Mountains

WELCOME, MOUNTAIN DWELLERS!

Our Mountain Living section covers the mountain communities in San Diego's East County north of I-8 including Aguanga, Cuyamaca, Descanso, Guatay, Julian, Mount Laguna, Pine Valley, Ranchita, Ramona, Santa Ysabel, Shelter Valley and Warner Springs.


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ROMEO ARRESTED ON WEAPONS AND DRUG CHARGES IN RAMONA AFTER WOMAN FOUND WITH GUNSHOT WOUND

By Miriam Raftery

 

November 30, 2021 (Ramona) – John Romeo, 57, a convicted felon seen leaving the vicinity of a shooting in Ramona, has been arrested on charges of illegally possessing a handgun and drug possession. He has not been charged in the shooting because the woman injured has refused to tell deputies how she sustained the wound, says Sergeant Jared Anderson.

On November 29 shortly after 4:30 p.m., deputies at the Ramona Sheriff’s station responded to a call reporting a woman had been shot at her home in the 2100 block of Walnut Street. They found her in the front yard with an apparent gunshot wound on her leg. 


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AUTHORITIES IDENTITY WOMAN WHO DIED IN RAMONA FIRE

East County News Service

Photo via Cal Fire Twitter feed

November 27, 2021 (Ramona) – The medical examiner has identified the woman found dead after a fire at her home as Deborah Ann Hester, 61.

Based on preliminary law enforcement investigation, on the early morning hours of November 15th, Hester called 9-1-1 and requested emergency assistance due to a fire at her residence. San Diego County Sheriff’s Deputies arrived at the decedent’s residence at 566 Telford Lane in Ramona and heard her screaming for help.


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DESCANSO MAN, 29, KILLED IN ALPINE CRASH

By Miriam Raftery

November 27, 2021 (Alpine) – Vincent I. Esquivel, 29, of Descanso has been identified as the driver who died at the scene of a vehicle accident on the evening of November 13.


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HO HO! HOLIDAY WINE TRAIL EVERY WEEKEND FROM THANKSGIVING TO CHRISTMAS

East County News Service

November 26, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) – What could be merrier than a Holiday Wine Trail in the country featuring 17 local wineries? This year, the Ramona Holiday Wine Trail is extended for a full month, each Saturday and Sunday from Nov. 28 to Dec. 19.


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SDG&E RESTORES POWER IN SOME AREAS, OTHERS STILL IN THE DARK. MORE OUTAGES POSSIBLE, UTILITY WARNS

Update 5:15 p.m. -- Power has been restored to all customers, according to the SDG&E website.

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Fran Materra, via Facebook: Thanksgiving by lanternlight in Potrero

November 26, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) – An estimated 2,520 SDG&E customers remain in the dark on Black Friday due to power-shut offs amid a red flag warning for high fire danger. About half the communities originally blacked out have power restored, but these areas remain without power:  Alpine, Boulevard, the Campo reservation, Descanso, Jamul, Potrero, the Viejas Reservation, and Warner Springs.

More than 50,000 customers remain at risk of outages yet to come.  View the list of communities at risk at https://www.sdge.com/psps-dashboard. SDG&E has set up community resource centers where residents without power can go to recharge devices, pickup ice, water, snacks and more. Find the closest CRC at SDG&E’s CRC look-up tool.

East County residents posted comments and complaints on social media regarding the outages. While some railed against SDG&E for cutting power on a holiday, others pre-cooked foods early, grateful for the warnings.  Others dined out at restaurants, brought in hot meals, or headed to relatives homes’ outside the blacked-out areas. Some also voiced thanks that no homes were lost to wildfires.


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POWER OUTAGES BEGIN: THOUSANDS WITHOUT ELECTRICITY ON THANKSGIVING

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 25, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) – SDG&E has shut off power to 5,311 customers as of 10 a.m. Thanksgiving morning.  Another 47,934 are at risk of outages amid a red flag warning for extreme fire danger and high winds. 

So far, these are the communities without power:  Alpine, Boulevard, Descanso, Jamul, Pala, Pauma Valley, and Potrero as well as the Campo, Cuyapaipe, La Jolla, Pauma, and Viejas reservations.Many more areas are on a list of potential outages to come.

View an outage map and click on your community for estimated power restoration times:  https://www.sdge.com/residential/customer-service/outage-center/outage-map   Some areas are listed as likely to be without power until Saturday.

SDG&E has opened several community resource centers where residents can get water, ice, snacks, and preparedness supplies, car power inverters, solar-powered batteries, radios, and update on outages.  View map at https://www.sdge.com/resource-centers.


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PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: TURKEY TIME

East County News Service

November 23, 2021 (Alpine) – Did you know that not all turkeys are brown? Richard Edwords of Alpine sent this shot of his white “royal palm” and gray “blue slate” turkeys, both heritage breeds.

Fortunately for these birds, they won’t wind up on the Thanksgiving table.  Edwords says,  “They are therapy turkeys. We take them to the senior care facilities.  I own them and I sell the babies in the spring.”


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JULIAN’S COUNTRY CHRISTMAS AND TREE LIGHTING NOV. 27

East County News Service

November 23, 2021 (Julian) – Julian’s Country Christmas will be held on November 27 from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Pioneer Park. 


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TIPS FOR COPING WITH THANKSGIVING IF THE POWER GOES OUT

By Miriam Raftery

November 22, 2021 (San Diego) – With SDG&E warning over 28,000 customers in 38 communities of possible outages Thursday through Saturday due to high fire danger, how can you salvage Thanksgiving dinner plans with your family?  Here are a few ideas:

1. Cook your turkey and side dishes on Wednesday. You can serve sliced turkey and sides cold, or cook or reheat on a covered barbecue or camp stove on your patio outdoors, but keep a water bucket handy if you cook on any open flame.

2. Plan a picnic outside with side dishes that can be served cold. How about a yam potato salad instead of baked yams?  Or a balsamic green bean salad instead of green bean casserole?  Consider ditching traditional turkey for smoked salmon or a gourmet charcuterie board instead.


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SDG&E WARNS OF POWER SHUTOFFS OVER THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY DUE TO FIRE DANGER: OUTAGES COULD LAST DAYS

Update November 24, 2021:  SDG&E has widened its list of possible outage areas to include more than 53,000 customers. See the updated list of impacted communities here:  https://www.sdge.com/psps-dashboard

By Miriam Raftery

November 22, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) -- Before you stock up on turkey and other groceries for a feast, be aware that San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) is asking customers in 38 local communities to prepare for potential Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) over the Thanksgiving holiday.


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STUDENT DETAINED AFTER SCHOOL THREAT IN RAMONA

East County News Service

November 18, 2021 (Ramona) -- A 15-year-old boy is being cared for at a hospital as a safety precaution after threatening to hurt students and staff at Ramona High School, says Lieutenant Daniel Vengler with the San Diego Sheriff’s department. 


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COYOTE TRAPPED IN CAR BUMPER RETURNS TO THE WILD

Coyote rehabilitated at San Diego Humane Society’s Ramona Wildlife Center

East County News Service

November 18, 2021 (Ramona) – A not-so-wily coyote has been rescued from inside a car bumper, where it became trapped after being struck by a motorist. (No reports of any roadrunners or Acme products in the vicinity). Fortunately, the senior female coyote is now back in the wild, after treatment at the San Diego Humane Society’s Ramona Wildlife Center.

The amazing rescue was documented on video on November 1, when San Diego Humane Society’s Humane Law Enforcement was dispatched to rescue an animal lodged in the bumper of a car in a San Marcos parking lot. 

The person who hit the coyote did not realize that she was stuck in his bumper and was inside a Ralphs grocery store when another shopper noted a "dog" in the bumper and called for help. The car’s owner was alerted to the situation when he came out of the Ralphs.


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WOMAN DIES IN RAMONA HOUSE FIRE, DEPUTIES TREATED FOR SMOKE INHALATION

East County News Service

November 15, 2021 (Ramona) – A woman called 9-11 screaming for help this morning at 2:31 a.m., but could not provide her address. Deputies with the Ramona Sheriff's Substation drove around the area and discovered a house on fire in the 500 block of Telford Lane. 


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POMEGRANATE DAYS RETURNS AT OASIS CAMEL DAIRY NOV. 26-28

 

East County News Service

November 14, 2021 (Ramona) -- On Thanksgiving weekend, Nov. 26-28 from 12 to 2 p.m., Oasis Camel Dairy invites you to the return of Pomegranate Days along with an open farm tour.  The festivities include a live show featuring racing turkeys, talking parrots and camels.  

You can also feed apple treats to camels, take a camel ride, or shop for gifts such as camel’s milk soaps, lotions, bath products, chocolates and more. 


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VIDEO OF THE WEEK: BISON, BY GOLLY!

East County News Service

November 8, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) -- Cynthia Robertson spotted this herd of bison while on a day trip in route to Lake Henshaw in San Diego’s East County. 


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SANDAG APPROVES MILEAGE TAX OVER OBJECTIONS OF UNFAIRNESS TO EAST COUNTY

By Henri Migala and Miriam Raftery

Photo, left, by Henri Migala:  around 200 residents attended a forum in La Mesa organized by Carl DeMaio of Reform California, which opposes the mileage tax

November 4, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) -- The San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) on Friday approved a controversial road usage tax, also known as a mileage tax. The measure drew strong opposition from East County residents and political leaders, who argue that its unfair to charge hefty taxes to inland residents who won’t benefit from ambitious transit projects planned in coastal areas.


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EL CAJON MAN DIES, PASSENGER INJURED IN ALPINE CRASH ON I-8

By Miriam Raftery

November 3, 2021 (Alpine) – A rollover crash in Alpine shortly at 12:03 a.m. killed the driver, a 32-year-old El Cajon man, and seriously injured his passenger, a 40-year-old woman from Escondido.


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BILL TO PROTECT PALA INDIANS’ SACRED SITE PASSES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

East County News Service

November 2, 2021 (Pala) -- Bipartisan legislation to facilitate the Pala Band of Mission Indians’ work to protect a sacred San Diego County site passed in the House of Representatives today.  H.R. 1975 – The Pala Band of Mission Indians Land Transfer Act of 2021 – was authored by Congressman Darrel Issa (CA-50)  and cosponsored by Congressman Juan Vargas (CA-51). 

The legislation will authorize the Secretary of the Interior to transfer approximately 720 acres of land – which includes a sacred site known locally as Gregory Mountain or Chokla– that was acquired by the Pala into trust for the benefit of the tribe and its members.

The action ends a two-decade battle by the tribe to prevent the Gregory Canyon Landfill.  In 2016, the land was purchased by the Pala Band of Mission Indians to prevent construction of a landfill on the mountain, a site of tremendous cultural significance to Pala tribal members. 


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PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: BOUNTIFUL, BEAUTIFUL FALL IN EAST COUNTY

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left:  fall foliage along Highway 78 in Ramona Valley

 


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CHRISTMAS MARKET DECEMBER 4 AT JULIAN MINING COMPANY

East County News Service

October 27, 2021 (Julian) – You’re invited to an old-fashioned Christmas Market at the Julian Mining Company (4444 Highway 78, Julian) on Saturday, December 4 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.


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ENTER IF YOU DARE: HAUNTED FOREST AT BANNER RANCH IN JULIAN

East County News Service

October 27, 2021 (Julian) – You’re invited to get into the Halloween spooky spirit Halloween weekend at Ghost Town Banner City’s haunted forest from 7 to 11 p.m. The Haunted Forest is located at historic Banner Ranch about seven miles from downtown Julian.


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CHILDREN’S NATURE RETREAT NEEDS HELP TO CARE FOR RESCUED ANIMALS DUE TO PANDEMIC FUNDING CUTS

By Mimi Pollack

October 26, 2021 (Alpine) -- Giving back to others is always good, but when you can give back to both animals and humans, that is even better! Local humanitarian, Agnes Barrelet, is doing just that up in Alpine, heading up the non-profit, Children’s Nature Retreat Foundation.  Now the retreat needs our help.


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UMPIRES AND FRIENDS INVITED TO HONOR MIKE HART’S MEMORY NOV. 9 AT LA MESA NATIONAL LITTLE LEAGUE FIELD

By Miriam Raftery

October 17, 2021 (La Mesa) – A memorial service for long-time local umpire and newsman Michael “Mike” Jon Hart  will be held on November 9 at 11 a.m. at the La Mesa National Little League Field.  Hart spent years as an umpire behind the plate at the field where he also played baseball in his youth.  A 1970 graduate of Grossmont High, where he also coached, Hart spent decades umpiring local youth and college sports, became President of the San Diego County Umpires Association, and was inducted into the San Diego Sports Officials Hall of Fame.

“It would really mean a lot to our family, and a true honor to Mike, if we saw a lot of umpires in the audience,” says Carlynne Albee, sister of Hart’s wife, Michelle Harvey. Umpires are invited to dress in uniform as a tribute.

Hart, also known locally as the long-time publisher of the Julian News , died September 14 after battling brain and lung cancer.


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LOCAL MOUNTAIN MEN RECREATE THE TIMES OF JEREMIAH JOHNSON IN EAST COUNTY AT THE LAGUNA MOUNTAIN RENDEZVOUS OCT. 16-17

By Henri Migala

October 16, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) -- If you’ve ever seen the classic 1972 movie, Jeremiah Johnson, played by Robert Redford, about the golden age of Mountain Men, you might remember the last line of the movie, “…. and some men say, he’s up there still.”


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RAMONA ART AND WINE FESTIVAL EXPANDS TO THREE-DAY EVENT NOV. 5-7

East County News Service

October 13, 2021 (Ramona) - The 9th annual Ramona Art & Wine Festival will feature nine wineries participating in the three-day progressive event on Friday to Sunday, November 5, 6 and 7, 2021.


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FROST, FREEZING TEMPERATURES TONIGHT IN MOUNTAINS AND DESERTS: SEVERE FIRE WEATHER FRIDAY

By Miriam Raftery

October 13, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) – From one extreme to another, San Diego’s mountains and high deserts will have frost and freezing temperatures tonight, followed by Santa Ana winds Thursday and near-critical fire weather on Friday.

Low temperatures tonight and early tomorrow morning could dip into the mid-20s in the mountains and as low as the mid-30s in the high desert.


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HIGH WIND WARNINGS AND ADVISORIES TODAY

East County News Service

October 11, 2021 (San Diego) – The National Weather Service has issued a high wind warning from 11 a.m. today to 3 a.m. Tuesday. Gusts up to 65 miles per hour are forecast in mountain areas including Julian and Pine Valley, with west to northwest winds of 30-40 mph. Gusts up to 45 mph are possible in San Diego County’s deserts, valleys and coastal areas, where a wind advisory is in effect.

These damaging winds can blow down trees and power lines, so power outages are possible.

Secure outdoor objects which may become projectiles in high winds, and close patio umbrellas.


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ALPINE LIBRARY HOSTS MYSTERY BOOK CLUB

By Miriam Raftery

October 9, 2021 (Alpine) – Love a mystery?  Reading and chatting with fellow book lovers?  Then you’re invited to come join the Mystery Book Club to find out who dunnit.

The club meets the third Tuesday of each month from 6-7 p.m. at the Alpine Library, 1752 Alpine Blvd. in Alpine. The next meeting is October 19.


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NEWEST RAMONA H.E.A.R.T. MURAL HONORS AREA’S KUMEYAAY HERITAGE

East County News Service

October 7, 2021 (Ramona) – A dedication ceremony was held last Saturday for Ramona’s newest mural, which pays tribute to the Kumeyaay Native Americans. The mural is located at the back of the Verizon Building at 1530 Main Street, Ramona. It is the 27th mural created by the non-profit Ramona H.E.A.R.T. Mural Project. 

Artist Simon Melnyk created the mural with a goal “celebrate Kumeyaay culture in its untouched state by venturing into their world before European contact.” He constructed the mural on 26 individual panels which he then put together to form the complete 1200 square foot mural.


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