Deserts

NEW BOOK DESCRIBES THE EVOLUTION OF THE ANZA-BORREGO DESERT REGION

Source:  Sunbelt Publications

November 23, 2019 (Anza-Borrego) - The Anza-Borrego Foundation (ABF) in Borrego Springs is sponsoring a free public book launch for A Natural History of the Anza-Borrego Region: Then and Now, just in time for holiday gift-giving on Saturday, December 14 at the Steele/Burnand Anza-Borrego Desert Research Center at 401 Tilting T Drive in Borrego Springs, starting at 4:00 p.m. Authors Mike Wells and Marie Simovich will  present the story of how the desert landscape and organisms that inhabit this desert area evolved to their present state and what the future may hold for these desert lands. Books will be available for purchase and refreshments will be served. All author royalties are assigned to ABF to help support Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. The book was published by Sunbelt Publications of San Diego in cooperation with California State Parks and ABF. 

STORMY THANKSGIVING COULD BRING SNOW BELOW 3,000 FEET, THUNDERSTORMS AND HEAVY RAINS ACROSS REST OF REGION

By Miriam Raftery

November 23, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – If you’re heading over the rivers and through the woods this Thanksgiving week, you might just wind up traveling through white and drifted snow, as the popular song lyrics go—not to mention rain and flash flooding, too, making for hazardous roadway conditions across southern California, the National Weather Service warns.

The National Weather Service predicts a major winter storm will bring significant snowfall of one to two feet above 5,000 feet by Wednesday, with the snow level dropping to 3,000 feet or even lower by Friday.  Snow could impact I-8 through San Diego County’s mountains, as well as areas such as Cuyamaca, Julian, Jacumba Hot Springs, Descanso, Mount Laguna and Palomar Mountain locally, as well as the Cajon Pass on I-15 for those heading north.

JACUMBA'S FESTIVAL OF SUNFLOWERS: A POP-UP SHOW OF LOCAL ART STARTS NEW TRADITION

By Rebeca Person

Editor Miriam Raftery contributed to this report

November 22, 2019 (Jacumba Hot Springs) -- Local Jacumba artists exhibited their works in a Pop-Up Show October 5th launching Jacumba’s first ever Festival of Sunflowers at Gilliam Gallery in downtown Jacumba Hot Springs.
 
Linda Churchill, muralist and mosaic artist, revealed new mosaics and oil paintings of Jacumba’s scenic beauty. 
 
Now the community plans to make this event an annual tradition.

SUPERVISOR JACOB SOUNDS ALARM OVER STATE’S PLAN TO RELEASE ANOTHER SEXUALLY VIOLENT PREDATOR IN JACUMBA HOT SPRINGS, NEAR BOULEVARD

By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo:  Thomas Cornwell, 41, convicted of lewd acts on children under age 14, has been diagnosed with pedophilic disorder
 
November 14, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – Supervisor Dianne Jacob, in a letter to Calif. Attorney General Xavier Becerra, cites disturbing statistics regarding sexually violent predators released in East County.  Of 12 released countywide in the past 15 years, nine were sent to East County. Five of the 12 violated conditions of their release and four were sent back to state mental hospitals, according to Jacob. Yet the state is proposing to release two more sexually violent predators into our region.

EIGHT SCHOOL DISTRICTS TO CLOSE THURSDAY DUE TO POWER OUTAGES

Source: County News Service

 

October 30, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- The San Diego County Office of Education reports that because San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) has activated a public safety power shutoff in certain parts of the county, schools in the following school districts will be closed on Halloween this Thursday, October 31: 

 

  • Dehesa School District
  • Julian Union High School District
  • Julian Union School District
  • Mountain Empire Unified School District
  • Rancho Santa Fe School District
  • Spencer Valley School District
  • Vallecitos School District 
  • Valley Center-Pauma Unified School District

BORREGO FARMERS MARKET OPENS FOR WINTER SEASON

East County News Service

October 30, 2019 (Borrego Springs) – The Borrego Farmers Market will return on Fridays from 8 a.m. until 12 p.m. starting November 1st at Christmas Circle in downtown Borrego Springs.

The market features certified farm fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh flowers, handmade items, T-shirts, soaps, jewelry, and more.

The market is hosted by the Borrego Springs Chamber of Commerce. For more information, call 760-767-5555.

SDG&E WARNS OF NEW OUTAGES AS SANTA ANA WINDS ARE SET TO RETURN

By Miriam Raftery

October 28 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – With the strongest Santa Ana winds of the season forecast Tuesday through Thursday,  San Diego Gas & Electric is warning over 32,000 customers that the utility may proactively shut off power to many communities to prevent lines from sparking fires, including some areas not previously impacted by outages.  The outages could begin late Tuesday or early Wednesday and last as late as Friday evening, according to SDG&E.

The communities that may lose power are:

  • Alpine
  • Boulevard
  • Campo
  • Descanso
  • Dulzura
  • El Cajon (portions of)
  • Encinitas (portions of)
  • Escondido (portions of)
  • Jacumba
  • Jamul (portions of)
  • Julian
  • Lakeside (portions of)
  • Mount Laguna
  • Pala
  • Palomar Mountain
  • Pauma Valley
  • Pine Valley
  • Potrero
  • Poway
  • Ramona
  • Ranchita
  • Rancho Santa Fe (portions of)
  • San Clemente (portions of)
  • San Juan Capistrano (portions of)
  • Santa Ysabel
  • Valley Center (portions of)
  • Warner Springs

Steps to prepare for an outage

FIRST FALL FROST WARNING ISSUED; WINDY WEATHER TO RETURN

By Miriam Raftery

October 28, 2019 (San Diego’s East County)—The National Weather Service has cancelled a fire weather watch for Monday in San Diego County, however a stronger Santa Ana Wind event is likely Tuesday through Thursday.

The temperatures are cooling off, however, with freezing temperatures likely across the high desert areas mid-week. Lows could dip into the 20s by Thursday night and Friday morning, says meteorologist Dan Gregoria.

SDG&E EXPANDS POTENTIAL OUTAGE AREAS; SOME CUSTOMERS COMPLAIN OF ERRATIC NOTIFICATIONS

By Miriam Raftery

 

Update October 24:  As of 8 a.m. Thursday, power is shut off for 431 people in Dehesa, Alpine, Rancho Palo Verde, Santa Ysabel, Wynola, Pine Hills, East Descanso, Green Valley Falls, Cuyamaca, Viejas, West Descanso, Boulder Creek, Live Oak Springs, Boulevard, Jacumba, Japatul Valley, Buckman Springs, Morena Village. Resource centers have been opened in Julian and Descanso; scroll down for details.

October 23, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – SDG&E is warning of a new round of potential power-shut offs that could affect up to 23,944 customers, with a red flag warning from 5 a.m. Thursday through 5 p.m. Friday evening.

The areas that could be impacted are Alpine, Barona, Barrett Lake, Boulevard, Campo, Cuyamaca, Descanso, East Poway, East Valley Center, Julian, Mesa Grande, Mount Laguna, Palomar Mountain, Pine Valley, Potrero, Ramona, Rancho Bernardo (portions), Santa Ysabel, Shelter Valley, Viejas and Warner Springs.

The utility’s site states that it makes several efforts to notify ratepayers prior to shutoffs. In many cases the system worked to provide customers with time to prepare for outages.  However, some rural residents have posted complaints on social media stating that they received repeated warnings of shut-offs that never occurred, and later had power shut-off with no warning.

SUPERVISORS VOTE WEDNESDAY ON WITHDRAWING COUNTY AS GROUNDWATER SUSTAINABILITY AGENCY FOR BORREGO VALLEY GROUNDWATER BASIN

Update:  Supervisor Jim Desmond introduced a mtion to approve this mesaure, which was passed unanimously by Supervisors with one amendment:  the withdrawal will take effect when the stipulated agreement is submitted to a court, or on December 31, 2019, whichever occurs first.

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

Photo: Citrus growers and other farmers in Borrego use 75% of the area’s groundwater. A new plan proposes allowing large water users to buy or trade water use credits. 

 

October 14, 2019 (Borrego Springs) – Faced with a state mandate to reduce water use by 75 percent after years over over-pumping groundwater, major water users in Borrego Springs have submitted a stipulated agreement for reducing the desert community’s water use by an estimated 75 percent. On Wednesday, San Diego County Supervisors will vote on withdrawing as a groundwater sustainability agency for the Borrego Valley Groundwater Basin, with a goal toward transitioning into water management.

SDG&E WARNS OF POWER SHUT-OFFS IN NEXT 48 HOURS TO 28,701 CUSTOMERS IN EAST COUNTY COMMUNITIES

October 9, 2019 (San Diego's East County) -- SDG&E has issued a warning that it may shut off power to 28,701 customers in East County communities starting in the next 48 hours due to wildfire risks.  A red flag alert has been issued for Thursday afternoon and Friday by the National Weather Service.  The following communities are currently forecasted to be impacted:

  • Banner Grade
  • Boulevard
  • Descanso
  • East Alpine
  • East Ramona
  • Fallbrook
  • Julian
  • Mesa Grande
  • Mt Laguna
  • Palomar Mountain
  • Pine Valley
  • Potrero
  • Rancho Santa Fe
  • Rincon
  • Santa Ysabel
  • Valley Center
  • Viejas
  • West Valley Center
  • Wynola

FIRE WEATHER FORECAST

East County News Service
 
October 6, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – The National Weather Service predicts moderate Santa Ana winds this week, combined with low humidity for elevated fire danger.
 
While Orange County is forecast to have the most severe conditions,  relative humidity is expected to fall into low double digits in San Diego’s mountain areas and single digits in the desert.  West to northwest winds of 15-20 miles per hour with gusts up to 40 mph are anticipated starting Tuesday. By Thursday and Friday, falling humidity is expected to create critical fire weather conditions.  

PASSAGES: BORREGO SPRINGS PHILANTHROPIST BILL WRIGHT

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Borrego wildflowers, CC by SA

October 6, 2019 (Borrego Springs) -- Since moving to Borrego Springs from Santa Barbara in 1980, Bill Wright has been a “champion of all things good in Borrego Springs,” according to the Borrego Sun.  The newspaper announced that Wright passed away on October 1 at age 88.

TWO EAST COUNTY PROJECTS WIN ORCHID AWARDS FOR ARCHITECTURE

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, top: Ilan-Lael Center; bottom: Borrego Springs Library

 

October 5, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – The annual Orchids & Onions Awards have presented coveted “Orchid” awards to two East County projects.  

 

The Ilan-Lael Center in Santa Ysabel built by Hubbell and Hubbell Architects received the award for collaborative architecture. The County’s Borrego Springs library, park and Sheriff’s office designed by RNT Architects received an Orchid architectural award.

JACUMBA'S ABLOOM WITH FALL FESTIVITIES THIS SATURDAY

By Rebecca Person

October 2, 2019 (Jacumba Hot Springs) -- The weather’s perfect,  making October 5th a day for a great getaway.

Here’s what’s happening in Jacumba Hot Springs on San Diego's historic Old Highway 80.

Jacumba Hikers, a dedicated group of local hikers and walkers, leads an easy four mile round-trip Walkabout, covering the Chinese Castle, Natural Hot Springs, Jacumba Lake, Sand Wash, passing the old Railroad Station, the Border Fence and more. Hikers meet at 8 a.m. in front of the Jacumba Spa Resort (44500 Old Highway 80). The Spa’s restaurant opens at 7 a.m.

FESTIVAL OF SUNFLOWERS: POP-UP ART EXHIBIT OCT. 5 IN JACUMBA HOT SPRINGS

East County News Service
 
September 29, 2019 (Jacumba Hot Springs) -- Art lovers are invited to celebrate in Jacumba at the Festival of Sunflowers Artists’ Pop-Up Exhibit on Saturday, Oct. 5th, from noon until dark. The exhibit will place at Gilliam Gallery in downtown Jacumba Hot Springs at 44555 Old Highway 80.

APPEALS COURT BLOCKS RELEASE OF “BOLDER THAN MOST” RAPIST

By Miriam Raftery
 
September 24, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – The 4th District Court of Appeals has ruled that sexually violent predator Alvin Quarles must remain locked up in a state mental hospital while appellate court judges review the case.
 

52ND ANNUAL BORREGO DAYS DESERT FESTIVAL: BLOOM IN BORREGO OCT. 18-20

By Miriam Raftery

 

September 23, 2019 (Borrego Springs) -- The 52nd annual Borrego Days Desert Festival in Borrego Springs will be blossom Friday through Sunday, October 18- 20th. This year’s theme is “Bloom in Borrego” to pay homage to the beauty of Borrego Springs and the surrounding 600,000 Anza Borrego Desert State Park. Festivities include a parade, live music, arts and crafts, kids’ activities and much more.

ANZA BORREGO FOUNDATION HOSTS “PINTS 4 THE PARK” OCT. 19

By Miriam Raftery

Photo credit for images in banner: Rad Schmidt (left image) and Adam Gordon (star trails, right image)

September 18, 2019 (Borrego Springs) – Anza Borrego Foundation is kicking off the fall season with its fourth annual “Pints 4 the Park” as part of Borrego Days on Saturday, Oct. 19 from 5 to 7:30 p.m.

HOW HOT WILL IT GET WHERE YOU LIVE?

By Miriam Raftery

 

Roger Coppock contributed to this story

 

September 8, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- Extreme heat is poised to rise steeply in frequency and severity over the coming decades, bringing unprecedented health risks for people and communities across the country. That’s the disturbing finding of the Union of Concerned Scientists in a just-issued report titled Killer Heat in the United States: Climate Choices and the Future of Dangerously Hot Days.

OWAC RECOGNIZES THE WEST'S TOP OUTDOORS/ADVENTURE MEDIA COMMUNICATIONS PROS

Source:  OWAC

Photo: Author and award winner Diana Lindsay

September 5, 2019 (Oxnard) - Outdoor Writers Association of California (OWAC) – the leading organization of professional outdoor media communicators in the western region – recently recognized nearly two-dozen recipients in their annual Excellence in Craft Awards.

GINA CHAMPION-CAIN CHARGED WITH SECURITES FRAUD, HAS EAST COUNTY TIES

By Miriam Raftery

September 3, 2019 (San Diego) – Gina Champion-Cain has long been hailed as one of San Diego’s most powerful women business leaders.  But on Thursday, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced charges against her and her company, ANI Development, calling it a “multi-year $300 million scheme” that allegedly defrauded some 50 retail investors, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

FLASH FLOOD WATCH ISSUED

September 2, 2019 (San Diego's East County) -- A flash flood watch has been issued by the National Weather Service for portions of  southern California include  San Diego County's mountain and desert areas today and tonight.

Additional thunderstorms are possible Monday and Tuesday. 

Runoff caused by very intense but brief rainfall can gather in  arroyos and small streams as well as urban surfaces. 

There is a  risk of mudslides and debris flows in steep terrain and in burn  areas.

HIGH HEAT AND THUNDERSTORMS FORECAST

East County News Service

August 28, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – Hot weather is here again. The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat watch from Friday morning through Saturday in San Diego’s desert areas. Temperatures could reach 115 in the low deserts and 105 in the low deserts.

JACUMBA HIKERS HIT THE TRAIL WITH HIKES SEPT. 21-OCT. 26

By Miriam Raftery

August 26, 2019 (Jacumba Hot Springs) – As fall and cooler weather approaches, the Jacumba Hikers have released a schedule of upcoming hikes from Sept. 21 through Oct. 26. The hikes range from easy to hard to destinations that include peaks in Anza Borrego, Kitchen Creek Falls, Jacumba’s fall festival, Valley of the Moon, Devil’s Canyon and Carrizo Creek. Below is the full schedule with details, and be sure to read the group’s safety tips

HEAT RETURNS MID-WEEK, THUNDERSTORMS POSSIBLE BY WEEKEND

By Miriam Raftery
 
August 17, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – Temperatures will be heating up early to mid-week, with an excessive heat watch Tuesday through Thursday in the desert areas.  Temperatures could reach 120 in some low desert locations, with high deserts reaching 97 to 108 degrees.  Foothills of inland San Diego are expected to have high temperatures of 95 to 100 degrees.
 
Over next weekend, monsoonal thunderstorms could occur in the mountains and deserts, continuing into next week.

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