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.
March 19, 2013 (Lake Morena) – Community members are pitching in to help Lake Morena resident Julie Atherton, who has been diagnosed with breast cancer and is having surgery on March 28. Atherton works for the Mountain Empire Health at the Campo Community Center.
A spaghetti dinner fundraiser to help defray her medical expenses will be held on April 19 from 6-9 p.m. at the Mountain Empire Community Center, 976 Sheridan Road in Campo. A silent auction will also be held.
California woman shocked in shower by voltage from substation wins landmark case;
Stray voltage complaints, health concerns mount in East County
By Miriam Raftery
April 16, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – A toddler living near the Kumeyaay Wind facility in Campo has had a tumor the size of a potato chip bag removed from her abdomen, Boulevard Planning Group Chair revealed last night at an Activist San Diego event on energy issues last night.
Other people living near wind turbines and an electric substation in the vicinity have developed brain, stomach and kidney cancers—symptoms linked to exposure to electricity and stray voltage, as ECM has reported.
By Ariele Johannson
April 9, 2013 (Campo)--Imagine the Old West back in the 1800s. Lawmen are few and far between. Desperadoes sometimes spread terror throughout the new state of California. And Campo, on the United States-Mexican border, is the site of a confrontation between law-abiding citizens and one such gang of outlaws.
The Gaskill Brothers Gunfighters, an Old West reenactment team, brought history to life with period attire and weapons outside the Golden Acorn Casino on March 23, 2013. The occasion was the Campo Gunfight of December 4, 1875. Forgotten by history, The Campo Gunfight lasted longer and had more casualties than the shootout at the OK Corral.
April 1, 2013 (Campo) – The Pacific Southwest Railway Museum will be hosting a gala gourmet food and wine tasting event April 20 from noon until 5 p.m. to celebrate its 52 years of service and education, along with the Chefs de Cuisine. The event will be held in the Museum’s Display Building, amidst the historic railroad trains and artifacts. The Museum is located off Highway 94 in Campo.
SOUND AND ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELD EXPERTS RAISE SERIOUS CONCERNS OVER IMPACTS OF PROPOSED WIND PROJECTS ON NEIGHBORS IN EAST COUNTY
High EMF levels found in tests at Campo, Manzanita and Ocotilllo among residences near turbines
By Miriam Raftery
March 12,2013 (Campo) – Acoustical experts warn that sound generated by proposed Shu’luuk, Tule and Manzanita wind projects will cause severe negative health impacts on neighbors – and further, new studies suggest that noise impact assessments created to justify these and other projects relied on errors in computer modeling that severely underestimate sound levels.
New noise and infrasound findings
At the Campo Shu’luuk Wind project, massive wind turbines and solar panels are proposed just 500 feet from private properties with homes and 1,320 feet from tribal homes (or less if owners sign a waiver). But a major new study commissioned by a public health department in Wisconsin involving five different acoustic experts found high levels of low-frequency noise at homes abandoned by residents as far as 7,000 feet from turbines. The Brown County Board of Health concuded that residents’ complaints of health problems at the Shirley Wind project are valid and related to long-term exposure to wind turbines.
The 1875 Campo gunfight killed more people and lasted longer than the infamous shootout at the O.K. corral. But few people have heard about this long-lost true tale from East County’s colorful past.
But on March 23 at 3 p.m., “Campo: The Forgotten Gunfight” will be reenacted outside at the Golden Acorn Casino. The show is free and open to all ages. Come learn how local marksmen and townspeople foiled bandits’ plans to rob the entire town.
Over two-thirds of study participants report chronic sleep deprivation and breathing disorders
By Billie Jo Jannen
A special report for East County Magazine
March 5, 2013 (San Diego’s East County)--A university research team that specializes in studying health and social challenges of minority populations is now focusing on quantification of reported illness among Manzanita tribal members who live along the row of wind turbines erected five years ago by the neighboring Campo tribe.
Lead researcher Arcela Nuñez-Alvarez, Ph.D., of the National Latino Research Center said the numbers, so far “…show some trends that I think deserve more attention.” Preliminary numbers in the small population being studied show that 68 percent of the households are suffering from chronic sleep disorders – an oft-mentioned complaint of people who live near turbines – and the same percentage reported respiratory problems.
RURAL FIRE DISTRICT LAWYER: BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS IGNORED FIRE CONCERNS, PUBLIC HEALTH AT SHU’LUUK WIND PROJECT IN CAMPO
“On its face…it appears that the DEIS [Draft Environmental Impact Statement] fails to include any legally enforceable Public Health and Safety mitigation measures….A failure to mandate even minimal fire protection standards or a protection plan will not only endanger workers on-site, it represents a potential fire threat to the surrounding communities.”
– Cynthia L. Eldred, attorney for the San Diego Rural Fire Protection District
By Miriam Raftery
February 26, 2013 (Campo) – An attorney representing the San Diego Rural Fire Protection District has sent repeated letters to the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) taking the agency to task for ignoring health, safety and fire concerns in its consideration of the Shu’luuk Wind project. In a February 25, 2013 comment submitted to the BIA, the district further accuses the BIA of violating federal law and failing to require mitigation of serious problems for the proposed project on the Campo Indian reservation.
February 12, 2013 (Campo) – St. Adelaide Parish is holding its Valentine’s Day Dinner Dance February 16 from 5 – 10 p.m. at the Campo Community Center, 976 Sheridan Road, Campo. The evening will include dinner, dancing, a live auction and raffle. The meal will be pasta, salad, bread, beverage and dessert.
Tickets are $15 each and can be purchased by calling 619-569-7567. The evening is adults only.
By Miriam Raftery
February 9, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) ---Heavy snowfall has transformed our local mountains into winter wonderlands. Mount Laguna received 10 inches of snowfall in the past 24 hours, followed by Palomar Mountain with 7 to 8 inches. Cuyamaca also received significant snowfall, as this image sent in by reader Grace Schlesier shows. Frost and freezing temperatures are expected through Monday in inland valleys.
Other areas dusted in white include Julian (3-6 inches), Ranchita (5 inches), Santa Ysabel (2 inches) and Pine Valley (2 inches) . Snow even dipped down to Descanso and Campo, which received less than a half inch each.
Federal comment period now open for Enviornmental Impact Statement;
SDG&E also seeks approval for power lines tied to project without environmental review or public hearing
By Miriam Raftery
January 14, 2013 (Campo) – The Campo Indian tribe has proposed to lease a portion of its reservation to Invenergy LLC for an industrial energy project, Shu-luuk Wind. The project would include 85 wind turbines, each approximately 500 feet tall, on tribal lands near the rural communities of Campo and Boulevard. The project study area of impact spans over 4,700 acres; the developer claims a project footprint of 900 acres; many new miles of roads and power lines are also proposed.
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.”
December 6, 2012 (Campo)--A mouse trapped in Campo during routine monitoring has tested positive for the potentially deadly hantavirus, officials from the San Diego County Department of Environmental Health said Thursday.
County officials said it was normal to find rodents carrying hantavirus in San Diego County, but that they rarely posed a threat to people if they remained in the wild. However, they said people should protect themselves whenever cleaning up after rodents if they found them in their homes or on their properties.
November 8, 2012 (Campo)—The Pacific Southwest Railway Museum in Campo rolls out its 2012 Santa Train, the North Pole Limited, each Friday and Saturday starting November 23 through December 22.
This popular attraction sells out early each year, so reservations are strongly recommended. Santa’s elves will serve cookies and hot cocoa while leading a sing-along of traditional Christmas carols and reading a famous Christmas story. The train departs the Museum on Highway 94 at Forrest Gate Road in Campo and stops at Santa’s workshop , where Santa will board the train and visit with all children on the return trip.
October 12, 2012 (Campo) – The Pacific Southwest Railway Museum presents its 2012 Pumpkin Express beginning October 13, for 3 full weekends. The whole family can enjoy a one hour vintage train ride to the Pumpkin Patch.
October 4, 2012 (Campo) – As CAL FIRE neared containment on the 2,851 acre Shockey Fire burning near the community of Campo in San Diego County, firefighters credited new technology in the success of the incident. For the past year, firefighters have been aided by the development of a new project called Next Generation Incident Command System, or “NICS”. The new technology is funded by the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate and developed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Lincoln Labs with major participation from CAL FIRE. Especially this year with the increased fire activity, CAL FIRE has been the perfect test bed for the new technology.
September 23, 2012 (San Diego's East County)Update 5:10 p.m. - The Shockey Fire has topped 1,000 acres, IPN reports. Numerous outbuildings have burned, Cal Fire confirms. Scanner traffic now indicates that at least four homes have burned in the Tierra del Sol area.
SDG&E reports that the Shockey Fire has left 183 customers without power in Live Oak Springs, Boulevard and Jacumba. Powerlines have burned and some lines are down.
Jewel Valley is under mandatory evacuation orders following earlier evacuations of 77 homes in Tierra del Sol.
The Evacuation Center has been changed to Mountain Empire High School, 3305 Buckman Springs Road. If you need help evacuating large animals, call 619-767-2675 or 619-236-2341.
September 23, 2012 (San Diego's East County) -- A Cal Fire vehicle traveling east on Highway 94 at Forrest Gate, in the vicinity of the Shockey Truck Trail fire, has been struck by shots fired. The shots are believed to be from a pellet gun, a Cal Fire individual reported, scanner traffic indicates. The driver's side window was broken, but no one was injured.
FOR UPDATES ON THIS FAST-GROWING FIRE, SEE OUR NEW STORY POSTED HERE:
ALSO CHECK OUR HOMEPAGE FOR POTENTIAL NEW STORIES LATER AT www.EASTCountyMagazine.org.
Update 1:40 p.m.: The Shockey Fire is now over 100 acres and spreading rapidly to the east, being driven by a southwest wind, Cal Fire’s Roxanne Provaznik reports. The Incident Commander has requested 5 additional engines, 4 additional airtankers, 2 additional water tenders, and 1 additional bulldozer. There are structures out ahead of the fire but they are not immediately threatened, per Cal Fire.
BOIL WATER ORDER AND PUBLIC NOTIFICATION FOR CAMPO ALTERNATIVE SCHOOL AND CAMPO LIBRARY WATER SYSTEM
September 13, 2012 (Campo)--The County of San Diego, Department of Environmental Health (DEH) has issued a Boil Water Order and Public Notification for the Campo Alternative School and Campo Library drinking water system located on 31360 Highway 94, Campo, CA 91906 effective immediately.
The drinking water system has tested present for total coliform bacteria and absent for E.coli.
July 29, 2012 (Campo) – The Pacific Southwest Railway Museum is celebrating the 100 th birthday of Southern Pacific Co. Steam Locomotive & Tender #2353 that was built in 1912 by the Baldwin Locomotive Works of Philadelphia that was featured in the movie “Pearl Harbor”. The event is August 11 at the Museum, State Route 94 and Forrest Gate Road, Campo, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Free hamburgers, hotdogs, drinks and birthday cake will be available.
June 28, 2012 (Campo) – Golden Acorn Casino will be celebrating Independence Day with a free fireworks show on July 4, at 9:00 p.m. at the casino, 1800 Golden Acorn Way, Campo. The fireworks will be preceded by a food and beer garden from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and live entertainment.
Visit http://www.goldenacorncasino.com/ for more information.
By Miriam Raftery
Updated June 21, 2012: The Old Fire is now 100% contained at a cost of approximately $2.3 million
June 20, 2012 (Campo) – The Old Fire has charred 995 acres and is now 90% contained. One residence burned, as well as a recreational vehicle (RV). Cause remains under investigation, however electrical and lighting have been ruled out. There are no electrical lines near the origin of the blaze on the Campo Indian Reservation, nor were there any reports of lightning, Cal Fire reports.
June 19, 2012 (San Diego's East County)--The Old Fire is now 75% contained at 907 acres, with full containment expected tonight, and full control expected tomorrow at 6 p.m., Cal Fire predicts.
Cost to battle the blaze is $1.5 million. The fire began Sunday in the Campo/Live Oak Springs area and has destroyed at least on structure.
June 17, 2012 (Campo)—The Golden Acorn Casino in Campo has been evacuated as a precaution, Cal-Fire spokesperson Roxanne Provaznik advises. The Old Fire is now 300 acres at 7:40 p.m. Winds have shifted, pushing the fire east toward Boulevard.
“High temperatures and erratic winds are hampering firefighting efforts,” Provaznik advised.
June 4, 2012 (San Diego) The U.S. Health & Human Services Department has awarded $9,398,738 for healthcare in the communities of San Diego, Campo and Brawley.
“The Affordable Care Act invests in our community health centers and helps make healthcare accessible and affordable. Close to $10 million for healthcare locally means new jobs and the ability to serve more patients,” Congressman Bob Filner (D-San Diego) said, noting that since 2009, employment at community health centers nationwide has increased by 15 percent.
May 21, 2012 (McCain Valley) – A rollover accident that occurred on I-8 west near McCain Valley Road this morning at 10:45 a.m. has claimed the life of a Campo man, 46.
The vehicle, a 2001 Chevrolet Silverado truck, was driven by Alexus Ramirez, 19, of Alpine. Although traveling 55-60 mph, within the speed limit, for unknown reasons she lost control of the vehicle. It traveled off the south shoulder down an embankment separating east and westbound lanes, rolling over several times before coming to rest on the driver’s side.
By Miriam Raftery
Update March 8, 2012: The deceased have been identified as Jim Simmons, 41, and Donna Simmons, 16.
March 6, 2012 (Campo) – Yesterday morning, Sheriff’s deputies discovered the bodies of a man and his 16-year-old daughter at a home in the 2600 block of Cameron Truck Trail in Campo.
“The reporting party told deputies that he read a text message on his phone,” Sgt. David Martinez said. The message, from the father found dead, “essentially read that the man’s daughter committed suicide and the man was going to be with his daughter.”