Rural communities

HUNDREDS TURN OUT TO HELP FIRE SURVIVORS IN ALPINE

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

August 19, 2018 (Alpine) – “Your life can change at the drop of dime,” Lisa Ford told a standing-room only crowd of more than 400 people packed the Alpine Community Center last night for a fundraiser to help survivors of the West Fire.

WEST FIRE RECOVERY EFFORTS PROGRESSING IN ALPINE

 

Fundraiser tonight

By Jo Moreland

August 18, 2018 (Alpine) -- Alpine has moved from emergency relief to recovery since the July 6 West Fire destroyed and damaged dozens of homes and other buildings.

That’s the assessment of authorities still working to help about 55 families displaced after flames blazed through the eastern edges of the foothills community of about 16,000 people.

YOUNG ACTORS THEATRE PRESENTS “SMILE” THROUGH AUG. 19

 

By Kathy Carpenter

August 16, 2018 (Spring Valley) - Beauty pageants are big business, or used to be. This is an inside look at the fictional The Young American Miss contest held in Santa Rosa, CA. The musical is based on a screenplay by Jerry Belson, and filled with the wonderful music of Marvin Hamlisch. The 1987 film starred Annette O'Toole and Melanie Griffith.

WILDEST JOBS IN EAST COUNTY: RATTLESNAKE WRANGLER

 

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

August 16, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) -- “Listen for sprinklers, they sound like sprinklers,” says Tom Minga, a rattlesnake specialist.

Minga, a Flinn Springs resident, who owns Snake Solutions Removal & Relocation, recommends listening for rattlers when you are out in nature or even in your house.   

DESPITE PLEDGE TO RUN, REBEKAH BASSON NOT ON LA MESA SCHOOLS BALLOT IN NOVEMBER

 

By Ken Stone

Originally published by Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

Photo by Ken Stone

August 14, 2018 (la Mesa) - A year ago this week, 25-year-old Rebekah Basson attended her first meeting as a newly appointed school board member in East County — based in part on her pledge to run for a full term in November 2018.

CASA DE ORO ALLIANCE AWARDED GRANT TO TRANSFORM AREA

 

East County community receives $500,000 toward effort

East County News Service

August 11, 2018 (Casa de Oro) -- The Casa de Oro Alliance has been awarded a $500,000 grant from the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) to improve the Campo Road business corridor in the East County community.

PUBLIC URGED TO SPEAK OUT ON WIND TURBINE IMPACTS AT TORREY WIND SCOPING MEETING AUG. 23 IN BOULEVARD

 

 
By Miriam Raftery

August 11, 2018 (Boulevard) -- Terra-Gen's proposed Torrey Wind project (with up to 30 giant turbines each up to 586 tall and 4.2 megawatts) in Boulevard is moving through the planning process quickly. Boulevard Planning Group Chair Donna Tisdale is asking all who have concerns or information to share on impacts of wind turbines to come to a public scoping meeting  August 23 at 6 p.m. in the new Cal-Fire/County Fire Station at 40080 Ribbonwood Road, Boulevard.

“These turbines could be twice as powerful and about 100 feet taller than the Tule Wind turbines installed on public recreation land next door,” says Tisdale. “Bigger turbines can churn out much more noise and low frequency vibrations and potential electrical pollution over greater distances that can trigger psychical and emotional stress and the body's fight or flight instinct in people and animals. Turbines have reportedly been deemed nuisances in some legal and administrative proceedings around the world, with some families abandoning their homes and other homes bought out by developers over noise impacts and related litigation.”

COMMUNITY MEETING IN BOULEVARD AUG. 20 FOR BACKCOUNTRY RESOURCE CENTER

 

East County News Service

August 8, 2018 (Boulevard) – Boulevard residents are invited to the Backcountry Resource Center (the old Boulevard Fire Station) on August 20th at 7 p.m. to give your input on the new Backcountry Resource Center.  Come share your ideas on what you’d like to see, how you’d like to participate, and your dreams for the community.

See flyer for details.

ANTHROPOLOGIST TO SPEAK ON KUMEYAAY ETHNOBOTANY AUG. 19 IN ALPINE

 

East County News Service

August 6, 2018 (Alpine) – The Alpine Historical Society and Alpine Woman’s Club invite you to a potluck luncheon on Sunday, August 19 at 2156 Alpine Blvd. in Alpine. The lunch and general meeting starts at 1 p.m. with program at 2 p.m. featuring anthropologist/author Michael Wilken-Robertson, who will speak on the interdependence between native peoples and native plants in Southern California and Baja.

See attached flyer for information on reservations and details.

JAMUL INDIAN VILLAGE INVITES COMMUNITY TO CELEBRATE THE GRAND RE-OPENING OF THE JAMUL CASINO

 

East County News Service

August 3, 2018 (Jamul) -- The Jamul Indian Village (JIV) and the Jamul Indian Village Development Corporation (JIVDC) will celebrate the official relaunch of the newly renamed Jamul Casino with a block party celebration on Saturday, August 4, 2018.

“We look forward to welcoming the community to Jamul Casino where we will be celebrating in every venue at the casino,” said Jamul Indian Village Chairwoman Erica M. Pinto. “We’re celebrating not just the change in the casino’s name, but our Tribe’s success in achieving our dream of independently owning and managing our own casino. We want to thank the community for their continued support and invite everyone back into the casino to enjoy the hospitality of the Jamul Indian Village.”

JAMUL INDIAN VILLAGE BREAKS GROUND ON ROAD IMPROVEMENTS IN JAMUL

 

East County News Service

August 1, 2018 (Jamul) - The Jamul Indian Village broke ground Tuesday on road improvements at the intersection of Lyons Valley Road and Campo Road.  The Tribe marked the occasion with a groundbreaking ceremony that included Jamul Tribal Council members. The improvements are part of the Jamul Indian Village’s $3.7 million commitment to the County of San Diego for improvements to county roadways.

CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE TO ATTEND MEET & GREET AUG. 25 HOSTED BY ALPINE RESIDENT

 

 

 

East County News Service

 

July 31, 2018 (Alpine) – Congressional candidate Ammar Campa-Najjar will be at a meet and greet open to the public at the Alpine Community Center on August 25th from 1 to 3 p.m. The event is hosted by Alpine resident Anne Craig-Tillmond. 

RED SUV DRIVER WANTED FOR BACKING OVER AND KILLING WOMAN ON HIGHWAY 94 NEAR STEELE CANYON, THEN FLEEING SCENE

 

By Miraim Raftery

July 27, 2018 (Jamul) – California Highway Patrol seeks public help to find the driver of a red or burgundy small SUV who reportedly backed up and killed a woman in her 30s who had gotten out of the vehicle. She was walking west on the shoulder of highway 94 near Steel Canyon Road in Spring Valley early Friday morning when the driver struck and seriously injured her. He reportedly remained at the scene for several minutes, and then fled.

The driver is described as an African-American man in his mid-30s, 5 ft. 7 to 5 ft. 8 inches tall, weighing 275-300 pounds with short hair and no visible tattoos. He was wearing light-colored clothes and a sweatband around his head.

BOULEVARD PLANNERS OPPOSE TORREY WIND PROPOSAL FOR TURBINES TALLER THAN DOWNTOWN SKYSCRAPERS PROPOSED IN RURAL COMMUNITY

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos:  Brush fire sparked by exploding wind turbine in Campo  in 2013.  Proposed new turbines would dwarf these older, smaller models.

July 26, 2018 (Boulevard) – The Boulevard Community Planning Group has sent a 26-page letter to the County opposing Terra-Gen’s proposed Torrey Wind project.  If approved, the project would erect 30 wind turbines each 586 feet tall—that’s 90 feet higher than the tallest skyscraper in downtown San Diego—on 2,,000 acres of absentee-owned ranchland formerly known as Big Country Ranch property at the north end of Ribbonwood Road.

The proposed major use permit for Torrey Wind (formerly known as San Diego Wind) will be on the Boulevard Planning Group’s agenda at its August 2nd meeting at 7 p.m.  (View agenda)

MOTORCYCLIST KILLED IN SPRING VALLEY CRASH

 

East County News Service

July 20, 2018 (Spring Valley) – A 48-year-old man from National City died of injuries sustained today in a motorcycle crash on Jamacha Road, just east of Osage Lane.

The motorcyclist was driving a blue 2018 Harley Davidson Sportster westbound on Jamacha at a high speed and failed to slow down into a curve, causing the vehicle to strike a concrete curb, says California Highway Patrol’s Public Information Officer Travis Garrow. The out-of-control vehicle then went up an embankment, ejecting the rider.

ALPINE MOUNTAIN EMPIRE: SAN DIEGO’S SOUTHEAST REGION, WILDERNESS GATEWAY

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, top: Carrizo Gorge federal wilderness area

June 29, 2018 (Alpine) – Most visitors to San Diego County head to the beaches or the well-known mountain town of Julian. But the County’s lesser traveled southeast region, known as the Alpine Mountain Empire, includes vast tracts of wilderness, quaint mountain towns, a historic train, museums, Native America reservations, resorts, parks and lakes.

WEST FIRE BENEFIT AND AUCTION AUG. 18

 

East County News Service

July 18, 2018 (Alpine) - A dinner and auction to benefit survivors of the West Fire in Alpine will be held on Saturday, August 18th from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at the Alpine Community Center.

The Alpine Mountain Empire Chamber of Commerce and Alpine Community Center are organizing the fundraiser. All funds raised will be donated to the Alpine Community Foundation to help and support those affected by the West Fire, which destroyed 34 homes and also destroyed many outbuildings, damaging other properties.

For tickets, visit http://www.AlpineChamber.com.

See details below:

HISTORIC HIGHWAY 94: TRAVELING THROUGH TIME

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 20, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – A trip along Highway 94, a state-designated historic highway, is like traveling through time—a place where you’ll find elements ot the region’s colorful past juxtaposed against new elements such as the region’s emerging wine industry, an Indian casino and golf courses.

ALPINE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION NOW ACCEPTING TAX-DEDUCTIBLE DONATIONS TO HELP WEST FIRE SURVIVORS

 

By Miriam Raftery

Drone video of West Fire devastation in Alpine: "Aftermath from above" by Joseph A. Acevedo, N6SIX

July 15, 2018 (Alpine) – People who want to help Alpine residents rebuild homes lost after the West Fire, and fill gaps that insurance companies and other agencies aren’t filling, can now make a tax deductible donation to the Alpine Community Foundation, a 501c3 nonprofit organization.

A community recovery team will help the Foundation verify needs and resources. Money will pay bills directly, and will not be paid directly to individuals. Those in greatest need will receive help first.  The Foundation is run by volunteers in the community, so no fees will be charged and 100% of donations will benefit fire survivors.

HOW TO HELP WEST FIRE SURVIVORS IN ALPINE

By Miriam Raftery

July 14, 2018 (Alpine) – Many of our readers have been asking how to help people who lost homes in the West Fire in Alpine earlier this month.  Several organizations are helping out and GoFundMe pages have also been set up for some of the families.

Alpine Christian Fellowship has established a West Fire relief fund that is accepting financial donations.  You can also sign up to volunteer to help with debris clean up, supply distribution, food and water, pet care, child care, spiritual care, or transportation.

A Fire Victim Supply Post has been set up at Boulder Oaks Elementary (2320 Tavern Rd., Alpine) where you can donate and drop off supplies to help fire survivors such as clothing, clean-up supplies, non-perishable food items and household goods.  For more info please call or text Margo at 619-876-8713 or Stephanie at 619-573-5638.

Keller Williams Realty has started a fund to help West Fire survivors and is also accepting donations of immediate relief supplies at three locations in Alpine and El Cajon. Details are at their GoFundMe link.

Below are other  GoFundMe sites set up to help specific individuals and families who lost homes in the West Fire. While some have already raised tens of thousands of dollars, other have nearly no donations. Please help our neighbors in need.

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: SAN MIGUEL FIREFIGHTERS BATTLE FLAMES IN ALPINE

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 14, 2018 (Alpine) – San Miguel Fire Protection District posted these dramatic images of their firefighters battling to save mobile homes during the West Fire in Alpine on July 6th.   

STRAW BALE HOME IN CAMPO HONORED AS ENERGY CHAMPION BY SDG&E, WILL BE FEATURED ON GREEN BUILDING COUNCIL TOUR OCT. 21

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos: Simple Construct

 

 

Hear our interview on KNSJ radio with homeowners Brian and Susan Fallgren, Simple Construct builder Rebeca Tasker, and SDG&E communications manager Helen Gao.

 View video on the home’s construction and view tour of the finished residence. 

July 14, 2018 (Campo) – Inspired by historical California adobe homes,  Brian and Susan Fallgren in Campo teamed up with Simple Construct to create a straw bale and adobe home that is beautiful, comfortable even in extreme heat, fire resistant and energy efficient—producing more power than it uses. 

The home has also won numerous honors.  It’s the first residence in Southern California to receive net zero certification through the Living Building Challenge, one of only 27 homes in the world to win this recognition.  A participant in the California Advanced Homes Program, it was also a winner in  the San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) 13th annual  Energy Showcase Awards and will be featured on the San Diego Green Building Council’s Green Homes Tour on Sunday, October 21.

“It’s an incredibly functional, comfortable home to live in, not only from an environmental standpoint, but from an every day livability standpoint,” Susan Fallgren says.

Audio: 

Interview: Straw Bale Homes--Helen Gao of SDG&E, Rebecca Tasker of Simple Construct, & Campo homeowners Brian and Susan Fallgren

PUBLIC HEARING SET FOR POSSIBLE ALPINE HOMES PROJECT

 

Source: Alpine-Mountain Empire Chamber of Commerce

 

July 12, 2018 (Alpine) - A public hearing about the storm water management plan for the proposed Rancho Sierra residential subdivision in Alpine will be held on Friday, July 20, in San Diego.

 

The County of San Diego has set the hearing for its 9 a.m. session in the County Operations Center Chambers at 5520 Overland Ave.

TRUCK DRIVER STRANDED 24 HOURS IN ALPINE RAVINE IS RESCUED BY SHERIFF’S SEARCH TEAM

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

Photo:  ASTREA helicopter, file photo

 

July 10, 2018 (Alpine) – A truck driver trapped in a ravine for over 24 hours was rescued by the Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team shortly before 5:30 a.m. The search began after Alpine Sheriff’s station deputies checked on an overdue big rig; the driver’s GPS led them to his truck parked near the I-8 viewpoint parking lot with engine running and headlights on.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY LUM EISENMAN WINE COMPETITION AWARDS RECORD NUMBER OF MEDALS

 

Source: Ramona Valley Vineyards Association

 

July 10, 2018 (Ramona) -- San Diego County winemakers picked up a record number of medals for outstanding wine at the Ramona Valley Vineyard Association (RVVA) Awards Dinner for the ninth San Diego County Lum Eisenman Wine Competition on Wednesday, June 20, 2018 held at the San Vicente Resort.

OUR EAST COUNTY WILDFIRE ALERTS PROVIDED CRITICAL, TIMELY INFORMATION DURING EARLY HOURS OF WEST FIRE IN ALPINE

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos by Bob Scheid, shortly after the West Fire began, helped us provide critical early warning to our readers

July 9, 2018 (Alpine) – In the critical first few hours of the West Fire in Alpine, our East County Wildfire & Emergency Alerts provided the earliest news that a fire had begun and was threatening homes in Alpine. In the first 12 hours, we posted 38 updates including Twitter, email, articles and social media.

During the fire’s first day, our first alert was sent at 11:44 a.m (simultaneous to the Forest Service's first Tweet five minutes after the fire was reported at 11:39 a.m., per Cal Fire's incident report). That was nearly an hour and a half before the first Cal Fire and County Fire Authority Tweet at 1:04 p.m.  and a full four hours before the first Cal-Fire e-mail alert went out at 3:43 p.m. announcing “numerous structures destroyed.”

Cal Fire/County Fire Chief Tony Mecham has said homes were burning within eight minutes after the fire started, Patch.com reports.

Alpine Fire Department, battling the inferno amid power outages and grappling with a seriously injured fire captain, didn’t get their first Twitter alert out until the next day.  Cleveland National Forest did send timely alerts via Twitter only, but stopped after the fire burned outside of federal lands and into neighborhoods with homes.

During the first 12 hours of the fire, we sent frequent updates via Twitter and email, as well as posting numerous updates on our webpage plus photos and video link. We even went the extra mile to post some information on our Facebook page and on some community forum Facebook pages in or near the Alpine area, where many were without power but could access those sites on cell phones.

ANIMAL SERVICES HELPS PETS, LIVESTOCK DISPLACED IN WEST FIRE

 

Owners sought for pets found after Alpine fire

By Yvette Urrea Moe, County of San Diego Communications Office

July 9, 2018 (Alpine) - The County Department of Animal Services rescued or sheltered approximately 30 animals from the West Fire, and after reuniting all but four, staff members are helping people impacted by the fire with pet food and resources if needed at the Alpine Local Assistance Center.

DONATE GOODS TO HELP ALPINE FIRE VICTIMS

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 9, 2018 (Alpine)--A donation center has been set up  by Living Life Alpine for the pubic to drop off goods to help survivors of the West Fire in Alpine, which destroyed at least 35 homes as well as many outbuildings, also damaging other properties.  Donations can be dropped from from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Boulder Oaks Elementary School auditorium at 2320 Tavern Road, Alpine.

This location has changed from an earlier site opened last night, which has already provided relief supplies to several families. 

“Any donations are welcome,” the organization’s Facebook page states.  “Here are some ideas:”

WITH FIRE 92% CONTAINED, ALPINE RESIDENTS RETURN HOME – WITH DOZENS FINDING ONLY ASHES

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Ready San Diego

July 8, 2018 (Alpine)—The grim toll wrought by the 505-acre West Fire in Alpine has risen. With the wildfire now 92 percent contained and all evacuations lifted, reentry brought relief for some who found homes still standing, but heartache for others facing total devastation.

The fire destroyed at least 56 structures, including 34 homes, a business, and 21 other buildings including barns and sheds.  Another 15 homes were damaged, along with 5 outbuildings.

Merlyn Cochran, assistant manager at Baron’s Market, was at work  when the fire started. Neighbors Al and Sharon Haven told Cochran and her husband to “go get my mother-in-law, who is 96 years old and lives at our ranch, because the winds were shifting and blowing towards our ranch,” Cochran recalls.

Pages