Mountains

SAWDAY FIRE IN RAMONA CAUSED BY TRAILER FIRE

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: ECM news partner 10 News

October 28, 2019 (Ramona) – The Sawday Fire which began Friday morning and scorched 97 acres was caused by a parked trailer that caught fire, Cal Fire reports. It is not yet known what caused the trailer to ignite along Sawday Truck Trail near Littlepage Road.


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PIE-MAKING CLASS NOV. 9 IN ALPINE

By Miriam Raftery

 

October 27, 2019 (Alpine) – The holidays are coming. What to serve?  It’s easy as pie! Alpine Ranch is offering a homemade pie-making class on Saturday, November 9 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon.

 

From pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving to mince pie at Christmastime, home-made pies are a holiday tradition that’s as American as apple pie.

 

Cost is $40. To register and get directions, contact Nancy Teas-Crain at ntcrain@me.com or call/text 619-733-5016.


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SEVENTH ANNUAL RAMONA ART AND WINE FESTIVAL NOV. 2

“Pink Panther” artist, auction of original wine-barrel art/furniture, gourmet food bites, award-winning wines, live music, fine art, commemorative poster art, scenic venue
 
East County News Service
 
October 27, 2019 (Ramona) - The seventh annual Ramona Art and Wine Festival will be held at Begent Ranch, 18528 Highland Valley Road, Ramona, Calif., on Saturday, November 2nd, 2019, from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tickets are available  at at http://ramonaartandwinefest.net(PayPal or credit card) or at the door.


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JULIAN COMMUNITY HERITAGE FOUNDATION HOSTS SECOND FUNDRAISER FOR TOWN SQUARE NOV. 9

By Kim Simas 

October 27, 2019 (Julian) - On Saturday, November 9, 2019, the Julian Community Heritage Foundation (JCHF) will host their second fundraiser benefitting the Julian Town Square Project. The group is spearheading the much-anticipated project to breathe life into the empty corner lot in the center of town. After three decades, the time is right to turn the space into something beautiful for Julian. Contaminated materials have been cleared from the vacant lot formerly owned by Chevron and county officials have given the green light to develop this property.


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BRUSH FIRE IN EAST RAMONA; STRUCTURES THREATENED

UPDATE 5:41 P.M.:  ALL EVACUATION ORDERS LIFTED.  FIRE IS 52% CONTAINED

UPDATE 2 p.m. : Congressman Duncan Hunter has contacted the White House to request that military aircraft assets, such as the C130s used for fighting fires, be moved and available at Naval Air Station Point Mugu.  Rep. Hunter indicated that these assets could be moved to this location for training purposes in anticipation of California declaring an emergency and requesting assistance.

UPDATE 1:16 P.M.:  FORWARD RATE OF SPREAD STOPPED;  FIRE IS 97 ACRES AND 15% CONTAINED

UPDATE 10:52 A.M.:  Fire is currently 70 acres and 0% contained.  150 firefighters currently engaged.

UPDATE 10:42 A.M.:  ALL EB & WB LANES OF HWY. 78 AT 3RD ST. HAVE REOPENED.

East County News Service

October 25, 2019 (Ramona) --  A vegetation fire is burning in the area of Sawday Truck Trail in E Ramona. Sheriff's Department initiating door-to-door evacuations in locations of West of Littlepage Rd and South of Old Julian Hwy.  All EB & WB lanes of SR-78 closed between 3rd St (Ramona) and Old Julian Highway due to the fire.

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SDG&E OPENS MORE RESOURCE CENTERS FRIDAY IN OUTAGE AREAS

 

Update 11 a.m.  SDG&E has shut off power to around 16,000 customers due to very high winds howling through some mountain and rural areas of East County.  Winds approaching 100 mph have been clocked today atop at least one local mountain peak.

East County News Service

October 24, 2019 (San DIego's East County) -- San Diego Gas & Electric will open seven Community Resource Centers tomorrow, Friday, October 25th starting at 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. due to power outages the company initiated during the Santa Ana wind event.  Water and snacks will be available, and residents can charge devices and get up-to-date information about power outages at these Centers:

- Descanso Branch Library: 9545 River Dr. Descanso, CA, 91916

- Whispering Winds Catholic Camp: 17606 Harrison Park Road, Julian, CA, 92036

- Pine Valley Improvement Club: 28890 Old Highway 80, Pine Valley, CA, 91962

- Lake Morena Community Church: 29765 Oak Drive, Campo, CA, 91906

- Portrero Community Center: 24550 Hwy 94, Portrero, CA, 91963

- Dulzura Community Center: 1136 Community Building Road, Dulzura, CA, 91917

- Warner Springs Resource Center: 30950 CA-79, Warner Springs, CA, 92086


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SDG&E EXPANDS POTENTIAL OUTAGE AREAS; SOME CUSTOMERS COMPLAIN OF ERRATIC NOTIFICATIONS

By Miriam Raftery

 

Update October 24:  As of 8 a.m. Thursday, power is shut off for 431 people in Dehesa, Alpine, Rancho Palo Verde, Santa Ysabel, Wynola, Pine Hills, East Descanso, Green Valley Falls, Cuyamaca, Viejas, West Descanso, Boulder Creek, Live Oak Springs, Boulevard, Jacumba, Japatul Valley, Buckman Springs, Morena Village. Resource centers have been opened in Julian and Descanso; scroll down for details.

October 23, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – SDG&E is warning of a new round of potential power-shut offs that could affect up to 23,944 customers, with a red flag warning from 5 a.m. Thursday through 5 p.m. Friday evening.

The areas that could be impacted are Alpine, Barona, Barrett Lake, Boulevard, Campo, Cuyamaca, Descanso, East Poway, East Valley Center, Julian, Mesa Grande, Mount Laguna, Palomar Mountain, Pine Valley, Potrero, Ramona, Rancho Bernardo (portions), Santa Ysabel, Shelter Valley, Viejas and Warner Springs.

The utility’s site states that it makes several efforts to notify ratepayers prior to shutoffs. In many cases the system worked to provide customers with time to prepare for outages.  However, some rural residents have posted complaints on social media stating that they received repeated warnings of shut-offs that never occurred, and later had power shut-off with no warning.


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SDG&E IS PREPARED FOR SANTA ANA WINDS, WARNS 1,000 BACKCOUNTRY CUSTOMERS OF POTENTIAL SAFETY POWER SHUTOFFS

October 21 (San Diego) -- San Diego’s backcountry is expected to experience Santa Ana winds Monday and Tuesday (Oct. 20-22), winds expected to peak on Monday in the 30-40 miles per hour range.  The utility has warned 1,032 customers that it may need to turn off power for safety in these communities:

  • Boulder Creek
  • Boulevard
  • Cameron
  • Crestwood
  • La Posta
  • Valley Center East
  • Viejas

(A map of the areas that could potentially be affected is posted at sdge.com/ready.)


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JULIAN-CUYAMACA FIRE VOLUNTEERS CHALLENGE CAL FIRE/COUNTY FIRE CHIEF TONY MECHAM'S MEDICAL ASSISTANCE CLAIM

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

 

October 18, 2019 (Julian) -- San Diego County Fire Authority/CAL FIRE Chief Tony Mecham raised alarms about a medical situation at the Julian Fire Station No. 56, which led San Diego Superior Court Judge Randa Trapp to issue a court order in late May that forced Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District volunteers out of the embattled fire station. But volunteers with the JCFPD vigorously dispute Mecham’s assertions and contend he misconstrued the matter.


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SAN DIEGO RESIDENTS ENCOURAGED TO START LOCAL FIRE SAFE COUNCILS TO PROTECT THEIR COMMUNITIES FROM THE EVER-PRESENT RISK OF WILDFIRE

East County News Service

October 16, 2019 (San Diego) -- Because fire season is now a year-round threat in San Diego, enlisting the support of community volunteers is critical to ensure the safety of the County. The Fire Safe Council of San Diego County is encouraging communities to create local fire safe councils to increase their neighborhood’s chances of surviving a wildfire. San Diego County currently has 41 community fire safe councils – the most of any county in the state – and they want to see that number grow.  


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PUMPKIN PATCH AT SUMMERS PAST FARMS HAS CORN MAZE AND MORE

East County News Service

 

October 14, 2019 (Flinn Springs) — “Fall is our favorite time at Summers Past Farms!” states an invitation to the Flinn Springs farm’s fun and festive pumpkin patch. You’ll also find a corn maze for kids and an inflatable jump, along with a field of pumpkins in all shapes and sizes to choose from.


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BATTLE HEATS UP OVER SAFEGUARD OUR SAN DIEGO COUNTRYSIDE (SOS) INITIATIVE

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Site of the planned Lilac hills housing development in Valley Center

October 13, 2019 (San Diego) – A battle is brewing over the future of San Diego’s backcountry. A countywide initiative called “Safeguard Our San Diego Countryside” or “SOS” will appear on ballots in the March 3rd  election.  If approved by voters, it would require the county to give the people a vote on large housing developments that require general plan amendments to increase density in rural and semi-rural areas.


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SDG&E OPENS RESOURCE CENTER IN DESCANSO FOR RESIDENTS WITHOUT POWER

 

Update: A second resource center has been opened at the Golden Acorn Casino in Campo.

395 customers of SDG&E are currently without power; outages could impact up to 17,771, the utility warns

October 11, 2019 (Descanso) -- San Diego Gas & Electric will open a Community Resource Center today, Friday, October 11 at 8:00 a.m. in Descanso, CA due to power outages the company initiated during the Santa Ana wind event.  Water and snacks will be available and residents can charge devices, as well as get up-to-date information about power outages at the Center.

Community Resource Center location: Descanso Public Library (9545 River Drive, Descanso, CA 91916) 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Additional resouce centers may open if the outage area is extended.


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FREE CAMPING FOR CUYAMACA RANCHO STATE PARK VOLUNTEERS OCT. 26

East County News Service

October 10, 2019 (Julian) -- You can help maintain Cuyamaca Rancho State Park when you volunteer at a work day on Saturday, October 26 at 8:30 a.m. Learn and register to volunteer below.

 


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LAGUNA MOUNTAIN RENDEZVOUS OCT. 10-19

East County News Service

October 9, 2019 (Mt. Laguna) - You’re invited to step back in time at the Laguna Mountain Rendezvous, an authentic Rocky Mountain fur traders’ encampment from the early 1800s.  Relive this historic past with demonstrations of primitive survival skills such as tool making, cooking, tomahawk throwing, archery and black power target shooting. Also enjoy music and more.


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TEEN MOTORCYCLIST KILLED IN JULIAN CRASH

East County News Service

October 9, 2019 (Julian) – A 19-year-old Julian man has died after a solo motorcycle crash that occurred at 5:15 p.m. on State Route 78 west of Pine Hills Road in Julian.

According to Officer Jeff Christy from the California Highway Patrol, the victim was riding a 2007 Yamaha R6 motorcycle westbound when he lost control in a curve and struck a utility pole on the north shoulder.

Paramedics performed potentially life-saving efforts on the teen, who sustained serious injuries. He was transported by ground to Santa Ysabel for transport by Mercy Air to a local hospital, but died during the flight.


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SDG&E WARNS OF POWER SHUT-OFFS IN NEXT 48 HOURS TO 28,701 CUSTOMERS IN EAST COUNTY COMMUNITIES

October 9, 2019 (San Diego's East County) -- SDG&E has issued a warning that it may shut off power to 28,701 customers in East County communities starting in the next 48 hours due to wildfire risks.  A red flag alert has been issued for Thursday afternoon and Friday by the National Weather Service.  The following communities are currently forecasted to be impacted:

  • Banner Grade
  • Boulevard
  • Descanso
  • East Alpine
  • East Ramona
  • Fallbrook
  • Julian
  • Mesa Grande
  • Mt Laguna
  • Palomar Mountain
  • Pine Valley
  • Potrero
  • Rancho Santa Fe
  • Rincon
  • Santa Ysabel
  • Valley Center
  • Viejas
  • West Valley Center
  • Wynola


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SUSPECT ARRESTED FOR HIT-AND-RUN THAT SERIOUSLY INJURED RAMONA WOMAN

By Miriam Raftery

October 8, 2019 (Ramona) – California Highway Patrol today announced the arrest of Chase E. Richard, 34, of Ramona. He is accused of striking a bicyclist while driving a black Ford SUV with stolen license plates, then fleeing the scene and leaving Michelle Scott critically injured.


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VEHICLE FIRE SPARKS BRUSH BLAZE NEAR GREEN VALLEY FALLS CAMPGROUND

By Miriam Raftery
 
October 6, 2019 (Rancho Cuyamaca State Park) – A motorcycle crash off State Route 79 near Green Valley Campground charred approximately six acres of brush today.  Around 70 firefighters from multiple agencies battled the #GreenFire by land and air, extinguishing it several hours after it began.

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FIRE WEATHER FORECAST

East County News Service
 
October 6, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – The National Weather Service predicts moderate Santa Ana winds this week, combined with low humidity for elevated fire danger.
 
While Orange County is forecast to have the most severe conditions,  relative humidity is expected to fall into low double digits in San Diego’s mountain areas and single digits in the desert.  West to northwest winds of 15-20 miles per hour with gusts up to 40 mph are anticipated starting Tuesday. By Thursday and Friday, falling humidity is expected to create critical fire weather conditions.  

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$25,000 REWARD OFFERED TO FIND HIT-AND-RUN DRIVER WHO CRITICALLY INJURED BICYCLIST MICHELLE SCOTT, RAMONA CERT TEAM MEMBER

Fundraiser launched to help pay victim’s medical bills

By Miriam Raftery

Photo via ECM news partner 10 News

October 6, 2019 (Ramona) — A $25,000 reward is being offered anonymously for information leading to arrest of the driver of a black Ford Edge SUV with stolen license plates, NBC 7 reports. The vehicle struck and critically injured Ramona bicyclist Michelle Scott last Wednesday morning on State Route 67 north of Dye Road.  


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TWO EAST COUNTY PROJECTS WIN ORCHID AWARDS FOR ARCHITECTURE

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, top: Ilan-Lael Center; bottom: Borrego Springs Library

 

October 5, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – The annual Orchids & Onions Awards have presented coveted “Orchid” awards to two East County projects.  

 

The Ilan-Lael Center in Santa Ysabel built by Hubbell and Hubbell Architects received the award for collaborative architecture. The County’s Borrego Springs library, park and Sheriff’s office designed by RNT Architects received an Orchid architectural award.


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BRUSH MOUSE TESTS POSITIVE FOR HANTAVIRUS IN JULIAN

By Gig Conaughton, County of San Diego Communications Office

Photo:  Brush mouse, Peromyscus boylii

October 3, 2019 (Julian) - A brush mouse collected in routine monitoring in Julian has tested positive for the potentially deadly hantavirus, prompting County officials to remind people to never sweep or vacuum up after rodents if they find them in their living spaces.


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COUNTY HELPS TO BUILD THOUSANDS OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING UNITS

By Jose A. Alvarez, County of San Diego Communications Office

Photo:  The Beacon apartments, in East Village, will open Sept. 20.

September 22, 2019 (San Diego) - High rental prices and low vacancy rates have made it extremely difficult for many San Diegans to find affordable places to live.

As part of its ongoing effort to help ease the affordable housing crisis impacting families, seniors and those experiencing homelessness, the County and its many government and social service partners are building more than 3,000 new housing units to help people find a stable place to live.


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ALPINE TEEN KILLED IN RAMONA MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT

By Miriam Raftery
 
September 22, 2019 (Ramona) – The County Medical Examiner has identified Alan Kruize Stockfelt, 18, as the motorcyclist who died September 8th at the scene of an accident September 8th in Ramona.

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JULIAN AUTUMN JUBILEE AT FORT CROSS OLD TIMEY ADVENTURES EACH WEEKEND IN OCTOBER

By Miriam Raftery

 

September 22, 2019 (Santa Ysabel) – Fort Cross Old Timey Adventures will host its Julian Autumn Jubilee each weekend in October (Oct. 5-27)  Fort Cross is located at 4425 California 78 in Santa Ysabel, just outside of Juilan, California. Hours are Saturdays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays 11:15 a.m. to 5 p.m.


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RAMONA AIR TAKES FLIGHT ON OCT. 5

By Katie WhiteCounty of San Diego Communications Office

September 20, 2019 (Ramona) - Fasten your seatbelts and prepare for takeoff as one of Ramona’s biggest events returns for its 24th annual edition.

The Ramona Air Fair & Fly-in is coming to the County of San Diego’s Ramona Airport, 2926 Montecito Road, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 5. Event admission and parking are free, and all ages are welcome.


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FINDING MIDDLE GROUND: CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE CAMPA-NAJJAR SPEAKS OUT ON KEY ISSUES, IN HIS OWN WORDS

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor and Miriam Raftery, Editor

View video of complete town hall: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fj9ot7tcbXchttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fj9ot7tcbXc

 

“We are one nation, under God, indivisible. But right now, I think that notion is being tested at our deepest core. I think it is time for us to lead with our values again as a nation." -- Ammar Campa-Najjar

September 17, 2019 (Alpine)—At a town hall meeting in Alpine on August 18, some 100 East County residents heard Congressional candidate Ammar Campa-Najjar field questions on a wide range of issues. He offered thoughtful responses, many moderate positions and at times, maverick views on topics such as healthcare, gun violence, climate change, jobs, education, immigration and more.

The Jamul resident and Democratic contender has worked at the national level on both business and labor issues. Now he’s running for the 50th Congressional district seat held by indicted Republican Congressman Duncan D. Hunter, whose federal corruption trial begins in January.

Dressed in a long-sleeved sports shirt and blue jeans, the 30 year-old hopeful emphasized that to win in 2020, he has to attract voters across party lines. The Republican party still holds a substantial registration advantage, but Campa-Najjar came within three percentage points of ousting Hunter in 2018 in what had long been considered a GOP stronghold.

First, Campa-Najjar gave an overview of his platform. Next he answered questions on 10 topics randomly pulled from questions submitted beforehand. Then came live questions posed by audience members at a microphone.


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CAL FIRE ISSUES CORRECTIONS ON C-130 PLANE SHOWN IN COUNTY VIDEO, AFTER ECM INQUIRY

By Miriam Raftery

September 18, 2019 (San Diego) -- On August 30th, the County of San Diego issued a news release titled “CAL FIRE Prepares To Add New Aerial Attack Plane”.  It incorrectly stated, “CAL FIRE plans in the near future to purchase a retardant-dropping C-130 air tanker and the agency’s pilots got a chance to train in the region this month.” 

A video did show a pilot training in Ramona, as ECM reported. Cal Fire Captain and Public Information officer Issac Sanchez, in the video, indicated that Cal Fire hoped to have a C-130 permanently stationed in the region within the next couple of years.

However, yesterday ECM received an e-mail from Thomas Dominguez, who says he is a former firefighter. He disputed the County’s statements and indicated that the aircraft in question is to be given, not sold, to Cal Fire by the federal government. He also stated that the aircraft is not currently equipped with a fire retardant system. 

CalFire has confirmed that these are truthful statements, and that this process will likely take a couple of years, though will ultimately make our region safer.


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POWER OUTAGE SLATED IN JULIAN TODAY

By Miriam Raftery

September 18, 2019 (Julian) – SDG&E has announced a planned power outage today from 12 noon to 4 p.m. to protect safety of workers repairing power poles.  An estimated 1,600 customers will be affected.

If you are enrolled in SDG&E’s Medical Baseline program and have devices that depend on electricity, the Planned Outage Coordinator to confirm you have received the outage notification and to make any necessary arrangements during the planned outage. The outage coordinator can be reached weekdays between 7 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. at 858-654-1785.

If you need assistance after hours or over the weekend, please call 1-800-211-7343.


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