Jacumba

MISSING MAN’S CAR FOUND IN JACUMBA HOT SPRINGS, DISAPPEARANCE DEEMED “SUSPICIOUS”

 

By Miriam Raftery, East County News Service

May 16, 2016 (Jacumba Hot Springs) – A Honda Civic belonging to a missing Buena Park man, Jonathan Barmaki, has been found by Border Patrol agents on Old Highway 80 near a welcome sign to Jacumba Hot Springs on May 9th. Agents found Barmaki's cherished 15-year-old dog, Andy,  dead inside the vehicle.

The vehicle was not out of gas and Barmaki’s wallet and keys were missing, though his cell phone, along with dog food and a dog bowl, were left in the car. The car windows were rolled up and footsteps from the vehicle led 70 feet to a border fence 25 feet high. Authorities are investigating the disappearance as"suspicious,"10 News reports. 

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: JACUMBA’S BEAUTIFUL BIRDS

 

East County News Service

 

January 29, 2016 (Jacumba) — Eric Kallen, who runs the website www.JacumbaBirding.com has counted over 191 species of birds in Jacumba Hot Springs, a high-desert community in San Diego’s East County.  “I’ve had 124 species in my backyard,” he says.

 

Now is a great time to go bird-watching there, since you can see wintering and year-round species as well as some early spring migratory visitors.  Here are photos taken this January of a Scott’s Oriole, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, and Costa’s Hummingbird, with notes from Kallen on each:  

GENERATORS AND RADIOS TO AID RURAL AREAS IN EMERGENCIES, THANKS TO FUNDS FROM SDG&E AND SD REGIONAL FIRE FOUNDATION

East County News Service

January 26, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) — Soon, three portable trailer-mounted generators will provide power to local communities during local emergencies such as wildfires or earthquakes. The generators could be sent to temporary charging stations in neighborhoods without power, bringing electricity to people who rely on medical equipment.

JACUMBA HIKERS AND WALKERS ANNOUNCE JANUARY-FEBRUARY OUTINGS

 

East County News Service

January 4, 2016 (Jacumba)--The Jacumba Hikers and Walkers have announced their schedule of hikes for January and February in the high desert region surrounding Jacumba Hot Springs. 

The hikes range from easy to extreme, covering terrain from wilderness to a desert oasis, mountains and canyons.  You’ll also see sites rich in history reflecting the region’s Native Americans, Spanish, and pioneer settlers. Other excursions including a trip to the Chinese Castle, a Garnet Mine, Goat Canyon’s railroad trestle, and a waterfall, plus dips in mineral hot springs at the Jacumba Spa and Resort.

For a full schedule, scroll down, and also be sure to read these hikng safety tips.

COMMUNITY -WIDE YARD SALE & CHINESE CASTLE TOUR IN JACUMBA NOV. 14

East County News Service

November 7, 2015 (Jacumba Hot Springa) – The town of Jacumba will host a community-wide yard sale on Saturday, November 14 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. featuring hand-made crafts, art work, household items and other yard sale treasures.  Parking and admittance are free.

In addition, tours will be offered of the Chinese Castle, a historic icon in Jacumba. There is a $5 charge for the castle tour and proceeds benefit the Jacumba-Boulevard Revitalization Alliance, a 501c3.

READER’S EDITORIAL: THE STORY OF A FLORIDA COMPANY TAKEOVER OF JACUMBA’S WATER

 

By Howard W Cook, former chair, Jacumba Sponsor Group

Photo: Lake Jacumba

 

November 1, 2015 (Jacumba Hot Springs)--A massive project poses an unprecedented risk to Jacumba Hot Springs' water supply. 

BACKGROUND

Jacumba Hot Springs is an old town going back to 1860 and blessed with a productive hot spring and several other good wells. It is located 70 miles East of San Diego on Old Highway 80 in a valley spread out on both sides of the border. Its high desert transition zone location at 2800 feet just before nearby Interstate 8 plunges to the desert seem an unlikely place for a water takeover by Nextera, a Florida Green Energy developer.

JACUMBA HIKERS /WALKERS ANNOUNCE NOVEMBER-DECEMBER SCHEDULE

 

East County News Service

October 24, 2015 (Jacumba Hot Springs) – Fall is in the air and it’s a great time to take a hike.  The Jacumba Hikers/Walkers have a series of hikes coming up to intriguing locations, with various levels of difficulties from easy to extreme. 

November’s destinations include Tule Canyon, Round Mountain, the Old Butterfield Stage Coach route, and Amadeo’s Straw bale cabin compound. In December, the group will hit the trail for an ancient waterfall and Davies Valley, wind caves in Anza Borrego Desert State Park, an ancient juniper forest, and the Valley of the Moon. 

COUNTY, CAL FIRE LAUNCH PARAMEDIC SERVICE IN JACUMBA

 

 

East County News Service

Photo: Two Jacumba CAL FIRE firefighters stand ready to respond in a new paramedic engine at the Jacumba fire station.

October 14, 2015 (San Diego)--San Diego County Fire and CAL FIRE are making a major upgrade to fire and emergency medical services at the County’s Jacumba fire station with the launch this week of round-the-clock paramedic service. It’s the first time ever the service has been offered from the station, located south of Interstate 8 near the Mexican border.

The upgrade is part of an overall effort to increase paramedic capabilities throughout the San Diego County Fire Authority’s service area.  A new paramedic engine at Jacumba is the seventh that County Fire has added over the past few years.  Other new, County Fire-funded paramedic engines now operate out of the Otay, Jamul, Lake Morena, Pine Valley, Descanso and Intermountain stations.

BAKE SALE OCT. 3 AT FALL FESTIVAL TO BENEFIT JACUMBA MIDDLE SCHOOL

 

 

September 27, 2015 (Jacumba Hot Springs)—A bake sale and ice cream social will be held at the Jacumba Library on Saturday, October 3 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.  as part of the fall festival.  Proceeds will be used to send Jacumba Middle School students to sixth grade camp.

HURRICANE KATHLEEN ANNIVERSARY: A LOOK BACK AT THE WORST STORM EVER TO HIT OUR REGION

 

By Miriam Raftery – Photo by Jim Larson, Caltrans

September 8, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--Exactly 39 years ago this week, Hurricane Kathleen struck our region – the most powerful tropical cylone ever to hit San Diego and Imperial Counties. With another powerful storm, Hurricane Linda, set to sock our region starting Wednesday, it’s worth remembering just how much devastation was wrought the last such storm set to hit the identical area, on the very same day of the year.

JUDGE ORDERS SEXUAL PREDATOR IN JACUMBA BACK TO STATE MENTAL HOSPITAL

 

East County News Service

Aug 28, 2015 (San Diego)-- San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis announced today that Gary Snavely, a diagnosed pedophile and sexually-violent predator was ordered by Judge Louis R. Hanoian to return to Coalinga State Hospital, a mental facility, after violating the terms of his release. The violations included misuse of medications, failing to remain appropriately clothed at all times on his property while in public view, and failing to report any and all instances of sexual thoughts and fantasies involving sexual deviance to treatment staff.

JUDGE OVERTURNS COUNTY APPROVALS OF SOITEC BOULEVARD PROJECTS

 

Update, August 21, 2015:  Donna Tisdale notified us that the backcountry "celebration over the death of Soitec's Boulevard projects was a bit premature. Today, County staff informed me that Soitec is going to remove the 160 cargo containers full of potentially toxic batteries from their Rugged Solar project and will resubmit the revised EIR for certification by the Board of Supervisors. (Back in February, Soitec self-terminated their Tierra Del Sol Solar project just 1 month after receiving Board approval due to a lack of buyers.) Staff is trying to docket the revised EIR for the Board agenda by October so they can meet the Court's order to report back by November 2nd on how they plan to comply," adds Tisdale, who concludes, "The battle to save the backcountry continues."

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: A Soitec solar panel in Newbury Springs, California

August 20, 2015 (Boulevard) – The last of four massive solar projects proposed by Soitec Solar in Boulevard may now be officially dead.

On August 7th, Superior Court Judge Joel R. Wohlfeil  overturned County Supervisors’ approvals of Soitec’s Rugged Acres and Tierra del Sol projects,  because the approvals violated the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)  Soitec and the County failed to file an appeal by the August 14th deadline, says Donna Tisdale, chair of the Boulevard Planning Group and founder of Backcountry Against Dumps, which filed the lawsuit aiming to halt the project. View the court's judgment.

“Soitec’s Boulevard projects, approved for 1,200 acres, are now dead and buried!” Tisdale wrote in an email to project opponents. Any new projects proposed for those sites would need to start all over at step one,” requiring a new environmental impacts review, a lengthy and costly process. “I have asked the County for details on when they will set aside their voided approvals, as mandated by the court,” Tisdale added.

I-8 BRIDGE DEDICATED TO FALLEN BORDER AGENT

 

May 16, 2015 (Jacumba) – A bridge over Interstate 8 near Jacumba has been renamed to honor Eric Norman Cabral, a Border Patrol Agent who died of a heart attack caused by heat exhaustion suffered while tracking a group of suspected undocumented immigrants in the area.

DESERT VIEW TOWER: EAST COUNTY'S HISTORIC HIGHWAY STOP

 

 

By Hayden Parsley

January 29, 2015 (Jacumba Hot Springs)—Take a trip into California’s past at the Desert View Tower, a quirky and whimsical relic of the past that is still open to the public in San Diego’s East County.  Located just off Interstate 8 at the In-ko-Pah exit, the tower is poised on a rocky overlook surrounded by desert on all sides.

Built in the 1920s by Bert Vaughn, a real estate tycoon who owned much of Jacumba,  this 70-foot watchtower has become a tourist attraction and a local landmark on the outskirts of the small town today known as Jacumba Hot Springs.

SDG&E POWERS UP NEW EAST COUNTY SUBSTATION PROJECT

 

East County News Service

January 17, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) announced last week that the new East County (ECO) Substation project has been energized and is now operating as an integral part of SDG&E’s electric transmission system.

GOLDEN EAGLES SPOTTED IN JACUMBA NEAR PROPOSED ENERGY SITES

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 11, 2014 (Jacumba) – Consultants hired by renewable energy companies in recent years have consistently claimed that there are no golden eagles in the Jacumba-Boulevard Planning areas, where several major energy projects are proposed or planned. 

But two separate residents of Jacumba now report seeing a pair of golden eagles in the past 10 days—including on documented with a photograph.  The first sighting was over the town itself and the second was directly across from the Jacumba Solar project and a proposed power line tie-in to the ECO substation.

PROPOSED PLACEMENT OF PREDATOR IN BORREGO IS WITHDRAWN BY STATE

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 6, 2014 (Borrego Springs) – The proposed placement of sexually violent predator Gary Snavely in Borrego Springs has been withdrawn by the Department of State hospitals after the conclusion of public comments, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis has announced.

FLASH FLOOD IN JACUMBA HOT SPRINGS

 

By Miriam Raftery, photos by Danielle Cook and Wayne Brammer

September 7, 2014 (Jacumba Hot Springs)—This high desert town in San Diego’s East County is normally characterized by dry washes.  But tonight around 7:30 p.m., the town’s Centennial Committee chair Danielle Cook reports, “I received a call a half hour ago from another Jacumba resident, Bill Pape, saying to "get down to the bridge right away, there is a flash flood here and about 20 of us are gathering to watch it.”

WHY ARE SO MANY FIRE STATIONS CLOSED—AND WHAT’S BEING DONE BY COUNTY TO BOOST STAFFING?

 

 

A quarter of all rural stations were closed –at the same time—during April

An East County Magazine special investigative report

By Miriam Raftery

July 31, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – The County Fire Authority has touted its successes in preventing the May wildfires in North County from destroying thousands of homes despite a county-wide disaster declaration.  Granted, a lot has improved since the devastating 2003 and 2007 firestorms in our region--the worst in California's history. But if fires were to start in East County today, the outcome could be tragic. An East County Magazine investigation raises serious doubts over  inadequate volunteer firefighter staffing and the ability to respond even to routine house fires and medical calls in some rural communities.

Last October,  our investigative report,"Closed for Fire Season" revealed that Boulevard’s fire station was closed for two months during fire season and Jacumba’s station also had some dark days- -including one when a resident died of a medical emergency after a delay in emergency services arriving. The County responded by funding emergency staffing and according to Supervisor Jacob’s staff, these two stations remained open every day  for at least several months thereafter, an ECM records check in late April revealed.   

But on July 9, Craig Williams, an information technology provider for the Campo Fire Department, advised ECM that “without any notification to the community leaders."  two days ago Cal Fire “moved the overtime, off-budget, paid Cal Fire firefighters out of Boulevard to Jacumba Hot Springs. Now  Boulevard is stuck with Fire Authority `volunteers’ only, just like Campo.’”

Worse,  a new investigation by ECM reveals that this is the tip of an iceberg--with many stations understaffed and some closed for months. 

DESPITE MONITORING, SEX OFFENDER BREAKS INTO HOME, MOLESTS 70-YEAR-OLD WOMAN

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 22, 2014 (Jacumba) – Several registered sex offenders have been released recently in East County, with promises from authorities that electronic monitoring would protect people in the community.  But on Monday, a sex offender being monitored by authorities broke into a 70-year-old woman’s home in Jacumba and molested her, the Sheriff’s office has announced.

URGENT POLL: ASK KNSJ TO AIR LIVE WILDFIRE ALERTS & WILDFIRE REPORTING: HONOR PROMISES MADE TO DONORS & HELP SAVE LIVES

 

Dear  Readers:

A year ago when KNSJ radio launched, the station promised to air our live wildfire and emergency alerts. Saturday is their anniversary party - please send a message TODAY asking them to honor this promise!

In the July 2013 Chariot Fire the station did go live and I reported on the fire on Mt. Laguna.  For a few weeks, KNSJ aired our alerts with a delay of an hour or so, promising to improve technology to get real live alerts. Later KNSJ stopped airing wildfire alerts at all. I’ve pleaded with KNSJ to air Viejas Wildfire Alerts as promised, which we offer them free, to save lives and keep you safe. In the backcountry when power lines burn and some have no cell service,  battery-powered radio is often the only way to get news during fires.

KNSJ’s CEO says having the federal emergency broadcast system  in place is enough, but it’s not. It wasn’t activated during recent fires in East County.  KNSJ's CEO and Board  refuse to even guarantee a start date for alerts or an exact dollar figure that would guarantee these would air. They ask for more money, without delivering on promises made to donors who already gave to support getting alerts on the air.  KNSJ also has zero live broadcasting, even for breaking news during fires.

TAKE OUR POLL AND SEND A MESSAGE TO KNSJ:  Should the FCC ask KNSJ to keep its promise and air live Viejas Wildfire & Emergency Alerts & have live news broadcasts during wildfires?

PLEASE VOTE HERE:  http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/poll/should-fcc-ask-knsj-keep-its-promise-air-live-viejas-wildfire-emergency-alerts-and-have-live-ne

A REJUVENATING WEEKEND AT THE HEALING WATERS & ARTS FESTIVAL

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 4, 2014 (Jacumba Hot Springs)—Slipping away to the high desert community of Jacumba Hot Springs proves a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Not too long ago, Jacumba nearly became a ghost town after a resort hotel from the ‘20s burned down and Interstate 8 was built, drawing traffic away from Old Highway 80 through the heart of Jacumba.  But then a revitalization committee petitioned the state to take back the town's historic name -- Jacumba Hot Springs. Since then, these movers and shakers have infused new life into a town named by the Kumeyaay Native Americans who once camped here in the winter months: Jacum—a place of healing waters.

Now celebrating its centennial year, the town recently hosted the Healing Waters & Arts Festival--a successful event for the community and guests alike. 

JACUMBA’S HEALING WATERS & ARTS FESTIVAL OFFERS REJUVENATION & ENTERTAINMENT

 

 

May 24, 2014 (Jacumba Hot Springs) – Jacumba Hot Springs (Jacumba) celebrates its Centennial with a major festival on Saturday, May 24th in downtown Jacumba. The Healing Waters & Arts Festival will stretch along Old Highway 80, from the old pink bath house ruins on the west end of town, east to the community park.

Festival hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.  Parking and attendance are free. Attendees will enjoy Kumeyaay Bird Singers, Native American flute players holistic healers, New Age vendors, drum circles, bounce houses for the children, and many unique crafts, clothing and jewelry vendors. Also featured are multiple music venues, art walk with open studio tours, delectable food trucks, Pacific Southwest Railroad Museum display, Campo Motor Transport Museum displays, raffles for prizes and more, all in a beautiful high desert setting.

DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: TOP FESTIVALS, EVENTS & ATTRACTIONS THIS WEEK

 

By Ariele Johannson

May 20, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) -- This week’s  Destination East County includes many outdoor activities from hiking and fishing to car shows, festivals and outdoor movies! Memorial Day activities are included and two local theatre groups have final weekend performances.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: JACUMBA FIRE

 

 

May 13, 2014 (Jacumba) – Tanya Wilkins Aiau snapped this image a 4:45 p.m. on May 5th of a brush fire near her Jacumba home--a fire that she reported to 911.

“I was just passing the Golden Acorn on east bound I-8 when I saw smoke. I didn't have any cell phone service and couldn't tell exactly where the fire was from that distance,” she said. “When I rounded the corner by the billboard (advertising the Rio Bend RV park) at the West end of Walker Canyon I could see flames. I used a call box to call in the fire; the first firetruck passed me while I was on the phone."

JACUMBA HOT SPRINGS HISTORICAL WALK MAY 10 INCLUDES TOUR OF CHINESE CASTLE AND MORE

 

May 9, 2014 (Jacumba)—This community walk will include a visit to Jacumba Lake, the Train Station, spectacular 15 foot rattlesnake sculpture created by sculptor Ricardo Breceda, the former site of the Jacumba Hotel and finish up with a tour of the mysterious Chinese Castle.

FIRE NEAR JACUMBA CLOSES 1-8 TEMPORARILY