Deserts

WELCOME, DESERT DENIZENS!

Our deserts section covers the Anza Borrego Desert State Park and the communities of Borrego Springs, Ocotillo, Ocotillo Wells and Jacumba.


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PINE VALLEY MOTORCYCLIST DIES IN BORREGO CRASH

East County News Service

February 2, 2023 (Borrego Springs) – A Pine Valley man, 68, died January 25 in a crash that occurred around 3 p.m. in Borrego Springs.

He was driving a 2015 Indian Roadmaster motorcycle south on Great Overland Stage Route north of Agua Caliente Springs Road when he missed a curve and crossed over the double yellow lines, then onto a field on the opposite side of the roadway.


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SNOW AT LOW LEVELS IN MOUNTAINS; RAIN, WINDS AND COLD WEATHER FORECAST ACROSS COUNTY

East County News Service

File photo: Snow at Pine Valley bridge, by Julie Salmons

January 29, 2023 (San Diego’s East County) – Heavy snow is forecast in East County’s mountain areas today through Tuesday morning, dropping as low as 3,500 feet in elevation by Monday morning.  Strong winds, particularly in mountain and desert areas, are also predicted through Monday, along with widespread rain at lower elevations over the next two days.

The National Weather Service predicts the following snow levels in San Diego County mountains:


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BORREGO ART INSTITUTE SHOW FEATURES CONTEMPORARY LATIN AMERICAN ART JANUARY 7-29

East County News Service

January 1, 2023 (Borrego Springs) – The Borrego Arts Institute gallery will host a show of contemporary Latin American art featuring selected works by artists of Latino heritage or art that has been strongly influenced by the Latino Culture January 7-29.

The exhibit includes a special showing by Barbara Rivera titled Viva La Vida and an opening reception January 7 from 3-5 p.m. featuring music by Mariachi Mixteco.


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10TH ANNUAL BORREGO SPRINGS FILM FESTIVAL JAN. 12-16 ADDS COMMUNITY AND FILMMAKER PANELS TO LINEUP

East County News Service

December 26, 2022 (Borrego Springs) - The 10th Annual Borrego Springs Film Festival will take place on January 12 – 16, 2023, in Borrego Springs, California - a small town in the northern end of the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, in San Diego County.  The five-day festival presents screenings of selected short films, features, documentaries, animated shorts and Hispanic/Latin films, shown in Blocks at the Borrego Springs Performing Arts Center.  


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RECORD-SETTING SENIOR HIKER FOUND SAFE IN BORREGO SPRINGS

East County News Service

December 18, 2022 (Borrego Springs) – Dawes Eddy, 79, once set a record as the oldest American to climb Mount Everest. But on December 13, he failed to return from a hike up San Ysidro Mountain East Peak in Anza Borrego Desert State Park.


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ANZA BORREGO DECEMBER ACTIVITES: HIKES, STARGAZING, CHILI FEST AND MORE

East County News Service

November 22, 2022 (Borrego Springs) – The Anza Borrego Desert Natural History Association has an array of classes, outings and activities planned for December during the coolest time of the year.  From moonlit desert walks to bike rides, birdwatching and photography sessions, there’s something for everyone coming up.  Find full details and register at https://www.abdnha.org/calendar1.htm#baron3, and scroll down for highlights.


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COUNTY MEETING ON IDENTIFYING ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE COMMUNITIES IN UNINCORPORATED AREAS NOVEMBER 9

Source: County of San Diego

October 28, 2022 (San Diego) - The County of San Diego Planning & Development Services (PDS) invites you to attend a public meeting to share your thoughts.  The project is identifying Environmental Justice Communities within the unincorporated region of San Diego County. The County will provide project background information and would like your input to help explore priorities, issues and opportunities to inform potential options to expand the identification of “Environmental Justice Communities.” PDS is hosting this virtual public meeting to receive your input on: November 9, 2022, at 6 p.m. (registration link provided below).


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READER’S EDITORIAL: SANDAG NEEDS A NEW ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER TO BRING EQUITY FOR UNINCORPORATED AREAS

By Robin Joy Maxson, Chair, Ramona Community Planning Group and Member, County of San Diego Social Services Advisory Board

 

October 28, 2022 (Ramona) -- With a “commitment to equity,” SANDAG the San Diego Association of Governments) should expect and welcome a new advisory board member onto the board of directors.

 

From SANDAG’s website:

“SANDAG is governed by a Board of Directors composed of mayors, councilmembers, and county supervisors from each of the region's 19 local governments. Supplementing these voting members are advisory representatives from Imperial County, the U.S. Department of Defense, Caltrans, San Diego Unified Port District, Metropolitan Transit System, North County Transit District, San Diego County Water Authority, Southern California Tribal Chairmen's Association, Mexico, and the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority.” 

Website line: https://www.sandag.org/index.asp?fuseaction=about.board

 

These members hold unchecked and unequal power over the planning and funding of the unincorporated communities without providing a balanced voice for a population of approximately 500,000 residents - which comprises the second largest community in the County.

 

The unincorporated communities cannot lead nor effectively participate in their own future without a seat at this table of regional power.


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DRAWING CLASSES IN BORREGO SPRINGS IN NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER

East County News Service
 
October 24, 2022 (Borrego Springs) – The Borrego Art Institute will host drawing classes for beginner and intermediate art students with artist Susan Martin Spar in November and December.

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COLD CASE SOLVED IN BORREGO SPRINGS

DNA evidence helps detectives solve 1994 murder.

Source:  San Diego County Sheriff

October 17, 2022 (Borrego Springs) - On March 21, 1994, 72-year-old Claire "Kay" Holman was found murdered in her home located in the 700 block of Tilting T Drive in Borrego Springs.


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REP. ISSA AND STAFF PROVIDE OVER 7,000 BOTTLES OF WATER TO SAN DIEGO COMMUNITY WITHOUT SAFE DRINKING WATER

East County News Service

October 5, 2022 (Butterfield Ranch, Calif.) --  After convening a community meeting with constituents in the San Diego County community of Butterfield Ranch, Congressman Darrell Issa and his senior California-based staff also provided a significant supply of more than 7,000 bottles of water for the residents, who have endured a “boil water” order since May of this year. The desert community is located east of Julian and west of Borrego Springs in San Diego’s East County.


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ECM FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS: RAMPAGE IN THE DESERT AS BORREGO RUNS OVER JULIAN 51-0

Story and photos by Liz Alper
 
September 2, 2022 (Borrego Springs) - For week three, ECM Sports took a journey far, far out into the desert for the only matchup between two East County schools this week, Julian and Borrego Springs.  Both teams have a loss on the season, which only started last week.

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SEN. JONES' BILL TO PROTECT OFF-HIGHWAY COMPETITIONS PASSES LEGISLATURE

By Chris Jennewein, Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

Photo:  a dirt bike race. Photo via Pixabay

September 1, 2022 (San Diego) - A bill by Sen. Brian W. Jones that protects off-highway vehicle competitions on public lands in California passed in the Legislature and heads to Gov. Gavin Newsom for final consideration.


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BAD NEWS FOR BORREGO HEALTH, WORSE NEWS FOR 82,000 PATIENTS: THE STATE IS SUSPENDING 100% OF BORREGO HEALTH MEDI-CAL SERVICES

 

Action follows fraud investigation, impacts Borrego Health clinics across East County

By Nikki Symington

Originally published in the Borrego Sun

August 31, 2022 (Borrego Springs) -- On Friday, Aug. 19, Borrego Health’s administrative offices, individual clinics, and others outside of the organization were notified by the State of California Health and Human Services Agency – Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) that the state intends to reimpose its 100% payment suspension on all Borrego Health Medi-Cal services beginning Sept. 29. 2022


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NEED A FREE RIDE TO A COOL ZONE DURING HEAT WAVE? CALL 211

Source: San Diego County News Service

August 30, 2022 (San Diego) -- The National Weather Service in San Diego has issued an excessive heat warning due to triple digit temperatures forecast in much of East County and local deserts through Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 5.


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56TH BORREGO DAYS DESERT FESTIVAL SLATED FOR OCTOBER 22-23

Event includes expanded entertainment, but no parade this year

East County News Service

August 29, 2022 (Borrego Springs) – The 56th annual Borrego Days Desert Festival offers a weekend filled with activities October 22-23. The festival takes place at Christmas Circle Community Park and Palm Canyon Drive in Borrego Springs.


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MOUNTAIN AND DESERT THUNDERSTORMS POSSIBLE IN NEXT FEW DAYS

By Miriam Raftery

July 24, 2022 (San Diego’s East County) – The National Weather Service is forecasting cooler temperatures and possible thunderstorms today through most of next week in San Diego County’s mountains and deserts.

Gusty winds, lightning, heavy rain and small hail may also occur with afternoon thunderstorms.  The odds are slight for today, but increase later in the week.


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JUDGE APPROVES PREDATOR PLACEMENT IN BORREGO SPRINGS

East County News Service

July 23, 2022 (Borrego Springs) -- Michael Martinez, a 69-year-old man classified by the state as a sexually violent predator, will be released and placed in a home on Running M Road in Borrego Springs


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EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING FOR DESERTS TODAY AND TOMORROW

July 21, 2022 (San Diego's East County) -- The National Weather Service has issued an Excessive Heat Warning for San Diego County Deserts, starting at 11 a.m. today until Friday 7/22/22 at 8:00 p.m. Hot conditions with high temperatures of up to 116 degrees may be reached.

Borrego Springs Branch Library will be open as Cool Zone. For location information, hours of operation, and tips to beat the heat, visit: www.coolzones.org.


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STARGAZING EVENTS IN BORREGO AND BEYOND WITH NIGHT SKY EXPERT DENNIS MAMMANA

By Miriam Raftery

July 11, 2022 (Borrego Springs) – Famed night sky photographer, columnist and instructor Dennis Mammana is offering several fascinating events sure to put stars in your eyes.  They include a Nightfall Star Party, Borrego Night Sky Tours, and Celestial Overnight Campout all in Borrego Springs. For the adventurous at heart, Mammana is also leading an astronomy trip to Alaska to view the Aurora Borealis, or Norther Lights.

Below are details.


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MULTIPLE SMALL BRUSH FIRES

June 22, 2022 (San Diego's East County) -- Several small brush fires have ignited late this afternoon in East County and San Diego's inland areas, including blazes in McCain Valley near Boulevard, Borrego Springs, and Highland Valley near Ramona and Escondido. Firefighters have contained an earlier blaze near the border.

Here are details on the fires:


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THE EPIC CYCLING EVENT RACE ACROSS AMERICA ROLLS THROUGH BORREGO SPRINGS

By Daniel Smiechowski

June 19, 2022 (Borrego Springs) -- It is called one of the most brutal endurance events in the world. The Race Across America, a cycling event of over 3,000 miles from coast to coast found a home in Borrego Springs. Dozens of foreign countries were represented this year, as testament to the prestige attached to becoming a winner or even finisher in this punishing test of endurance.


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JONES ASKS JUDGE TO BLOCK PLACEMENT OF PREDATOR IN BORREGO SPRINGS

East County News Service

Photos: Michael Martinez, sexually violent predator proposed for release in Borrego Springs

June 14, 2022 (Borrego Springs) -- State Senator Brian W. Jones (R-Santee) has sent a letter to San Diego County Superior Court Judge David Gill asking that sexually violent predator (SVP) Michael Martinez not be paroled out of the State Hospital and into the community of Borrego Springs.

Martinez was convicted between 1979-2004 in four separate cases of child molestation, lewd or lascivious acts on a child under 14, and has been designated a sexually violent predator by the state.


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HEAT WAVE, FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS TODAY THROUGH SUNDAY

East County News Service

June 8, 2022 (San Diego) – A significant warming trend brings a heat wave to our region starting today through the weekend, along with elevated fire weather conditions due to heat and very low humidity. Winds with gusts up to 50 miles per hour over the mountains and deserts on Sunday will exacerbate wildfire dangers, the National Weather Service predicts.

Temperatures in the deserts could reach 110 to 115 degrees. Those without air conditioning, adequate hydration or who are engaged in strenuous outdoor activities will be at risk due to the high heat. Even nights will be warm, with low temperatures in the 80s.


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JACUMBA CRASH KILLS MEMBER OF U.S. NAVY, INJURES FOUR OTHERS

East County News Service

Update June 6, 2022:  The U.S. Navy  has identified the deceased as Electronics Technician 2nd Class John Deltoro, 29. All five sailors involved in the crash are assigned to West Coast-based Naval Special Warfare units.

June 3, 2022 (Jacumba Hot Springs) – Four women in the U.S. Navy were injured and a Navy man died in a solo vehicle crash in Jacumba Hot Springs this morning.


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COUNTY KICKS OFF 2022 COOL ZONES PROGRAM

 

By Katie Cadiao, County of San Diego Communications Office

Video by James Kecskes

June 2, 2022 (San Diego) - The County of San Diego on Wednesday kicked off its 2022 Cool Zones program to help San Diegans beat the heat this summer. Cool Zones are free, air-conditioned locations, available throughout the region, where people can go to escape extreme temperatures.


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TIPS FOR VISITING THE ANZA-BORREGO DESERT

 

By Kylie Dees

May 21, 2022 (Anza-Borrego Desert) - Anza Borrego Desert State Park, located in San Diego County is just two to three hours east of San Diego. It’s the largest state park in California – and nearby Borrego Springs also has much to offer. There is definitely something for everyone of every age to experience and enjoy.


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HEAT WAVE FORECAST: COOL ZONES AVAILABLE

By Miriam Raftery

May 12, 2022 (San Diego’s East County) – The National Weather Service forecasts a heat wave this weekend through early next week, with temperatures 10 to 15 degrees above normal in San Diego County’s inland areas.


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EARTH DAY BOULDER FAIR PLANNED FOR APRIL 24 IN JACUMBA

 

East County News Service

April 20, 2022 (Jacumba) - Jacumba Hot Springs celebrates its vast landscape of boulders this year at the annual Earth Day event at The Desert View Tower from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.


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