Deserts

SDG&E RESTORES POWER AFTER PROLONGED OUTAGES; RESIDENTS WHO SUFFERED STRESS AND LOSS WANT CHANGES FOR FUTURE

 

 

Residents angered at loss of water pumps, alarm systems, refrigeration, comunication and heat during outages up to a week in some areas that have suffered repeated outages

By Miriam Raftery

December 12, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – SDG&E announced last night that it has fully restored power to all customers who were de-energized due to “public safety concerns” following a week-long red flag warning with strong gusty winds, low humidity and dangerous fire conditions.  An SDG&E media release states, “After crews inspected power lines all day in coordination with contract firefighters who were on hand to ensure a safe restoration process, power was turned on for all remaining customers. Field crews patrolled on the ground and in the air. Aerial inspections were completed by five helicopters in rural, mountainous areas."

Power remains out to 56 customers in the Lilac Fire zone in North County, where full restoration is expected early Tuesday evening. All 43 poles damaged in the fire will be replaced with fire-resistant steel poles and thicker, stronger wires, SDG&E indicates, adding, ““We understand that being without power, for any reason, is an inconvenience and we appreciate the patience we have received from our customers.”  For current information on outages and restoration times, visit sdge.com/outage.

Across East County,  many residents in rural, mountain and high desert towns have taken to social media to voice concerns over the prolonged outages.  Although SDG&E says it did provide advance notice to 170,000 customers of possible planned outages due to high winds and fire danger, before shutting off power to many thousands of homes, many rural residents say that’s not enough – and they want changes made. Below are highlights of residents' concerns and proposals.

SINATRA AND FRIENDS: TRIBUTE JAN. 6 AT BORREGO SPRINGS PERFORMING ARTS CENTER

 

East County News Service

December 1, 2017 (Borrego Springs) -- Sinatra and Friends pays tribute to the man and his music featuring countless songs, synonymous with Frank Sinatra, as well as many other memorable favorites people have come to love.

HERE WE COME A -CAROLING, BORREGO STYLE DEC. 9-10

East County News Service

December 1, 2017 (Borrego Springs) – Borrego Springs Performing Ars Center will present “Here We Come A-Caroling, Borrego Style” on Saturday, December 9 at 7:30 and 9 p.m. and again on Sunday, December 10 at 3 and 4:30 p.m. 

You’re invited to come sing carols with neighbors and friends while being entertained by Borrego's finest musicians and orators.  A program of songs, heartwarming stories and surprise appearances will lift your spirits and add joy to the Holiday season as you celebrate, Borrego style.

BORREGO SPRINGS BREAKS GROUND ON NEW PARK, LIBRARY AND SHERIFF STATION

 

East County News Service

October 23, 2017 (Borrego Springs) -- The County broke ground over the weekend on a public park, a new library and a Sheriff’s station in Borrego Springs. 

The modern library will be 13,500 feet and equipped with energy efficient features for zero net energy use—also provided plenty of air-conditioned space for residents to escape extreme heat. The new library will be three times the size of the old one that it will replace and will also include a homework center, children’s area, community room and more.  Read details: http://www.sdcl.org/PDF/sdcl_br-faq.pdf

JACUMBA HIKERS TREK TO CARRIZO CREEK ON SATURDAY, OCT. 21

 

East County News Service

October 18, 2017 (San Diego's East County) - On Saturday, October 21st, the Jacumba Hikers and Walkers are hitting the trail to Carrizo Creek.  This is a four-mile round trip hike rated moderate.  Hikers will be traveling a short distance on a county maintained dirt road, through a short tunnel to the “Echoing Mountains,” down a cliff to a creek bed strewn with boulders, overgrown shrubs and Tamarisk trees. Following the creek bed, you will encounter numerous pools and waterfalls.

HIGH DESERT MOUNTAIN YOGA RETREAT OCT. 31-NOV. 3

 

A Weekend Getaway in San Diego's East County

By Miriam Raftery

October 12, 2017 (Jacumba Hot Springs) – You’re invited to soak and stretch your way to relaxation and Nirvana at the second High Mountain Desert Yoga Retreat, tucked among boulders high in the In-Ko-Pah and Jacumba mountains near the eastern San Diego County line.

This four-day healing event from October 31 to November 3 will include natural sulfur hot spring pools, healing sessions at the Desert View tower including Kundalini Tantra Yoga, Reiki healing, and crystal sound healing. Guests will also savor delicious vegan meals scenic hikes and some desert surprises, plus a three-day stay at the nearby Jacumba Hot Springs Resort.

RESORT TO NATURE AT 52ND ANNUAL BORREGO DAYS FESTIVAL AND PARADE OCT. 21-22

 

 

East County News Service

September 21, 2017 (Borrego Springs) - The 52nd Annual Borrego Days Desert Festival returns to showcase qualities that make Borrego Springs so unique as both a weekend getaway and a world all its own with beautiful weather, incredible star gazing, resorts, and the free Borrego Days Festival which kicks off Saturday, October 21 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and continues through Sunday, October 22, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

REVISITING OCOTILLO

 

The ECOreport does an update on one of California’s most controversial wind farms – Ocotillo, five years later

By Roy L. Hales

Source:  The ECOreport

Photo, left: Turbine T126 after the collapse – Parke Ewing photo

September 3, 2017 (Ocotillo) - The Ocotillo wind farm went online almost five years ago. Were they not documented in such meticulous detail, some of the  reports coming from the tiny desert community this project surrounds would be difficult to believe.  I once received a constant stream of YouTube videos and reports from this project. It was one of the sites that shaped my perception of the energy sector.  To some extent, I’ve moved on from this story since then, but I always knew I would be revisiting Ocotillo.

DANGEROUS HEAT WAVE FORECAST SUNDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY

 

East County News Service

August 26, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – The National Weather Service is warning of a “dangerous heat wave”  forecast to hit San Diego County starting Sunday mid-morning through at least Wednesday.   Excessive heat warnings and advisories have been issued for the region, with Monday and Tuesday expected to be the hottest days. Even the coast won’t be spared from this heat wave.

FORWARD SPREAD HALTED ON FIRE NEAR BORREGO

 

East County Wildfire and Emergency Alerts

Photo:  Ranchita Sheriff substation

Update August 27, 8 a.m.  The fire is now 80 percent contained and Montezuma Valley Road is reopening.  Full containing is expected later today, Cal Fire reports.

Update 9:30 p.m.  The Montezuma fire is now 60 percent contained.

August 26, 2017 (Borrego Springs) -- The Montezuma Fire has charred 62 acres and is now 20 percent contained, with forward spread stopped, Cal Fire reports.

The blaze began this afternoon when a Jeep Fire ignirted dry brush along Montezuma Valley Road near Borrego Springs. 

SHOW YOUR BEST SHOTS: ANZA-BORREGO DESERT PHOTO CONTEST

 

East County News Service

August 5, 2017 (Anza-Borrego) -- Calling All Photographers!  The 2018 Anza-Borrego Desert Photo Contest is now live and ready to accept your entries!

The contest is meant to encourage desert lovers and photography enthusiasts to capture their favorite views, moments and adventures in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Since the theme of the contest is the unique and natural beauty of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, all photographs must be taken within the Park boundaries.

SUNSET TO STARS: DINNER EXCURSIONS IN ANZA BORREGO DESERT AUG. 11 AND 16

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Dennis Mammana

July 26, 2017 (Borrego Springs) – California Overland Adventures invites you to a 5-hour sunset-to-stars excursion to experience the Anza-Borrego Desert on August 11 or August 16  from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. including an off-road adventure to rugged badlands, dinner and stargazing in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, which USA Today has called a “stargazer’s paradise.”

Overnight camping options are also available on separate dates.

ADVENTURES ON THE PACIFIC CREST TRAIL: JULY 18 AT JACUMBA LIBRARY

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 10, 2017 (Jacumba Hot Springs) – Adventurer Dana Law will present a travelogue about the West Coast’s national scenic trail on Tuesday, July 18 at the Jacumba Library (44605 Old Hwy 80, Jacumba Hot Springs, CA 91934 at 6 p.m. On 31 separate journeys over 13 years, Law completed all 2,650 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail, which begins in California at the Mexican border and ends at the Canadian border in Washington.

CROSS IN OCOTILLO WELLS IN CROSSHAIRS OF CONSTITUTIONAL ISSUE

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 26, 2017 (Ocotillo) - In 1966, Jim Bruce Robinson was killed in action during the Vietnam War. He was 21 years old.  A memorial plaque and towering cross were erected in his memory in Ocotillo Wells, across the street from the home where his family still lives. 

BORREGO SUN PUBLISHER NOT ON BOARD WHEN HIS PLANE BROKE APART ON LANDING

 

 

East County News Service

June 25, 2017 (Borrego) – A private plane owned by Borrego Sun publisher Patrick Meehan broke apart during what the pilot described as a “nice and soft” landing last week.  The incident forced closure of Palomar Airport for several hours.

Meehan was not on board and there were no injuries.

RESIDENTS URGED TO TAKE PRECAUTIONS IN EXCESSIVE HEAT

 

With high temperatures expected to hover around 120 degrees in eastern San Diego County desert areas through the middle of next week, County health officials are reminding the public to take precautions to avoid heat-related illnesses and pay extra attention to children, elderly and pets.

EXTREME HEAT WAVE HITS FRIDAY

 

East County News Service

June 14, 2017 (San Diego's East County) - A long duration heat wave is forecast to develop across the deserts in southern California beginning Friday and lasting through much of next week.  How hot could it get?  Temperatures could reach 114 degrees in Palm Springs.  Here in San Diego County, Borrego Springs could hit 108 degrees, Ramona 96 degrees and Alpine 94 degrees.

JACUMBA HIKERS AND WALKERS PLAN THREE END OF SEASON OUTINGS

 

East County News Service

June 2, 2017 (Jacumba Hot Springs) – The Jacumba Hikers and Walkers will hold three final Saturday excursions this season including:

  • June 3:  An 8.5 mile hike to Mt. Laguna along the Pacific Crest Trail with stops at Garnet Peak and Indian Creek
  • June 10:  Trek to the Desert View tower, one of the oldest roadside landmarks in our region
  • June 17:  A 10-mile hike to Sunset/Big Laguna Trail Loop for sweeping views.

BORREGO BIGHORN SHEEP COUNT NEEDS VOLUNTEERS AND HELP RESTORING MAILING LIST AFTER DEATH OF RANGER BIER

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Daren Sefcik

June 1, 2017 (Borrego Springs) – The 47th annual Anza Borrego bighorn sheep count is set for  June 29th through July 1st,  with a mandatory orientation on June 17th for all new counters and recommended for those who participated in the past.   The count will go on despite the death of its long-time leader, Ranger Steve Bier. 

“We were unable to find the master sheep count mailing list,”  states a letter from Anza Borrego Desert State Park Superintendent Kathy Dice and volunteer Sheep County Coordinator Mark Jorgensen, who are organizing a new sheep counting team. If you know of counters,  please forward their contact information to AB.Sheepcount@parks.ca.gov.

DIANA LINDSAY’S “COAST TO CACTUS” GUIDE TAKES FIRST PLACE HONORS FROM OUTDOOR WRITERS GROUP

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 25, 2017 (San Diego)—“Coast to Catcus: The Canyoneer Trail Guide to San Diego Outdoors” by Diana Lindsay has received first place in the Outdoor Writers Association California’s 2017 Craft Awards Media Competition. Judges felt that the design and visual appeal of the entry was “Inspiring, intriguing and compelling.”

ANZA-BORREGO FOUNDATION NAMES NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

 

Source:  Anza-Borrego Foundation

May 11, 2017 (Borrego Springs) — The Anza-Borrego Foundation (ABF), official partner of Anza-Borrrego Desert State Park, has named Sara Husby, executive director of Tuleyome, as new executive director of ABF. She succeeds Paige Rogowski, who is manager of the Cooperating Association Program at California State Parks. Husby will take office June 12.

JACUMBA HIKERS AND WALKERS HEAD TO A GARNET MINE AND WATERFALL MAY 13

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 11, 2017 (Jacumba Hot Springs) — The Jacumba Hikers and Walkers will hit the trail this Saturday, May 13th  on a five-mile hike to visit an inactive garnet mine. Hikers will encounter a waterfall, exhilarating views and othr hidden treasures of the high desert area.  “Bring your rock picks and safety glasses to do a little mining, or just enjoy your lunch on a scenic hilltop at the mine,”  the invitation reads.

READER'S EDITORIAL: BLM SHOULD TURN OVER DEED FOR TRANSFER OF SAN DIEGO'S LAST WILD HORSES

 

Editor’s note:  We first wrote about Kathleen Hayden’s efforts to restore the Coyote Canyon heritage herd of wild horses locally in January 2013. Read article. But in July 2013, she was served with an eviction notice and forced to  give up the last descendants of San Diego’s wild horses. Despite a 2012  support  letter from Congressman Darrell Issa and a 2014 letter from a genetics expert confirming that the horses are rare and of historic significance as descendants of Spanish Colonial horses,  the U.S. Bureau of Land Management has done nothing to protect or return them--and now is not turning over the deed of transfer, Hayden says  Now she has penned an open letter to  the House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop questioning the legality of the transfer.

Dear Chairman Bishop,

Please investigate the transfer of the BLM Federal CA Coyote Canyon Wild Horse Herd area (20,000 acres)  to CA Anza Borrego Desert State Park.  In response to Ca State Senator Joel Anderson's request for the deed, Parks claim it doesn't exist.

CITIES REBEL AGAINST STATE BILL TO INCREASE SAN DIEGO’S CLOUT ON SANDAG, TAKING POWER AWAY FROM OUR REGION’S SMALLER CITIES AND THE COUNTY

 

La Mesa to vote April 11 on resolution to oppose AB 805

By Miriam Raftery

April 8, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – Elected leaders in numerous local cities are gearing up to oppose a state bill that critics warn weaken the voices and voting power of smaller cities on the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), as well as the Metropolitan Transit System and North County Transit District.  The bill gives more power to the city of San Diego, which critics contend will mean not enough clout by representatives from the county or other cities in the region to pass, block, or even place items on the agenda.

PASSAGES: ANZA-BORREGO RANGER STEVE BIER DIES

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 4, 2017 (Borrego Springs) – Beloved Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Ranger Steve Bier has died in a shooting incident, the Borrego Sun reported on April 1st

The California State Park Service praised the 15-year-veteran ranger as “one of the finest ambassadors of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and our Department,” adding that Bier was “well known and respected throughout the Borrego Springs community” including community events and school programs.  He also coordinated the annual count of Desert Bighorn Sheep.

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