Rural communities

HOMES THREATENED BY LYONS FIRE IN JAMUL

 

Update: The fire is holding to 10 acres, Cal Fire reports. 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left, by Troy

September 1, 2016 (Lyons Valley) –Multiple structures on Skyline Truck Trail in the Lyons Valley area of Jamul are now immediately threatened by a fast-moving brush fire.

The fire began shortly before noon at 3046 Lyons Creek Lane. The fire is threatening multiple structures and currently burning behind the Lyons Valley Trading Post, burning northward.  The fire is 5 to 10 acres with potential for 50 to 100 acres.

CHP has requested closure of Skyline Truck Trail at Lyons Valley and at Lawson Valley.  Vehicles are being turned back to State Route 94.

COUNTY CODE ENFORCEMENT IS “PROLONGED AND SECRETIVE”; SPRING VALLEY PLANNERS CALL FOR REFORMS

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 30, 2016 (Spring Valley) – The County’s process for enforcement of code violations is “prolonged and secretive,” often with no resolution and no updates provided to those who file complaints, states a letter sent by Lora Lowes, Chair of the Spring Valley Community Planning Group, to County Supervisors and to Mark Wardlaw, director of the county’s Department of Planning and Development Services. 

ARE YOUR OAK TREES DYING? FREE SEMINAR OCT. 1 IN JAMUL INCLUDES NEW FINDINGS TO SAVE OUR OAKS

 

East County News Service

August 30, 2016 (Jamul) — Oak boring beetles have killed thousands of oak trees across East County.  But now there is hope to save them. On October 1st, the Lyons Valley Trading Post (17608 Lyons Valley Road in Jamul) will host a free workshop under the oak trees. Experts from U.C. Berkeley, U.C. Riverside and Cal Fire will be on hand to share the latest information including treatments that can save your trees.

COMMUNITY CLEANUPS SET FOR CAMPO, BOULEVARD, JACUMBA AND POTRERO IN SEPT-NOV.

 

By Jan Hedlun

August 30, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) -- The Community Cleanup on Broken Bone Lane on August 27 was a wonderful success. Thank you to EDCO for providing the shipping containers for free. Thank you to The Real Estate Fire Safe Council who made this possible along with CERT and TEAME.

TOUCAN SIGHTINGS IN EAST COUNTY

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 29, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – If you see a bird that looks suspiciously like a flying Fruit Loops mascot, you’re probably not imagining it.  Residents from Alpine to Jamul are reporting sightings of a tropical toucan – and the Alpine Community Network website even posted a photo with the observation, “OMG ITS REALLY A TOUCAN!”

HELP THE ENVIRONMENT--BE GREEN! DISPOSE OF HOUSEHOLD CHEMICALS FREE ON SEPT. 17 IN POTRERO

 

 

 

August 25, 2016 (Potrero) --Residents in the  Potrero area /unincorporated San Diego East County are encouraged to use the County’s one-day household hazardous waste collection event Sept. 17 at the Old County Fire Station in Potrero.

Did you know?  Many products used in the home may be hazardous to people, pets or the environment and should not be thrown in the trash or dumped down the sewer or storm drains.  While it is always best to use up your household chemical products, the County of  San Diego’s Department of Environmental Health would like to notify you of a one-day collection event where residents living in the unincorporated county can bring their household chemicals for proper disposal or recycling—for free!

ALPINE MAN ARRESTED FOR PHOTOGRAPHING GIRL IN WALMART BATHROOM; SHERIFF SEEKS OTHER POSSIBLE VICTIMS

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 24, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) — A man with a prior conviction for lewd conduct has been arrested for allegedly photographing a 10-year-old girl in the women’s restroom at a Wal-Mart on Camino Canada in El Cajon, just off of Interstate 8, on August 17th.

UNSUNG HEROES OF FIRE RECOVERY BRING PRICELESS RELIEF

 

Photo:A member of the California Southern Baptist Disaster Relief team work on cleaning up debris on a property burned during the Potrero Fire.

By Yvette Urrea Moe, County of San Diego Communications OfficeAug. 22, 2016 | 9:00 AM

After the Border Fire swept through rural East County in June, it left burned-out, ashen remains of six homes and 12 outbuildings. To help survivors clear debris, the County Office of Emergency Services turned to some veterans of disaster clean-up: the California Southern Baptist Disaster Relief organization.

SUPERVISOR JACOB SPEAKS OUT AT PROTEST OVER HOLLYWOOD CASINO IN JAMUL

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 20, 2016 (Jamul) – Supervisor Dianne Jacob today joined with residents at a press conference to voice concerns over state actions regarding the Hollywood Casino Jamul-San Diego.

WATER AGENCIES RESPOND TO MERCURY CONCERNS IN RESERVOIRS: TESTS FOCUSED ON FISH

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 19,2016 (San Diego’s East County) – State and local water agency representatives have offered more information for the public following a recent report revealing that 150 reservoirs statewide are “mercury impaired,” including10 in San Diego County, as ECM reported

A key clarification is that the term “mercury impaired reservoirs” referred to testing of fish in those waters,  not testing of water for drinking.  Drinking water can test with no detectable mercury levels, yet still have high, unsafe concentrations of mercury in fish, particularly larger fish that have consumed smaller fish.  This problem raises a new issue: the need for new testing methods to detect low levels of mercury that while not unsafe in drinking water,  can result in unsafe levels in fish living in those waters.

8 CANDIDATES IN RUNNING FOR 2 SEATS ON GROSSMONT UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT BOARD

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 19, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – For the first time,  the Grossmont Union High School District will elect its board trustees by individual trustee districts this fall, not at-large elections.  The two seats up for grabs have each attracted four candidates (eight total) offering candidates some diverse choices.

COUNTY RELEASES REPORT ON BORDER FIRE, SETS MEETING IN POTRERO ON SEPT. 27

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 19, 2016 (Potrero) – San Diego County staff has completed its after-action report on the Border Fire.  The report is available at http://www.readysandiego.org/aar/Border-Fire-June-2016-AAR.pdf.  View reports on prior fires at http://www.readysandiego.org/aar/.

POINTE FIRE NOW 80% CONTAINED, EVACUATIONS LIFTED

 

Update August 19,2016 8 a.m.:The fire held to 26 acres overnight and is now 80% contained.

Update 8:40 p.m.: Evacuation orders are now lifted. Please watch for firefighters as you return home.

Update7 p.m.:The fire is 15 acres and 40% contained. A firefighter was bitten by a rattlesnake and has been hospitalized.

East County News Service

Photos by Kristink Kjaero taken off State Route 94 and Kathleen Coates-Hedberg, viewed from Mt. Helix.

August 17, 2016 (Spring Valley) – Evacuations have been ordered in Spring Valley on Ledge Side between Ledge View and South Barcelona due to the Pointe Fire, Cal Fire reports. Structures are threatened north of Point Parkway near the water tanks, NBC 7 news reports.

Monte Vista High School is being set up as an evacuation center at 3230 Sweetwater Springs Blvd. in Spring Valley. The fire is approximately 3 to 5 acres.

 

BRUSH FIRE IN MEXICO REACHES CAMPO

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo credit: Audrua  A. Lou’Lou, taken at Campo Hills, below cut photo:  Bob Scheid

Update August 14, 2016 2 p.m. -  Fire is now 120 acres, all currently south of the Border,per Cal Fire, which has three engines monitoring the blaze.

Update 7 p.m.:  Cal Fire Captain Isaac Sanchez says the fire is now 60 acres. According to Capt. Sanchez it is entirely in Mexico, though several eyewitnesses have told  ECM it did cross the border earlier in at least one spot near Campo. Cal Fire describes the fire as south of Bell Valley near Potrero,burning southeast along the Mexican side of the border fence."

  Firefighters will remain at scene throughout the evening in order to ensure that it does not spread to the north.  Currently, CAL FIRE and San Diego County Fire have 12 engines, 4 water tenders and 4 hand crews (approximately 100 personnel) at scene. 

 

August 13, 2016 (Campo) – A fast-burning brush fire that started in Mexico has now crossed into the U.S. in Campo, multiple residents confirm.  The fire crossed the border fence about two miles west of the Campo store. 

“It is on both sides of the fence and they are pulling water from private ponds not Lake Morena,” says Karen Noblitt-McIntyre. Lake Morena has been drained to below 3% capacity by the City of San Diego.

Long-time residents of the area advise that the brush there has not burned in many years. Some are voluntarily evacuating near the border.

JAMUL RESIDENTS COMPLAIN OF INADEQUATE ALERTS AFTER HIGHWAY 94 SHUTDOWNS--AGAIN

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 11, 2016 (Jamul) — On August 5th, a head-on crash between a big-rig and three other vehicles at the steel bridge on State Route 94 near Jamacha shut down the highway for several hours.  A truck lost a rear axle. One car flipped, another partially over the side,” says Kim Hamilton, Deerhorn Valley Antler editor, who cancelled family dinner plans due to the delay. ”Cars were going the wrong way, no law enforcement,” she told ECM.

EXPECT DELAYS ON HIGHWAY 94 IN JAMUL AUGUST 15-22

By Miriam Raftery

August 10,2016 (Jamul) – Signs posted by Cal Trans along State Route 94  are warning motorists to expect traffic delays August 15-22 due to ”events.”

According to a Cal Trans press release posted on the Jamul Indian Village website, Caltrans issued a permit to the Jamul Indian Village for traffic control on  SR-94/Campo Road related to the installation of a new temporary traffic signal at the intersection of SR-94 and Daisy Drive.

COLON CANCER PATIENT IN CAMPO NEEDS HELP TO CONTINUE CHEMOTHERAPY TREATMENTS

 

East County News Service

August 9, 2016 (Campo-Lake Morena) — A GoFundMe site has been established by Bill Holtwick to help raise money for huge medical costs needed to save the life of his wife, Pat.  Claudia Millerbragg, who runs a Campo-Lake Morena community forum, has confirmed that Pat Holtwick is a cherished community member who has devoted many hours to rescuing abandoned or abused animals.

“I am 71 years old and Pat is 66 and we just can’t keep up with physical and or the financial responsibilities. We are both on Social Security, and are on a very low/limited income,” Holtwick writes.

HIGH MERCURY LEVELS FOUND IN MANY LOCAL LAKES AND RESERVOIRS

 

Update:   Helix Water says Lake Jennings drinking water tests clean, issue is with fish tissue; state clarifies problem is with fish tissue, not necessarily water for drinking

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

August 6, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – State officials are warning that 150 reservoirs statewide are tainted by mercury. Ten San Diego reservoirs are contaminated, including some of East County’s most popular fishing spots.  “Mercury is negatively impacting the beneficial uses of many waters of the state by making fish unsafe for human and wildlife consumption,” the State Water Resources Control Board website warns.

However some local officials dispute those findings.

 

What lakes locally have mercury issues,accordingto the state?

Local reservoirs listed as "mercury impaired" on the state's document are El Capitan Reservoir, Lake Henshaw, Lake Hodges, Lake Jennings, Loveland Reservoir, Lower Otay Reservoir, Lake Morena Reservoir, San Vicente Reservoir, Lake Sutherland, and Sweetwater Reservoir, according to a California Water Boards publication released in June.

JAMUL INDIAN VILLAGE SIGNS TRIBAL-STATE GAMING COMPACT WITH STATE OF CALIFORNIA

 

East County News Service

August 4, 2016 – Today, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. signed a tribal-state Gaming Compact between the State of California and the Jamul Indian Village of California. This compact affirms JIV’s partnership and government-to-government relationship with the State.

NOBODY IS RUNNING YET IN KEY EAST COUNTY RACES: DEADLINE IS AUGUST 11

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 2, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – The deadline to file as a candidate to run for local offices is August 11. But so far, many East County races have no candidates declared or qualified for the ballot, according to the Registrar of Voters candidate list for the November election.  Most community planning groups have nobody running.  The same is true in some school, water and fire districts. Races with no candidates will be filled by appointment. In other districts, people are running unopposed—even incumbents on some of the most controversy-riddled boards.

No candidates are listed yet for the city councils in El Cajon, La Mesa, Lemon Grove or Santee, nor for the mayoral seats open in Lemon Grove and Santee, nor the La Mesa City Clerk or Treasurer seats.  Candidates have been actively campaigning in some of those races and some will likely file before deadline, but it’s also common for candidates to drop out before qualifying for the ballot.

In the Grossmont Union High School District, incumbent Jim Stieringer is thus far running unopposed in district two (La Mesa/Mt. Helix/Rancho San Diego); in district one (Lemon Grove/Spring Valley) which is an open seat, only one candidate has filed: Pastor Steve Babbitt from Spring Valley Community Church.

HELIX WATER BOARD VOTES 3-2 FOR 10.3% RATE HIKE WITHOUT PUBLIC HEARING: CANDIDATES BLAST INCUMBENTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 3, 2016 (La Mesa) – With scarcely any public notice, Helix Water Board passed a 10.3% rate hike by a slim one-vote majority. The stated reason was because water use has dropped due to customers conserving water--just as the district asked them to do.

Directors Kathleen Coates-Hedberg and Joel Scalziti voted against jacking up rates, while directors John Linden, Chuck Muse and Deana Verbeke voted for the rate hike over public objections.

FIREFIGHTER INJURED, HOMES DAMAGED BY RECYCLING CENTER FIRE

 

East County News Service

Photo: Screenshot, ECM news partner 10 News

August 3, 2016 (Spring Valley) — A firefighter was injured by a falling stack of cardboard while battling a blaze at a recycling center Tuesday morning in the 3800 block of Bancroft Drive in Spring Valley.

GROUNDWATER REPORT, TULE WIND LAWSUITS AND SDG&E PLAN TO BOOST CAPACITY ON SOUTHWEST POWERLINK ARE ON BOULEVARD PLANNERS’ AGENDA THURSDAY, AUG. 7

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 1, 2016 (Boulevard) -- On Thursday, August 4 at 7 p.m. the Boulevard Community Planning Group will meet at the Boulevard Fire Training Room.  View full agenda.

LEARN FIRE SAFETY AT COUNTY PARKS

 

Fire safety events are coming to San Diego County parks, with CAL FIRE, U.S. Forest Service and park ranger experts sure to kindle your interest in fire science, preparedness and nature in an outdoor classroom.

ALPINE BUSINESS NETWORKING ASSOCIATION HOSTS MIXER AUGUST 11

 

East County News Service

July 27, 2016 (Alpine) - Calling all businesses in Alpine and East County San Diego!   Alpine Business Networking Association (ABNA) is holding a membership drive networking mixer on Thursday August 11th from 6pm to 8pm at Donatos Italian Restaurant located at 2654 Alpine Blvd in Alpine.   Come enjoy a delicious Italian dinner and network with the businesses in our communities.

WATER CONSERVATION GARDEN HOSTS FREE CUSTOMER APPRECIATON DAY JULY 31 FOR HELIX WATER AND SWEETWATER AUTHORITY RATEPAYERS

East County News Service

July 27, 2016 (Rancho San Diego) – The Water Conservation Garden at Cuyamaca College will host a free Customer Appreciation Day for Helix Water and Sweetwater Authority customers on Sunday, July 31 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Discover different varieties of drought-tolerant plants, learn how to "Toss the Turf" and get inspiration on how to incorporate water-wise gardening into your own garden. Plus you can enjoy free activities including docent-led garden tours, tips on butterfly gardening, veggie growing,soils and native habitat, meet Ms. Smarty-Plants, watch a butterfly release, savor free shaved ice, and get discounts on gift shop items.  See full schedule of events below.

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