it presents for work and play are wonderful.

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get the small town feel in the middle of a big city, and the people are absolutely amazing. We love our neighborhood and the people that live here.

Scripps Ranch News | March 2021

Facebook. My husband and I have three young daughters. What I like about Scripps Ranch: I love the natural beauty of this community and how it’s not too far from “the action.” I love how many residents are welcoming and willing to learn and grow together.

Josef Fradkin

Cynthia Collins Bill and I are owners of Collins Family Jewelers. I am also the Scripps Ranch Girl Scouts Service Unit co-manager. About: I’ve been married for over 39 years. Bill and I own and operate Collins Family Jewelers. Our store has served the community for over 42 years. I have co-managed the Scripps Ranch Girl Scouts Service Unit, with over 500 girls, for over 11 years. What I like about Scripps Ranch: When I met my hubby in 1979, I loved Scripps Ranch’s trees and rural vibe. We have lived in the community since 1989 and still enjoy its small town feel!

Sharon Camarillo

Sixth grade teacher (Del Mar Union School District), member at large – Jerabek Family & Faculty Organization, admin – Scripps Ranch for Diversity & Inclusion About: I have been a part time elementary teacher for seven years in Del Mar and an active member of Jerabek’s Family & Faculty Organization for the last three years. I’m also a co-creator of the Scripps Ranch Diversity & Inclusion group on

Beverly Cassity

Market manager for the “New” Scripps Ranch Farmers Market About: Right after we moved here to Scripps Ranch in 2000, I volunteered to chair the SRCA Community Fair for 11 years. I managed the Old Scripps Ranch Farmers Market from 2002 to 2018. What I like about Scripps Ranch: I absolutely LOVE the people in Scripps Ranch and the wonderful community spirit.

Yves Fournier

Owner of The French Oven Bakery

About: I have been a baker/pastry chef for the last 30 plus years. Grew up in a bakery in France and I am a fifth generation baker. Married to Susie Fournier and proud dad of Ella (13) and Charlie (11). I live in the beautiful Scripps Ranch community. What I like about Scripps Ranch: I love the community and support for each other. Fortunate to be part of this beautiful area of the world.



Head of school, Chabad Hebrew Academy; academic chair, COL; WASC, visiting chair About: Chabad Hebrew Academy is a unique academic environment. I’ve had the honor of leading the school since 2007, along with my talented colleagues. COVID has been a tremendous time of personal and professional growth. We’ve been at the forefront of Public Health Policy, trained with UCSD and the CDPH to serve as an onsite COVID PCR and antigen testing lab for our students and staff. We’ve worked diligently with Zero COVID outbreaks across all of our divisions since opening in September 2020. I am blessed to be part of an amazing, can-do team that does everything possible for our students’ benefit. What I like about Scripps Ranch: Scripps Ranch is home to some of the best mountain bike trails, right at our doorstep. I could not imagine a better place to raise a family.


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Alicia Gonzalez

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March 2021 | Scripps Ranch News



Continued from Page 6

for our kids.

Drew Hoffos

Chef, owner, Nutmeg Bakery & Cafe About: San Diego born, my wife and I started Nutmeg with her mother 8.5 years ago after training in San Diego restaurants like Café Chloe, Bridges, Market Del Mar. I wanted to bring locally-sourced, chef-driven dishes to somewhere other than downtown and North Park, so we picked Sabre Springs/Scripps Ranch. What I like about Scripps Ranch: The sense of community and pride that comes with being here. Folks who are regulars support us and spread the word to their friends. They treat Nutmeg like “their place” and help us grow.

Melanie Durkin I have taught full time at Southwestern College for the past 21 years. I teach in the Exercise Science Department. I also have owned Fitness Quest 10 in Scripps Ranch with my husband Todd for the past 21 years. About: I am married and a mom of three kids: Luke (18), Brady (16) and McKenna (13). We have lived in Scripps Ranch for 20 years. My husband and I opened Fitness Quest 10 in 2000 and moved to Scripps Ranch shortly after opening. We have truly made a life out of fitness. We met in graduate school at SDSU in the Kinesiology Department and turned our passion for health and fitness into two full time jobs. I was fortunate to get a full-time (non coaching) position at Southwestern College which has allowed me to have flexible hours and, on some days, get paid to work out! Fitness Quest 10 has been more than a gym to my family, it has become my family. Giving back through serving as the Lion’s Heart coordinator for my son Luke’s class and serving as the VP of SRHS football boosters has been my recent volunteer titles that I enjoy and gives me an opportunity to give back to this community which I love. What I like about Scripps Ranch: Our team, friends, clients, community, student athletes have all been a huge blessing to us and being able to live and work in this community will be something I am forever grateful for.

back to Scripps Ranch – sponsoring Little League Home Runs, Taste of the Ranch, donating to the local elementary schools and supporting our teachers. What I like about Scripps Ranch: When you love where you live, it just comes naturally to want to give back!

Felicity Hunter

Real estate agent and community supporter About: I have lived in Scripps Ranch for the past 14 years and love everything about this community. From the beginning of my real estate career, I have looked for ways to give

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mom, wife, and independent brand and marketing consultant assisting businesses small and large. I’ve also been active in the community – at one time serving as a volunteer admin for three different Scripps Ranch Facebook groups, a freelance writer for Scripps Ranch News and as chair of the St. Gregory the Great Ministry of Mothers. What I like about Scripps Ranch: I love the sense of community and neighborliness in Scripps Ranch. I also appreciate that it is a peaceful place to raise my family.

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Laura Kay Stephens

Real estate advisor/kindness ambassador CKO Miramar, I was excited to be able to use my passion to motivate and inspire others on their fitness journey. At CKO Miramar, we believe in giving back. It is important for us to be involved with local community events and supporting not only our local members, but military, health care workers, etc. At the start of COVID, CKO Miramar donated lunches to all local community hospitals as a thank you for their service, as well as continue to offer “1 month free” to all first responders, teachers and essential workers. What I like about Scripps Ranch: Scripps Ranch has been my home for over 10 years now. I feel lucky to reside in an area with a strong community presence that allows myself and my family to feel comfortable and safe.

Dr. Matt Lawson

Principal, Scripps Ranch High School About: This is my sixth year as an administrator at Scripps Ranch High School and my first year as principal. I believe in equity, discipline, building relationships and instilling self-efficacy in students. I hope to be a positive influence within the community. What I like about Scripps Ranch: The families, stu-

About: I’m a wife, mom of two awesome kids (Malie/Benjamin), friend, passionate volunteer and licensed realtor at 24/7 Realty serving San Diego. I believe business and kindness must be paired together for success. Kindness is my powerful and strategic commitment to approach the world and everyone in it in an intentionally respectful manner and take action to elevate the communities and people I serve. What I like about Scripps Ranch: I always believed there were communities out there where neighbors would take care of neighbors, people would know each other’s names, smiles and waves would be abundant. I feel so grateful to have found it!

dents and staff, along with the bond and pride community members have, are what make Scripps Ranch such a special place. I truly feel blessed to be a part of, and lead, in a community like this.

Holt Mebane

President, Kiwanis Club of Scripps Ranch About: I retired from 36 years of engineering at Hewlett-Packard. I’ve lived in Scripps Ranch with my wife Janet for 35 years, raising three children. I was involved in Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts with my two sons for 15 years. In my free time I enjoy being a private pilot, hiking, golf and skiing. I’m also a serious Halloween enthusiast! What I like about Scripps Ranch: I love the friendly, family oriented nature of the Scripps Ranch community, the hills and trees that give it that country feel, and the central location that

provides quick access to the beach, downtown and the northern county.

Kay Merg

Team leader, RE/MAX United in Scripps Ranch About: Kay loves living in Scripps Ranch and is passionate about helping local residents with their real estate needs. Kay is the “Resource-Queen” by providing her clients with reputable vendors whenever needed. As a military spouse and military relocation certified, Kay has helped over 425 military families buy and sell homes in over 22 states. What I like about Scripps Ranch: Scripps Ranch is one of the best places to live in California due to the small town community living feel and philosophy. I love living here because people truly care about serving their community and neighbors are committed to helping neighbors. See FACES OF SR, Page 10




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Ranch: I like the schools. That was the whole reason I moved here from Utah. I also like that there are small shops I can walk to for food, treats, coffee, etc.


Continued from Page 9

Eric Morgan

Girl Scout troop leader, service unit cookie co-coordinator (training). I also opened a business in Scripps behind Newtopia. I do Laser cutting and engraving along with graphic design work (Pengi Wynn Inc). About: This year, all of our work has been online meetings with the girls (scouts). We try to get together every other week. Service unit cookie coordinator is a position that oversees all of the sales of cookies by Scripps Ranch Troops. Upwards of almost 80k cookies have been sold by Scripps Ranch scouts in a year. Laser cutting and engraving business – We have done everything from logo design, to engraving metal water bottles, glassware, acrylic LED signs, wood signs, slate coasters. What I like about Scripps

JL Nuss

Feline advocate About: Cat advocate who organizes community fundraisers, including an annual Real House Cats of Scripps Ranch calendar whose proceeds were used to purchase a community microchip scanner with extra funds going to various cat charities. Also executed towel drives to benefit the FCC and Humane Society. What I like about Scripps Ranch: I love the tight knit community of Scripps Ranch which feels more like an extended family to me.

Dave Parker

Financial advisor – Edward Jones About: I taught high school and college, and was a cam-

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pus president before serving as a leader and mentor for 13 college presidents across eight states. After decades of personal and professional experience with business, money and investing, I now help professionals and business owners solve their troubles. What I like about Scripps Ranch: As a current Poway-Scripps Rotary President and Scripps Ranch Old Pro, plus long-time resident, I enjoy the feeling of community we have. I’m looking forward to all the local events coming back such as the Fourth of July parade and run, summer concerts in the park, softball and soccer in the parks, etc.

Jessica Pearson

Creator of Real House Dogs of Scripps Ranch; Real House Cats of Scripps Ranch; Real House Plants of Scripps Ranch; and Camp Blue Diamond Backyard Camp Experience since 2007

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Scripps Ranch News | March 2021

About: She has compassion for the vulnerable in our community, and helps out by doing collection drives for St. Paul’s PACE and collect/create gifts for residents for Casa Mahal. She has also collected Christmas gifts for foster youth who have aged out of the system. A stay at home mom to two high school students and one college student. Her husband is an airline captain for Delta Airlines. What I like about Scripps Ranch: I love the ease of Scripps Ranch. In our community you can be your true authentic self with no need to pretend you’re something you’re not. We’re all in this adventure together, and it helps being in a great neighborhood.

Teodora D. Purcell

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Owner, Law Office of Kristin Young Rayder, APC; founder and president of Scripps Ranch Fire Safe Council (SRFSC); coach, Scripps Ranch High School Mock Trial Team – 11 years; member, Rotary Club of Poway-Scripps – 14 years About: Working and volunteering in Scripps Ranch is amazing! SRFSC and the Fire Department, Police Department and our community work together to keep Scripps Ranch safe during the next wildfire. I love working with the SRHS students who work so tirelessly to make Scripps Ranch Mock Trial Team consistently competitive. What I like about Scripps Ranch: I love the sense of community which we all feel in Scripps Ranch, almost as though we are all from the same family. It is unmatched by any other community – like a fabulous oasis in the eighth most populous city in the United States!

Amalea Rose Ribeiro

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Singer/songwriter/actress About: I have been singing and performing since I was 8 years old and have started to write and arrange my own music recently. I will definitely pursue music in college and beyond and am looking forward to being able to perform again after quarantines lift. What I like about Scripps See FACES OF SR, Page 11



March 2021 | Scripps Ranch News

About The Faces of Scripps Ranch

Relying on memory alone, we came up with an extensive list within minutes. Those who participated were extremely gracious and thankful. We were so impressed and honored by the kindness expressed in their responses that we plan to conduct another, improved and more clever, version of this feature within a year.

Thanks again to all involved!


Continued from Page 10

Ranch: I love the community and the beauty of Scripps Ranch. I have made so many friends here and I feel fortunate to live in such a great place.

Elaine Rosen

Scripps Ranch High School Music Boosters president; managing partner at TurningPoint About: Since moving to Scripps Ranch, I’ve been able to experience the joys of volunteering in various organizations. I honestly believe that while work may pay the bills, volunteering feeds the soul. As a SRHS Music Booster, we provide logistical and financial resources/fundraising to support our talented musicians. What I like about Scripps Ranch: I love living in

Scripps Ranch, and not just because the eucalyptus trees remind me of my Australian roots. I’m proud to be part of a community that genuinely cares for one another.

tion, to become a successful aerospace engineer working on national systems to safeguard this great country. It is my endeavor to help others to achieve their dreams and share my knowledge of systems engineering. What I like about Scripps Ranch: I love the open and supportive community of neighbors helping neighbors and the enthusiasm for volunteering.



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Principal, Marshall Middle School About: Eighteen years ago, I started my career as a high school social studies teacher and coach at Fallbrook High School. In 2011, I became an administrator in San Marcos Unified where I served middle and high schools, as well as K-8. In May of 2020, I became the proud principal of Thurgood Marshall Middle School. What I like about Scripps Ranch: I’m impressed by how quickly and efficiently the community comes together to support those in need. Whether it’s been a family in need, a staff member, or even our entire school, the parents rally and mobilize to lend a hand. It’s impressive and unlike anything I’ve seen before.

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The purpose of The Faces of Scripps Ranch is to recognize some of the outstanding individuals in this community as well as letting readers know a little more about their neighbors. The selection criteria for this inaugural feature were simple: we made a list of unique individuals we covered or who were helpful during the first three years of this newspaper.


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Scripps Ranch News | March 2021


RomBomb Burgers are the bomb! RANCH By John Gregory



amburger fanatics seeking a new, nearby taste sensation need look no further than RomBomb Burgers, a curbside pickup style burger service. This efficient business that is seemingly perfect for these COVID-affect-

ferent kinds of hyper-regional hamburgers that are unique to different areas. “One of them that stuck out to me was in Oklahoma. During the Depression, they would add a lot of onion to the hamburger … to make the burger still affordable,” Irani explained. “That concept stuck around and it’s pretty famous out there. It’s called the fried onion burger. I kind of saw that, dug in and started making my own version of it.”

‘During the Depression, they would add a lot of onion to the hamburger … to make the burger still affordable ... I kind of saw that, dug in and started making my own version of it.’ —Romin Irani

ed times was recently created by Romin Irani, who grew up in nearby Mira Mesa. Hungry customers can place an order earlier and schedule a pick-up time for Tuesdays between 3:30 and 8 p.m. That’s right – the business is open one day each week and offers curbside pick-up service only. That’s just fine with Irani, since there seems to be no shortage of customers and there is no food waste. He can prepare up to 18 single burgers every 15 minutes, or nine doubles in the same amount of time. Customers order within their time frame and a helper brings the food to their car in the parking lot of a commercial food kitchen right across the street from Scripps Ranch High School on Scripps Lake Drive. Irani said he took a “deep dive” into burgers about a year and a half ago when he started to do some research. He read the book “Hamburger America” by hamburger guru George Motz who drove around the U.S. and documented the dif-

Romin Irani with wife Naomi and son Mateo. (courtesy photo)

A RomBomb burger with julienned fried potatoes added for “crunch.” (courtesy photo)

He cooked some of the burgers during a party before coronavirus hit the U.S. When asked, his friends said they would pay to have his burgers if he were ever to go into business. Last summer, Irani experimented with a few pop-up burger events to test his concept. Then Irani started the process of applying for permits to officially open his business – and he began looking for a place to prepare his burgers. He found a commercial kitchen in Scripps Ranch called Personal Touch Dining, which is used mostly for catering weddings and other special events.

He rents a spot every Tuesday and sells about 250 hamburgers on those days. Irani said it’s a good fit since he doesn’t want to lease a brick and mortar location, especially during the coronavirus pandemic. “And my system was working out … so I kept that system,” Irani said about his customers being able to place orders then arrive for pick-up. “They show up at their time, message us that they are there, we walk out their bag and they are on their way.” RomBom Burgers are made with fresh, lean beef; cheese; paper thin sliced onions; buns; and Irani’s specially-prepared sauce. The price for a single burger is $5 and a double costs $8. Most transactions are prepaid through Venmo. Instructions for pickup are messaged to each customer. Swell brand craft sodas are also available. In addition, Irani books special events, including drive-by parties. Those wishing to place a RomBomb Burger order can find information on Instagram: @rombombburger or email


Continued from Page 1

on various aspects of environmental problems, such as climate change and water pollution. While it may not overtly seem to present these issues, Kim had hidden messages throughout the drawing. “This hidden way of communicating an issue was my intention when creating this piece,” Kim said. “I wanted this piece to mirror reality. I chose to represent the pollution that occurs both on land and in water. Sharks, a seal and an otter – which are normally underwater creatures – can be seen swimming in the sky to escape the dirty, highly polluted waters.” The animals she drew in the sky represent the amount of litter they consumed to the point where they become “inflated and floated.” “As the animals travel into the sky, they’re helping to clean up after the plastic cups that humans have thrown out,” Kim said. Ganti’s art instructor, Anne Brady, often encourages her students to submit their art pieces to Young Art every year. “This year I wanted to make sure students still had a chance, so I offered it to my AP Art students,” Brady said. “I selected works by five students that I believed fit this theme. Three out of five works were selected by the museum to be a part of the exhibition at the SDMA in Balboa

“Ram” by Charlotte Moore

“Assistant Animals” by Irene Kim

Park.” The San Diego Museum of Art has been running Young Art since the early 1930s. This year’s theme aligns with the museum’s mission to promote waste reduction and eco-friendly practices and infrastructure. While Moore said she will not be pursuing an art career, and Kim is still undecided, Ganti plans

to pursue a career in art and design. She has applied to a few schools in California, such as those within the Los Angeles area. “I’m hoping to minor in art,” Ganti said. “I’m hoping to do graphic design or something with computer science together.” The Youth Art exhibit runs from March 26 to May 9. For more information, visit



March 2021 | Scripps Ranch News


By Nick Ng


tudents at Scripps Ranch High School (SRHS) have been able to connect with college counselors virtually to get a taste of what different campuses around the country offer through the SRHS College and Career Series. Ginger Colletto, the coordinator of the College and Career Series, wasted no time moving the program online when the high school remained closed in the fall of 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. “That’s when I approached Principal Lawson and said, ‘Could we take the Wednesday College Series and offer it to students by Zoom?’” said Colletto, who created a YouTube channel called “The College Corner: Virtual College Fair” that features more than 80 videos. “Parents and students can see them, and we could keep this program going even though we’re not on campus. [Principal Lawson] was in favor of it.” The first virtual videos were uploaded on March 17, 2020, and featured single campuses. By late September 2020, the College Series became more interactive with a presentation of three to four campuses per week. Colletto got 60 campuses involved this school year, including Miramar College, Arizona State University, University of Missouri and Purdue. The process of recording and uploading takes her about

Ginger Colletto, coordinator of the SRHS College and Career Series

five to 10 hours a week. The Scripps Ranch High School Foundation plays a fundraising role for the College Series. Although most donations come from parents, some local businesses and programs within the foundation sponsor the event. Colletto included an essay writing workshop in which college counselors worked with the students on what they can expect on an essay and how to write their personal statement for admissions. She also held a “Stress to Success” event that helps students and parents navigate through the college selection process. Colletto said that many families are


SRHS College Series goes virtual

“caught up” in choosing California State and UC campuses, which has made the admissions process more difficult for students to get into. One way parents can tackle the competitiveness is to let campuses know if they are a “financial need family or merit family.” “A lot of these schools provide a ton of merit aid to these families – that brings the [cost] down to where it would be the same as going to a California school,” she said. “A lot of the out-of-state campuses are not impacted. Oftentimes, students can get out in four years at the same price tag that they would be paying for an in-state California school. … There’s a lot of opportunities out there.” Students and parents can find updates about the College Series in the Sunday message that Colletto sends out through the principal. They can also access the information in the SRHS Foundation’s website under the “College Corner” tab. The Associated Student Body also sends these updates on its Instagram page. “There are a lot of options outside of our wonderful California schools that are affordable,” Colletto said. “We learned that many students are under a lot of pressure to be that 5.0 student with the volunteer experience and sports. It stresses the kids out. Just love your student. Love who they are. Encourage them to be their personal best and there will be a college for them.” For more information, visit

Seniors Corner: Reflecting on senior year By Ashley Shah Kaylie Shadburn Associated Student Body President “Serving as ASB president has been a little difficult because we’re really restricted with what we can plan for the school because we can’t have most events that we would usually have,” Kaylie Shadburn said. Other than being the ASB president, at SRHS, Shadburn is the president of the Butterfly Effect club and a part of the No Place for Hate organization. Shadburn explained what she misses most from in-person school. “I miss the community aspect of our school. I think we have a really good community at Scripps, and I think it’s hard to see and feel that when everything is virtual,” she said. She also talked about what has been beneficial about online learning.

“Online learning has given me a lot of time to become my best self mentally and physically. I think it has also helped me become a better student because sometimes you end up having to teach yourself now,” Shadburn said. Outside of school, she works at Athleta, tutors and takes care of her brother. Shadburn plans to attend Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU) and major in business administration while minoring in communications. “I’ve learned a lot through this year. I’ve learned to never take anything for granted. Once COVID is over, I’m going to make sure to take every opportunity and enjoy every moment,” Shadburn said. Ethan Nicholas Four-year football and baseball player “I miss the social interaction with everyone. It is sad that we aren’t able to have our ‘lasts’ of things such as prom and homecoming,”

Ethan Nicholas said. He shared his opinions on the benefits and issues he has faced with virtual learning. “I’m a more visual and hands on learner, so I find that learning online does not really help me learn in the best way. It’s also hard because we can’t really just ask teachers things anymore,” Nicholas said. “I like having more free time as a result of virtual learning though. I feel like there is more time for homework and sports now. I feel like the teachers have really stuck with us and helped us, and it’s appreciated.” On March 12, the SRHS football team had its first game of the year. “I’m looking forward to spending my last season with all my friends that I’ve played with for years. I just want to thank my coaches for putting a lot of effort into us getting one last season,” Nicholas said.

Alongside football and baseball at SRHS, Nicholas is also a part of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes club and the Butterfly Effect club. Outside of school, he volunteers for the organization Lion’s Heart. Nicholas hopes to attend California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, to study biology and he plans to continue football as well. “I’m excited to start something new in college!” he said. Jessica Thomas Four-year volleyball player “I was really looking forward to my senior night for volleyball. I was able to see both my sisters at their senior night, so I wanted that same experience as well,” Jessica Thomas said. She described her feelings on missing senior year in-person. “I miss seeing all the teachers and the students. I never realized how nice it See SENIORS CORNER, Page 14

Schools reopening set for April 12 The San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) announced plans to reopen its school campuses for in-person classes the week of April 12. Online learning will continue to be an option for families this spring. The reopening plan applies to all grade levels. Both elementary and secondary students will have the opportunity to be on campus for a six-hour school day. The default school site model is four days per week of in-person instruction with precise schedules to be set based on the number of students who wish to attend in person, available space and existing health and safety guidelines, according to SDUSD. The district is working with principals to set specific learning models for each school community. SDUSD plans to launch a new survey March 22 intended to let parents finalize their selection of either hybrid or online classes when schools reopen this spring. Parents should check emails for new information.




Scripps Ranch News | March 2021

Foundation continues despite COVID-19 challenges By Alex Piscatelli

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espite an unprecedented year, the Scripps Ranch High School (SRHS) Foundation is dedicated to supporting the school and the people in it. SRHS Foundation President Suzanne Lawson said the foundation’s purpose is to help SRHS teachers, staff and students through fundraising. “We do a lot of money management,” Lawson said. “The intent is to turn around … and put the money where they need it the most.” This year’s fundraiser is called “Signs, Seats and Students.” “We are fundraising for directional signs all across the campus, permanent seating around the quad ... and with students, the emphasis is on mental health and funding all of our programs that can reach every student,” Lawson said. Members of the board hold traditional board positions like president and treasurer, as well as chairs and committee members for major events. “The majority of our board members have full-time ca-

reers,” Lawson said. “So, this is just their additional volunteer opportunity that they are participating in.” While volunteering looks differently depending on what event is coming up, one constant is the foundation’s monthly board meeting. However, because of COVID-19, even that looks a little different. “The first thing that (came) to mind, it’s a very cliché phrase, ‘Never waste a good crisis,’” Lawson said. “We had to pivot as quickly as we could.” By April 2020, the foundation switched to virtual communication via Zoom. “We’ve been on Zoom ever since,” Lawson said. “That has been fantastic.” The foundation members faced a setback when they were unable to access their mailbox due to closures. “That was huge,” Lawson said. “It doesn’t sound huge, but the impact, all of our funding dollars … (were) sitting in the mail held at the district for three months.” Lawson said those obstacles were frustrating, “but everyone became very gracious because we realized there’s nothing we can do.”

Now, the foundation is making necessary changes to thrive despite the challenges. “I think we just really embraced technology, like everyone else has to in society,” Lawson said. The foundation now utilizes QR codes, virtual meetings and electronic payments. “That’s probably our biggest accomplishment,” Lawson said. The foundation’s upcoming events include a virtual Taste of the Ranch on May 1 and a COVID-safe version of Grad Nite. “(We) are working with possibly the Zoo or SeaWorld to host something, more of a Grad Day activity, and really trying to make that happen for the seniors,” Lawson said. Lawson is committed to giving back to SRHS, where her son graduated in 2019 and her daughter is attending as a junior. “All parents and community members can participate in the foundation, and we’re always looking for more volunteers and more people to help,” Lawson said. The foundation’s website can be found at


Continued from Page 13





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was to get out and actually walk on campus. I still really hope we have prom because I’ve never been able to go to a prom,” she said. “I think online learning has been easier because it is less stressful. We only have to manage three classes at once whereas it used to be six. I also think teachers have been more considerate, so that has helped alleviate some of the stress of school,” Thomas said. Outside of SRHS, she works at Chili’s and plays for Coast Volleyball Club. Thomas is committed to Cal State University San Marcos to play Division II volleyball and plans to study kinesiology. “In November of 2020, I was able to go with my family to Petco Park for National Signing Day to sign my letter of intent. Getting to do that was something I’ve looked forward to since middle school, and it was the most memorable part of my senior year,” she said.



March 2021 | Scripps Ranch News

Nicholas Gardinera powers through the Mira Mesa defense. (photo by Justin Fine)

Falcons shut out Mira Mesa T he Scripps Ranch High School (SRHS) varsity football team shut out Mira Mesa High School 21-0 in the team’s first game of a very unusual season which began March 12 on the SRHS campus. The Falcons continued their winning ways after an incredible one-loss 2019 season in which the team went all the way to the CIF San Diego championship game. Numerous fans lined up along the fence on the sidewalk along Scripps Ranch Boulevard above the field to watch the action since the San Diego Unified School

District (SDUSD) prohibited spectators. Inside the stadium, the game was played with empty stands. Meanwhile, sleet pelted the players for a short time as they battled during what the official SRHS sports web page labeled as a scrimmage. Still, Falcons players celebrated after the game as they hoisted the traditional “Battle of the 15” trophy which is awarded each season to the victor of the game between the two nearby archrivals. SRHS will play its next game against Morse High School at home on Friday, March 26, with a 7 p.m.



The Scripps Ranch High School varsity football team defeated Mira Mesa High 21-0 in their first game of the season on March 12. (photo by Justin Fine)

kickoff. Fans may watch future games via live webcast since SDUSD secured an agreement with a nationwide live and on-demand high school sports broadcasting company which will provide coverage of some games played by teams in their home stadiums and gyms. Visit Now that local sports have gotten underway again, look for expanded sports coverage in the April issue of Scripps Ranch News as well as on

Quarterback Luke Durkin fires a pass on the run against Mira Mesa High. (photo by Justin Fine)

Women runners on the Scripps Ranch High School cross country team lead the pack at the start of a meet against Cathedral Catholic High on Feb. 23. (photo by Josh DaFoe)

Cross country team is still a contender By Hector Trujillo With the battle against Covid-19 entering its second year and with California high school athletics just now starting to regain a semblance

of normalcy, it might be easy to forget that outdoor sports have been impacted severely. In particular, those involved with the Scripps Ranch High School (SRHS) cross country team have been forced to

make adjustments while finding a way to remain competitive. Nevertheless, the SRHS boys won the Western League title over Cathedral Catholic, which placed secSee CROSS COUNTRY, Page 16

(photo by Josh DaFoe)



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Continued from Page 15

ond during league finals at Morley Field on March 16. The women Falcons placed second to Cathedral Catholic. Additionally, SRHS boys runners Caden Farrow, Giancarlo da Silva and Brian Maguire received AllLeague honors. Jaiden Wick, Chloe Ellermeyer and Michaela Martin received Girls All-League honors.

‘They have fought extremely hard and will continue to do so.’ —Coach Chuck Warren “They have fought extremely hard and will continue to do so,” said Scripps Ranch High School (SRHS) cross country coach Chuck Warren. Warren, who enters his 10th year at the helm, has done an impressive job with the help of assistant coach Eileen Quinn as they do their best to face the challenges caused by the pandemic and implement social distancing protocols at the same time.


SPORTS & FITNESS In addition, their cross country team wasn’t able to meet with coaches for three months and had to endure a large decrease in the number of runners on the team which usually stands at more than 100 and currently sits at 40 (23 boys and 17 girls). “The cross country team doesn’t cut any runners, so it was disappointing seeing less athletes training this season,” said captain Giancarlo da Silva. “We have made the most out of this abbreviated season.” Despite this, both the men and the women were still in the running to win the Western League title as the season got underway. “After going so long without racing, it has been difficult to get back into it. But with all the hard work our teams have been putting in, we are quickly getting used to competing again,” senior Delphine Maurer said. “I am grateful that running is a sport that can be done relatively safely so that I was able to continue training during the shutdown.” Despite fall competition being cancelled, that did not stop the Falcons from beating their rival and number 1 ranked Cathe-


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dral Catholic High School in an earlier competition as they aimed for an impressive showing during league finals along with competing in the UC 2-mile on March 27. “Being a runner has been difficult during the shutdown due to all of the restrictions and all of our races being cancelled,” said senior Caden Farrow. “My team had trouble staying motivated at times, but our teamwork kept us working hard and not giving up on a possible season in the future. Now we are back in season and I’m glad we continued to work hard during this pandemic because now we are able to compete.”

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Ideas to style a multi-purpose room (Family Features) Whether you call it a laundry room, mudroom or something else entirely, that multi-purpose space is likely a hub of activity in your home. For homeowners creating this utility space from scratch, the sky is the limit, but even if you’re updating an existing room, there are plenty of ways to add purposeful style and function. Homeowners are often looking for ways to use the rooms in their homes in multiple ways. With some thoughtful planning and the right materials, even a modest utility area can become a multi-functional space for the entire family. Take a utilitarian approach. When planning your space, put function front and center. There are plenty of clever ways to enhance the aesthetics, so focus first on how you want to use the space. It may be hard to conceive at first, but it’s possible to create a space that serves not only your basic laundry essentials, but also provides space for you to care for four-legged friends or enjoy a hobby. For example, you might add pet washing and grooming features, along with an oversized sink that doubles as a gardening and potting area. In a multi-use room, it’s also important to be conscious of details like lighting and cabinetry inserts that can help bring organization and order to the space. Puck lighting and LED strips illuminate select areas while dividers, sliding shelves and custom pull-out cabinets ensure your items are stored out of sight but within easy reach. Be color conscious. In a high-traffic space that sees a fair share of dirt and grime, color is an attractive way to cleverly disguise what lurks in between cleanings. Gray tones are at the core of many contemporary interior schemes, and a mid-tone gray color palette is ideal to hide dirt and hair while providing a crisp and clean foundation for a cohesive look. For example, Wellborn Cabinet’s Shaker-style Hanover door offers clean, fuss-free lines ideal for a utilitarian space. Choose maple and finish the cabinetry with ash stain, a See MULTI-PURPOSE, Page 18

Gray tones are at the core of many contemporary interior schemes, and a mid-tone gray color palette is ideal for providing a crisp and clean foundation for a cohesive look. (Wellborn Cabinet)

With a pet-friendly multi-purpose room, you can make the less glamorous tasks of pet ownership more enjoyable while you shower your pooch with special attention. (Wellborn Cabinet)

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Build a raised garden bed this season (StatePoint) Fairly easy to construct and even easier to maintain, raised garden beds are a great way to raise plants and vegetables in your backyard. In a recent episode of the Exmark Original Series, “Done-in-A-Weekend-Extreme,” landscape designer and show host Doug Scott spoke to organic gardener Joe Lamp’l of “Growing a Greener World” about the

ins and outs of raised garden beds. Here are some of the top insights and tips.

they’re a nice architectural design element in any landscape.

Why use raised garden beds?

What’s the ideal size?

A raised garden bed can help facilitate the ideal growing environment, as most people don’t have that perfect soil naturally in their yard. Their accessibility makes them easier to work in and maintain. Plus,

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9968 Hibert St Ste 102 SanFinancial Diego, CA Advisor 92131-1035 858-935-9080

Dave 9968 ParkerHibert St Ste 102 Financial Advisor San Diego, CA 92131-1035 858-935-9080 9968 Hibert St Ste 102

Member SIPC

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is ter




To build a 10-foot x 4-foot x 18-inch raised bed, you’ll need: • Nine 6-inch x 6-inch x 12foot cedar timbers • Tape measure, T-square and marking pencil • A saw and extension cord

1. Begin by cutting six, 6 x 6 timbers, each measuring 10-feet, 6-inches in length. And six, 6 x 6 timbers, each measuring 4-feet, 6-inches in length. Drill rebar holes in each timber.

5. Place the third layer of timbers (following above directions.)


ternative to bending over or squatting while washing a pet or potting plants. For a larger dog you can’t heft into a sink, you might consider a washing station with tiled steps, a frameless glass enclosure and low-mounted, hand-held showerhead. Find more ideas and inspiration for creating a multi-purpose room that fits your lifestyle at

of panels on the door frames, you can build a stylish kennel right into the room. A simple drip tray protects the wood surface and makes cleanup easy. Toe-kick feeder: Maximize every inch of space with clever solutions like a feeder that hides away under the cabinets. With built-in wells for food and water dishes, this convenient unit appears with a gentle nudge then easily slides back under the cabinet to make the space clean and neat again. Pet feeding center: Organizing your pet supplies keeps the area extra tidy, so make use of hidden storage with a pullout cabinet that holds pet food and other accessories out of sight.

Treated lumber is the most readily available and economical material and will likely last the longest. Being an organic gardener, Lamp’l prefers untreated hardwood, as it lasts almost as long and doesn’t contain chemicals.

Where’s the best location?

DIY Instructions:

i om


2. Once the first layer of bed has been placed, leveled and squared in your desired location, fasten the corners using 10-inch wood screws. Secure the entire layer to the ground with 10 pieces of rebar.

Build your raised garden bed on level ground, in full sun exposure near a water supply.

San Diego, CA 92131-1035 858-935-9080

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Raised garden beds create visual interest and an ideal growing environment. (StatePoint)

• One box of 10-inch heavy-duty exterior wood screws • Ten 24-inch x 1/2-inch rebar stakes • Twenty 10-inch galvanized timber spikes • Sledgehammer • Impact drill and long drill bit • Level • Hammer • Shovels • Hardware cloth, wire cutters and fence staples • Work gloves, safety glasses and ear plugs • Wheelbarrow (to transport soil)

What materials work best?

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The main rule of the thumb applies to width. The bed should be no wider than 4 feet, as you never want to compact the soil when working. Length is based on personal preference and needs. As far as height is concerned, you want the roots to be able to grow out and down as much as possible, 6-inches at minimum. While 12-inches is common, anything higher is a bonus.

trending mid-tone gray that emphasizes the detail of the wood grain. You can also bring additional character and personality to the space with accent color. For example, earthy green walls and tiling that complement the paint and cabinetry offer a subtle blend of colors that enhance the overarching contemporary feel. Focus on ergonomics. A utility room is a place for working, so you’ll want to make accommodations to make those moments more enjoyable. For example, a raised large basin tile sink offers a spine-friendly al-

Pampered pets

With a pet-friendly multipurpose room, you can make the less glamorous tasks of pet ownership more enjoyable while you shower your pooch with special attention. Built-in kennel: Using cabinetry, along with sturdy chicken wire mesh in place

3. Place the second layer of timbers, staggering the corners and fastening them with wood screws. Secure this layer to the first with ten 10inch galvanized spikes. 4. Install galvanized cloth to prevent burrowing pests from eating earthworms and destroying plants.

6. Fill with soil and plants. Learn more at Exmark. com/backyard.

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The kitchen serves as command-central for most homes, so plan to get the most enjoyment out of yours. (National Association of the Remodeling Industry)

Four home improvement ideas (Family Features) Whether you’re thinking about a bathroom update, kitchen overhaul or any other type of home improvement project, these tips from the experts at the National Association of the Remodeling Industry and can help you get started. Create a plan: Improving your home can be one of the most exciting projects to undertake. Start by setting realistic expectations, determining your goals and needs, finding inspiration and setting a budget. Renovate the bathroom: You can improve your home’s usability and increase its value with bathroom updates or a full renovation. Before you get started, think about these factors: the amount of space and storage you need, features that are important to you, sustainability concerns and accessibility considerations. Update the kitchen: The kitchen serves as command-central for most homes, and you can get the most enjoyment out of yours by making purposeful changes, reconsidering the physical space, re-evaluating your shopping style and choosing appliances with care. Start a remodel: If it’s time for a serious undertaking, a full-blown remodel may be necessary. Remodeling typically calls for hiring a professional contractor, a process you can go about by gathering local recommendations, asking for licensing and insurance, checking references and comparing bids. Find more home improvement ideas at and

Improve your home’s usability and increase its value with bathroom updates or a renovation. (National Association of the Remodeling Industry)

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