Deserts

MORE PLACES TO COOL OFF ON SUNDAY

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 17, 2016 (San Diego's East County) -- A reader e-mailed us to point out that many of the Cool Zones listed on the County's map are not open Sundays. So we did some research to find a few more options on some cool places to go, such as shopping malls, bowling alleys, ice rinks, movie theatres, casinos, aquatic centers, libraries and more. 

We also have some tips on how to beat the heat at home and keep your cool. Plan ahead, since SDG&E says Flex Alerts (temporary power outages) are possible during the extreme heat starting Sunday. 

Check out our list below of cool places  that are open Sunday and beyond:

HEAT WAVE TO ARRIVE THIS WEEKEND

 

East County News Service

 

June 14, 2016 (San Diego's East County) -- Very hot and potentially dangerous conditions are forecast for Sunday through the early part of next week as a strong ridge of high pressure develops over the Southwest. Monday is expected to be the hottest day, the National Weather Service in San Diego predicts.

Highs near the coast will be in the upper 80s to low 90s, in the 90s in the mountains, around 100 to 110 in the valleys and high desert, and over 115 in the low deserts.

RESIDENTS SHARE REACTIONS TO QUAKES IN DESERT

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 10, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – A 5.2 earthquake that struck northwest of Borrego Springs in Anza Borrego Desert State Park at 1:03 this morning was felt widely, in part because it was at a shallow depth of just 1 kilometer.  Residents and at least one seismologist jolted by the quake and aftershocks quickly took to social media to report their experiences.

DESERT QUAKES RATTLE REGION

 

June 10, 2016 (Borrego)—If you felt the earth move under your feet, that’s because a series of earthquakes struck in the Borrego Spring area including a 5.2 quake at 1:03 a.m.at a shallow depth or less than 1 kilometer along theSan Jacinto Fault.  Aftershocks as strong as 3.5 also rattled the area according to the U.S.. Geological Survey.

(Note: The USGS originally reported two strong quakes, 5.1 and 5.2, a minute apart but have since corrected the data to indicate this was just one major quake.)

Rocks are reported blocking the roadway on Montezuma Valley Road, per the CHP site.  There are no reports of serious damage as yet, though items felloff store shelves in La Quinta, a Lakeside resident reported a laptop fell to the ground and the screen broke. As far away as Downey, books reportedly fell off shelves.

We have reports the quakes were felt strongly across the San Diego region and as far away as the San Fernando Valley.  The quakes struck at a shallow depths near major fault lines capable of producing a 7.0 quake or higher. 

If you know of damage, impacts to roadways or other effects of the quake or have photos, contact editor@eastcountymagzine.org. You can also post in our commentsbelow.

Below are details:

FIRE IN BOULEVARD

 

June 6,2016  (Boulevard) – A wildland fire is burning near the border in Boulevard’s Tierra Del Sol Community, CAL FIRE and County Fire ChiefTony Mecham reports.  The blaze started late this afternoon and is currently about 8 acres, with no structures threatened. It has a moderate rate of spread.

According to CAL FIRE, the fire is off of Zarina Lake Drive in Tierra Del Sol.  However Donna Tisdale, Boulevard Planning Group chair and a resident of Tierra Del Sol, told ECM that the fire appears to be south of the Southwest Powerlink at the south end of Tierra del Sol Road.

CA PARKS WANTSTO BAN HIKING OR CLIMBING OFF TRAILS: JUNE 6 DEADLINE FOR COMMENT

 

 

 

 

 

East County News Service

June 3, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) -- The California Department of Parks and Recreation proposes prohibiting public access off designated trails.  The public has until June 6 to comment. California State Parks System Map  In San Diego County, that would include Rancho Cuyamaca and Anza Borrego Desert state parks.

The Anza Borrego Desert Foundation raises serious concerns about negative impacts to the public in their message below, which includes links to send your comments:

NIGHT SKY PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP JUNE 25-26 IN BORREGO SPRINGS



By Miriam Raftery

May 26, 2016 (Borrego Springs) –In June, the Milky Way will be  a spectacular sight to behold in the night sky over Borrego Springs.   You can join world famous night sky photographer Dennis Mammana  to learn the fine art and science of capturing the Milky Way with your camera, along with many other remarkable celestial sights visible in the clear, dark desert sky at a night sky photography workshop June 25-26.

MISSING MAN’S CAR FOUND IN JACUMBA HOT SPRINGS, DISAPPEARANCE DEEMED “SUSPICIOUS”

 

By Miriam Raftery, East County News Service

May 16, 2016 (Jacumba Hot Springs) – A Honda Civic belonging to a missing Buena Park man, Jonathan Barmaki, has been found by Border Patrol agents on Old Highway 80 near a welcome sign to Jacumba Hot Springs on May 9th. Agents found Barmaki's cherished 15-year-old dog, Andy,  dead inside the vehicle.

The vehicle was not out of gas and Barmaki’s wallet and keys were missing, though his cell phone, along with dog food and a dog bowl, were left in the car. The car windows were rolled up and footsteps from the vehicle led 70 feet to a border fence 25 feet high. Authorities are investigating the disappearance as"suspicious,"10 News reports. 

BOULEVARD PLANNERS HAVE POWER-PACKED AGENDA: BIG ENERGY AND WATER ISSUES ON TAP THURSDAY

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 2, 2016 (Boulevard) – Jacumba Solar, Tule Wind, a county presentation on groundwater monitoring, updates on lawsuits over big energy projects and discussion of Live Oak Springs water rate hikes are among the many important items on the Boulevard Planning Group’s agenda for its meeting Thursday, May 5 at 7 p.m. in the Boulevard Fire Training Room (39923 Ribbonwood Road in Boulevard). For the full agenda, click here. For highlights, scroll down.

AT&T SEEKS TO ELIMINATE LAND LINE PHONES IN CALIFORNIA

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 12, 2016 (Sacramento) – Tomorrow, April 13th at 1 p.m.,  the Assembly Committee on Utilities and Commerce will hear AB 2395, a measure that aims to eliminate hard-wired land line phones in California communities where cabled fiber optic connections are not available or are too expensive to install, such as rural, mountain and desert regions.  Customers would have no choice but to switch to wireless cell phone service, if the measure being pushed by AT&T is enacted.

In emergencies, 911 callers’ locations cannot easily be verified, unlike calls from land line which can be pinpointed instantly. In case of fire, medical emergency, or a serious crime in progress, prompt 911 responses are critical.  Moreover, during power outages, cell phones run out once batteries are dead and there is no way to recharge batteries in an outage, whereas old-fashioned land lines (though not cable phones) continue to work even when the electricity is off.

"In addition, some of us living near the U.S./Mexico border do not have cell service due to rugged terrain and agreements with Mexico not to have cell towers too close to the border,” says Donna Tisdale, chair of the Boulevard Community Planning Group.  So eliminating land lines would leave border residents in the most remote areas of  San Diego County with no phone service at all.

ATV SAFETY WEEK: FREE TRAINING JUNE 3-12

 

East County News Service

March 30, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) -- This summer, for one week, June 3-12, the ATV Safety Institute will be rolling out ATV Safety Week throughout the country and you’re invited to join in. The Institute is working with partners all across the country who have volunteered to provide free ATV RiderCourse training and other ATV safety education opportunities.

WEATHER SERVICE VOLUNTEERS NEEDED

 

East County News Service

March 20, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – We all want to know how much rain or snow has fallen in local communities – and get accurate forecasts on future weather. Now you can help make that happen. The National Weather Service is looking for volunteers to gather information that will help them better predict the weather, particularly in mountain and desert areas where valuable data on precipitation is lacking.

OLD WEST ART FEST: JOIN US FOR A PLEIN AIR ART CONTEST AND ARTS/CRAFTS SALE IN THE ANZA BORREGO DESERT, APRIL 2-3, 2016

 

March 5, 2016 (Anza Borrego Desert) - Calling all artists to take part in a plein air art contest in the high desert community of Shelter Valley outside of Julian, CA. This is an opportunity for artists and their friends and families to get outside and enjoy the Anza Borrego desert in the springtime. Two plein air contest categories will be featured, including desert landscapes and local Native American and stagecoach trails history. All visual art formats allowed.

DESERT WILDFLOWERS HIKE SATURDAY MARCH 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 4, 2016 (Ocotillo) – The Jacumba Hikers and Walkers will lead a Desert Wild Flowers hike this Saturday, March 5th. Meet at 8 am at the Imperial Valley Desert Museum  (11 W. Frontage Road, Ocotillo).  The hike begins at the trailhead to   

Mountain Palm Spring off S2, then traveling to a Palm Oases and along the you may encounter wild flowers: Ocotillo, Blooming Creosote Bush, Salton Milk-Vetch, Poppies, Mariposa Lilly, Pink Phlox, Primrose, Desert Paint Brush, Verbena, Dasies and Yellow Cups just to name a few.

OCOTILLO WIND FALLS SHORT OF CAPACITY FORECAST FOR THIRD STRAIGHT YEAR

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 2, 2016 (Ocotillo) – The numbers are in –and for the third straight year, the Ocotillo Wind Energy Facility has fallen far short of the 34% capacity factor that Pattern Energy predicted the project would generate in its applications for lucrative federal subsidies.   In 2015, the Ocotillo project generated just 23.06%.  In 2014, it hit 26.4% and in 2013, when it was offline two months for hurling off a multi-ton blade, it produced a scant 15.7%.

We’re not surprised, since our award-winning 2014 investigative article, Was It Fraud? included forecasts by an international wind expert,Nicolas Boccard, who accurately predicted the project’s failure before it was built. He suggested the federal government had grounds for a False Claims Act suit against Pattern Energy.  We again raised questions about the project’s viability last year, in  a second story.

LISTEN NOW: BORREGO RESIDENT WANTS ADJUDICATION TO SAVE VANISHING WATER SUPPLY



 

Click link above to hear our interview with Richard Walker, which originally aired on the East County Magazine Radio Show on KNSJ radio February 1st.

By Miriam Raftery

February 27, 2016 (Borrego Springs)—Borrego Springs is running out of water. The community’s sole-source aquifer could dry out within 30 years. But while residents in the community’s water district have been asked to conserve, big agricultural users and golf resorts have virtually no mandate to cut back, since they utilize private wells.

Recently we interviewed Richard Walker, a resident of Borrego Springs who supports adjudication to have the courts resolve Borrego’s vanishing water supply.  But Walker can't afford legal action --and hopes someone in the community will step forward.

Audio: 

ECM interview with Richard Walker on Borrego Springs water shortage

LOVE IS IN THE AIR AT LA CASA DEL ZORRO RESORT

 

 

East County News Service

February 4, 2016 (Borrego Springs)--From a romance-filled Valentine's Day special dinner to an exceptionally beautiful wildflower season just around the corner, there are plenty of reasons to fall in love with La Casa del Zorro Resort in Borrego Springs this month.

SOROPTIMIST INTERNATIONAL OF BORREGO SPRINGS TO HOST FIRST ARTISTS’ OPEN STUDIO TOUR FEB. 21

 

East County News Service

February 3, 2016 (Borrego Springs) - Soroptimist International of Borrego Springs is hosting the first Artists’ Open Studio Tour on Sunday, February 21, 2016.  The event will be held from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm, with a reception to follow at the Borrego Art Institute from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  Light refreshments will be served.

BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR STOLEN BACKHOE

 

East County News Service

February 2, 2016 (Jacumba) – The Sheriff and Crime Stoppers are asking the public’s help to identify suspects who stole a construction backhoe loader and tools from the front yard of a home undergoing construction in Jacumba Hot Springs back on December 14th.  A $1,000 reward is offered for information leading to an arrest.

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: JACUMBA’S BEAUTIFUL BIRDS

 

East County News Service

 

January 29, 2016 (Jacumba) — Eric Kallen, who runs the website www.JacumbaBirding.com has counted over 191 species of birds in Jacumba Hot Springs, a high-desert community in San Diego’s East County.  “I’ve had 124 species in my backyard,” he says.

 

Now is a great time to go bird-watching there, since you can see wintering and year-round species as well as some early spring migratory visitors.  Here are photos taken this January of a Scott’s Oriole, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, and Costa’s Hummingbird, with notes from Kallen on each:  

JACUMBA SOLAR PULLS PLUG ON WATER PURCHASE DEAL

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 28, 2016 (Jacumba Hot Springs) – Jacumba Solar LLC has cancelled its contract with the Jacumba Community Services District to purchase water for a large-scale solar project..  The project would include over 81,000 solar panels on 304 acres near the SDG&E substation.

“I I think it’s for the best,” Eric Kallen, vice chair of the Jacumba Community Services District, told East County Magazine.

The contract called for Jacumba Solar to pay a $100,000 “gift” on signing with an additional $250,000 lump sum payment due January 15th.   The District was to provide 40 acre feet of water with an option for Jacumba Solar to purchase 28 additional acre feet if needed for construction, plus three or four acre feet a year long-term for maintenance after the project was built.  The solar projecrt was proposed by Nextera, a Florida-based company.

COURT IGNORES COMMUNITY SAFETY CONCERNS, PLACES CONVICTED RAPIST AND SEXUAL PREDATOR IN JACUMBA HOT SPRINGS

East County News Service

January 24, 2016 (Jacumba Hot Springs) -- A sexually violent predator with a long history of violent sexual attacks including rape at gunpoint and  a stabbing will be placed in Jacumba Hot Springs for supervised outpatient treatment, Superior  Court Judge David Gill has ordered.  Authorities received 11 emails and five phone calls on Ural Davis’ proposed release, but no one showed up at Friday’s hearing to provide public comment in person. 

JURY RETURNS NEARLY $12 MILLION VERDICT AGAINST CALTRANS FOR VALLEY FEVER EXPOSURE IN CONTRACTOR’S WORKERS

East County News Service

January 22, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) — Residents in San Diego’s East County have raised fears of spreading Valley Fever spores in their arguments against projects ranging from a sand mine in Lakeside to solar projects in Boulevard and Jacumba.  Now a jury in Northern California has shown just how expensive a verdict might be for a government entity or company that ignores such risks.

CALIFORNIA DREAMIN’: THE STORY OF MIGRATION & IMMIGRATION TO THE GOLDEN STATE JAN. 29-30

By Miriam Raftery

January 16, 2016 (Borrego Springs) - The non-profit Anza-Borrego Desert History Association (ABDNHA) in Borrego Springs announces a special two day program entitled “California Dreamin’: The Immigration and Migration History of California” to be held in Borrego Springs on January 29 and 30. This two day event will bring together a best-selling author, an anthropologist, a historian, and a genetic anthropologist to tell the full story of movement over time into what is now known as the Golden State.

CIRCLE OF ART CELEBRATES 27TH YEAR IN BORREGO SPRINGS MARCH 12-13

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

January 12, 2016 (Borrego Springs) - The 27th annual Circle of Art Show & Sale will take place March 12th & 13th in beautiful Borrego Springs.  This free outdoor art show is staged at Christmas Circle, in the heart of the village.

JACUMBA HIKERS AND WALKERS ANNOUNCE JANUARY-FEBRUARY OUTINGS

 

East County News Service

January 4, 2016 (Jacumba)--The Jacumba Hikers and Walkers have announced their schedule of hikes for January and February in the high desert region surrounding Jacumba Hot Springs. 

The hikes range from easy to extreme, covering terrain from wilderness to a desert oasis, mountains and canyons.  You’ll also see sites rich in history reflecting the region’s Native Americans, Spanish, and pioneer settlers. Other excursions including a trip to the Chinese Castle, a Garnet Mine, Goat Canyon’s railroad trestle, and a waterfall, plus dips in mineral hot springs at the Jacumba Spa and Resort.

For a full schedule, scroll down, and also be sure to read these hikng safety tips.

Pages