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Stories written by unestidstwern

Few file as candidates in November election

   Unless more Ramona residents file as candidates in the Nov. 2 general
election, voters will not be casting ballots for Ramona water board,
school board and planning group.

   The deadline to file is Aug. 6. As of Tuesday morning, only one person had filed for a seat on each of the three boards.

   Rodger Dohm, completing his first four-year term on the school board,
is seeking re-election. He is serving his second year as school board

   The terms of two other school board members—Luan Burman Rivera and
Bob Stoody—end this year. Neither has yet filed, according to the county
registrar’s office.

   On the Ramona Community Planning Group, only incumbent Dennis Sprong
has filed. Seven of the 15 seats on the group are up for re-election.

Rotary’s monthly park cleanup

   Several Ramona Rotary Club members cut weeds, raked, picked up
broken glass and other trash, cleared the children’s play equipment
areas and trimmed low-lying tree branches during the club’s monthly
cleanup of the community park at 1710 Montecito Road on Saturday, June
   The park is on school district property that once was home to a
school and today houses the ARRIBA Teen Center. ARRIBA is an acronym
for Association of Ramona Residents Interested in Bringing Activities.

Supervisors earmark $57,000 for Ramona

   Of the $507,000 in county transient occupancy tax (TOT) money targeted for District 2, Ramona will receive $57,000.
   Of that, $42,000 will go to the Ramona Chamber of Commerce and $15,000 to the Ramona Pioneer Historical Society.
   The Ramona chamber had requested $90,000 and the historical society,
which operates the Guy B. Woodward Museum at 645 Main St., asked for
$20,000. Last year, the chamber received $53,000 and the historical
society, $20,000.
   Ramona is among communities in District 2, represented on the county board of supervisors by Dianne Jacob.
   Julian, also an unincorporated community in District 2, received
$123,500, with $80,000 going to the Julian Chamber of Commerce, $15,000
to the Julian Historical Society, $12,000 to the Julian Merchants
Association, $10,000 to the Julian Pioneer Museum, $4,500 to Julian 4th
of July Parade Inc. and $2,000 to the Julian Arts Guild.

Gang member, 17, faces vandalism charges

   A 17-year-old Ramona gang member is charged with vandalizing five
Main Street businesses in May, reports Deputy Tom Seiver with the
sheriff’s Ramona Substation.
The teen, a member of the Ramona Town Locos gang, was arrested last
Thursday after an investigation led to him as a suspect and there was a
subsequent search of his home in the 800 block of B Street, said Seiver.
   According to Seiver, businesses that were tagged with gang graffiti
in the vandalism spree were Old Town Ramona Antique Fair, Circle K,
Berean Bible Church, Ramona Valley Inn and Ramona Cycle Supply.
   The suspect allegedly crossed out another gang’s moniker and replaced it with Ramona Town Locos’ graffiti, said Seiver.
   In addition to vandalism, the suspect faces charges of possession of
a dangerous weapon and participating in a street gang, said Seiver.

Business donations help fireworks effort

 Three donations of $1,000 each on Monday brought organizers of
Ramona’s July 4th Fireworks and Family Picnic closer to their goal of
   Donations on Monday morning of $1,000 each came from Ramona Disposal
Service and Sludgebusters Septic Services DBA European Portables. By
Monday afternoon, Julie Walker of Ramona Rotary Club reported that
another $1,000 donation had come from Dr. James Hill.
   Donations made out to Ramona July 4th Fireworks may be mailed to Ramona July 4th, P.O. Box 276, Ramona, CA 92065.
   Ramona Rotary Club, which started the community event in 1993, is
joined this year by Ramona Chamber of Commerce, Ramona Kiwanis, Ramona
Soroptimists and Ramona Town Hall Brass Band.

Firefighters contain three grass fires in Ramona

Two 12-year-old boys playing with a lighter caused a brush fire north of
110 Seventh Street in the creekbed area near the Seventh Street bridge
this morning, said CalFire Capt. Don Davis with the Ramona Fire
   The causes of two other small brush fires in Ramona today are being
   The fire near the Seventh Street bridge was reported just before 11
a.m. Firefighters contained it to an area of about 50 feet by 50 feet,
said Davis. A CalFire prevention officer cited the boys, Davis said.
   A second brush fire reported at 12:52 p.m. in the field behind Olive
Peirce Middle School off Hanson Lane  burned about 1-1/2 acres, said
Davis. The cause is unknown, but people in the neighborhood told
firefighters an unknown number of juveniles were in the area, and, based
on the noise they heard before the fire, the juveniles may have been playing with party
poppers, reported Davis.
   A third brush fire occurred off Ramona Street at Lawrence Lane. It
was reported at 2:22 p.m. and was contained to about one acre, reported
CalFire spokesperson Roxanne Provaznik.

School workers volunteer to cut pay

   In an effort to reduce the impact of budget cuts, members of Ramona
Unified School District’s support staff have agreed to what amounts to
a week’s cut in pay for the 2010-11 school year. Despite that, eight
workers are scheduled to lose their jobs.
   Effective July 1, members of the Ramona chapter of the Classified
School Employees Association (CSEA) will not be paid for five local
holidays: the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve,
the Friday before spring break and Admissions Day.
   The pay cut, expected to save the district about $250,000, will not
affect Ramona teachers, who continue to negotiate with the district
through their union, the Ramona Teachers Association.
   “The choices that we made were to help out our fellow employees and
the district,” said Betsy Bargo, Ramona CSEA president. “We’re hoping
that things get better. Everybody’s hoping that things get better.”

Steer wrestling, calf roping and barrel racing jackpots slated for Saturday

   Cowboys and cowgirls in town for the Ramona Rodeo this weekend can
look forward to a second opportunity to compete in their sport.
   Matt Deskovick, Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association steer wrestler
who lives in Ramona and operates businesses here, is opening his arenas
on Traylor Road for a Steer Wrestling Jackpot, Calf Roping Jackpot and
Barrel Racing Open 4-D Jackpot on Saturday, May 22.
   “We don’t have that many jackpots, and they’re fun,” said Deskovick,
who held his first steer wrestling jackpot during last year’s rodeo.
   During the first steer wrestling event in his arena last year,
Deskovick injured his knee and was unable to participate in Ramona
Rodeo competition, something he looks forward to each year. He plans to
be in the Ramona Rodeo steer wrestling contest on Sunday. Saturday is
reserved for his two arenas on Traylor Road off Highland Valley Road.

Let’s rodeo!

Ramona Rodeo turns 30 this weekend, and residents and visitors can look
forward to three days of professional rodeo shows and family fun.
   Presented by the Ramona Outdoor Community Center (ROCC), Ramona
Rodeo features Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association performances in
the Fred Grand Arena at 421 Aqua Lane at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday,
May 21 and 22, and 2 p.m. on Sunday. A weekend lineup of entertainment,
contests, demonstrations, food, vendors and other activities at the
rodeo grounds will fill out what Ramona Rodeo Director Joani Georgeson
calls Ramona’s Super Bowl.
   Everyone loves a birthday party, and that’s what the ROCC has planned for the 30th Annual Ramona Rodeo.
   “There’s something for everybody at this birthday party,” said
Georgeson, even free cupcakes, until they run out, at the ROCC kitchen
on Friday.
   At a time when many small towns are no longer putting on rodeos,
Ramona’s has attracted nearly 300 professional cowboys and cowgirls.
That’s up from 251 contestants last year.
   Among contestants this weekend is Luke Branquino, two-time world champion steer wrestler.
   “He is just such a fantastic guy,” said Kayla Spurlock Duba, who is in charge of the arena production and rodeo sponsorships.

School board OKs 17 teacher layoffs

   In a special meeting Monday, Ramona school trustees approved sending final layoff notices to 17 teachers.
   The action is among steps the district is taking to help offset a
projected budget deficit of $8.3 million in the next school year.
   Rodger Dohm, school board president, said eliminating teachers is
the last thing the school board wants to do, but its responsibility is
to keep the district fiscally solvent.
   To comply with state law, the district must send final layoff notices to teachers by May 15.