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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.

Parade, fireworks on tap for July 4 in Ramona


Independence Day in Ramona will start with a morning parade in San Diego Country Estates and end with evening fireworks in town. In between are free hot dogs and hamburgers at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3783.

The parade will start at 10 a.m. at the Casey Tibbs Western Center at Pappas Road and Avenel Lane and continue along Pappas Road to Ramona Oaks Park. While the parade is open to the public and features entries from throughout Ramona and the region, festivities in the park after the parade are open only to Estates residents and their guests.

A Kiwanis Bow Wow Pow Wow thank you

It is really fun to see a boy and his dog representing the Ramona cowboy tradition, or a beautiful woman and her gorgeous poodle both stylishly dressed, and the amazing dog who prays with Mom. Throw in helpful community-based booths, a down-home barbecue and excellent entertainment in the series of competitions, and the day was great.

Fireworks put spark in Ramona calendar

FOURTH OF JULY PICNIC, 1 p.m., VFW Post 3783, 2247 Kelly Ave. Free hot dogs and hamburgers, prizes, fun. Bring a side dish to share. More: 760-789-7888.

RAMONA ROTARY JULY 4TH FAMILY PICNIC AND FIREWORKS, 5 p.m., behind Olive Peirce Middle School, 1521 Hanson Lane. Food vendors, music, games and contests. Fireworks begin at 9 p.m.

Senior Center closed July 4

Ramona Senior Center will be closed Friday, July 4. The center at 434 Aqua Lane will reopen Monday, July 7, and 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.

Suggested lunch donation for seniors age 60 and older and for the homebound is $4. Transportation is $1. Lunch for a non-senior guest of a senior is $6. For reservations and more information, call 760-789-0440.

More public involvement in education is necessary

People throughout the land must get more fully involved in education. The California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) has an unfunded liability of around $70 billion. To remedy the situation, the taxpayers’ contribution to the fund will increase from 8.25 percent to 19.01 percent in seven years. The state contribution will also increase.

School board asks Ramona voters for $40 million bond


With the support of four of its five members, Ramona Unified School District Board agreed to place a $40 million bond bid on the Nov. 4 ballot.

Trustee John Rajcic voted Present, saying he believes some of the ballot language is disingenuous.

Also in the special meeting, trustees approved a $49 million spending plan for the 2014-15 budget year that started July 1 and a Local Control and Accountability Plan setting goals for students. In addition, they endorsed the San Francisco firm of Jones Hall as bond counsel and hired the investment firm of Edward Jones as bond underwriter.

“If approved by the voters this fall, the school bond would pay off a large district loan and support much-needed school repairs and renovations at every one of our 10 schools,” Superintendent Robert Graeff, Ed.D., said in his written highlights of the meeting.