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Stories written by maureenrobertson

Ramona Senior Center

Ramona Senior Center will cancel activities Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, July 13-15, while new vinyl flooring is put in the main room of the center. Lunch those days will be served in the two smaller rooms.

The center at 434 Aqua Lane is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Lunch is served from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Meals also are delivered to the homebound.

County budget includes money for chamber, murals, museum

San Diego County’s 2014-15 budget includes Community Enhancement money for Ramona Chamber of Commerce, Ramona H.E.A.R.T. Mural Project and Ramona Pioneer Historical Society.

The money, which totals $85,000, comes from the Transient Occupancy Tax revenue the county charges hotels, motels and other temporary lodging establishments in the unincorporated part of the county.

Friends of Ramona Skatepark launches photo contest on Facebook

In an effort to generate and organize community support for a skatepark, Friends of the Ramona Skatepark is spearheading a promotional campaign that starts with the Summer Skater Photo Contest.

The photo contest on Facebook at encourages Ramona skaters to submit photos of their best tricks for a chance to win prizes. Skaters may enter one photo per day through Aug. 23 on the Facebook entry page.

Officials suspect juvenile of setting Cocos fire

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A wildfire than blackened nearly 2,000 acres and destroyed 40 structures in and around San Marcos two months ago was intentionally ignited, sheriff’s officials announced today.

A juvenile suspected of igniting the so-called Cocos fire on the afternoon of May 14 has been tracked down but will not be publicly identified because the alleged arsonist is underage.

County plans to lease a fire-attack helicopter for two months this fall


County officials plan to lease a fire-attack helicopter this fall to respond to wildfires. The contract guarantees exclusive use of the aircraft for two months.

“This will significantly bolster our immediate response capabilities during the weeks when we typically see our strongest Santa Ana wind events,” Holly Crawford, county emergency services director, told the San Diego County Board of Supervisors as it voted yesterday to terminate an emergency declaration it enacted during the May wildfires.

Ramona Junior Fair pie auction, Book Time with Ronald McDonald and free movie in the park among week’s happenings

Look for mouth-watering pies, cookies, cakes, brownies and more at the Ramona Junior Fair Barbecue and Pie Auction on Saturday. Among other events this week are Book Time with Ronald McDonald, a free summer movie in the park and open swims at the community pool.

Banner Fire is 100 percent contained, reports Cal Fire

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The Banner Fire was 100 percent contained today, with a total of two houses and 217 acres burned, firefighters announced.

Toddler found in pool airlifted to hospital

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A 3-year-old drowning victim had a pulse and was breathing on his own but was unresponsive when he was transported by air to Rady Children’s Hospital this afternoon, Cal Fire Capt. Bert Ramirez with the Ramona Fire Department reports.

Ramona Fire Department and sheriff’s deputies responded to a report of a 3-year-old male drowning in a swimming pool at a residence in San Diego Country Estates today at 4:24 p.m., said Ramirez.

Julian cancels July 4 Parade

Due to the Banner fire in the Julian area today, Julian Chamber of Commerce has canceled the town’s annual 4th of July Parade.

The decision came as a result of numerous road closures and evacuations and with the advice of California Highway Patrol, the chamber reports.

Creek bed rubble defies logic

“Homelessness is a problem in our country. We know that. But this is not the place for the homeless.” That statement came from Ramona resident Scott Milner, a member of the sheriff’s mounted patrol in Ramona.
As a volunteer who rides the Santa Maria Creek bed as part of his patrol, he joined others at the dedication of the Santa Maria Creek Greenway staging area in the 1700 block of Montecito Road. He and others at the dedication mentioned the mess in the creek bed a short distance from the staging area, the Arriba Teen Center, a public park and apartment complexes.
Photos in this week’s Sentinel are a sample of what is in that creek bed. The smell is a dimension that can’t be conveyed in a photo. Yet wildlife agencies won’t let a community clear it of the trash, human waste, furniture and general debris clogging it?
It makes no sense, but that’s been reality here too long. After a brief tour of the creek after the dedication, Jim Piva, chairman of the Ramona Community Planning Group, vowed to put the issue on the agenda of the planning group’s July 10 meeting. If a property owner or environmental groups have a problem clearing the area, perhaps county code enforcement won’t. Through the planning group, pressure can be applied to “get it done,” he said. Work in that direction is taking place along the creek bed from Ramona Community Park to the 10th Street bridge. Energy also needs to be applied from there toward Montecito Road and beyond.
Past efforts have petered out, but the approach this time seems to be working. Lifetime Ramonan Crissy Tobiason is weaving her way through the bureaucratic maze to unravel any legal restrictions in the way of clearing the community park to 10th Street. With the light lit on the unsanitary rubble to the west, we hope public agencies tasked with protecting native vegetation and species see the sense in clearing the creek bed of dry brush — a serious fire hazard — and ridding a residential area of the filth and foul conditions there.