Rural communities

STEELE CANYON CHARTER RENEWAL REJECTED BY GUHSD; PRINCIPAL GRILLED BY BOARD

 

By Ana Nita

View video including interview with Mark Robak and GUHSD board hearing on the Steele Canyon charter issues: click image at left or visit  https://youtu.be/9cZj0ZmsKzY

November 18, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- Steele Canyon High School encountered a set back last week, when the Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD) board decided not to accept the charter’s application for reauthorization, following allegations that school’s governing board and charter committee violated the law and acted undemocratically. 

The charter school in Spring Valley landed in hot water with the district and the parents after a newly elected board member discovered significant discrepancies between the old and the new bylaws up for vote two weeks ago in the governing board. Mark Robak, a local businessman, joined the board on October 9 and by the end of the month, he was sending petitions to the school principal and the district objecting to irregularities with the authorization process and the bylaws.

CA PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION OPENS INVESTIGATION INTO POWER OUTAGES

By Miriam Raftery
 
November 14, 2019 (San Francisco) --  The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) Wednesday opened an investigation to examine recent Public Safety Power Shut-off (PSPS) events and ensure utilities are held accountable for their actions.  
 
The electric utilities under investigation are Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE), San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), Liberty Utilities/CalPeco Electric, Bear Valley Electric Service, and Pacific Power, a division of PacifiCorp. In September and October 2019, the state’s investor-owned electric utilities, notably PG&E, SCE, and SDG&E, proactively de-energized power lines during high wildfire danger weather conditions to reduce the risk of utility infrastructure starting wildfires. 

PROPOSED COTTONWOOD SAND MINE PROJECT DRAWS UNIFIED OPPOSITION FROM RANCHO SAN DIEGO RESIDENTS AT SCOPING MEETING

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

Meeting audio: tinyurl.com/RSDCottonwoodMine11042019

Photo: Elizabeth Urquhart, Stop Cottonwood Sand Mine, speaks to a full house during scoping meeting.

November 14, 2019 (Rancho San Diego) -- If the proposal to replace Cottonwood Golf Course with a sand mine were to be decided by local Rancho San Diego residents, Beverly Hills investor and developer Michael Schlesinger and applicant Greg Brown would be hearing a loud chorus of “nay” votes.

Some 300 local residents crowded into the multi-purpose room at Hillsdale Middle School on Monday night, November 4th to vent their strong opposition to the project in a public scoping meeting called by the County of San Diego Planning and Development Services Department. View county handout and fact sheet. The scoping meeting is required to get public input on what should be included in an upcoming Environmental Impact report.

SUPERVISOR JACOB SOUNDS ALARM OVER STATE’S PLAN TO RELEASE ANOTHER SEXUALLY VIOLENT PREDATOR IN JACUMBA HOT SPRINGS, NEAR BOULEVARD

By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo:  Thomas Cornwell, 41, convicted of lewd acts on children under age 14, has been diagnosed with pedophilic disorder
 
November 14, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – Supervisor Dianne Jacob, in a letter to Calif. Attorney General Xavier Becerra, cites disturbing statistics regarding sexually violent predators released in East County.  Of 12 released countywide in the past 15 years, nine were sent to East County. Five of the 12 violated conditions of their release and four were sent back to state mental hospitals, according to Jacob. Yet the state is proposing to release two more sexually violent predators into our region.

STEELE CANYON HIGH SCHOOL COMPARED TO VENEZUELA AMID ALLEGED UNDEMOCRATIC CHARTER RENEWAL AND BYLAWS UPDATES

GUHSD to hold hearing tonight at 6 p.m. on Steele Canyon's charter renewal

By Ana Nita

View video of Nov. 6 Steele Canyon governing board meeting:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ByIxjGKYLUI 

November 13, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- Steele Canyon High School is yet another charter that landed in hot water recently, following allegations of violating the law and acting undemocratically to undermine parents’ rights. The accusations are signed by two of its governing board members – Vice-Chair Timothy Abbott and newly installed board member Mark Robak. Both are both accusing the charter committee of excluding parents from decisional power during the process of renewing the charter’s authorization with Grossmont Union School District, the school’s sponsor. 

Abbott and Robak are also battling with the school’s governing board about new changes in the bylaws that were allegedly included without proper notification and which are  “undemocratic,” according to Robak. “Similar examples may be found in Venezuela and Cuba,” wrote Robak in a letter of protest sent on October 30 to Scott Parr, CEO of the governing board and Principal at Steele Canyon High School (SCHS).

ALL ABOARD: RIDE A TRAIN, CELEBRATE 100 YEARS OF SAN DIEGO RAILWAY HISTORY NOV. 16 IN CAMPO

East County News Service

November 11, 2019 (Campo) – The Pacific Southwest Railway Museum Association (PSRM), a San Diego-area historical and educational nonprofit, will mark the 100-year anniversary of the completion of the San Diego & Arizona Railway (SD&A) with a variety of family-friendly activities at its “SD&A Centennial Celebration Gold Spike Day” on Saturday, Nov. 16 at PSRM’s Campo Railroad Park and Museum in Campo, Calif. The public is invited to attend.

JAMUL-DULZURA PLANNNG GROUP’S TUESDAY AGENDA INCLUDES COTTONWOOD SAND MINE AND SAVE OUR SAN DIEGO COUNTRYSIDE INITIATIVE

East County News Service 

November 11, 2019 (Jamul) – The Jamul-Dulzura Community Planning Group’s meeting tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. will include preliminary discussion of both the Cottonwood Sand Mine and the Save Our San Diego Countryside Initiative. The latter is a county-wide ballot measure that would require voter approval before Supervisors could waive General Plan density developments for residential projects in rural areas. There will also be an update on the Jamul Casino.

MT. MIGUEL HIGH SCHOOL FOUNDATION PRESENTS A “HOLIDAY CRAFT FAIR”

East County News Service

November 8, 2019 (Spring Valley) – Mt. Miguel High School Foundation will present “Holiday Craft fair”, taking place at the Mt. Miguel Multicultural Events Center, 8585 Blossom Lane, Spring Valley, CA 91977 on Saturday December 14 from 10a.m.-3:00 p.m.

GOT POWER? BE PREPARED! FORUM ON GENERATORS NOV. 19 IN ALPINE

East County News Service
 
November 8, 2019 (Alpine) – The Alpine Library will host a forum on Tuesday, Nov. 19 at 5:30 p.m. for you to learn more about generators, solar battery backup and other residential emergency power options.
 
Local businesses including SDG&E, Global Power, and Kamp’s Propane will be on hand to answer your questions.
 
The library is located at 1752 Alpine Blvd. in Alpine.

DEPUTY INJURED IN SPRING VALLEY CRASH

East County News Service
 
November 5, 2019 (Spring Valley) --  A deputy from the Lemon Grove Sheriff station was involved in a single vehicle collision this morning around 8:23 a.m. in Spring Valley.
 
According to Sergeant Z. Sanchez, the deputy was responding with lights and sirens activated to assist another deputy with an occupied stolen vehicle. While traveling southbound on Bancroft Drive, the deputy struck a utility pole near the intersection of Kenwood Drive.
 
He was transported to a hospital for treatment of minor injuries. The collision did not occur during a pursuit, Sgt. Sanchez told ECM. 
 
The driver of the vehicle was taken into custody. 

EIGHT SCHOOL DISTRICTS TO CLOSE THURSDAY DUE TO POWER OUTAGES

Source: County News Service

 

October 30, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- The San Diego County Office of Education reports that because San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) has activated a public safety power shutoff in certain parts of the county, schools in the following school districts will be closed on Halloween this Thursday, October 31: 

 

  • Dehesa School District
  • Julian Union High School District
  • Julian Union School District
  • Mountain Empire Unified School District
  • Rancho Santa Fe School District
  • Spencer Valley School District
  • Vallecitos School District 
  • Valley Center-Pauma Unified School District

FALL FESTIVAL IN CASA DE ORO NOV. 9 HAS FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY

By Miriam Raftery

October27, 2019 (Casa de Oro) – The nonprofit Casa de Oro Alliance invites you to its fourth annual Fall Festival on Saturday, Nov. 9 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.   The event will be held at the Spring Valley Academy, 3900 Conrad Drive in Spring Valley. 

COUNTY PLANNERS TO HEAR SKYLINE CHURCH PROPOSAL FOR SENIOR RETIREMENT CENTER NOV. 8

East County News Service

October 30, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – A controversial proposal by Skyline church to build a senior retirement center is slated for  hearing by the County Planning Commission on November 8 at 9 a.m.at the County’s Campus Center Chambers at 5520 Overland Rd., San Diego.

SCHOOL CLOSURES ON WEDNESDAY DUE TO OUTAGES

October 29, 2019 (San Diego's East County) -- Because SDG&E has announced planned power outages due to high fire danger, the County Board of Education announced that the following school districts will be closed on Wednesday, October 30:

  • Dehesa School District
  • Julian Union High School District
  • Julian Union School District
  • Mountain Empire Unified School District
  • Rancho Santa Fe School District
  • Spencer Valley School District
  • Warner Unified School District

SHERIFF ROUNDS UP STOLEN HORSE STATUE AND ALLEGED THIEVES

By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo:  The stolen statue was similar to the horse sculpture pictured.
 
October 28, 2019 (El Cajon) – A metal horse sculpture stolen from in front of the Double S Tack and Feed Store in unincorporated El Cajon has been recovered in Arizona.  Two men have been arrested and charged with the theft.

SDG&E WARNS OF NEW OUTAGES AS SANTA ANA WINDS ARE SET TO RETURN

By Miriam Raftery

October 28 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – With the strongest Santa Ana winds of the season forecast Tuesday through Thursday,  San Diego Gas & Electric is warning over 32,000 customers that the utility may proactively shut off power to many communities to prevent lines from sparking fires, including some areas not previously impacted by outages.  The outages could begin late Tuesday or early Wednesday and last as late as Friday evening, according to SDG&E.

The communities that may lose power are:

  • Alpine
  • Boulevard
  • Campo
  • Descanso
  • Dulzura
  • El Cajon (portions of)
  • Encinitas (portions of)
  • Escondido (portions of)
  • Jacumba
  • Jamul (portions of)
  • Julian
  • Lakeside (portions of)
  • Mount Laguna
  • Pala
  • Palomar Mountain
  • Pauma Valley
  • Pine Valley
  • Potrero
  • Poway
  • Ramona
  • Ranchita
  • Rancho Santa Fe (portions of)
  • San Clemente (portions of)
  • San Juan Capistrano (portions of)
  • Santa Ysabel
  • Valley Center (portions of)
  • Warner Springs

Steps to prepare for an outage

BIG RIG DRIVER FROM EL CAJON KILLED IN BOULEVARD CRASH

East County News Service

October 28, 2019 (Boulevard) – The driver of a 2008 Volvo big rig towing a 53-foot trailer loaded with pineapples lost control of his vehicle on I-8 east of Ribbonwood Road in Boulevard around 2:30 a.m., rolling over and down an embankment. The driver, a 35-year-old El Cajon man, was ejected onto the cab and died at the scene.

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.

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

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.

SPRING VALLEY TAILGATE & BBQ FESTIVAL FIRES UP OCT. 27

By Miriam Raftery 

October 22, 2019 (Spring Valley ) – California’s Largest Annual Amateur Tailgate & BBQ Contest is the perfect way to learn how to take your backyard BBQ skills and test them out in a contest that helps raise money for local youth.The 10th annual Spring Valley Tailgate & BBQ Festival will be held on Sunday, October 27 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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.)

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.  

MAN ARRESTED AFTER ASSAULTING DEPUTIES AND STABBING K-9 DOG IN JAMUL

East County News Service
 
October 15, 2019 (Jamul) – Sheriff’s deputies from the Rancho San Diego station have arrested Richard Lechuga, 29, of San Diego following a violent altercation this morning in Jamul.
 
The deputies received a radio call requesting a welfare check on a man seen walking around a vehicle and talking to himself in the 15000 block of Skyline Truck Trail I Jamul around 10:10 a.m.  They found Lechuga sitting in a vehicle. But when deputies approached, he sprayed three of them with bear spray through an open window, then brandished a knife and what appeared to be a handgun.

KUMEYAAY ANCIENT ROCK ART BOOKS DONATED TO SCHOOLS

East County News Service

October 15, 2019 (San Diego, CA) -- For the past two years the Mountain Empire Unified School District’s Teachers and Native students received a gift of 500 full-color books including the photography and research of historical Kumeyaay rock art. Much of the rock art located along the U.S./Mexico border is within the school district’s boundaries. 

SUPERVISOR JACOB ASKS BOARD TO APPROVE EMERGENCY EVACUATION ROUTE FOR CREST

Update: This item was approved by Supervisors on the consent calendar.
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
File photo: Crest Fire Safe Council, 2011
 
October 14, 2019 (Crest) – During the 2003 Cedar Fire that destroyed many homes in Crest, community residents found themselves trapped in gridlock on La Cresta Road, the primary evacuation route. On Tuesday, October 15, Supervisor Dianne Jacob will ask the County Board of Supervisors to approve acquiring easements from landowners over Suncrest Truck Trial as an emergency evacuation route.

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.

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.

PADRE DAM WATER DISTRICT RATES INCREASE IN TWO SEPARATE HIKES

By Mike Allen

October 13, 2019 (Santee) -- Customers of the Padre Dam Municipal Water District, which encompasses about 72 square miles, will see their rates for both water and sewage increase starting Nov. 1--and then go up again, starting on Jan. 1.

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