Rural communities

COUNTY LETTER ON COTTONWOOD SAND MINE RECOGNIZES SIGNIFICANT COMMUNITY CONCERNS

East County News Service

Photos: Map of proposed project; wildlife photos by Debbie Ekhaml, including raccoons in adjacent Sweetwater National Wildlife Refuge and mule deer in Jamul ecological preserve are among wildlife species that could be negatively impacted

July 13, 2019 (Rancho San Diego) – Significant concerns raised by the community over the proposal for a 10-year sand mining operation at Cottonwood Golf Course have been confirmed with the release of the County of San Diego’s Scoping Letter on the project.

MINE TRAIN RIDE COMING SOON TO CAMPO RAILROAD PARK AND MUSEUM

By Miriam Raftery

Photos by Dawn Lundquist

July 12, 2019 (Campo) – A train that Roy Athey ran for 20 years in Alpine, offering rides to delight children, will soon be part of a mine train ride at the Campo Railroad Park & Museum  Athey donated his train to the facility. Now, three new cars for the train are being constructed at Greg Heyser’s shop in Alpine. 

BRUSH FIRE IN MEXICO JUMPS BORDER SOUTH OF DULZURA

UPDATE AS OF 7:22 PM:  Fire is now 100 acres on the U.S. side, 650 acres total with 10% containment. The combination of ground and air resources has allowed for significant progress, and containment is likely to increase overnight.

East County Wildfire & Emergency Alert Service

July 12, 2019 (Dulzura) – A brush fire that has charred over 100 acres in Mexico has crossed the international border and near Cottonwood Creek and Barrett Truck Trail south of Dulzura.  The blaze has charred around 10 acres on the U.S. side of thee border in rural San Diego County, according to Cal Fire.

Patch.com reports 60 firefighters on scene including two air tankers, two helicopters, six engines, two dozers, two hand crews and a water tender.

ALPINE MISSING PERSON FOUND IN EL CAJON

Source:  San Diego County Sheriff's Department

July 11, 2019 (El Cajon) - A missing person at risk in the East County has been found safe.

79-year-old Eufemia Danaher was found around 10:00 a.m. in the 600 block of El Cajon Boulevard in El Cajon. Sheriff's ASTREA (helicopter) Deputy Gary Kneeshaw spotted a woman who matched Danaher's description and made contact with her. She has been reunited with her family.

RAILWAY CELEBRATES CENTENNIAL

By Miriam Raftery

July 11, 2019 (Campo) – The San Diego & Arizona Railway, known as the “Impossible Railway” for the many challenges faced during its construction, is celebrating its 100th anniversary with two major centennial events on September 7 and November 16.

 

On Saturday, September 7, a Groundbreaking Festival will commemorate the 1907 groundbreaking of the railway, which took a dozen years to complete. 

Then on Saturday, November 16, a Centennial Celebration Day will include a reenactment of the 1919 golden spike ceremony, when John D. Spreckels drove in the final spike to complete the rail line in Carriso Gorge.

Both events will be held at the Campo Railroad Park & Museum operated by the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum, a nonprofit organization. 

At the events, the public is invited to come and enjoy train rides, view vintage railway cars and unique railroad equipment including a 1902 steam pump engine, an operating scale steam train exhibit, plus food, drinks, souvenirs, commemorative program and fun for the whole family.

RESIDENTS INVITED TO “ROLL-IN” ENGINES ON TWO YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF SAN MIGUEL UNDER LOCAL CONTROL

By Criss Brainard, Fire Chief

July 10, 2019 (Spring Valley) - The San Miguel Consolidated Fire Protection District invites residents to attend a ceremonial “roll-in” to start the service life of two new fire engines. The ceremony will take place at San Miguel Station 16 on Friday, July 12, 2019 at 9:00 am.

LEARN HOME FARMING SKILLS FROM CHICKENS TO CHEESEMAKING, BEEKEEPING TO BACKYARD FISH FARMING AT THE ALPINE LIBRARY

By Miriam Raftery

July 6, 2019 (Alpine) – The San Diego County Library in Alpine is offering a fresh crop of free “modern homesteading” classes where you can learn how to raise and grow your own foods. The offerings include cheesemaking, beekeeping, vermicomposting, tilapia farming, backyard chickens, home farming and edible landscaping.

Below are full details:

HOW SHOULD COUNTY SPEND FEDERAL FUNDS IN YOUR COMMUNITY? SHARE YOUR VIEWS IN THESE PUBLIC FORMS

 

East County News Service 

July 5, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- “San Diego County needs your input on how best to invest federal funds in our low- to moderate-income communities,” says Supervisor Dianne Jacob. 

The County is holding a series of public forums at county libraries, each one hour, including these East County locations, to hear your ideas:

  • Alpine, July 8 at 12:30 p.m.
  • Ramona, July 10 at 1:30 p.m.
  • Julian, July 12 at 11:30 a.m.
  • El Cajon, July 22, 3:30 p.m.
  • Borrego Springs, July 24 at 11:30 a.m.
  • Spring Valley on July 29 at 11:30 a.m.

You can also share your thoughts and suggestions in an online survey: https://www.sandiegocounty.gov/sdhcd/ 

SHOTS FIRED OUTSIDE MOVIE THEATRE IN RANCHO SAN DIEGO

By Miriam Raftery
 
July 3, 2019 (Rancho San Diego) – Last night around midnight, three boys ran into the Regal Edwards Cinema in Rancho San Diego to report a shooter outside, NBC 7 reports.
 
Several people in the theater called 911 and Sheriff’s deputies responded.  The boys told Sheriff’s officials that a man had pulled out a handgun and fired shots in the air after an argument with the boys.  The shooter was reportedly a passenger in a four-door, silver or gray car. 

STEELE CANYON TEACHER NAMED BEST LOCAL THEATRE TEACHER AT BROADWAY SAN DIEGO AWARDS

Congratulations to Nicole LaBella of Steele Canyon High School

Source:  San Diego County Credit Union

Photo from left to right: Nicole LaBella, Steele Canyon High School, Sarah Bilyeu, San Diego County Credit Union, and Vanessa Davis, Broadway San Diego.

July 1, 2019 (San Diego) - San Diego County Credit Union (SDCCU)San Diego’s largest locally-owned financial institution, is excited to announce that Nicole LaBella of Steele Canyon High School was named the Best Local Theatre Teacher at the Broadway San Diego Awards. The awards ceremony was held May 26 at the Balboa Theatre in downtown San Diego.

JACOB ASKS INSURANCE COMMISSIONER TO STOP INSURERS FROM DENYING COVERAGE TO LOCAL HOMEOWNERS DUE TO WILDFIRE RISKS

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: West Fire in Alpine, 2018

July 1, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – Across California, some insurance companies have stopped writing policies for homes in areas at high risk for wildfires, even dropping policies for some long-standing customers, Voice of San Diego reported in mid-June. 

Now, Supervisor Dianne Jacob has written a letter on June 27 to California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara urging him to take immediate action to “address the heavy-handed, blanket approach that insurance companies are currently utilizing to deny insurance though those who live in areas where wildfires may occur.” She also called on Lara to hold a public hearing in San Diego County on the issue, to allow residents to speak out and share concerns.

SURVEY ASKS EAST COUNTY RESIDENTS TO SUBMIT CONCERNS REGARDING EFFECTS OF WIND TURBINES

By Rebecca Person

 

Photo:  Poster displayed at meeting by citizens concerned about impacts of wind energy in their rural communities.

 

July 1, 2019 (Campo) -- July 8th is the new deadline for public comments on the pending Campo Wind Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Comments are sought on a pending plan by the Campo tribe to build wind turbines in the Ribbonwood area of Boulevard and Campo to produce clean energy. Each new turbine would be 586 feet tall, nearly triple the height of existing turbine towers, which are less than 200 feet in height.

ONE DEAD, TWO INJURED IN CAMPO CRASH

By Miriam Raftery
 
June 28, 2019 (Campo) – A two-vehicle collision at State Route 94 and Sheridan Road has left one person dead and three injured. The survivors were flown by air ambulance to a local hospital, Cal Fire San Diego posted on Twitter.
 
The California Highway Patrol website indicates a dog was also reported injured.

FARMER'S MARKET SPROUTS UP IN CAMPO: FIRST AND LAST SATURDAY EACH MONTH

 

East County News Service

June 28, 2019 (Campo) – Golden Acorn Casino announces launch of an "Open Aire Market" that will be held the first and last Saturdays of each month from 3:30 to 7 p.m. starting this Saturday, June 29.

The market, held in the grand entry of the casino, will feature fresh produce, eggs from pasture-raised hens, dried and canned goods and other locally grown goods as well as a variety of vendors plus live music.

COUNTY APPROVES CONTROVERSIAL MASTER-PLANNED COMMUNITY IN OTAY RANCH

Ths project site burned in the 2007 Harris wildfire. State Route 94 through Jamul, the main access route, is rated by Cal Fire in the most dangerous 1%  of areas in the state for evacuation during a major fire.
 
By Kendra Sitton
 
June 27, 2019 (Jamul) – San Diego County Supervisors have voted 3-2 to approve a Master Planned Community outside of Otay along Proctor Valley within the Jamul area, known as Village 14 and Planning Areas 16/19. Supervisor Dianne Jacob, who represents Jamul, voted against the plan alongside the only Democrat on the board, Nathan Fletcher during the Wednesday, June 26 meeting.

BRUSH FIRE IN BOULEVARD COULD REACH 20 ACRES

Update 9:56 a.m.:  The strucure fire has been extinguished and the brush fire has been halted, Cal Fire reports.  Firefighters will remain on scene for mop-up activities.

East County Wildfire & Emergency Alert Service

June 27, 2019 (Boulevard) -- Cal Fire is at the scene of a fully-involved outbuilding fire in the 41000 block of Old Highway 80 in Boulevard that has spread into the vegetation. Though currently only a 20 by 20 foot spot fire, the #McCainFire has the potential to reach 20 acres, Cal Fire San Diego tweeted shortly after 9 a.m.

DISENCHANTED REVIEW: THE PRINCESS COMPLEX

By Kathy Carpenter

June 26, 2019 (Spring Valley) - The Princess Complex is the age-old idea that you’re only desirable and valid if you are a beauty-obsessed, ditzy, insecure, Bambi-like-waif. Of course, this is not the Disney princesses at all. Nor is it what we want our daughters and loved ones to be. This show is about females being empowering and independent.

RENTS RISING ACROSS SAN DIEGO AND EAST COUNTY

By Miriam Raftery

June 22, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – The city of San Diego ranked second worst in the nation for rent hikes on  a one-bedroom apartment in 2018, at 17% with an average rent of $2,300, according to Rent.com. By contrast, the national average rent increase nationwide was 2.69% and California averaged a 4.48% increase in rents on one bedroom apartments during the same time period.

 

Rents are also skyrocketing in East County, where some communities had double digit rent hikes from March 2018 through March 2019 for 1 BR units:

Lemon Grove +15.66%

La Mesa +10.63%

El Cajon + 5.04%

Santee, by contrast, had only a modest 1.25% increase.

Spring Valley, the only unincorporated community in San Diego County with enough inventory to provide statistically valid data, had a 9.6% increase.

DEADLINE NEARS FOR COMMENTS ON COUNTY’S PROPOSED 5G ORDINANCE

By Miriam Raftery

 

June 22, 2019 (San Diego) – The deadline is June 30th for the public to submit comments on the County of San Diego’s draft Zoning Ordinance Update for Small Cell Wireless Facilities. You can read the draft ordinance and supporting documents here. Read concerns about the ordinance here.  

LOCAL BROADCASTERS, PADRE LEGEND STEVE GARVEY AND THE FOOD NETWORK'S ALEX GUARNASCHELLI JOIN ALL-STAR BLOCK PARTY AT JAMUL CASINO

East County News Service

June 21, 2019 (Jamul) – On Saturday, June 22, Jamul Casino will ring in summer by hosting an All-Star Block Party featuring casino promotions, live entertainment, and celebrity guests.  The all-day event will feature:

7 ARRESTED IN RAIDS ON ILLEGAL MARIJUANA DISPENSARIES IN CASA DE ORO

By Miriam Raftery
 
June 20, 2019 (Spring Valley) – Seven people have been arrested following raids yesterday morning on three illegal marijuana dispensaries in the Casa de Oro area of Spring Valley.  An abatement warrant and three search warrants were served at an office complex at 9966 Dolores Street in units 102, 108 and 208. Sheriff’s deputies found over 600 pounds of marijuana along with marijuana edibles, drug paraphernalia, $21,000 cash, and four firearms. 

STEELE CANYON HIGH SCHOOL GRAD NAMED MARKETING DIRECTOR AT SDX

East County News Service

June 16, 2019 (El Cajon) – Yariela Freeman, a graduate from Steele Canyon High School in El Cajon (class of 2008), has been named marketing director at SDX, San Diego’s oldest and one of the largest San Diego networking and professional groups for advertising and marketing executives. She will be involved in overseeing the business operations, marketing strategy and implementation, event planning and coordination, member relations, membership growth and partnerships with other local trade organizations.

BORDER PATROL AGENTS HOSPITALIZED BRIEFLY WITH SYMPTOMS AFTER STOP FINDS DRUGS IN VEHICLE

By Miriam Raftery

June 14, 2019 (Campo) – After Border Patrol agents stopped two vehicles in Campo on June 2nd that were traveling in tandem and suspected of smuggling undocumented immigrants, drug paraphernalia was observed during examination of the vehicles.  “Shortly after, one of the agents began coughing and complained of nausea,” says Justin Castrejon, public affairs officer for the Border Patrol in San Diego.  The agent reported an odor from inside one of the suspect vehicles.  The San Diego County Hazardous Incident Response Team responded, ECM news partner 10 News has learned.

HIGH TEMPERATURE RECORDS BROKEN AS EXCESSIVE HEAT WAVE CONTINUES

East County News Service

June 12, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- An excessive heat warning remains in effect through today. The heat wave which prompted an excessive heat wave on Tuesday brought record-breaking temperatures across East County. So how hot was it?

COUNTY BRACING FOR TOUGH FIRE SEASON, ANNOUNCES COORDINATED EFFORT TO MEET CHALLENGES

Firebreaks planned to protect Crest and Guatay

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

June 6, 2019 (San Diego) -- Not wanting a repeat of devastation suffered in the deadly 2003 and 2007 firestorms in San Diego County, Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Dianne Jacob announced on Tuesday a highly coordinated fire prevention effort in anticipation of a tough fire season.

While recent heavy rains have been good for replenishing water supplies, Jacob stated at a press conference, “From a fire standpoint, what has happened, our backcountry brush is thicker than ever. That means there is more fuel to feed a fire when it hits. And it will."

Jacob, whose District 2 includes fire-prone East County, added, "Since the series of deadly firestorms in 2003 and 2007, the county has worked side-by-side with CAL FIRE and spent more than half-a-billion dollars on firefighting improvements.” This has included “new stations, aircraft, and the establishment of a bigger and better firefighting force."

Audio: 

Audio: Press conference on San Diego County fire plans for 2019

GRANT TO BRING CAJON VALLEY’S “WORLD OF WORK” PROGRAM TO LA MESA-SPRING VALLEY, GROSSMONT HIGH AND VISTA SCHOOL DISTRICTS

By Miriam Raftery

June 6, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – A $1.2 million grant awarded by the national nonprofit American Student Assistance (ASA) will fund participation in the World of Work (WoW) program for over 33,000 students at 38 local schools in the La Mesa-Spring Valley (LMSV), Vista Unified and Grossmont Union High School (GUHSD) districts.

The program was developed by the Cajon Valley Union School District (CVUSD) in partnership with the University of San Diego to provide  K-12 students to explore career options and identify their individuals strengths and interests. The program has rolled out in 27 schools in the past two years, been written up in national publications such as Forbes business magazine, and most recently drew attention in meetings with U.S. Department of Education representatives (photo left) and a presentation at the Brookings Institute.

SAPS AT SEA PRESENT: 'GOOD HELP IS HARD TO FIND' JUNE 29

Source:  Saps at Sea San Diego

June 5, 2019 (Spring Valley) - Saps at Sea, the San Diego chapter of the Sons of the Desert, the official Laurel & Hardy fan society, invites you to their next meeting on June 29 at 6:30 p.m. in Williams Hall at Trinity Presbytarian Church in Spring Valley. 

PUBLIC INPUT SOUGHT AT TERRA-GEN WIND PROJECT MEETINGS IN BOULEVARD AND CAMPO JUNE 6 AND JUNE 19

By Miriam Raftery

June 5, 2019 (Campo) – Public participation is needed at two upcoming meetings on Terra-Gen’s proposal to install 60 wind turbines, each 586 feet tall and capable of producing 4.2 megawatts of power.  The turbines are proposed on the Campo tribal reservation, from north of I-8 to near the border in the south. 

“These turbines are about twice the size with twice the harmful energy and noise as existing local Kumeyaay Wind and Tule Wind turbines. If new turbines are approved, life for many area residents will change for the worst.” Says Donna Tisdale, chair of the Boulevard Planning Group which represents nearby communities. She adds, “People are already sick around existing turbines.”        

Below are details on upcoming meetings June 6 and June 19, where the public can learn more and speak out:    

IDENTITIES RELEASED OF TWO TEENS KILLED IN HEAD-ON CRASH IN JAMUL, FOUR OTHERS INJURED

Updated with identies of the vicitms, provided by the San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office

By Miriam Raftery

June 3, 2019 (Jamul) – The driver and a passenger in a 1997 green GMC Sonoma pickup truck are dead following a head-on collision with a Jeep at 11:45 p.m. last night on Lyons Valley Road in Jamul.  The driver, Martin Lopez Soto, 19, from Lemon Grove and his passenger, Hope Najera, 18, from Jamul, died at the scene after the GMC crossed the center line into the path of the Jeep. According to their Facebook posts, the couple recently became engaged.

Witnesses called 9-1-1 but both victims were found inside the vehicle without a pulse by first responders who were unable to revive the teens despite aggressive life-saving efforts. The Medical Examiner concluded that both died of blunt-force injuries.

The driver of the Jeep, an 18-year-old El Cajon woman, had three teen passengers in the vehicle. All four sustained non-life-threatening injuries and were either treated on scene or transported to local hospitals for medical evaluations, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Pages