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Stories written by ldangles

Planners OK Ramona Street extension

   Ramona Community Planning Group (RCPG) approved the third iteration of the Ramona Street Extension project.
   The project was the main item of discussion at the planners’ July 1
meeting, and the only members of the public in attendance were half a
dozen residents of Ramona Street and the immediate area of the project.
   This is the same group of people who have attended many meetings
over the past couple of years on the topic, wearing the same T-shirts
and wielding the same “No Ramona Street Extension”  signs. They have
lobbied at other planning group meetings, Supervisor Dianne Jacob
coffees, and the Traffic & Transportation Summit.  While their
concerns were listened to once again, the planning group members voted
to support the revised plan.
   The long and passionate debate has been about the .33-mile
improvement to open this section of Ramona Street so it goes through
from Boundary Avenue to Warnock.  Five homeowners are affected, and one
of the main reasons given by the planning group for approval is that
the needs of the many outweigh the concerns of the few.

Roads, winery rules, health care are topics at coffee

   Playing to a packed house—or museum, in actuality—District 2
Supervisor Dianne Jacob shared coffee and information with her
constituents on at the Guy B. Woodward Museum on Feb. 25.  All were
welcomed and invited to share ideas, problems or concerns with the
supervisor and her staff.
   The supervisor began by giving an update on what was proposed and
accomplished during 2009, starting with the topic of making Ramona a
better place to live with the Grasslands project. Allocating nearly
$500,000 to the Oak Country II trails project, four miles of the trail
will be completed this summer.  The supervisor lauded the tremendous
support from the community for the Grasslands project, stating that,
“It is a delicate balance between trails use and protection of
sensitive species,” but the end result will be the opportunity for
eco-tourism in the community, building upon the nationwide draw of
HawkWatch and other trails.

Vineyard images highlighted on association’s first calendar

  Ramona Valley Vineyard Association (RVVA) released its first calendar
at the group’s annual Holiday Party at Bandy Canyon Ranch. At the
event, dues paying members also received their “Member Ramona Valley
Vineyard Association” sign to put on their fence or building.  
   The first of what association members say will be an annual calendar
is for sale for $15 per calendar, plus $2 postage if not taking receipt
of the calendar in person.

‘Tis the Season offers year-round gift ideas

   Children and adults alike look forward to the holiday season for
many reasons.  One of them is the ritual of evening drives around
various neighborhoods to view brightly and beautifully decorated homes.
   Longtime residents of Ramona likely recall one of the best areas in
town for this time honored tradition was Lawrence Lane, just off Ramona

Take It or Leave It clothing & more

   As Vince Lombardi said, “It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s
whether you get back up.”  This is certainly true for O’Dean Negron,
owner of the Take It or Leave It clothing store.  
   In the past three years Negron has been burned out by the Witch
Fire, involved in a head-on collision on state Route 78 that left him
in the hospital for two months and in recovery for another eight
months, and has had to close and/or move his store three times.

Economic development group targets HEART, fees, pedestrian traffic

   When the Ramona Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Committee
decided to promote the fact that Ramona is in the center of the county,
the acronym HEART was developed.  
   “H” is for the Historical town and Hiking trails, “E” for its
renowned Equine industry, “A” for a pronounced Antiques area and Arts
activities, “R” for its Rural nature and “T” for Touring and Tasting of
wines and cuisine.
   The launch of the HEART campaign included a license plate frame,
available at the chamber office for $5, with the byline and a heart on
it.  A community map showing the locations of HEART activities and
facilities is being sponsored by local businesses, and is being

Planners give initial OK for 14 acres to be considered for big-box store

   Ramona Community Planning Group approved in concept a suggestion
that 14 acres from Ramona to 16th streets on the north side of Main be
considered a good location for a big-box store.
   Rob Lewallen representing the Ramona Design Review Board and Carol
Fowler of the Ramona Village Design Committee last Thursday evening
presented a proposal for the Paseo district of town, which stretches
from 10th Street at the western edge of Old Town to Pala where the
eucalyptus tree colonnade area begins.

County, RMWD fees concern local group

   Ramonans attending the Revitalization Steering Committee meeting
groaned with disappointment when they learned that Supervisor Dianne
Jacob would not be at the semiannual session in the Ramona Community
Center on Friday.

Illness prompts change at Books! Books! Books!

   For the past 15 years Ginger Cody has been a fixture on Main
Street.  As proprietor of Books! Books! Books!, she and business
partner Fred Hlawatsch, a retired attorney, have expanded the store
from its modest beginnings of just a couple of rooms of “gently used”
books to the labyrinth of rooms and shelves it is today. 

New trees take root on chamber’s adopted block

   Seven years ago, the Ramona Chamber of Commerce, working in conjunction
with Caltrans Senior Landscape Architect Steve Alvarez, designed a
streetscape project for the Old Town portion of Main Street.  
   This design included shade trees with decorative safety grates,
trash receptacles, bench seating and portions with widened, pedestrian
friendly sidewalks.