By Ali McCall
April 12, 2013 (Jacumba Hot Springs)--Spend a cool afternoon jammin’ to some blues that won’t “tax” your wallet at the free Jacumba Blues Fest on Saturday, May 4 in Jacumba Hot Springs.
The festival, sponsored by the Jacumba Arts Council, runs from 12-8 p.m. at Highland Community Center on Olde Highway 80. Bring a lawn chair and enjoy food as well as cold, non-alcoholic beverages while you listen to some “smokin’ blues,” organizers suggest.
March 26, 2013 (Jacumba) – From wildflowers to waterfalls, the Jacumba Hikers have announced a variety of unique hiking destinations for their outings this spring. Scroll down for a list of hikes and descriptions of hikes set for April and May.
To view flyer with details, including difficulty/accessibility of hikes, click here.
By Miriam Raftery
After high winds on April 8 ripped their trailer home off its foundation west of Jacumba in Bankhead Springs, Dewey St. Julien and Virginia Hogan found themselves homeless. They lived in their truck and later, a motel with help from Red Cross. Now they are on a list hoping to receive a home from Habitat for Humanity.
“They asked how they could repay what blessings have come their way,” said Lorrie Ostrander, who has been assisting the young coupe. So tonight, April 18, Julien and Hogan have organized a spaghetti dinner to benefit Julie Atherton, a Mountain Empire Health employee with breast cancer.
The dinner will be held at the Mountain Empire Community Center, 976 Sheridan Road in Campo. Suggested donation is $5 for adults and $3 for children. A silent auction will also be held.
Photo: Lake Jacumba
April 11, 2013 (Jacumba)--The Jacumba Hikers/Walkers will host their first Spring Walk on Saturday. April 13. The Border Fence and Rock House Walk is rated easy and will walk the Border Fence separating the U.S.and Mexico from the Jacumba Lounge/Park to the Jacumba Airport & Old Rock House. Distance is 3.5 mi. round trip.
March 11, 2013 (Jacumba Hot Springs)--Pinch Flat Fortune Productions has created a delightful video that provides a cyclist’s eye view of Jacumba Hot Springs, a town built around a natural mineral spring bubbling up from the ground near a pond that’s a birdwatcher’s haven. The filmmakers call Jacumba Hot Springs “magical,” adding that in addition to free camping and soothing soaks, the community has, “some of the kindest, quirkiest, most interesting people we have ever met, all in one place.”
March 2, 2013 (Jacumba) – The Jacumba Hikers will host three upcoming hikes into some of the most unique destinations in our region on February 16, March 2, and March 16--including sites where you can view Native American pictographs, spectacular scenery, and a 200-foot-high railway trestle.
Destinations include Indian Hill and Gun Powder Shack, Carrizo Gorge, and Mortero Palms/Goat Canyon. Scroll down for details.
By Miriam Raftery
February 25, 2013 (Jacumba Hot Springs) – Hoping to revitalize tourism in their community, leaders in the small eastern San Diego County community of Jacumba petitioned the State to change the town’s name back to Jacumba Hot Springs, as it was known in a bygone era. Now it’s official, community members learned today.
“I am excited to announce that Jeff Chambers of the State of California Geographic Names Commission called Dave Landman, Mark Ostrander and Howard [Cook[ this morning to say that the Federal Geographic Names Commission has approved our name change (back to Jacumba Hot Springs) effective February 14th of this year,” Danielle Cook with the Jacumba-Boulevard Revitalization Alliance nformed ECM.
January 27, 2013 (Pine Valley)--Beginning Friday, February 1, the Pine Valley Sheriff's Substation can be found at a new location as construction on a new substation gets underway. The temporary address of the substation is 28914 Old Highway 80 Suite 106, Pine Valley, CA 91962 with the same telephone number at (619) 473‐8774.
January 26, 2013 (Campo) -- Underage drinkers, empty lots littered with empty beer bottles and irresponsible alcohol retailers have residents speaking out after a recent community meeting to voice their concerns about youth access to alcohol in Back Country areas.
Boulevard resident Tammy Daubach said she noticed teens drinking in the empty lot near her home in Boulevard. She explained kids frequent the empty lot to ride their BMX bikes on the dirt tracks. “When the kids need to fill their motor bikes at the gas station nearby, they gas up and get their stuff. You constantly see the trash back there. We’ll go out with bags to pick it all up and find chips and wine coolers and little liquor bottles, all of that.”
January 12, 2012 (Jacumba) -- This week's winter storm brought an unusual treat for residents of Jacumba, elevation 2850: snow! Danielle Cook took these photos outside Jacumba Hot Springs, where a light dusting of snow blanketed the area. Don't rush out to visit, though -- it's already melting away in the mid-day sun.
November 20, 2012 (Jacumba)--Cal-Fire will conduct a burn tomorrow, November 21 in McCain Valley near the community of Jacumba. The burn will be approximately 35 acres and smoke will be visible off Interstate 8 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Cooking items, sheets still needed
November 10, 2012 (Jacumba/Boulevard) – Lorrie Ostrander, who has been coordinating efforts to help families who lost homes in the Shockey Fire, has sent the following letter thanking ECM readers for your generosity. While many needs have been met, some remain. Please read her letter below, and help if you can.
November 1, 2012 (San Diego) –Responding to complaints from neighbors of two organic farms in Escondido and Jacumba, County Supervisors on October 30 approved a plan to order farmers to reduce eye gnat infestations. The plan adopted stops short of allowing the county to order pesticide use, but does give the county the right to order other abatement measures if voluntary efforts don’t work.
For details, see ECM news partner 10 News’ article at http://www.10news.com/news/county-tentatively-approves-program-to-reduce...
Fundraiser a success, but more help is needed: “wish list” provided for families who lost homes
By Miriam Raftery
October 17, 2012 (Jacumba/Boulevard)—Ray Ritter, 2, and his parents are among nine families who lost everything in the Shockey Fire last month. The home they were renting burned to the ground and they had no insurance. But that’s just the latest in a string of tragedies for the Ritters.
“Dad died September 14,” Monica Ritter told ECM. “His memorial service was Sept. 20 and on the 21st, our house burned down.”
ECM met the Ritter family at a fundraiser for Shockey Fire victims held last Friday at the Jacumba community center, where firefighters and community members turned out to raise $1,378.59. The Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation had already given over $3500 to the families during recovery after the fire—but now fire victims need additional help to rebuild their lives as the cold season draws near.
October 5, 2012 (Jacumba)--The Jacumba Arts Council (JAC) is holding an art festival and fund-raiser between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturday, October 27th at the Highland Community Center on Old Highway 80. Some of Jacumba’s most talented artists will be displaying their art and offering many pieces for sale. Mark your calendars now!
By Nadin Abbott
Photos by Tom and Nadin Abbott
September 26, 2012 (Boulevard)—Around five in the afternoon, as the sun was starting to set, the first residents of Boulevard’s Tierra del Sol neighborhood began to come home. There was anxiety in some faces, as well as relief on others, as they learned what state their properties were in –and whether their homes had survived the devastating 2,850 acre Shockey Fire that destroyed 11 homes and claimed the life of an elderly man.
By Miriam Raftery
September 24, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – Cal Fire reports this morning that an estimated 20 homes have been destroyed and another 10 damaged, along with approximately 15 outbuildings. The fire is now 2,000 acres and 10% contained.
Homes lost are all in the Tierra del Sol area, Mike Mohler of Cal Fire told ECM. “We’re going to go out right now to compile a list of the addresses,” he said when asked for details on locations of residences that burned.
“Tierra del Sol and Jewel Valley remain evacuated and are still threatened,” Roxanne Provaznik of Cal Fire said in a release issued at 6:50 am. Highway 94 is closed between the Shockey Truck Trail east to Jewel Valley.
September 13, 2012 (Jacumba) – In its heyday, Jacumba Hot Springs housed a resort that drew Hollywood elite and tourists from far and wide. But somewhere along the way, the official name got shortened to Jacumba.
Now a group of Jacumba residents seeks to restore the original name. On Tuesday, County Supervisors voted to support the change. Next up, state and federal geographic name change commissioners will consider whether to formally approve the return to the town’s historic name.
By Tom Lemon
August 10, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) — When you're driving east on Interstate 8 past Jacumba and the Desert View Tower there's a sharp left turn and you begin to descend Mountain Springs Grade. You will drop about three thousand feet to the desert in ten miles, and can see the remains of Old Highway 80 in the canyons and some of the original concrete road just past the Mountain Springs exit.
Canines identify dozens of sites in path of wind and power line projects
Wind developers “cooperate” with tribes on searches-- but SDG&E refuses to allow dogs on its ECO-Substation site
Story by Miriam Raftery
Photos by Tom and Nadin Abbott, Miriam Raftery, and Jim Pelley
July 18, 2012 (McCain Valley) – Weaving across cactus-studded terrain in McCain Valley, Piper, a border collie trained to find ancient human remains, pauses to sniff the ground. Ears erect, he sits, alerting handler Lynne Engelbert, who records the GPS coordinates. (Click video to view.) Minutes later, Piper’s find is independently confirmed by a second search dog.
June 24, 2012 (San Diego) -- The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) this week approved San Diego Gas & Electric's (SDG&E) East County (ECO) Substation Project, a development that involves two electric substations along SDG&E's Southwest Powerlink transmission line.
June 7, 2012 (Jacumba) – Telemagica’s Galaxia 2012 takes place June 8, 9 and 10 beginning at 12:00 p.m. on Friday on the grounds of the Institute of Perception (Railroad Street) in Jacumba.
The event is a yearly gathering of collective performance art dedicated to the evolution of the human spirit through the arts.
By Meg A. Watts
April 1, 2012 (Jacumba) – Officially, the power outage that left 1.4 million customers in San Diego and across the southwest in the dark last September has been blamed on a worker in Yuma, according to SDG&E. But an ECM investigation reveals an electrifying new theory, backed up by photos and an eyewitness account from an off-duty Border Patrol Agent.
By Miriam Raftery
March 5, 2012 (Jacumba) – County Supervisors unanimously approved a resolution to support a state grant for improvements to the runway at the Jacumba Airport. Located one mile east of Jacumba on Old Highway 80, the airport is mainly used as a glider facility for sailplanes and single-engine aircraft.
Howard Cook, a member of the Jacumba planning group, views that as “good news.” He adds, “Perhaps we can leverage this improvement to further revitalize our town, maybe fly ins, balloons, more gliders, use of the airport by Mexicans.” He added,”We need to start thinking about an airport marketing campaign.”
February 27, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – Accidents have been reported on both eastbound and westbound I-8 in Alpine near Willows Road due to ice on the highway this evening. Due to snowfall, chains are required on Sunrise Highway, in Julian, and on old highway 80 in Jacumba. Snow ploughs have not been able to keep pace with the snow fall, CHP reports.
Moderate to heavy snow is falling from Pine Valley to Crestwood, with lighter snow elsewhere and heavy rain in some mountain communities including Santa Ysabel.
February 21, 2012 (Jacumba) – Three-year-old Destiny Pierce is a survivor. Born with no trachea and with organs on the wrong side of her body, she defied doctors’ predictions that she would not live 24 hours and survived heart surgery.
"Mr. Pierce left his job and stopped his education of becoming a nurse so that he could stay at home and take care of his little angel, Destiny,"
said Lorrie Ostrander, a Jacumba resident who started a fundraiser to help the family in this small high-desert town in East County. Anthony Pierce needs a car to transport his "miracle" daughter to her medical appointments.
How many massive energy projects are too many for one rural community to absorb?
“They want to put these all out here, because we’re throwaway country people.” – Howard Cook
By Mia Myklebust and Miriam Raftery
February 16, 2012 (Jacumba) – Walking along the shores of Lake Jacumba, it’s clear that Howard Cook has big dreams for his community. Chairman of the Lake Restoration Committee, he has wrested a pledge from the Audubon Society to restore the once-dry lake.
“We want to have fishing, boating, and recreation,” he says. Cook is working with others who dream of “making this another Taos—art, wildlife, hiking, Indians and birds.”
But there’s trouble on the horizon. Multiple industrial-scale wind and solar farms soon stand to surround this tiny town, jeopardizing its most cherished natural treasures. Sites include publicly owned recreation lands, notably a spectacular scenic gorge known to locals as “our Grand Canyon,” Cook points out.
Jacumba is a proverbial canary in the coal mine—a warning of what other publicly-owned preserves and rural communities across America may soon face.