Mountains

A NIGHT OF STARGAZING ATOP MOUNT HELIX

 

 

Story and photos by Mary Sasso

July 16, 2017 (Mount Helix) – Saturday night’s Astronomy Night atop Mount Helix attracted astronomy buffs as well as photographers seeking shots of the expansive city views below, families, and couples set up with picnic blankets watching the romantic sunset.

BLUES LEGEND BILL MAGEE AT HAWK WATCH WINERY SUMMER CONCERT JULY 15

 

 

 

East County News Service

 

July 13, 2017 (Santa Ysabel) – Hawk Watch winery in Warner Springs hosts the second of its summer concerts this Saturday, July 15 from 5 to 8 p.m.  Bill Magee teamed up back in the ‘60s with Jimmy James, better known as Jimi Hendrix to form the band “Jimmy James and the Flames.”  Eventually, Hendrix toured England and Magee toured throughout Europe.

Mad Mike will be on hand serving up delicious sausage plates, and the winery will have discounts on select bottles and glasses of wine all evening for everyone. 

JENNINGS FIRE 90% CONTAINED; ALL EVACUATION ORDERS LIFTED

 

 

Update July 13, 2017:  The fire is now 90% contained and holding at 400 acres, Cal Fire reports.

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Renee Owens

July 12, 2017 (Lakeside) - The Jennings Fire that began yesterday in Lakeside has charred over 400 acres and is 30 percent contained. Cause of ignition was a vehicle.

All evacuation orders and warnings for the Jennings Fire have been lifted in the fire area.  The Temporary Evacuation Points at Joan MacQueen Middle School and Granite Hills High School have been closed. All roadways are reopened.

MORE DRAMATIC JENNINGS FIRE PHOTOS

 

East County News Service

July 11, 2017 (Flinn Springs) – “I watched this whole fire play out, since we live so close,” Renee Owens wrote in an email to ECM. “It’s not the first fire I have ever witnessed, but this one got so hot and moved so quickly at first it was downright scary. You could hear the trees pop and explode, the fire reached 60 foot flames on some of the steep slopes, and stopped right at the I-8 just a couple hundred feet from a huge propane storage tank. It traveled frighteningly fast at first, but once the air tankers and helicopters showed up - combined with hitting some steep and sparsely vegetated cliff faces - they managed to tamp it down pretty quickly despite the heat and wind. It came within a couple hundred feet of houses near Dunbar lane. Watching it go from enormously hot and fast to under control was seriously impressive, and we owe some major thanks to the pilots on this one.”

As of 10 p.m. tonight, the fire is 10% contained and has burned over 400 acres.  All roads have been reopened.

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: JENNINGS FIRE RAINBOWS

 

East County News Service

July 11, 2017 (Flinn Springs) — Renee Owens sent in these photos of the #JenningsFire burning between Lakeside and Alpine in San Diego’s East County, including the eerily beautiful images of “fire rainbows” – illusions created by helicopters dropping water on the flames. 

JENNINGS FIRE AT 400 ACRES: PARTIAL REOPENING OF I-8

Three firefights injured battling blaze

By Miriam Raftery,  photo by Jonathan Goetz

July 11, 2017 (Alpine/Lakeside./Flinn Springs) -- The #JenningsFire that began at 1:40 p.m. near Lake Jennings in Lakeside has swelled to 400 acres, Cal Fire reports.  Forward spread of the fire has been stopped.

Mandatory evacuations are in effect for 15000 Viewside Lane along the south side of I-8 in Alpine and is a structure threat to five homes. 

An evacuation center is open at Joan MacQueen Middle School located at 2001 Tavern Road in Alpine.

An earlier announced evacuation center at Granite Hills High has been closed.

BRUSH FIRE CLOSES I-8 IN LAKESIDE: HOMES THREATENED

UPDATE AS OF 9:50 PM:  FIRE IS 10% CONTAINED

UPDATE AS OF 8:57 PM: ALL MANDATORY EVACUATION ORDERS HAVE BEEN LIFTED 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos by Jonathan Goetz

July 11, 2017 (Lakeside) -- The fast-moving #JenningsFire has charred over 300 acres in the past hour and forced shutdown of I-8 in both directions from Lake Jennings Road to Dunbar Lane. 

At least five structures remain threatened as of 3:30 p.m.. Mandatory evacuations have been ordered on Viewside, south of I-8,  Cal-Fire reports.

The fire, which began in brush at 1:40 p.m.,  is burning toward propane tanks at Kamps Propane, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.  Airtankers and ground crews are battling the blaze.

Fire is burning southeast from the freeway toward Harbison Canyon Rd, the Santee Sheriff substation tweeted. Residents in Harbison Canyon and Crest should be on alert!

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: DESCANSO DAYS PARADE BRINGS HISTORY TO LIFE

 
By Miriam Raftery
Photos by Richard Edwords
 
July 9, 2017 (Descanso) -- I love a parade!  Descanso Days displays pure Americana, from 1920s-era cars to Western banditos on horseback and a firetruck decked out with patriotic bunting, this parade reflects the community's historical heritage and heroes.

PASSAGES: FORMER ALPINE SUN EDITOR’S HUSBAND, GREG SCOTT, KILLED IN CAR ACCIDENT

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 9, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – Spring Valley resident Gregory Lawrence Scott, the father of two young children and husband of The Alpine Sun’s former editor Christy Scott, was killed in a car accident on I-15 on June 17th.   A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Christy and the couple’s children, Jacob,and Isabelle.

SHERIFF ASKS HELP TO FIND SUSPECT WHO ATTACKED WOMAN IN ALPINE

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 8, 2017 (Alpine) – A $1,000 reward is offered for information leading to the arrest of a man who violently assaulted a 63-year-old woman. The victim was walking along Harbison Canyon Road near Hunter Pass in Alpine on June 20th between 7:15 and 8:50 p.m. when the suspect attacked her from behind, pushing her into a fence and possibly striking her in the face with his hands or an unknown object.

COURT RULINGS IMPACT CHARTER SCHOOLS IN EAST COUNTY

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  Diego Valley Charter School students protesting to save their school at November 2015 GUHSD board meeting

July 8, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – Several recent court rulings impact the future of many charter schools in California, including several in East County.

Last October, a California appellate court ruled that charter schools can’t expand within their home county by opening campuses outside their own authorizing district.  That ruling affected a suit filed back in 2015 by the Grossmont Union High School District seeking to shut down the Julian Charter School, Alpine Academy and Diego Valley Charter School, all operating within the GUHSD boundaries.

HIGHWAY 78 CLOSED DUE TO TRUCK OVERTURNED

 

July 3, 2017 (Ramona) -- State Route 78 is closed in both directions at Moma in the Ramona Trails area due to a semi-truck that overturned,  Cal Fire reports. 

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the vehicle was hauling chicken feed. The truck leaked hydraulic fuel and a clean-up is ongoing for the next couple of hours.

The driver was injured and transported to a hospital, CBS 8 reports.

"MONEY TALKS" AT NEXT ALPINE CHAMBER BREAKFAST JULY 11

 

By Jo Moreland, Alpine Chamber of Commerce

June 30, 2017 (Alpine) -- Follow the money at the next “Hot Topics Breakfast” of the Alpine Mountain Empire Chamber of Commerce. Guest speaker Dan McAllister, the San Diego County Treasurer-Tax Collector, will give an overview of what his office does during the Tuesday, July 11 Chamber meeting.

ALPINE PLANNING GROUP CENSURES MEMBER LOU RUSSO OVER ALLEGED VIOLATIONS OF ETHICS CODE AND BROWN ACT

 

By Miriam Raftery

Updated with responses from planning group members Russo and Martinez.

June 30, 2017 (Alpine) – The Alpine Community Planning Group (ACPG) voted at its meeting last week to censure member Lou Russo for violation of the Group’s code of ethics. The vote was unanimous with the exception of Russo. 

BARGAIN HUNTERS, OTHERS ENJOYED ALPINE FLEA MARKET

 

By Jo Moreland

June 28, 2017 (Alpine) -- Browsing and buying cheap goods, great services and delicious food made the Alpine Flea Market the spot to shop on June 24.

Shoppers and vendors at 45 booths ignored the warm weather in order to make hot sales.at the flea market, located in the parking lot at Joan MacQueen Middle School.

STATE ROUTE 67 LANE CLOSURES IN RAMONA AREA

 

East County News Service

June 27, 2017 (Ramona) – Lane closures on State Route 67 at the Highland Valley Road/Dye Road intersection are slated from 7 p.m .to  5 a.m. tonight as well as Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday nights.   At least one lane will remain open, but motorists are advised to expect traffic delays, Cal Trans has announced.

The closure is due to paving and road striping work.  Highway workers will be directing traffic in the affected area.

WATER TRUCK DRIVER OUT ON A LIMB

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 26, 2017 (Ramona) – A water tender truck wound up out on a limb last Friday – literally. 

The driver of the commercial-sized vehicle was heading on Agrarian Road east of Ramona when his vehicle went off the side of the road and hurtled down 30 feet, rolling over.  But the freefall plunge was stopped by a tree branch that snagged the front of the truck, leaving the bulky vehicle dangling.

ALPINE RESIDENTS SEEK HELP TO FIND SUSPECTS CAUGHT ON TAPE PLANTING FIRECRACKER UNDER CHILD’S WINDOW

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 25, 2017 (Alpine) – The Alpine Community Network (ACN) reports that on the morning of June 21st,  an Alpine resident found a large “fireworks” placed under a tree beneath a child’s window, where it could have caused major damage, injury or a fire.

Neighbors’ surveillance cameras reveal young men in a sedan got out and planted the lit firecracker intentionally, then sped off in the vehicle with other occupants. View two videos from different angles:  https://www.facebook.com/jill.deprizio/videos/10100949687765259/ https://www.facebook.com/jill.deprizio/videos/10100949687051689/

FIRE NEAR MESA GRANDE RESERVATION THREATENS HOMES

 

Update:  Cal Fire has corrected the size of this fire to 46 acres based on more accurate mapping.  Evacuated residents have been allowed to return home.

East County Wildfire & Emergency Alert Service

June 25, 2017 2:15 p.m. (Mesa Grande) – A brush fire burning in Cleveland National Forest has scorched 75 acres and is now threatening two homes, Cal Fire reports.  The blaze began on Black Canyon Road near the Mesa Grande Reservation, about a mile north of Lake Sutherland in Ramona.

The fire is burning at a moderate rate of spread and is zero percent contained. Cal Fire is battling the blaze along with U.S. Forest Service firefighters.  #BlackFire.

If you have photos, eyewitness reports or other information please email editor@eastcountymagazine.org and post in comments below.

MURDER MYSTERY DINNER THEATRE JULY 28 AT JULIAN TOWN HALL

 

 

East County News Service

June 25, 2017 (Julian) – The Julian Triangle Club invites you to help solve a hilarious crime at a murder mystery theater set for July 28th from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the historic Julian town hall ‘s lower level (2129 Main Street, Julian).  Dinner will be catered by Jeremy’s On the Hill.

READER’S EDITORIAL: CHANGE THE CHEMISTRY ON THE ALPINE COMMUNITY PLANNING GROUP

 

By M. Harris

Photo: Creative commons image by Amin Eshaiker, via Wikipedia

June 24, 2017 (Alpine) -- I am an Alpine resident who attended the Alpine Community Planning Group meetings in September 2016 and again in May 2017. What follows are some of my thoughts about both meetings.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY WINES GET "BETTER AND BETTER"

 

Source:  Ramona Valley Vineyard Association

June 23, 2017 (Ramona) - San Diego County winemakers picked up a record number of 22 gold awards, including 5 double gold, for outstanding wine at the Ramona Valley Vineyard Association (RVVA) Awards Dinner for the 2017 Lum Eisenman Wine Competition held on Wednesday, June 21, 2017 at the San Vicente Resort in Ramona, Calif.

SDG&E ANNOUNCES PLANNED OVERNIGHT OUTAGE MONDAY IN SHELTER VALLEY AND PORTIONS OF JULIAN

 

 

East County Wildfire & Emergency Alerts

June 23, 2017 (Julian-Shelter Valley) –  A planned power outage is scheduled  starting at 9 p.m. on Monday night,  June 26 through  6 a.m. on Tuesday morning, June 27 in the Shelter Valley area and the outskirts of Julian; a majority of the customers are in the eastern Julian area surrounding Banner Grade, SDG&E has announced.  Julian’s downtown historic district will not be affected.

The outage is needed to replace older power lines and equipment to make the system more weather- and fire-resilient. 

Below is the notice from SDG&E with full details for customers in the affected areas:

FOURTH OF JULY FESTIVITIES IN EAST COUNTY

 

 

Updated with more special Independence Day events.

East County News Service

June19, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – Julian’s Fourth of July Parade, El Cajon’ Independence Day picnic with fireworks and the  Santee Salutes patriot celebration are cherished annual traditions in East County.  Below are details. If you know of an East County Fourth of July activity we’ve missed, please email editor@eastcountymagazine.rog and post details in our comments section below.

TRAVEL + LEISURE CHOOSES RAMONA WINERY VINEYARD GRANT JAMES AS #2 WINERY IN U.S. TO VISIT

 

Source:  Ramona Valley Vineyard Association

June 22, 2017 (Ramona) --Travel + Leisure, a leading travel publication, recently named Vineyard Grant James, located in San Diego County’s Ramona Valley wine region, the number two winery in the United States in its list of “a few select vineyards around the country that go above and beyond to astound visitors.”

RVVA WINES RECEIVE TOP AWARDS AT THE TOAST OF THE COAST WINE COMPETITION

 

Source:  Ramona Valley Vineyard Association

June 22, 2017 (Ramona) -- The Ramona Valley Vineyard Association (RVVA) announced that a total of thirteen wines from six of its winery members received top awards from the sixth annual The Toast of the Coast Wine Competition. The competition is produced by the 22nd District Agricultural Association in conjunction with the San Diego County Fair. 

READER’S EDITORIAL: JULIAN-CUYAMACA FIRE--TO BE OR NOT TO BE?

 

By Pat Landis

June 21, 2017 (Julian) -- Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District is at risk. Choices appear to be (1) Do nothing and persevere until finances force it to dissolve; (2) Voluntarily dissolve and allow the Fire Authority to take over; (3) Increase the Benefit Fee to cover the rising costs and remain viable as an independent/volunteer fire department.

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