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Stories written by maureenrobertson

Ramona Kiwanians make special delivery to elementary school

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Kiwanis Club of Ramona delivers classroom supplies to Ramona Elementary School the Friday before school starts. From left are Michele Beus, transitional kindergarten/kindergarten teacher Michele Beus, Kiwanis member Mary Halliday, fourth-grade teacher Amanda Szyjka and Ramona Elementary secretary Susana Abarca.

Suspect faces attempted murder charge after shooting reported in Ramona


A 26-year-old man suspected of opening fire on a man and his two children as they ran for cover in Ramona was arrested early today, authorities said.

The victim told sheriff’s investigators that the suspect, later identified as Brandon Quiroz, had pointed a handgun at him and his children and fired six shots in the 200 block of Third Street near Main Street shortly after 9 p.m. Thursday, sheriff’s Sgt. Brent Strahm said.

It’s difficult to say goodbye


It is easy to say good luck but difficult to say goodbye.

I have been teaching, coaching and announcing Ramona athletic events since 1975. It was never a job. It was a pleasure. I received more than I gave. I laughed and cried. But most importantly, I had fun.

It is time for Ramona to pass a school bond

In a historic vote last month, the Ramona school board unanimously agreed to place a school improvement measure on the November 2014 ballot. If approved by voters this fall, the school bond will pay off a large district loan and support much-needed school repairs and renovations at every one of our 10 schools.

Working very hard to get this one right, the board has spent incredible energy listening to the community to create a smaller, more focused, and more transparent measure for voter consideration. Smaller than the bond effort in 2012, this new ballot measure would provide the district a maximum of $40 million with a tax rate of only $39 for every $100,000 of assessed value (not market value). For the typical homeowner in Ramona, this bond measure would cost each household approximately $120 per year (or $10 per month). The bond effort two years ago was nearly 50 percent larger.

From the bond revenue, the lion’s share of the proceeds will pay off the district loan originated in 2004 of approximately $32 million. The original loan to the district came in the form of Certificates of Participation (COP), built both Hanson Elementary School and Ramona Community School and improved Olive Peirce Middle School and Ramona High School. Since developer fees have dried up during the Great Recession, the district now needs relief from this heavy burden to our general fund.

The remaining portion of the bond will allocate $8 million towards much needed renovation to our aging facilities. The bond proposition (posted online) contains a specific project list for each school site, including support for roofing, plumbing, playground areas, heating and air conditioning, electrical, fencing, irrigation, asphalt, and more energy efficient lighting and windows. When the state approves another construction bond (perhaps this fall), our schools will also qualify for $12 million in matching funds — but only if we pass our local school bond first.

The board has also authorized staff to begin the process for appointing a Citizen’s Oversight Committee. This group of local residents will have the task of ensuring that every dollar raised from bond proceeds will go towards the projects listed in the actual ballot measure — and not for any other purpose.

Ramona chamber’s Last Wednesday series continues with goal-setting expert


Ramona Chamber of Commerce’s Last Wednesday Workshop education series continues on Wednesday, Aug. 27, at 7:30 a.m. in the Ramona Library Community Room with a lecture by well-known business coach Cindi Britton. Dr. Britton, who has an Ed.D in education and is a former head administrator from the Cajon Valley school system, will lead a [...]

“Sin City’ and ‘If I Stay’ open Aug. 22


Box Office Leaders Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles PG13 Shredder and the evil Foot Clan have taken over NYC but will be battled by the infamous ninja turtles. Guardians of the Galaxy PG13 A mysterious orb that holds the fate of the cosmos is stolen, and now it must be protected from the evil Ronan. The [...]

Estates offers free sandbags, sand to association homeowners

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With the threat of rain today, San Diego Country Estates Association is offering free sandbags and sane to Estates homeowners.
Sandbangs are at the clubhouse, 24157 San Vicente Road, and sand is available at the Recreation Center, 25386 Pappas Road.

Marine with Ramona ties suffers severe injuries in IED explosion

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U.S. Marine Staff Sgt. Brandon Dodson is in Walter Reed National Military Medical Center recovering from severe injuries he suffered this month in an improvised explosive device (IED) explosion in Afghanistan.

On Aug. 9, Dodson was on a combat foot patrol as an infantry squad leader with the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines in Helmand Province when an IED detonated, taking off his legs, fracturing his pelvis and causing other injuries including a broken tailbone and broken right hand, former Marine Dave Smith reports in his “Task & Purpose: Unsung Hero” tribute online at

Desert crash sends adult, infant to hospitals

An adult and an infant were flown by medical helicopters to a hospital today as a one-vehicle crash closed state Route 78 in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.

The crash was on Route 78 about a mile west of Borrego Springs Road, and it was first reported about 11:45 a.m. today, according to a CHP dispatcher.

Ramona Soccer League to kick off 35th season with Opening Ceremonies


Ramona Soccer League will start its 35th season of fall soccer with a party called Opening Ceremonies at the soccer fields on Friday, Aug. 22, at 6 p.m.
“Not only will the teams show off their uniforms for the first time, but there will be plenty of activities and food to keep the whole family entertained,” said league parent David Williams.
Food will be available to buy as all the Intra players man booths to raise money for their respective teams. The league will also be selling nachos, popcorn, carne asada and more.
“We’ll even have the Kona Ice truck on hand to beat the heat,” commented Williams.
For the silent auction, each team has put together a basket of goodies for bidding. Among the prospective deals is a $1,000 family picture package.
More information about the league is at