Rural communities

WELCOME, RURAL RESIDENTS!

Our Rural section covers most San Diego County's inland communities south of I-8  to the border including Alpine, Barrett Junction, Boulevard, Campo, Deerhorn Valley, Dehesa, Dulzura,  Jamul,  Japatul, Lake Morena, Otay,  Potrero, and Spring Valley. 


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BARBECUE BLAMED FOR SPRING VALLEY FIRE THAT DESTROYED TWO HOMES

By Miriam Raftery

November 28, 2021 (Spring Valley) – Two homes in Spring Valley were destroyed yesterday by a fire started from a propane barbecue grill.

The blaze on San Bernadino Avenue near Date Street in La Presa started around 12:30 p.m. The grill was reportedly left unattended and flames caught wood siding on fire, San Miguel Fire & Rescue division chief Andy Lawler told the San Diego Union-Tribune. Residents, unable to locate a fire extinguisher, called 911.


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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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MAN ARRESTED FOR SPRING VALLEY MURDER

East County News Service

November 25, 2021 (Spring Valley) – Pedro Arturo Rodriguez, Jr., 22, has been arrested and charged with the shooting murder of Arnolfo Quinntero, 26.

Sheriff’s homicide detectives responded to the killing on November 3 in the 8700 block of Troy Street in Spring Valley. On November 23, the San Diego Regional Fugitive Task Force arrested Rodriguez as he left his residence in the 5200 block of Quince Street in San Diego, says Lieutenant Thomas Siever.

Rodriguez was booked into San Diego Central Jail.


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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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SAPS AT SEA PRESENT "LAUREL & HARDY - SAVE THE BEST FOR DECEMBER NIGHT" DEC. 18

East County News Service

November 24, 2021 (Spring Valley) - The Saps at Sea, the San Diego chapter of the Sons of the Desert, the Laurel & Hardy appreciation society, invite you to "Laurel & Hardy - Save the Best for December Night" December 18 at Williams Hall at Trinity Presbytarian Church in Spring Valley.


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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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LIONS, TIGERS AND BEARS HOSTS TURKEY BASH NOV. 26-27

East County News Service

November 18, 2021 (Alpine) – After you’ve savored your Thanksgiving feast, you’re invited to come watch exotic animals at Lions, Tigers and Bears in Alpine device their Thanksgiving meal at the annual Turkey Bash.


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MAN DIES AFTER FIGHT IN SPRING VALLEY; SUSPECT IN CUSTODY

By Miriam Raftery

November 17, 2021 (Spring Valley) – Rafael Garcia, 39, of Spring Valley died last night of injuries sustained in a fight on November 11. Sheriff’s deputies responded to a call reporting an assault at Harness Street and Canyon Road in Spring Valley, where they found the victim was unconscious and not breathing after suffering head trauma.


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“TIGER QUEENS” CELEBRATES SAVIORS FOR CAPTIVE FELINES, HIGHLIGHTS THE DANGERS OF BIG CAT PSEUDO-SANCTUARIES

Bobbi Brink, founder of Lions, Tigers and Bears in Alpine, is among sanctuary founders highlighted in new video

East County News Service

View video

November 14, 2021 (Alpine) -- More tigers are held in captivity across the U.S. than remain in the wild globally, estimates suggest. The Big Cat Sanctuary Alliance (BCSA) is a coalition of wildlife rescuers, reputable sanctuaries, and animal advocates working to eliminate the trade in “pet” wildcats and the commercial exploitation of exotic felines nationwide. Seeking to raise awareness about the plight of captive big cats held in inhumane conditions, the BCSA earlier this month released a new video titled Tiger Queens.


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SUSPECT CAPTURED AFTER PURSUIT FROM JAMUL TO CHULA VISTA DISRUPTS FUNERAL

East County News Service

November 13, 2021 (Jamul) – Mourners at a funeral helped law enforcement officers track down Jose Espinosa, 40, who was arrested November 11 after leading Sheriff’s deputies on a pursuit from Jamul to Chula Vista. Espinosa fled in his black Nissan after being pulled over for a traffic stop in the 14000 block of State Route 94 in Jamul.


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WINTER FUN IS BACK: VIEJAS ICE SKATING RINK REOPENS NOVEMBER 12

By Miriam Raftery

November 8, 2021 (Alpine) – Southern California’s largest outdoor ice skating rink at Viejas Casino & Resort will reopen for the holiday season  November 12 and will remain open until January 3.

Enjoy the sights and sounds of the season with holiday lights, entertainment and a winter water show as well – all at the Viejas Outlets Center, across the street from the Viejas Casino in Alpine at 5003 Willows Road.

The rink is open daily from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m., weather permitting, except for these holidays:


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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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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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ROAD WORK ON HIGHWAY 94 BEGINS MONDAY EAST OF DULZURA: TRAFFIC SLOWING EXPECTED

Source: Caltrans

Photo: Creative Commons-SA via Bing

October 23, 2021 (Dulzura) --  Pavement rehabilitation work on a nine-mile segment of State Route 94,  from just west of Arnold Road to State Route 188 in East County, will move to weekdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. beginning Monday, according to Caltrans.

The work will require lane closures on 1.5-mile sections of roadway within the project area through November. Highway personnel will direct traffic onto the open lane, one direction at a time, as crews work on the closed lane.

Traffic delays are expected depending on the traffic queues and motorists are advised to allow additional travel time to reach their destinations.

Signs will be posted ahead of the closures to alert drivers.


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JAMUL SHOPPING CENTER SELLS FOR $6 MILLION IN OFF-LISTING TRANSACTION

East County News Service

October 21, 2021 (Jamul) – A retail shopping center in Jamul has been sold for $6 million. The property, which had not been listed for sale, sold on Sept. 17, Commercial Asset Advisors announced.  The 18,926-square-foot center has multiple tenants and is anchored by a 7-Eleven gas station. It is located at 12918-12930 Campo Road, Jamul, CA 91935.

CAA’s Gino Kalasho and Mike Conger represented the buyer, Fuel Team Inc., on this transaction. The seller was Dan Floit.The property includes approximately one acre of unused land that could be developed in the future.


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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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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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O’FARRELL CHARTER SCHOOLS NAMES CYNTHIA WAGNER OF ALPINE AS NEW SUPERINTENDENT

Veteran education administrator to oversee O’Farrell, Ingenuity Charter Schools

East County News Service

October 8, 2021 (San Diego) – The O’Farrell Charter Schools, which includes The O'Farrell Charter School and Ingenuity Charter School, announced today the appointment of Alpine resident Cynthia “Cindy” Wagner as its new superintendent. Her selection follows a four-month nationwide search that resulted in a pool of numerous well-qualified candidates. 


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BOIL WATER ORDER FOR THE MOUNTAIN EMPIRE HIGH SCHOOL WATER SYSTEM

Source: County of San Diego

 

October 7, 2021 (Pine Valley) -- The County of San Diego, Department of Environmental Health and Quality (DEHQ) has issued a Boil Water Order for the Mountain Empire High School water system effective immediately.

 

The drinking water system at the high school in Pine Valley has tested present for E.Coli bacteria. The presence of E.Coli bacteria indicates that the water may be contaminated with human or animal waste. Health effects can include diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches or other symptoms. E.Coli may pose a special health risk for infants, young children, some elderly, and people with severely compromised immune systems.


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JUDGE BLOCKS OTAY RANCH DEVELOPMENT, ORDERS COUNTY TO REVERSE APPROVAL DUE TO WILDFIRE DANGERS

By Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine

October 7, 2021 (Proctor Valley) – A San Diego Superior Court judge today ordered the County of San Diego to vacate its 2019 approval of portions of the Otay Ranch Village 14 and Planning Areas 16/19 in Proctor Valley south of Jamul near Chula Vista, due to the danger of wildfires in an area that has already had many severe fires.

Judge Richard S. Whitney found that the County’s environmental impact report failed to assess the increase wildfire risk, nor offer any mitigation to reduce those increased risks if the controversial master-planned community were built. 

California Attorney General Rob Bonta intervened on behalf of the people of California to support a lawsuit filed by environmental groups challenging the project.  Bonta praised the decision, stating, “Today’s ruling by the Superior Court affirms a critical fact: Local governments have a responsibility to address wildfire risks associated with development projects at the front end. Doing so will save dollars—and lives—down the line.”


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PASSAGES: REX COLE, GOLF PRO AT LOCAL COURSES

East County News Service

October 5, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) – Rex A. Cole Sr., a PGA golf professional and instructor at several local golf courses, passed away on August 25. 


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PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: LIGHTNING FIRE

By Miriam Raftery 

October 4, 2021 (La Mesa) – Lightning from tonight’s storm sparked several fires across East County tonight, including this one in the Casa de Oro/Mt. Helix area.  Dawn Hough Sebaugh captured a series of dramatic images showing lightning striking vegetation with an explosive force, sending a shower of sparks swirling up into the night sky.

“It sounded like a bomb went off!” Sebaugh posted, noting that she thought a lightning bolt had struck a home.

 

Pulse Point indicates the strike was on Calavo just north of Louisa. A dispatcher at Heartland Fire & Rescue confirms that fortunately, the lightning did not strike a structure, but instead ignited a grove of palm trees.


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THE SAPS AT SEA PROUDLY PRESENT 'HALLOSCREAM SAPSTRAVAGANZA' OCT. 16

East County News Service

Photo via Make It Quietly on Tumblr

September 21, 2021 (Spring Valley) - For this year's Halloween show, the Saps at Sea, the San Diego chapter of the Sons of the Desert, the Laurel and Hardy appreciation society, present "Halloscream Sapstravaganza."  The fun happens on Saturday, October 16 at 7 p.m. at Williams Hall at Trinity Presbytarian Church, 3902 Kenwood Drive, in Spring Valley.


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I-8/CRESTWOOD ROAD RAMP SIX-WEEK CLOSURE NEAR GOLDEN ACORN CASINO BEGINS MONDAY

Source: Caltrans

September 17, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) -- Caltrans crews anticipate closures at Interstate 8 (I-8) and Crestwood Road for four to six weeks beginning Monday to replace guardrail systems. The work will require full closures of the westbound I-8/Crestwood Road on-ramp and the eastbound I-8/Crestwood Road off-ramp near the Golden Acorn Casino, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. through early November. Advance notification signs have been placed to inform motorists about the closures. See map below for closure areas.


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PEDESTRIAN KILLED BY MERCEDES IN SPRING VALLEY

East County News Service

September 14, 2021 (Spring Valley) – A 60-year-old man died at the scene after being struck by a Mercedes Benz C350 last night in Spring Valley at 9:42 p.m. last night.  The Mercedes was traveling west on Jamacha Blvd. just west of Gillespie Drive when it struck the pedestrian.


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CHILDREN'S NATURE RETREAT HOSTS 'AN EVENING ON SAFARI' FUNDRAISER GALA SEPT. 18

East County News Service

September 10, 2021 (Alpine) - The Children’s Nature Retreat in Alpine is hosting its 9th annual Fundraiser Gala with ‘An Evening On Safari’ on Saturday, Sept. 18.   


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JOIN EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE AT OUR PARTY IN PARADISE AND COMMUNITY CHAMPIONS AWARDS SEPT. 25

SOLD OUT!

Slide show: https://www.eastcountymagazine.org/sites/eastcountymagazine.org/files/Pa...

You’re invited to join East County Magazine in rooftop revelry at our “Party in Paradise” on Saturday evening, September 25th where we will also present Community Champions Awards to honor outstanding community members. View list of finalists for the awards.  https://www.eastcountymagazine.org/east-county-magazine-announces-finali...

The event will be held atop the beautiful new, outdoor rooftop shaded deck atop the Jamul Casino, with panoramic 360-degree views! Enjoy a VIP cocktail reception, tropical dinner, live music by Slack Key Ohana, dancing, auction, raffle, and fun galore.

Proceeds benefit East County Media, supporting East County Magazine, East County Wildfire & Emergency Alerts, and our Community Champions Awards.

To reserve tickets at earlybird rates, click below:


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