Category archives for: Commentary

Three wishes for Ramona

Looking forward to 2014, I would like to share three simple, straightforward wishes I have for the entire Ramona community.

First, I wish that every adult in the entire Ramona community would fully support the importance and critical value of our local public schools. Since the opening of the first American public school in 1635 in Boston, a cornerstone of our democracy has always been a core belief in public education.

Let’s consider the reason for the season

“The reason for the season.”

Can we reflect on that just for a minute? There are, whether you like it or not, many reasons for the season. No matter which of the reasons you might choose, all or none, the basic and glaring fact is this very one. All of the reasons for the joy of the season share a similar point and theme: be good to your fellow man, whether they are good to you or not, for the winter is long and the New Year is that which can only come with the promise of Spring.

Breathe life into Ramona — shop locally

One often reads the phrase “shop locally” with respect to the need to support local businesses that often line a town’s Main Street. Every town seems to post the same appeal and certainly Ramona is no different.

Few might understand that the cry to do so is much more than a marketing phrase, for surely the purpose to shop locally resides deeply with the symbiosis between local businesses and the community they service.

Why are our schools so deep in debt?

By Superintendent Bob Graeff Ramona Unified School District (This is the fourth in a series about fiscal issues related to the Ramona Unified School District.) This week, the governing board will be asked to consider the adoption of our First Interim Budget report (posted this week on our website). As required by law, the district [...]

County should reconsider backing drone testing zone

On Sept. 24, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors threw its support behind a Southern California drone testing zone. This rash decision puts San Diego County at risk for $2.7 billion in liability for the property alone if a drone goes down and starts a fire in the backcountry.

The supervisors need to rethink this position quickly before the FAA opens our skies to drones for testing purposes and puts us all at risk.

Should Ramona Unified close a school?


The “40 acres” of vacant land just north of Ramona High is thought to be the most valuable income property for the district. Although this property contains more than 17 acres of vernal pools and wetlands, the property as a whole has potential value for the construction of residences and for environmental mitigation. In the current market, the property is estimated to be in the range of $2.2 to $3.2 million.

Let’s fill school roof canisters

Ramonans, please visit the kind businesses who volunteered to house our donations canisters, including: Sav-on Pharmacy, Richardson’s Recycling, the office of mortgage consultant Shelly Heimer at WJ Bradley, Ramona Sentinel, ChuckAlek Independent Brewers, Greg Chick—Ramona’s Plumber, and the office of Jane Tanaka MD.

Second Amendment views

Dear Ramona Sentinel Readers:

In recent weeks several constituents have contacted my office informing me they are offended about comments I’ve made regarding the Second Amendment. This is an open letter to all of my constituents to share the background of my views on the Second Amendment.

What steps has Ramona Unified taken to dispose of excess property?

As the district continues to explore ways to improve its long-term fiscal health, one of the most challenging areas of potential opportunity lies in property management. With two vacant pieces of property, one former school site, and 10 current school sites, we are asked frequently about disposing of property to make ends meet during these tough financial times.

Let’s serve veterans as well as they have served us

During the recent government shutdown many numbers were thrown around. But there is one number that stands out and it has nothing to do with the debate over the federal budget.

More than one a day. That is how many members of our active-duty military, National Guard and reserve forces have committed suicide over the last year. Simply put, we are losing more service members by their own hands than we are by the enemy in Afghanistan.