Deserts

JUDGE APPROVES CONDITIONAL RELEASE OF SERIAL RAPIST IN JACUMBA

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 13, 2018 (Jacumba Hot Springs) – Judge David Gill on Friday approved the release of Alvin Quarles, a sexual predator dubbed “bolder than most” to a residence at 43050 Desert Ranch Road in Jacumba Hot Springs. The Department of State Hospitals had proposed Quarles’ release to the site on or before November 30th.

SUPERVISORS REJECT UPZONING FOR COUNTRY CLUB ESTATE HOUSING DEVELOPMENT IN BORREGO SPRINGS

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: More than 50 Borrego residents made the long trip from the desert to show opposition to the project.

September 13, 2018 (Borrego Springs) – By a 3-2 vote, San Diego Supervisors rejected a request to upzone 169 acres in Borrego Springs. The proposed Borrego Country Club Estate project sought to build 169 homes on land currently zoned for just 16 residences.

The site known to locals as “Rudyville” is located in south Borrego Springs on land that includes ancient Ocotillo groves and endangered Peninsular Bighorn Sheep, among other species of concern.

The state has ordered Borrego to reduce its water consumption by 75 percent due to the community using more groundwater than is being replenished by rainfall, a fact that proved the key factor in blocking the project.

AIR PARADE TO SWEEP SKIES AT 53RD ANNUAL BORREGO DAYS FESTIVAL OCT. 20

 

East County News Service

August 28, 2018 (Borrego Springs) -- What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of a parade—a holiday? Decorated floats? Marching bands? What about thousands of people gathered in the middle of the desert for a parade themed “eyes to the skies?” Far from your average hometown parade, the 53rd annual Borrego Days Desert Festival on October 20th will feature an all new gravity-defying air parade.

SERIAL RAPIST PROPOSED FOR PLACEMENT IN JACUMBA: HEARING SET FOR OCTOBER 12

 

East County News Service

August 22, 2018 (Jacumba Hot Springs) – The Department of State Hospitals has proposed the release of Alvin Quarles, a sexually violent predator, at 43050 Desert Rose Ranch Road in Jacumba Hot Springs.  A serial rapist, Quarles attacked victims at knifepoint while they were sleeping in their homes or hotel rooms. He sometimes raped women in front of their husbands or boyfriends, and at times forced them to have sex while he watched.  Investigators suspect he was responsible for over a dozen assaults in San Diego County during the 1980s. In 1989, he was sentenced to 50 years in prison under a plea bargain.

ANZA-BORREGO PHOTO CONTEST SEEKS ENTRIES

 

East County News Service

August 13, 2018 (Borrego Springs) – Entries are being accepted now through December 1st in the annual Anza Borrego Desert photography contest. The contest’s theme is the unique and natural beauty of the Anza Borrego Desert State Park and all photos must be taken within the state park boundaries.

VOLUNTEERS BRAVED HEAT TO COUNT BIGHORN SHEEP

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo courtesy Anza Borrego Foundation

July 26, 2018 (Borrego Springs) — With temperatures over 100 degrees, 79 volunteered fanned out for the annual Peninsular Bighorn Sheep count at 19 sites in the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park from June 29 to July 1st.   A total of 225 sheep were counted, up from 207 in 2017, but last year had the lowest in five years, down from 296 in 2014.

HEATWAVE FORECAST LATE NEXT WEEK

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

July 1, 2018 (San Diego) — The National Weather Service predicts temperatures are likely to reach excessive levels by Friday and Saturday. There will also be a chance of thunderstorms in the mountains of San Diego County and other Southern California locations. Temperatures could reach 118 degrees in Borrego Springs, 101 in Ramona, 100 degrees in Alpine, and 97 degrees in Julian.

 

Be sure to stay well hydrated with plenty of water and avoid strenuous outdoor activities if possible.  If you must work outdoors, take frequent breaks in the shade or indoors.

BORREGO MAN KILLED IN VEHICLE CRASH

 

East County News Service

June 25, 2018 (Borrego Springs) — Douglas Russell Irons Jr., 24, was found dead at the scene of a vehicle accident June 17th on Borrego Springs Road north of State Route 78 in Borrego Springs.

According to the Medical Examiner’s report, paramedics responded after the crashed vehicle was discovered in the desert. Death was pronounced at the scene of blunt force injuries.

Russell, who was single, resided in Borrego Springs.

MAN FOUND DEAD IN OCOTILLO WELLS

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Bryan Hong via Wikipedia

Update June 26, 2018:  The deceased man has been identified as Manuel Lizarraga, who had been reported missing. His body was found four miles from his vehicle in a remote area of the park.

June 22, 2018 (Ocotillo Wells) – A 24-hour search for a man reported missing yesterday at 4:30 p.m. led to discovery of a male body at 5 p.m. today, four miles from the missing man’s vehicle.

A caller reported a man missing and presumably stuck in sand near Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area in San Diego County, between Borrego Springs and the Salton Sea. That prompted a search by park rangers and a Sheriff’s Astrea helicopter late yesterday.

HEALING WATERS AT JACUMBA HOT SPRINGS RESORT

 

 

Backcountry hidden pleasures:   Our guide to unique lodging adventures in San Diego’s beautiful backcountry

By Miriam Raftery

May 31, 2018 (Jacumba Hot Springs) – Jacumba means “healing waters” and once drew Kumeyaay Indians, who wintered at the warm springs.  Nowadays, visitors come for the reputed therapeutic benefits at the rejuvenated Jacumba Hot Springs Resort.

LA CASA DEL ZORRO: FIRST AND FINEST IN THE DESERT

 

 

Backcountry hidden pleasures:   Our guide to unique lodging adventures in San Diego’s beautiful backcountry

By Bobbi Zane

Photos courtesy of La Casa del Zorro and Miriam Raftery

May 27, 2018 (Borrego Springs) -- Luxury starts the minute you step into the lobby of La Casa del Zorro Desert Resort and Spa, where you’ll hear a cheerful “May I help you?” to begin your stay at this sumptuous resort, located in the heart of the beautiful and historic Anza Borrego Desert in San Diego County.

DAY TRIPPING IN ANZA-BORREGO DESERT STATE PARK

 

 

Backcountry hidden pleasures:   Our guide to unique adventures in San Diego’s beautiful backcountry

By Liz Orient

May 16, 2018 (Anza-Borrego) -- Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is a unique destination for anyone looking for a fun day trip from San Diego. There are two classes of people: those who love the desert and those who hate the desert. I happen to be one who enjoys the bizarre plants, resourceful animals, and how the mountains change colors at sunset. I hadn't been to Anza-Borrego in several years and it was time to revisit one of my favorite places in California!

BORREGO VALLEY INN AND PALM CANYON HOTEL & RV RESORT: WEEKEND GETAWAYS FOR STARGAZING COUPLES AND FAMILIES

 

Backcountry hidden pleasures:   Our guide to unique lodging adventures in San Diego’s beautiful backcountry

Story and most photos by Jonathan Ronald Goetz

Photo, left: Borrego Valley Inn, courtesy of Bryre Roots

Photo, right: Palm Canyon Hotel and RV Resort with renovated Western theme

May 7, 2018 (Borrego Springs) -- Borrego Springs and the surrounding Anza-Borrego Desert State Park  are among the best places in the world to see the night sky, drawing visitors from across the globe.

Borrego Valley Inn, an intimate couples-only hotel and its sister property, Palm Canyon Hotel & RV Resort, a Western-themed, family-friendly hotel also offering ‘50s-style vintage glamping, both provide historic charm and comfort for guests seeking affordable lodging  as well as celestial night sights.

BORREGO SPRINGS HELICOPTER CRASH INJURES THREE

 
By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor
 
April 30, 2018 (Borrego Springs) -- Emergency response vehicles from Cal Fire, the San Diego County Sheriff, Borrego Fire, and State Parks were called to the scene this afternoon of a helicopter crash north of Borrego Air Ranch airstrip, east of Borrego on Stinson Road at about 1:30 p.m.

THE BEAUTY OF BORREGO

 

Backcountry hidden pleasures:   Our guide to unique adventures in San Diego’s beautiful backcountry

By Miriam Raftery

April 24, 2018 (Borrego Springs) – Located in the heart of the Anza-Borrego Desert in the furthest east reach of San Diego County, Borrego Springs is a place where visitors are surrounded by nature, can stargaze in an internationally designated “dark skies” region, enjoy spring wildflowers, visit the largest state park in California, gaze at whimsical statues across the desert and also find cultural attractions from art shows to musical programs in a performing arts center.

EARTH DAY CELEBRATION AT DESERT VIEW TOWER APRIL 21

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 11, 2018 (Jacumba Hot Springs) – You’re invited to celebrate Earth Day at the Desert View Tower in Jacumba Hot springs on Saturday, April 21st from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

You can participate in a land blessing and Native American drumming with Grammy award-nominated Chief Windwalker, plus enjoy a native plant sale, coil-pottery and basketry demonstrations, face painting, tie-dye clothing, desert hikes, In-Ko-Pah yoga in nature, Reiki energy healing, intuitive tarot and spiritual counseling, palmistry, essential oils, crystals, herbs, jewelry, geodes, books, gifts, a nature photography contest, and organic gardening.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: SWIRLING SUNSET AT THE DESERT VIEW TOWER

 

East County News Service

April 8, 2018 (Jacumba Hot Springs) -- Paul Cumming sent in this other-worldly looking image of a sunset with saucer-shaped clouds spiraling around the Desert View Tower in the high desert community of Jacumba Hot Springs, California.
 
We're sure it's just a coincidence that Coyote's Flying Saucer Retrieval and Repair Service is located right next door! (Yes, really.)

SEXUALLY VIOLENT PREDATOR PROPOSED FOR RELEASE IN JACUMBA HOT SPRINGS

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  Herman Smith, San Diego County Sheriff’s Dept.

March 30, 2018 (Jacumba Hot Springs) — A hearing is set for April 27 on proposed release of Herman Smith at 42920 Desert Rose Ranch Road in Jacumba Hot Springs.  Smith has been convicted of sexually violent crimes including rape by force in 1993, oral copulation with a minor under age 14 by force or fear, and sodomizing a victim under age 14 with force. He has also been convicted of raping a drugged victim.

“FRESH AIR” ART SHOW IN BORREGO SPRINGS

 

By Mimi Pollack

Photo:  Rosen’s painting: “Romance in the Desert”.  Photo by Mimi Pollack

March 13, 2018 (Borrego Springs) -- “Plein Air” means fresh air–think outdoors-in French and many painters feel inspired when working outdoors in natural light surrounded by the splendors of nature. The Borrego Art Institute currently has an exhibit called, “Borrego Art Institute 12th Annual Plein Air Invitational.” This exhibit, which runs from March 5 to April 2, showcases the beauty of the desert. The curator is Shannon O’Dunn who owned an art gallery in downtown La Mesa before moving to Colorado.

TALL TALES OF LOST GOLD: PEG LEG SMITH LIAR’S CONTEST APRIL 7 AT NEW LOCATION IN BORREGO SPRINGS

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 11, 2018 (Borrego Springs) – The Peg Leg Smith Liar’s Contest dates back more than a century, inviting the public to come spin your best treasure hunting tale.  Always held on the first Saturday in April, this year’s event will be held April 7 starting at 7 p.m.  The event has a new location in 2018 at the American Legion Hall, 4515 Borrego Springs Road in Borrego Springs, where you can get a chuckwagon dinner if you’re so inclined.

ANZA BORREGO FOUNDATION’S OUTRAGEOUS FRONT PORCH REVUE MARCH 17 -18 OFFERS MUSIC, LAUGHS AND MORE

 

East County News Service

March 9, 2018 (Borrego Springs) – Back by popular demand at the Anza Borrego Foundation’s Front Porch Revue on March 17th and 18th at the Borrego Springs Performing Arts Center, Jimmy Smith promises this year will be even more outrageous than last time as he gathers the talent in Borrego together.  Enjoy a night of laughter, music, and good spirits, all in support of the work Anza-Borrego Foundation does in partnership with Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.

15 ARTISTS JOIN PLEIN AIR PAINT-OUT IN BORREGO SPRINGS: AWARDS GALA MARCH 10, SHOW RUNS MARCH 5-APRIL 1

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left: “Passing Through Borrego,” by Arizona oil painter Robert Goldman

March 2, 2018 (Borrego Springs) – “I am proud to be the 2018 Curator for the Borrego Art Institute 12th Annual Plein Air Invitational paint-out and exhibit,” says Shannon O’Dunn.  “Fifteen artists in oils, pastel, and watercolors will be in painting the field all week, March 5-9.” 

HANTAVIRUS FOUND IN EAST COUNTY RODENTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 28, 2018 (San Diego) - County health officials are warning that 16 mice have tested positive for hantavirus, or about  5 percent of all wild mice tested. One meadow vole also tested positive for the disease.  The infected rodents were found in Borrego Springs, Boulevard, Julian, Ramona, San Diego, Santa Ysabel, 4S Ranch and Black Mountain.

PHOTOS OF THE MONTH: SPECTACULAR SEASON SHOTS IN ANZA-BORREGO DESERT

 

By Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine

February 26, 2018 (Anza-Borrego) – The Anza Borrego Desert Research Center has posted stunning photos on its Twitter feed showing snowfall transforming the desert to a fairytale scene, as well dramatic sun rays, all taken in Sicco Road in Anza-Borrego State Park between Feb. 14 and 22.

PASSAGES: DON PARKER, FORMER SHERIFF’S SEARCH AND RESCUE COORDINATOR, DIES OF BRAIN CANCER

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 18, 2018 (San Diego) – Sergeant Don Parker, who saved many lives as head of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue operations for many years, died on Valentine’s Day after battling glioblastoma brain cancer, with which he was diagnosed last May.

CIRCLE OF ART SHOW AND SALE IN BORREGO SPRINGS MARCH 10-11

 

East County News Service

February 15, 2018 (Borrego Springs) – Art lovers can view works of over 70 fine artists at the 29th annual Circle of Art Show and Sale on Christmas Circle in Borrego Springs. This popular event will be held Saturday, March 10th from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, March 11th from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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