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Stories written by poundpuppy2k1

Beauty of Cedar Creek Falls comes with challenges, risks

   Cedar Creek Falls has been called a “hidden gem” of San Diego County.
No longer an insider secret, this spectacular waterfall cascades about
80 feet into a pool some call The Devil’s Punchbowl. 
   On hot weekends into the first part of summer, upwards of 40 people
are there.  The San Diego River Gorge Trail (leading to the falls from
San Diego Country Estates) is the focus of conservation crews. 
   A new non-motorized multi-use trail is expected to be ready by late
spring of 2011. According to ranger Debbie Hobbs, completed construction
will include a trailhead  equipped with a potable water source, vault
toilet and parking area. 
   The trail has suffered serious erosion problems over the years due to an unsustainable design, she said.
   “It is a very steep trail,” said Hobbs.

Vietnam helicopter pilots take to the skies over Ramona

   Members of the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association (VHPA) invaded
Ramona Airport recently for helicopter rides and a tour of the Classic
Rotors Museum.
   “We have more than 180 people from all over the country attending,
and about 140 of them will be flying over a period of about 17 lifts,”
event coordinator Dick McCaig said on July 3. “Some of these guys
haven’t been in a helicopter since ‘Nam. It will bring back a lot of
very specific memories to many of them.”
   The event was part of a six-day annual reunion in its 27th year.
More than 14,000 helicopter pilots worldwide have become VHPA members.
The only requirement is that members need to have piloted helicopters
in Vietnam. 

Girl Scouts tour Adobe Animal Hospital

   Doggies and kitties and girls! Oh my! 
   Nine- and 10-year-olds explored the workings of a veterinary
hospital when Adobe Animal Hospital’s medical supervisor and veterinary
technologist, Leah Larscheidt, led them on a tour. 
   “We take the students through all the rooms, from check-in to boarding,” said Larscheidt.
   The girls, members of  Ramona Girl Scout Troop No. 8496,
participated in the tour as part of the requirement to earn a badge for
their uniforms. They visited as if they were accompanying an animal
coming to Adobe—from check-in to boarding facility and every room in

Barbara’s secret garden

   “Wow! Your Garden is gorgeous. Just how many rose bushes do you
have?” is often heard at the home of Barbara and Ivan Hurlstone. 
   Tucked away down a dusty side street, 220 rose bushes bloom in a
kaleidoscope of color. Various wind chimes tinkle and sing with the
slightest breeze across the landscape of color. Varying hues of green,
the deepest reds and magentas—perhaps every color on a palate is
represented.  Statues are tucked under bushes, some hang from tree
limbs and some hide in seating areas throughout the garden.
The Hurlstones have lived in Ramona since 1978. “We used to live down
in San Diego in Allied Gardens, but a guy at work kept talking about
Ramona. We found a property that we liked and moved here.” 
   The property, however, was not lush. 

Equestrians form newest team at high school

 A fledgling group at Ramona High School is beginning to fly—actually to race, jump, prance and run. 
   “The Ramona High School Equestrian team began its first team season
last year but needed more approval for this year,” said coordinator and
team adviser Carol Canfield. “The team was not approved until March but
finished the season admirably.” 
   As a part of the San Diego Scholastic Equestrian League, the high
school’s equestrian team season runs from January until May. The team
is modeled after the International Equestrian Leagues in Los Angeles
and Orange counties. 
   “I was approached about a Ramona team,” said Canfield. “It is a
natural fit for Ramona’s horse community. I contacted the school, wrote
a proposal, met with the ASB (associate student body) president and
began lobbying for an equestrian club team here.” 

Bug bores into oaks

 A new threat to Ramona has arrived in the form of an insect smaller
than a penny. The Goldspotted Oak Borer (GSOB) that has been felling
trees at an alarming rate in Descanso has reached the outskirts of
south and west Ramona.
   “This is an Armageddon of sorts for the trees,” said Martin
Aguilera, risk assessment officer for the Resource Conservation
District. “GSOB has the potential to eradicate California oak trees
throughout California.”
   The pest has been aggressively attacking three oak species, boring
into the wood and killing more than 20,000 backcountry oaks.  The U.S.
Forest Service has been following leads on GSOB popping up in backyards
and parks, and migrating from dormant woodpiles.
   The dead and dying trees have the potential to become fuel for the next wildfire. 

West Point offers scholarships to two Ramona Class of ‘10 graduates

   Logan Bolitho is getting ready to report for duty in the U.S. Army
at West Point Military Academy on June 28. He is one of two students in
Ramona awarded a full academic scholarship to the prestigious school. 
   A third Ramona High graduate, Ryan Morgan, received an athletics
scholarship to the academy. An article about Morgan was in the Feb. 11
issue of the Ramona Sentinel.
   “They provide only 1,100 full-ride scholarships to kids worldwide,
and two came from Ramona,” said Bolitho. “We will be in the academy
four years, graduate with a bachelor’s degree and then owe them six
years active duty.”
   Growing up in a military family, Bolitho got used to moving around
as a kid, but he has called Ramona home for nearly a decade. 

Dads share origin of town’s annual PONY tourney

Mike Wrightsman lives for baseball — PONY baseball.  
   “It isn’t just the sport itself,” said longtime friend Mike Shirley.
“He has given a large part of his life to the kids that are in it. 
Anybody that would give 150 percent to that thing ­— that was him.”
   Wrightsman, said Shirley, would get off work at 3:30 p.m. and head
immediately to the baseball field to make sure anything that needed to
be done would be finished. 
   “If we needed maintenance done, he found either the crew to do it or
did it himself,” said Shirley.  “If something needed to be built — the
same. He never complained about resources or time.”   
   Wrightsman kept coming in and filling all the gaps whenever and wherever necessary.
   Asked how he came to be a board member, Wrightsman laughed. 
   “Well, it wasn’t really something I’d planned,” he said. 
   Getting involved in the beginning is a natural course that many parents take. 
   “I became involved because my kids were in PONY,” he said. “I was a coach and a manager first.” 

Crossing country for disabled vets

   “Any good ideas come from God,” Richard Hunsucker said during a
break in Ramona Sunday afternoon.  “I kept thinking this was something
I needed to do. The thought kept coming back to me. It felt like God
was tapping me a bit. I finally told my wife I needed to go before He
whacked me harder.” 
   Hunsucker, from Green Bay, Wisc., is walking across America to raise money for Disabled American Veterans. 

Teen girls learn personal safety tips

   Just a day or two after Poway High School student Chelsea King was
raped an murdered in February, teenage girls from Ramona Community
School’s Mountain Valley Academy discussed safety concerns with
Principal Carol Tennebaum. 
   “One of the girls … wanted to see if we could have some type of
self-defense classes at MVA next year,” said Tennebaum, who arranged
for a personal safety class on several Ramona Unified School District
   The third personal safety session was held last Thursday evening at
Ramona Community School. Earlier in the day, one was held at Montecito
High School.