Deserts

HEARING JANUARY 22 ON SEXUALLY VIOLENT PREDATOR PLACEMENT IN JACUMBA HOT SPRINGS

 

East County News Service

January 1, 2015 (Jacumba Hot Springs)--The hearing date for the proposed placement of Sexually Violent Predator (SVP) Ural Davis will be held on January 22, 2016 at 9:00 a.m. in San Diego Superior Court,Dept. 28 (220 West Broadway).  

The Department of State Hospitals (DSH) has proposed placement of Davis at 45612 Old Highway 80, Jacumba Hot Springs.  Testimony from the public will be accepted at the hearing. In 1993, Davis was sentenced to serve 27 years in prison for sexually assaulting women in three separate cases between 1984 and 1992.

HIGH WINDS, RAIN AND SNOW TO AFFECT HOLIDAY TRAVEL

 

East County News Service

December 24, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – The National Weather Service has issued a high wind warning in effect from Christmas Eve through Christmas morning in San Diego’s mountain and desert regions.  Winds of 35-40 miles per hour with gusts up to 80 mph are forecast. 

A cold front is also moving across the region, bringing rain and snow down as low as 3,000 feet.

ANZA-BORREGO FOUNDATION OBTAINS FINAL LINK IN WILDLIFE CORRIDOR FROM DESERT TO LAGUNA MOUNTAINS



 

Source: Anza Borrego Foundation

 

December 2, 2015 (Borrego Springs) — Anza-Borrego Foundation (ABF), official partner of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, today announced final elements in conservation of the Lucky 5 Ranch in the Laguna Mountains, northeast of San Diego.

ABF purchased just under 1,130 acres and obtained a conservation easement on 433 acres to fulfill decades-long efforts by California State Parks, ABF, The Nature Conservancy, and others to connect the 4,245-acre ranch to adjacent pieces of federal and state conservation land, creating a major parcel of exceptional natural beauty and biological importance. The acreage will eventually become part of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.

BRRR! FREEZE FORECAST FOR HOLIDAY WEEKEND

 

East County News Service

November 26, 2015 (San Diego's East County)--A lingering cold air mass, light winds and mostly clear skies will bring frost and freeze conditions for portions of local valleys and deserts from Friday night through Monday morning. The National Weather Service advises bringing pets in overnight to avoid harm and covering or bringing sensitive plants indoors.

Temperatures could dip into the 20s in desert areas and down to 31 degrees in inland valleys.  Below are forecast details:

 

COMMUNITY -WIDE YARD SALE & CHINESE CASTLE TOUR IN JACUMBA NOV. 14

East County News Service

November 7, 2015 (Jacumba Hot Springa) – The town of Jacumba will host a community-wide yard sale on Saturday, November 14 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. featuring hand-made crafts, art work, household items and other yard sale treasures.  Parking and admittance are free.

In addition, tours will be offered of the Chinese Castle, a historic icon in Jacumba. There is a $5 charge for the castle tour and proceeds benefit the Jacumba-Boulevard Revitalization Alliance, a 501c3.

TISDALE FIRES BACK, DEFENDS NONPROFIT B.A.D.’S EFFORTS TO BATTLE BIG ENERGY PROJECTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 6, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – East County Magazine has twice named Donna Tisdale our “Newsmaker of the Year” for her tireless efforts to battle massive energy projects and stand up for rural residents.  She also received the People’s Mic Award from KNSJ  Radio for her advocacy as a backcountry warrior.

But now the warrior is under attack by a series of articles (1) (2) (3) published by Voice of San Diego.  The articles criticize Tisdale and her nonprofit, Backcountry Against Dumps (BAD) for suits filed in Imperial County over desert solar projects. In essence, the series faults cash settlements paid to farmers and claims eight suits yielded no environmental benefits.

But now Tisdale is firing back in a detailed response that contends VOSD’s stories contain false statements  in a “misinformation campaign” she likens to Big Tobacco and Big Oil’s efforts to mislead the public.  “It is no coincidence that San Diego Gas & Electric’s (SDG&E’s) Mitch Mitchell is on the VOSD Board of Directors,” she observes, noting that BAD has challenged numerous SDG&E projects.  She denies personal financial gain alleged by VOSD (which presented zero evidence of such).  While the VOSD article addresses issues in 8 lawsuits not in San Diego County, BAD has filed three times that many (24), many of which did result in big wins for the environment in our region-- or developers backing off projects completely, facts that VOSD failed to report. 

Below is Tisdale’s rebuttal in full:

JACUMBA HIKERS /WALKERS ANNOUNCE NOVEMBER-DECEMBER SCHEDULE

 

East County News Service

October 24, 2015 (Jacumba Hot Springs) – Fall is in the air and it’s a great time to take a hike.  The Jacumba Hikers/Walkers have a series of hikes coming up to intriguing locations, with various levels of difficulties from easy to extreme. 

November’s destinations include Tule Canyon, Round Mountain, the Old Butterfield Stage Coach route, and Amadeo’s Straw bale cabin compound. In December, the group will hit the trail for an ancient waterfall and Davies Valley, wind caves in Anza Borrego Desert State Park, an ancient juniper forest, and the Valley of the Moon. 

DESERT JEWEL: LA CASA DEL ZORRO RESORT SHINES ANEW

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 22, 2015 (Borrego Springs) – Treasure hunters have long been drawn to the Anza-Borrego Desert, seeking gold and precious gemstones. But the real treasure to be found today is La Casa del Zorro Resort, restored to its former splendor with a hospitality that welcomes all—a sparkling oasis amid the desert sands.

Whether you’re heading out for this weekend’s 50th anniversary Borrego Days Desert Festival and parade, or seeking an off-season adventure in summer, spring or fall, La Casa del Zorro provides a delightful haven year-round.

U.C. STUDY FINDS MOST UTILITY SOLAR SITES IN CALIFORNIA ARE INCOMPATIBLE WITH ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 20, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) –  Increasingly, San Diegans are drawing power from large desert solar facilities built in Imperial County, with similar facilities slated for the farthest east portions of our County in Boulevard and Jacumba.  The projects are being pushed forward to help meet California’s ambitious goal to have 40% of electricity from renewables by 2030 under a new law approved by Governor Jerry Brown.

But now a new study by the University of California, Berkeley finds that reliance on remote solar projects creates environmental problems. 

FLASH FLOOD WATCH MONDAY AND TUESDAY FOR MOUNTAINS AND DESERTS

 

East County News Service

File photo: Flooded road in Pine Valley, by Alex Tardy, National Weather Service

September 20, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch, cautioning that heavy rainfall and flash flooding is possible from Monday afternoon through Tuesday in San Diego’s eastern mountains and deserts.

Rainfall could exceed two inches in mountains and could top an inch in the deserts.  Recent wildfire burned areas will be particularly susceptible to flash flooding and debris flows.

50TH ANNIVERSARY BORREGO DAYS DESERT FESTIVAL: “THOSE WERE THE DAYS” OCT. 23-25

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 19, 2015 (Borrego Springs) -- The Borrego Days Desert Festival has a long history of launching the peak season for Southern California’s desert region—welcoming snowbirds and enticing locals to join together after a long summer for a weekend of celebration.

 This year, the festival marks its 50th anniversary with a theme of “Those Were the Days” Oct. 23-25, aiming to create new memories for young and old alike. Live entertainment on the main stage, artists, a children’s fun zone, outdoor shopping, gourmet food trucks, beer and beverage garden, vendors, as well as a Saturday parade featuring flyover, equestrians, marching bands, floats, clowns, dancers, classic cars and more are all planned.

ALERT: HIGHWAY 78 CLOSED DUE TO MUDSLIDES, FLASH FLOODING

 

September 7, 2015 (San Diego's East County)--As remnants of Hurricane Linda hit our high desert and mountain regions, a Sig Alert has been issued for State Route 78.  The highway is closed down from S-2 to Borrego Springs due to mudslides. Flash flooding is also reported on State Route 78 at Yaqui Pass.

There is also heavy rain reported in the southeast portion of the county. Reader Milt Cyphert e-mailed this message: "In Jacumba we had a brief downpour. But, the major storm was Northwest of us. Machine-gun-like lightning strikes and the subsequent thunder claps and booms rattled windows and lungs here. I can only imagine what it must have been like up there where it was happening."

Sign up to receive free East County Wildfire & Emergency Alerts via e-mail at the top right side of our homepage and also receive our free weekly newsletter.  We thank the Grossmont Healthcare District for their generous sponsorship of our alerts, helping to keep you safe and informed.

UPDATE ON JACUMBA WATER SALE FOR SOITEC PROJECT

 

East County News Service         

September 6, 2015 (Jacumba Hot Springs)--In an August 21 article, we quoted a former Jacumba Planning Group chair who indicated that the Local Government Formation Commission (LAFCO) has a rule prohibiting water sales outside of Jacumba’s water district.

JUDGE ORDERS SEXUAL PREDATOR IN JACUMBA BACK TO STATE MENTAL HOSPITAL

 

East County News Service

Aug 28, 2015 (San Diego)-- San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis announced today that Gary Snavely, a diagnosed pedophile and sexually-violent predator was ordered by Judge Louis R. Hanoian to return to Coalinga State Hospital, a mental facility, after violating the terms of his release. The violations included misuse of medications, failing to remain appropriately clothed at all times on his property while in public view, and failing to report any and all instances of sexual thoughts and fantasies involving sexual deviance to treatment staff.

MOTHER AND INFANT KILLED IN BORREGO SPRINGS CRASH

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 21, 2015 (Borrego Springs)—A mother and her infant son are dead of injuries sustained in a two-vehicle collision that occurred yesterday shortly before 4 p.m. in Borrego Springs. Three other people were injured, according to the California Highway Patrol.

QUESTIONS RAISED OVER ANZA-BORREGO BURN

 

 

 

East County News Service

File photo by Nadin Abbott:  San Felipe wildfire, a prescribed burn  in San Diego's East County that got out of control in 2013.

August 21, 2015 (Anza-Borrego)—East County residents and a fire official have voiced concerns over a prescribed burn scheduled to be conducted by the California State Parks service today in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.

“My opinion, not wise!” says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna at the Verdugo Fire Academy in Los Angeles. DiGiovanna also author’s the “Chief’s Corner” column on East County Magazine. He questions why a burn would be done in mid-summer amid drought conditions. “I don't have all the facts," he acknowledges, "however, fuel moisture content is the lowest ever. We have bone dry drought conditions. We have over 11,000 firefighters on the west fighting multiple major blazes. Aircraft, resources, personnel are stripped thin. We risk it? What if it gets away?”

PRESCRIBED BURN SET IN ANZA BORREGO DESERT STATE PARK TODAY

 

 

August 21, 2015 (Anza-Borrego)--California State Parks is scheduled to conduct a limited prescribed burn on park lands today, conditions permitting.  This burn will occur in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park at Carrizo Marsh. The burn will impact travel on roadways in the burn area.

JUDGE OVERTURNS COUNTY APPROVALS OF SOITEC BOULEVARD PROJECTS

 

Update, August 21, 2015:  Donna Tisdale notified us that the backcountry "celebration over the death of Soitec's Boulevard projects was a bit premature. Today, County staff informed me that Soitec is going to remove the 160 cargo containers full of potentially toxic batteries from their Rugged Solar project and will resubmit the revised EIR for certification by the Board of Supervisors. (Back in February, Soitec self-terminated their Tierra Del Sol Solar project just 1 month after receiving Board approval due to a lack of buyers.) Staff is trying to docket the revised EIR for the Board agenda by October so they can meet the Court's order to report back by November 2nd on how they plan to comply," adds Tisdale, who concludes, "The battle to save the backcountry continues."

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: A Soitec solar panel in Newbury Springs, California

August 20, 2015 (Boulevard) – The last of four massive solar projects proposed by Soitec Solar in Boulevard may now be officially dead.

On August 7th, Superior Court Judge Joel R. Wohlfeil  overturned County Supervisors’ approvals of Soitec’s Rugged Acres and Tierra del Sol projects,  because the approvals violated the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)  Soitec and the County failed to file an appeal by the August 14th deadline, says Donna Tisdale, chair of the Boulevard Planning Group and founder of Backcountry Against Dumps, which filed the lawsuit aiming to halt the project. View the court's judgment.

“Soitec’s Boulevard projects, approved for 1,200 acres, are now dead and buried!” Tisdale wrote in an email to project opponents. Any new projects proposed for those sites would need to start all over at step one,” requiring a new environmental impacts review, a lengthy and costly process. “I have asked the County for details on when they will set aside their voided approvals, as mandated by the court,” Tisdale added.

EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING ISSUED FOR WEEKEND

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 13, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) –The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning for San Diego County deserts and a heat advisory for mountain and valley areas. 

The warning and advisory are in effect from Friday at 1 p.m. to Monday at 9 p.m. Temperatures are forecast to reach 116 in Borrego Springs, 105 in Campo, 104 in Ramona, 102 in Alpine and 100 in El Cajon, shattering prior records.

EAST COUNTY ADVENTURE: SPELUNKING IN ANZA-BORREGO MUD CAVES

 

By Greg Dunne

August 8, 2015 (Anza-Borrego Desert)—I'm always up for a new outdoor adventure--especially something I haven't done in my own back yard (our East County). I was treated to one yesterday when Kyle (his third trip there) took me spelunking (Caving) at the Mud Caves in Anza-Borrego desert. WOW, what a cool (no pun intended) adventure; it was only 103 degrees yesterday in our desert, but was a whopping 106 the day before. I was a bit apprehensive about going, (Kyle's been threatening to take me for some time now) not liking the fact of a tight crawling space in a dark, unfamiliar place. But once I got started it was awesome--and about 30 degrees cooler!

ONE WAY TO BEAT THE HEAT: NUDESTOCK MUSIC FEST AUG. 14-16

 

August 7, 2015 (Jacumba Hot Springs) – De Anza Springs Resort in Jacumba Hot Springs will present Nudestock ,  an annual outdoor music festival on August 14-16. No need for bellbottoms or love beads  at this music fest–since clothing is optional at De Anza Springs, located in the high desert region of San Diego’s East County.

GET OUR FREE WARNINGS OF FIRES, FLOODS & OTHER EMERGENCIES

 

July 22, 2015 (San Diego's East County) -- Stay safe and informed!  East County Magazine's free wildfire and emergency alert service has been busy lately warning people here about flash floods, wildfires, roadway hazards and severe weather.

Our regional emergency alerts come via email, so you can get them even if phone lines burn down. You can also get alerts on your cell phone. Plus you can receive our free weekly newsletter with top news stories in our region.

Sign up today! It's FREE.  Click here.

SEXUAL PREDATOR BACK IN CUSTODY

 

East County News Service

July 20, 2015 (Jacumba Hot Springs) -- Gary Gene Snavely, a sexually violent predator, has violated the terms of his release and has been removed from Jacumba Hot Springs.  He is now in the Sheriff’s Department custody and may be returned to a state hospital.

Supervisor Dianne Jacob issued this strong statement at the news.  “This monster never belonged in the community in the first place,” Jacob says. “Word that he violated the terms of his release comes as no surprise and is the latest proof that sexually violent predators have no place in Jacumba Hot Springs or any other community. What makes this even more outrageous is that it’s not the first time Snavely has broken the rules of his placement,” adds Jacob, who calls for Snavely to be “locked up for good.”

PROPERTY OWNERS MAY BE ELIGIBLE FOR RAIN RECOVERY ASSISTANCE

County News Service

Photo: County crews work to clean up mud flow on Rutherford Road in Ramona, where over 3 inches of rain fell on Sunday.

July 20, 2015 (San Diego) -- The remnants of Hurricane Dolores created record rainfall in San Diego County, taking residents by surprise over the weekend. If your property or small business sustained damage from the weekend’s heavy rains and flooding, the County would like your help to estimate rain damages in our region.

The County Office of Emergency Services is asking storm-affected residents to complete a short damage survey form that will assist the County in collecting damage information and associated costs from the weekend’s heavy rains and flooding.

The information gathered from the surveys will be used to estimate total damages countywide and will determine if enough damages occurred to qualify the region for federal disaster assistance, such as low interest disaster loans from the Small Business Administration for those who are uninsured or underinsured.

VINTAGE PHOTOS SOUGHT OF BORREGO DAYS DESERT FESTIVAL

 

July 19, 2015 (Borrego Springs) – October 23-25, the Borrego Days Desert Festival will be celebrating its 50th anniversary.  Organizers are seeking vintage images from the early days of the event for use in marketing materials and posters.

Pages