Mountains

2CREATE GALLERY IN RAMONA’S “FIRST FRIDAY” SHOW MARCH 2 CELEBRATES LIFE AND WORKS OF ARTIST HELEN PETRE

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 22, 2018 (Ramona) – You’re invited to meet artists, art teachers, furniture artisans and celebrate the life of the late, great artist Helen Petre  on Friday, March 2 from 6-8 p.m. at the 2Create Gallery, 438 Main Street in Ramona.  The event is the first of a series of “First Friday” art events that the gallery plans to host, each featuring art, music and refreshments.

Helen Petre was a colorful and acclaimed artist who lived in Julian and continued creating works of art well into her nineties. Known for her stylish hats and fashionable clothing that she designed herself, during her long and productive life she became a prolific artist excelling in collage, monoprinting, mixed media and bookarts. 

GOING TO THE SNOW? READ THIS FIRST

 

Source: San Diego Sheriff

February 21, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) -- Due to this week's winter storm, there is the possibility of snowfall in San Diego County Mountain areas including Julian, Pine Valley and Descanso.

For those planning to head out to the mountains, the Sheriff's Department wants to remind you to be prepared. Be sure to check road conditions before heading out. Have a full tank of gas, water and food supplies in case you are stranded in traffic since this region is known for “snow jams.”

CPUC PRESIDENT’S PROPOSAL TO CHARGE RURAL RATEPAYERS HIGHER RATES SPARKS ANGRY RESPONSES

 

By Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine

Photo: Sunrise Powerlink high voltage lines in Lakeside, by Billy Ortiz

February 21, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) president Michael Picker has suggested that utilities be allowed to charge residents in high-fire risk areas higher rates for electricity.  The reason would be to cover costs of upgrades to prevent power lines from causing wildfires, including changes to meet tougher new fire safety rules approved by the CPUC in December, the San Francisco Chronicle reports

Picker’s proposal, made during a meeting on fire safety for utilities on January 31st, has sparked outraged responses among East County residents, planners, and County Supervisor Dianne Jacob.

SPRING THAW: TIME TO GET BACK TO THE MOUNTAINS AT THE LAGUNA MOUNTAIN RENDEZVOUS MARCH 9-18

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 21, 2018 (Santa Ysabel) – You’re invited to step back in time and enjoy an authentic 1805-1840s Rocky Mountain fur trader’s encampment March 9-18 at the Mataguay Scout Reservation in Santa Ysabel.  Visit part of our historic past by attending a fun, educational and exciting mountain man rendezvous.

COLD SPELL SETS RECORDS AND CLOSES SCHOOLS: FROST WARNING EXTENDED

 

East County News Service

February 20, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) -- Frigid weather across our region caused closure of schools in the Julian and Warner Springs areas on Tuesday.  A frost warning has been extended through Wednesday morning.

The cold front brought record low temperatures, according to the National Weather Service, including a chilly 23 degrees Tuesday at Ramona in East County’s mountains and 35 degrees in coastal Oceanside.

MAN TRIES TO KIDNAP WOMAN AT MAILBOX IN WARNER SPRINGS

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 15, 2018 (Warner Springs) --  The Ranchita/Warner Springs Sheriff's Substation asks public help to locate a man in a pickup truck who tried to kidnap a woman yesterday shortly before 7:30 a.m. at her mailbox in the 29000 block of State Route 79 in Warner Springs.

The victim, 29, told deputies she was getting off her car to get her mail when a man attacked her and tried to get her into his truck. She was able to fight off the attacker and drive away from the area. She says the man followed her from the scene for some distance and then he continued driving westbound on State Route 76 toward Valley Center.

The woman suffered minor injuries and was treated at a hospital and released, says Sergeant Brian Jenkins with the San Diego Sheriff’s department.

JULIAN FAMILY FIDDLE CAMP RECEIVES IBMA FOUNDATION GRANT

 

Local music camp represents Southern CA as only camp to receive IBMA honor; April 11-15 camp includes many musical styles, instruments from fiddle to cello


February 15, 2018 (Julian) -- The Julian Family Fiddle Camp (JFFC) received a grant from the International Bluegrass Music Association Foundation (IBMA) the first week of February for its dedication and contribution to sustaining acoustic music in the local community. 

JULIAN-CUYAMACA FIRE BOARD VOTES TO NEGOTIATE WITH COUNTY

 

Story and photos by A.J. Herrington

February 13, 2018 (Julian) -- The Board of Directors of the Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District (JCFPD) has voted 3-2 to negotiate fire protection standards for the community with the County of San Diego, if the County takes over that responsibility from the district. Many of the area residents who attended the crowded meeting at Fire Station 56 on Highway 79 today believe it’s the beginning of the end for the last volunteer fire department in the county.

VIEJAS CELEBRATES GRAND OPENING OF THE WILLOWS HOTEL AND SPA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine

 

 

February 9, 2018 (Alpine) – At the grand opening last week of The Willows Hotel & Spa, an adults-only luxury high-rise  at the Viejas Casino & Resort in Alpine, located in San DIego's inland region, tribal chairman Robert Welch reflected told the crowd to "put on your sunglasses, because the future of Viejas has never looked brighter!”

The entire facility is reserved for adults only (families may stay at the original Viejas Hotel nearby). Each suite is sumptuously appointed and attention to architectural and design details are evident in craftsmanship throughout.

The Willows features a tower with 159 suites, a saltwater swimming pool, spa and salon facilities, restaurants, fitness center, and business center.

JULIAN-CUYAMACA FIRE FEE FAILS TO QUALIFY FOR BALLOT AS TENSIONS ESCALATE OVER FUTURE OF FIRE DISTRICT

 

Story and photo by Miriam Raftery

Photo: 2011 Angel Fire, burning behind Julian High School

February 3, 2018 (Julian) –  The San Diego County Registrar of Voters Michael Vu, in a letter to Patricia Landis, has advised that a proposed ballot measure to raise fees to $200 in the Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District had only 191 valid signatures—34 signatures short of the 225 needed to qualify.

LOCAL LEVELS OF OZONE PEAK IN MOUNTAIN AND DESERT AREAS

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 30, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – You might be surprised to learn where the highest levels of ozone pollution are in San Diego County. Hint: it’s not urban areas in local cities, but rather, communities in East County’s mountains and desert areas.

TAX TIPS AND ALPINE HONORARY MAYOR ON AGENDA FOR “HOT TOPICS” BREAKFAST FEB. 13 AT JANET’S MONTANA CAFÉ

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 30, 2018 (Alpine) — You’re invited to get 2018 tax filing tips from Roger Garay, Online Bookkeeping & Tax Service, and hear about the Alpine Honorary Mayor campaign. 

Both are on the agenda for the Alpine-Mountain Empire’s “Hot Topics” breakfast at Janet’s Montana Café, 2506 Alpine Blvd. in Alpine. The event will be on Feb. 13 from 7:15 a.m. to 9 a.m.

MAN JUMPS TO DEATH OFF PINE VALLEY BRIDGE

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 28, 2018 (Pine Valley) -- A man committed suicide by jumping off the Pine Valley bridge off of Interstate 8 tonight. The tragedy was reported shortly after 5 p.m.   The victim has not been identified, but a white Toyota sedan was parked at the scene. 

SDG&E SHUTS OFF POWER ACROSS BACKCOUNTRY DURING RED FLAG WARNING, SPARKING MORE ANGRY RESPONSES FROM RESIDENTS

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 28, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – With a red flag warning in effect due to high fire danger and gusty Santa Ana Winds forecast through Monday, San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) has once again shut off power to many rural and mountain communities.  An outage map curiously labels these as “unplanned outages” even though clicking on communities show in the SDG&E outages page map reveals that in most of the current outages, “We’ve shut off the power for safety.” 

Power went off last night  during Saturday evening hours and is not slated for restoration until mid-to-late afternoon on Monday.

The power is presently out in many areas including the East County communitise Boulevard, Live Oak Springs, Descanso, Pine Valley, Alpine, Pine Hills, Santa Ysabel and surrounding communities, affecting thousands of customers. Portions of North County including Valley Center and the Pauma area are also without power.

PASTUREBIRD FIRST SOUTHERN CALFORNIA FARM TO ACHIEVE CERTIFIED WILDLIFE FRIENDLY® STATUS

 

Warner Springs and Murrieta farm raises pastured chickens, rebuilds healthy soils and grasslands, and coexists with wildlife

Story and photos @Pasturebird and Primal Pastures.

January 27, 2018 (Warner Springs) -- Most people don’t set up a wholesale pastured poultry operation in an area known for its mountain lion activity as much as for its orchards.  Yet for farmer Paul Grieve of Pasturebird, flourishing habitat is an integral part of farming. “The important thing to us is that we build an ecosystem.  Our role is to steward the land and grow a great environment for Mother Nature.”

ANIMAL SHOWS AND MORE AT OASIS CAMEL DAIRY’S OPEN FARM DAY FEB. 10-11

 

East County News Service

January 24, 2018 (Ramona) -- You’re invited to bring the family to open farm day at the Oasis Camel Dairy in Ramona on February 10th and 11th from 1 to 4 p.m., with a live animal show at 1:30 p.m. The show features talking parrots, galloping, gobbling turkeys, dedicated farm dogs and of course the biggest stars – camels!

DOUBLE BLOW: COURT RULING ON BOND FUNDS AND STATE DECISION AGAINST UNIFICATION KNOCK DOWN HOPES FOR ALPINE HIGH SCHOOL

 

 

By Paul Kruze; Miriam Raftery also contributed to this report

Hear court audio

Read appellate decision

January 21, 2018 (Alpine) -- Just as students returned to school after winter break last week, lawyers for the Alpine Union School District (AUSD), Alpine Taxpayers for Bond Accountability and Grossmont Union High School District returned to court in front of a three-judge tribunal headed by Associate Justice Patricia D. Benke of the 4th District California Superior Court of Appeals.  

But a week later, the court panel upheld an earlier ruling by Judge Pressman against Alpine, agreeing that the GUHSD need not keep millions of dollars set aside for an Alpine High School that now may never be built, despite previous bond measures approved by voters that included funds for the school. Then on Friday, the State Board of Education denied Alpine's unification petition that would have enabled the AUSD to build the high school. The double losses may prove to be knock-out blows for the hard-fought effort to bring a high school to Alpine.

“SAFEGUARD OUR SAN DIEGO COUNTRYSIDE” INITIATIVE LAUNCHED TO CONTROL DEVELOPMENT

 

Initiative would require public vote on significant changes to General Plan, to protect backcountry from sprawl-style development and traffic gridlock

East County News Service

January 24, 201 (San Diego) -- Today the San Diego County Registrar of Voters approved the title and summary for the “Safeguard Our San Diego Countryside” Initiative, clearing the way for proponents to gather signatures to place the initiative on the November 2018 ballot. If passed, the measure would require voter approval of amendments to the San Diego County General Plan that significantly increase density on parcels in the unincorporated county now designated for farming, open space, and wildlife uses.

MOM NEEDS HELP TO MOVE SON TO RAMONA AFTER TEEN LOST DAD IN MURDER-SUICIDE

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  Jayson Hinkle with his mother, Crystal and brother, Dominick

January 20, 2018 (Ramona) – Crystal Dominguez Hinkle has launched a GoFundMe page to help her son, Jayson, 14. “I am desperately trying to gather funds to move us back to Ramona, where my son can be surrounded by his loving and supportive friends,” she told ECM in an e-mail.

COUNTY TO ACCEPT COMPETING BIDS FOR ANIMAL SERVICES

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 24, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – County Supervisors on Tuesday approved a proposal to accept bids from outside animal welfare organizations seeking to compete against the County’s Animal Services Department to provide services in the County’s unincorporated areas, including rural, desert and mountain regions in East County as well as neighborhoods such as Spring Valley, Alpine, and Lakeside. In East County, the city of Santee will also be impacted.

SUPERVISORS APPROVE FUNDS FOR MORE CAMERAS TO SPOT WILDFIRES IN EAST COUNTY

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos:  HPWREN images of Chariot Fire in 2013

January 23, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – Five more cameras will soon be positioned atop mountains in East County to help spot wildfires and help firefighters douse flames early to prevent firestorms.  Supervisors on Tuesday approved funds to expand the UCSD Scripps Institute’s High-Performance Wireless Research and Education Network, or HPWREN.

RAMONA PLUMBER-TURNED-AUTHOR DEBUTS NEW BOOK “ALL ABOUT WATER” FEB. 7

 

East County News Service

 

January 22, 2018 (Ramona) -- Ramona Author and local plumber Greg Chick will be at Unicorn Books and Gifts, 845 Main Street, Ramona, CA on Wednesday, February 7th from 4 to 6 p.m.  Chick will be available to sign copies and discuss his new book, All About Water: As Told by The Plumber Who's Seen It All.

HELP SAVE AND RECONSTRUCT THE FORMER ALPINE MINE TRAIN EXHIBIT

 

Source: Campo Railroad Park & Museum

January 22, 2018 (Campo) -- The Campo Railroad Park & Museum has set up a donation page to help offset the costs of relocating and reconstructing the former Alpine train lovingly operated for children of all ages by Roy Athey. 

The Museum is committed to keeping the legacy alive in Campo with a dynamic exhibit of not only the train ride but also to include a faux mine complete with mining equipment to explain San Diego County’s many gold and precious metal mines.  Moving the train and setting it up was an unexpected gift and funds are simply not available today to put it back together. 

READER’S EDITORIAL: KEEP ALPINE’S SMALL TOWN CHARM

 

An open letter to County Planning and Development Services by Mary Harris

January 21, 2018 (Alpine) -- I don't want future development projects in Alpine to include designs that are not consistent with keeping the small town charm of Alpine. We have already seen many developments in Alpine that make our town resemble our nearest city, El Cajon. I do not want to see conformity in designs that lack character. Examples of this that we have already been forced to accept are the Albertson's shopping center.Albertson's design shows no attempt to fit in to our towns historic rural feel, but instead looks like a typical store one would see in El Cajon. No effort was made to include creative facades, water features, or shade bearing trees.

PLANNING COMMISSION RECOMMENDS APPROVAL OF COUNTY CLIMATE ACTION PLAN

 

The San Diego County Planning Commission voted 6-1 Thursday to recommend that the County’s Board of Supervisors approve the County’s revised Climate Action Plan, with some modifications.

CONTROLLED BURN NEAR PINE VALLEY STARTS TUESDAY

 
 
East County Wildfire & Emergency Alerts
 
January 15, 2018 (Pine Valley) -- If you see smoke  over East County  on this week, be aware that Cal Fire San Diego will conduct its first controlled burn of the year starting on Tuesday. Ignition is set to begin by mid-morning and is expected to take place over several days until complete.
 
The planned 100-acre burn on Corte Madera Ranch south of I-8 near Pine Valley is part of Cal Fire's vegetation management program to help prevent future large wildfires. Smoke will be visible throughout the county.

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