Rural communities

TEEN KILLED IN ALPINE COLLISION

 

East County News Service

Photo: ECM news partner 10 News

December 12, 2017 (Alpine) – Alpine resident William Burton, 17, died at the scene of an accident that occurred last night at 8:25 p.m. on South Grade Road east of Via Viejas Oeste in Alpine. 

A senior at Granite Hills High School and tight end on the school's football team, he was on his way home from a team banquet when the tragedy occurred, KNSD reports.

SDG&E RESTORES POWER AFTER PROLONGED OUTAGES; RESIDENTS WHO SUFFERED STRESS AND LOSS WANT CHANGES FOR FUTURE

 

 

Residents angered at loss of water pumps, alarm systems, refrigeration, comunication and heat during outages up to a week in some areas that have suffered repeated outages

By Miriam Raftery

December 12, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – SDG&E announced last night that it has fully restored power to all customers who were de-energized due to “public safety concerns” following a week-long red flag warning with strong gusty winds, low humidity and dangerous fire conditions.  An SDG&E media release states, “After crews inspected power lines all day in coordination with contract firefighters who were on hand to ensure a safe restoration process, power was turned on for all remaining customers. Field crews patrolled on the ground and in the air. Aerial inspections were completed by five helicopters in rural, mountainous areas."

Power remains out to 56 customers in the Lilac Fire zone in North County, where full restoration is expected early Tuesday evening. All 43 poles damaged in the fire will be replaced with fire-resistant steel poles and thicker, stronger wires, SDG&E indicates, adding, ““We understand that being without power, for any reason, is an inconvenience and we appreciate the patience we have received from our customers.”  For current information on outages and restoration times, visit sdge.com/outage.

Across East County,  many residents in rural, mountain and high desert towns have taken to social media to voice concerns over the prolonged outages.  Although SDG&E says it did provide advance notice to 170,000 customers of possible planned outages due to high winds and fire danger, before shutting off power to many thousands of homes, many rural residents say that’s not enough – and they want changes made. Below are highlights of residents' concerns and proposals.

BOIL WATER ORDERS ISSUED IN BOULEVARD, JULIAN AND CAMPO DUE TO POWER OUTAGES

Update December 9, 2017: A boil water has been aded for Vallecito County Park, 37349 Great Southern Overland in Julian, as well as the sites below.

December 8, 2017 (San Diego's East County)--The County of San Diego, Department of Environmental Health (DEH) has issued a Boil Water Advisory and Public Notification effective immediately for the following:  

  • Boulevard Pines Mobile Home & RV Park at 39375 Old Highway 80, Boulevard, CA 91905
  • Butterfield Ranch at 14925 Great Southern Overland, Julian, CA, 92036
  • Cameron Corners at 31484 Hwy 94, Campo, CA 91906
  • Campo Group at 31471 Hwy 94, Campo, CA 91906 

Due to the recent power outage, these public water systems have lost pressure in their water distribution systems.  As a precaution, Boil Water Advisories are being issued until laboratory results demonstrate the water is free from bacterial contamination. 

Click here for instructions on boiling water and alternative methods of disinfection

SWEETWATER FIRE CONTAINED IN JAPATUL AREA

 

East County Wildfire & Emergency Alert Service

Photo: Brush Fire Partyline on Facebook

 

December 8, 2017 (Japatul) -- Firefighters have contained an 8-10 acre brush fire that started south of I-8 near the Japatul exit in Cleveland National Forest.

Multiple units responded from The U.S. Forest Service, Cal Fire, Viejas Fire, Alpine and Lakeside Fire departments to the Sweetwater Fire.

UPDATES ON LILAC FIRE: HELP AVAILABLE FOR EVACUEES AND THOSE WITHOUT POWER

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: SDG&E mobile command north of I-8 at Japatul has free wi-fi, charging stations and water for those affected by power outages in East County.

December 8, 2017 (San Diego) -- President Donald Trump has issued a disaster declaration for San Diego County due to the Lilac Fire to maximize firefighting resources and the military is also providing aircrafts to fight the fires. The declaration does not cover rebuilding for fire survivors, which could be made through a separation action later.

The National Weather Service’s revised forecast now indicates high winds will continue through Sunday, so the danger of new fires remains high and all residents are asked to refrain from any activities that could spark a fire.

Countywide, thousands remain without power, many due to planned outages to prevent ignition, others due to damaged equipment and fires. But more help is now available.

RESIDENTS VOICE ANGER OVER POWER OUTAGES

Photo, left: Map of outages in San Diego County as of 7:45 a.m. today.

December 8, 2017 (San Diego's East County) -- SDG&E has sent warnings to 170,000 San Diego County residents to be prepared for power shutdowns due to the high fire danger posed by strong Santa Ana winds. The utility has already shut off power to thousands of homes in communities across our region including portions of Alpine, Bonsall,  Boulevard, Campo, Cuyamaca, Descanso, Fallbrook, Jamul, Julian, Mount Laguna, Potrero, Ramona, Santa Ysabel, Vista and more.

The utility has warned residents that their power could remain off for several days until it can be safely restored. The shut-offs, meant to prevent powerline fires such as those that ignited the 2007 firestorms, are sparking concerns and outrage among some residents, particularly in rural areas. 

Electric well pumps don’t work with the power out, leaving no way to provide water for people or livestock.  Some rural areas lack cell phone service, leaving people with no way to learn about wildfires or other emergencies, unless they have a backup generator. Many residents are also shivering in cold temperatures dipping into the 40s at night, some left without electric heating.

HOLIDAY LIGHT PARADE, SNOW FESTIVAL DRAWS BIGGER CROWD

 

By Jo Moreland, Alpine-Mountain Empire Chamber of Commerce

December 7, 2017 (Alpine) -- “Merry Christmas!”  That cheerful message was shouted often during the “22nd Annual Alpine Village Christmas Parade of Lights & Snow Festival” on Dec. 1 in Alpine.

VACANCY ANNOUNCED ON DEHESA SCHOOL DISTRICT BOARD

 

East County News Service

December 7, 2017 (Dehesa) - The Dehesa School District is seeking applications from interested residents within the school district’s boundaries to serve as an appointed member of the Governing Board to fill the balance of a four-year term, which would be up for election November 2018.

SDG&E SHUTS POWER OFF TO 1,326 CUSTOMERS: MAY BE DOWN FOR DAYS

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 6, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – Tonight SDG&E has shut off power due many areas across East County and North County due to “an extreme weather event with high winds and dry conditions,” according to SDG&E’s website, which warns, “Current conditions indicate that power may remain out for several days before it can be safely restored. If your power is out, please be sure you have adequate emergency supplies on hand for an extended period of time and check here for the most current information on expected restoration times.”

The action comes just days after the California Public Utilities Commission ruled that SDG&E cannot bill ratepayers for its uninsured losses from the 2007 firestorms, when state regulators found its power lines responsible for three major fires.

SWEETWATER PLACE ON SUPERVISORS’ AGENDA DEC. 6

By Miriam Raftery

December 4, 2017 (Spring Valley) – San Diego Supervisors’ agenda for this Wednesday, December 6th includes a public hearing on Sweetwater Place,  a 122-unit condominium project and public park proposed by MasterCraft Homes on 18 acres in Spring Valley.

The project site is on the land formerly occupied by Evergreen Nursery, north of Jamacha Blvd. at Sweetwater Springs Blvd in the Spring Valley Community Plan area. It aims to help fill the need for housing in the Spring Valley-Rancho San Diego area.

Lora Lowes, Chair of the Spring Valley Community Planning Group, (SVCPG) has sent a letter to Supervisors voicing concerns about the proposal, and urges the public to attend and speak at the meeting. Read her letter (in 2 parts) here and here.

ALPINE CHRISTMAS PARADE OF LIGHTS AND SNOW FESTIVAL DEC. 1

 

East County News Service

November 30, 2017 (Alpine) -- You’re invited to celebrate a  rural Christmas on Friday, Dec. 1, at the 22nd Annual Alpine Village Christmas Parade of Lights & Snow Festival in Alpine. A parade of glittering lighted entries begins at 6:30 p.m. on Alpine Boulevard, where shops are aglow with holiday lights.

The parade ends at the annual (free!) Snow Festival in the Alpine Creek Town Center complete with sledding on a hill with real snow There will also be children’s activities, entertainment, and a visit by Santa Claus, as well as vendors and food for purchase.

VINEYARD HACIENDA OWNERS SWEPT OVER WATERFALL IN HAWAII

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 29, 2017 (Spring Valley) -- Tragedy has struck a Spring Valley family after George and Gladys Novinger were swept over the towering Rainbow Falls in Hilo, Hawaii over the weekend.  Gladys was found unconscious and taken to a hospital, where she died.  Her husband is presumed dead, though his body has not yet been recovered and may have been washed out to sea, according to Hawaii authorities.

“GROVE LOFTS” APARTMENTS ON LEMON GROVE OUTSKIRTS BEHIND SCHEDULE, ANNOYING BROOKSIDE RESIDENTS IN NEIGHBORING SPRING VALLEY

 

By Jake Christie

November 29, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) -- The banner on the second story says “coming in 2018.”  But the Grove Lofts building site on Broadway in the outskirts of Lemon Grove has been mostly unmanned by construction workers for over a month, say the Spring Valley residents closest to the site.

COVERT CANYON SHOOTING SITE IN ALPINE IS IN DEFAULT ON PAYMENTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 20, 2017 (Alpine) – Covert Canyon, a controversial firearms training facility long utilized by military and law enforcement as well as private gun enthusiasts, faces potential foreclosure.  CBS 8 reports that a notice of default was filed against owner Marc Halcon on October 26th.  If he does not pay $40,000 within 90 days, the property can be foreclosed on and sold at auction.

DEADLY MANGE LINKED TO RODENT POISONS

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Bobcat with necrotic mange in Deerhorn Valley, 2012

November 18, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – Deadly outbreaks of mange in wildlife across California has been linked to second-generation anti-coagulant poisons meant to kill rats and other rodents.  Locally, numerous cases of mange have been reported among coyotes in Lakeside as recently as this month.  In Deerhorn Valley, the Antler documented bobcats dying of necrotic mange from second generation rodenticides in 2012. 

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: SPECTACULAR SUNSET IN JAMUL

 

East County News Service

November 17, 2017 (Jamul) – UCSD’s HP-Wren video camera atop Lyon’s Peak in Jamul captured this stunning sunset last week. 

You can view a dazzling time-lapse video here, taken November 7th:  http://c1.hpwren.ucsd.edu/…/lp-s-…/large/20171107/MP4/Q6.mp4

"CHRISTMAS IN ALPINE" HOME TOUR DEC. 16TH

 

East County News Service

November 16, 2017 (Alpine) - The Alpine Woman’s Club will hold its Twelfth Annual “Christmas in Alpine” Home Tour on Saturday, December 16th from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. You will have an opportunity to view five stunning country estates and stroll through Kathy and Mario’s quaint and spectacular Alpine Country Garden and Gifts Shop and the beautifully decorated Alpine Community Church. The Historic Town Hall will be open from 1pm till 4pm. Andrew Piondexter will display his incredible Nutcracker collection. He originally started his collection about five years ago for one of his teachers. He added to his collection and now has almost 300 Nutcrackers. They range in size from two inches to five feet tall.

SEE SMOKE? FIREFIGHTERS TRAINING AT VALHALLA HIGH SCHOOL THIS WEEKEND



By Miriam Raftery

November 18, 2017 (Rancho San Diego)--San Miguel Fire District along with Heartland Fire Rescue and Santee Fire Department will be conducting fire and rescue training this weekend at Vahalla High School, located at 1725 Hillsdale Road in the Rancho San Diego area of unincorporated El Cajon.

The fire rescue drill will be Saturday November 18 and Sunday November 19 from 9am to 3pm.  Smoke machines will be used during training - neighbors might see smoke coming from the school during these training events.

SUSPECTED GAS THIEF INJURED AFTER PURSUIT, CRASH IN ALPINE

 

East County News Service

November 13, 2017 (Alpine) - A suspect who fled from Sheriff’s deputies after allegedly trying to steal gas or tampering with county gas pumps on Tavern Road in Alpine this morning has crashed the Toyota Camry he was driving and wound up air lifted to a trauma center.

BRING HOME A FRENCH COUNTRY THANKSGIVING FEAST FROM FABRISON’S IN JAMUL

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 11, 2017 (Jamul) –What’s better than a home-cooked Thanksgiving dinner?  The one you don’t have to make. Fortunately, Fabrison’s  Country French restaurant in Jamul is offering delicious take-out dinners for Thanksgiving. 

The menu includes free-range turkey, butternut squash soup, garden greens salad, green bean casserole, orange cranberry sauce, sugar-spiced glazed carrots, roasted potatoes (with garlic and rosemary option), gravy, french baguette stuffing, dinner rolls and pumpkin pie.

Cost is $39.95 per person. You can choose from these take-out options:

VIEJAS ICE RINKS NOW OPEN: HOLIDAY ON ICE SHOW NOV. 11

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 8, 2017 (Alpine) – The largest outdoor ice rink in Southern California is now open for the season at the Viejas Outlet Center in Alpine, transforming the grounds into a winter wonderland.  On Saturday, November 11, the rink will feature a Holiday on Ice  show and lighting of a large holiday see.

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