Rural communities

TWO KILLED IN NEW YEAR’S EVE CRASH IN JAMUL

By Miriam Raftery

January 3, 2019 (Jamul) – Two young people were killed in a collision with a sport utility vehicle (SUV) that occurred around 11:30 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, December 31st Campo Road (Highway 94) near Lyons Valley Road in Jamul, one mile north of the Jamul Casino.

Yannis Alekos Floros, 21, was driving east on the highway approaching the intersection when he lost control and spun sideways into oncoming traffic. The passenger side of the vehicle collided with the front end of a westbound SUV.  Floros was transported to a trauma center where despite aggressive resuscitation efforts, he was pronounced dead a short time later, on January 1, 2019, the County Medical Examiner’s office reports.

Tabia Watson, 20, was found unresponsive in the passenger seat of Floros’ vehicle; despite life saving measures, she died at the scene.

SNOWFALL IN EAST COUNTY’S MOUNTAINS

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Mt. Laguna, courtesy SDG&E camera via HP Wren

January 1, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – Two and a half inches of snow have fallen in Julian on New Year’s Eve, with an inch reported atop Mt. Laguna and Mt. Palomar.  A light dusting of snow fell at lower elevations including Cuyamaca in East County’s mountains.

SINKHOLE DISPLACES SPRING VALLEY MOBILE HOME RESIDENTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: ECM news partner 10 News

January 1, 2019 (Spring Valley) – A collapsed culvert caused a sinkhole to open in the Sweetwater Lodge trailer park on Jamacha Road yesterday.   Two residents of a nearby mobile home were evacuated to temporary lodging arranged by the park owner.

NEARLY 2,200 RESIDENTS EXPRESS OPPOSITION TO COTTONWOOD SAND MINE

 

East County News Service

Photo: Cottonwood Golf, site of proposed sand mine

December 21, 2018 (Rancho San Diego) - In a significant show of early community strength, the Stop Cottonwood Sand Mine Committee this week submitted over 2,100 petition signatures to the County of San Diego from area residents opposed to the plan for a 10-12 year sand mining operation on the current site of the Cottonwood Golf Course in Rancho San Diego. 

TWO KILLED IN HEAD-ON COLLISION AT DULZURA

 

East County News Service

December 21, 2018 (Dulzura) -- A head-on collision in Dulzura killed two drivers last night around 9:50 p.m. on State Route 94 east of Barrett Smith Road.

A woman was driving a 2007 Ford Fusion eastbound, reportedly at a high rate of speed, when her vehicle crossed the center line and collided with a 2004 Honda Accord driven by a man, 35.  

DRIVE-BY SHOOTING IN SPRING VALLEY

East County News Service

December 19, 2018 (Spring Valley) – A man was shot in the head last night around 10:30 p.m. but fortunately is expected to survive.  Shots were fired from a white four-door vehicle near Jamacha Blvd. and Grand Avenue in the La Presa area of Spring Valley.

Fortunately, the victim is expected to survive, Patch.com reports, citing Lt. Karla Menzies.

EXPERTS OUTLINE ALTERNATIVES FOR BACKING UP ELECTRICAL POWER

Source: Alpine-Mountain Empire Chamber of Commerce

Photo by Jenne Bergstrom, Alpine Library

December 19, 2018 (Alpine) -- A raging thunderstorm overhead added emphasis to the importance of having a backup electrical source during a free public forum at the Alpine Library.

Four experts provided information to homeowners and others during the Dec. 6 session, hosted by the library at 1752 Alpine Blvd.

ARCO CLERK ALLEGEDLY THREATENS CUSTOMERS, ASSAULTS DEPUTY

East County News Service

December 18, 2018 (Spring Valley) – A clerk at the Arco convenience store in the 9000 block of Campo Road assaulted a deputy who responded to a call reporting that the clerk was threatening customers with a knife. The caller reported that the clerk appeared to be under the influence of a drug and chased a customer with a knife.

ELF JR, THE MUSICAL—THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS CONTINUES THROUGH DEC. 16 IN SPRING VALLEY

 

 

By Kathy Carpenter

December 11, 2018 (Spring Valley) - Do you believe? If you currently need more holiday spirit or if your holiday spirit abounds and for all you in-betweenersElf Jr. brings us the Christmas magic everyone seeks. You will love Buddy the Elf and leave the show with a huge smile. The production continues through December 16th at the Encore Theatre in Spring Valley.

TWISTING IN THE WIND: AS RURAL RESIDENTS COMPLAIN OF WIND ENERGY IMPACTS, CAMPO TRIBE PROPOSES TOWERING NEW PROJECT: SCOPING MEETING DEC. 6

County denies request for health impacts of turbines, even as more are proposed

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: New proposed turbines would be much taller and produce more energy than these older Kumeyaay Wind turbines, also broadening the areas that could be impacted by noise, vibrations, and electromagnetic interefence with devices such as cell phones

December 6, 2018 (Campo) –Tonight, the Bureau of Indian Affairs will hold a scoping meeting on a notice to prepare n environmental impact statement for a proposal to build 60 wind turbines up to 586 feet tall (taller than the highest skyscraper in San Diego) on the Campo Indian reservation. The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. at the Campo Tribal Hall, 36190 Church Road (BIA 10) at highway 94 in Campo.  Written comments can also be submitted by December 21st. Find details at www.CampoWind.com.

The new Campo Wind project is proposed for most Campo reservation ridgelines from north of I-8 to the U.S./Mexico border, each 4 megawatts.  Neighbors and the Boulevard Planning Group have raised concerns over the large turbines including noise, sleep disruption, health impacts and lost property values.   View flyer.

Minutes of the Boulevard Planning Group meeting from November 1, 2018 reveal numerous residents’ complaints about problems reportedly associated with similarly large-scale wind turbines recently installed at the Tule Wind project in McCain  Valley as well as turbines at the Kumeyaay Wind facility in Campo. Those complaints range from noise and vibrations to interference with cell phone service, a vital concern in an area prone to wildfires where communication is critical.

OPPONENTS OF SAND MINE PROPOSED AT COTTONWOOD GOLF IN RANCHO SAN DIEGO PACK COMMUNITY MEETING

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

Miriam Raftery, Editor, also contributed to this report

Initial public comments deadline is Dec. 19

Hear audio of meeting

December 5, 2018 (Rancho San Diego) -- If a large contingent of residents in Rancho San Diego and Jamul have their say, a proposed sand mine in their community won’t get built. Over 200 residents opposed to a sand mining project that would replace Cottonwood Golf Course on Willow Glen Road engulfed the meeting room at the Rancho San Diego Library last week, overflowing into the lobby and onto a patio. 

Public comments and a petition

Initial public comments are being accepted until December 19th by the County’s Land Use Environmental Planner, Bronwyn Brown, at Bronwyn.Brown@sdcounty.ca.gov as part of the official scoping process.

Barry Jantz, spokesperson for the opposition, told the crowd that a petition to gather signatures against the project is available for printing and circulating at the website www.StopCottonwoodSandMine.com. The group circulated a flyer and asked that petitions be submitted to the Stop Cottonwood Group by December 15th.

SUSPECTED HORSE RAPIST IN BLOSSOM VALLEY: STABLED HORSE FOUND TIED UP

 

 

By Ana Nita

December 4, 2018 (Blossom Valley) -- “When I came down to feed in the morning, I heard this horse, Gretchen, banging on the door and she never does that,” said Marilyn Gramse of El Cajon. She found Gretchen, one of three horses she is boarding at her ranch, tied up inside her stall. “I walked over there and went, oh, my God, she had this rope tied around her right rear leg pulling up and the rope coming around her neck and coming back around by her foot and her tail was up, tied, and attached to one of the bars.” 

SAPS AT SEA PRESENT: A SAPS CHRISTMAS GIFT OF NEW YEARS FUN DEC. 29

 

Source:  Saps at Sea

December 3, 2018 (Spring Valley) - Saps at Sea, the San Diego chapter of the Sons of the Desert, the official Laurel & Hardy fan organization, invites you to their last meeting of the year on December 29 at 7:00 p.m. (doors open at 6:30 p.m.) at Williams Hall at Trinity Presbytarian Church in Spring Valley.

FIRST STORM OF SEASON ON THE WAY, COUNTY’S GOT FREE SANDBAGS

 

 

By Gig Conaughton, County of San Diego Communications Office

November 28, 2018 (San Diego) - The National Weather Service is predicting that San Diego County’s first significant storm of the season will arrive Wednesday night and Thursday, with more rain possible on the weekend.

ALPINE RESIDENT TO SHOWCASE 25 CHRISTMAS TREES DEC. 8 TO BENEFIT CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 27, 2018 (Alpine) – Alpine resident Rhonda Lamar will be opening her home on December 8 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to showcase 25 decorated, themed Christmas trees – all to benefit Rady Chldren’s Hospital of San Diego.  She’s decked the halls with a popular peppermint tree, a wine tree, a monkey tree and an elf tree, among others. All guests will also be treated to apple cider and cookies.

SAND MINE PROPOSED AT COTTONWOOD GOLF CLUB SITE: RESIDENTS OPPOSED SET COMMUNITY MEETING NOV. 28

By Miriam Raftery

November 25, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) -- The new owner of Cottonwood Golf Club wants to turn the site into a sand mine along the Sweetwater River in Jamacha Valley over the next 10 years.  If approved, the project in the Rancho San Diego area of unincorporated El Cajon would mine an estimated 5.8 million tons of sand from 198 acres of the 280-acre site.

ENCHANTED VILLAGE FESTIVAL OF TREES AND LIGHTS OPENS DEC. 14 IN SPRING VALLEY

By Miriam Raftery

November 22, 2018 (Spring Valley) – The creator of the Magical Forest in Las Vegas has brought her talents to Noah Homes at 12526 Campo Road in in Spring Valley, where the Enchanted Village Festival of Trees & Lights will be open to the public December 14-16 and 21-23.  View video: https://vimeo.com/301286492/bf29b3c559

Tickets cost $14.99 for adults and $9.99 for children  ages 3-12; three’s a limit of 500 tickets per night so advance purchase is advised.  You can reserve tickets online at www.EnchantedVillage.org. All proceeds from this delightful holiday display will benefit programs to help Noah Homes residents with developmental and intellectual disabilities.

LEADERS IN WINE INDUSTRY HONORED WITH SIXTH ANNUAL TRAILBLAZERS AWARDS

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 17, 2018 (San Diegos East County)  Leaders in our local wine-making industry were honored at the 6thannual Trailblazer Awards presented by Maness Vineyards owners Greg and Paula Maness and past award winners. This years awards were presented during the Toast of East County at the Elks Lodge in El Cajon, hosted by the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce

This years winners include Elaine Littleton and Norm Case of Hatfield Creek Winery and Vineyards, Johnny and Shirley Schwaesdall of Schwaesdall Winery, family achievement award accepted bJoe Harmes of Vineyard Haciendaand a lifetime achievement award for wine instructor Dominic Dick Colangelo.

BREAKFAST WITH SANTA DEC. 8 IN ALPINE

 

East County News Service

November 16, 2018 (Alpine) – You’re invited to bring the kids and savor breakfast with Santa at the Alpine Community Center (1830 Alpine Blvd., Alpine) on Saturday, December 8 from 9-11 a.m.

Every child will receive a gift from Santa! There will also be holiday crafts for kids.

Proceeds benefit the Alpine Community Center.  Tickets ($15 adults, children ages 4-9 $5, under 3 years free) are available at www.AlpineCommunityCenter.com.  For more information, call 619-445-7330.

EAST COUNTY RESIDENTS AIR ISSUES OVER OUTAGES

By Miriam Raftery

November 16, 2018 (San Diego’s East County)—With wildfires raging in northern and southern California, where power lines are suspected of causing deadly blazes,  residents in San Diego’s rural and mountain communities have been grappling with serious challenges posed, conversely, by a utility company shutting off power to some 30,000 residences during high winds this week in an effort to prevent fires.

Backcountry blogs sizzled as residents eventually able to access the internet posted a litany of complaints including life-threatening issues.

COUNTY DELAYS HEARINGS ON MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS DUE TO SIERRA CLUB LAWSUIT

By Miriam Raftery

November 15, 2018 (San Diego) -- On Tuesday, San Diego County announced that several proposed General Plan Amendments to allow construction of massive development projects will not be heard by the Board of Supervisors in 2018 due to litigation over the Countys climate action plan and a court injunction.  Projects with hearings postponed include Lilac Hills Ranch, Otay Village 14, Planning Areas 16 and 19, Warner Ranch, and Property Specific Requests.



FORGET THE STORES; SPEND BLACK FRIDAY WITH LIONS, TIGERS AND BEARS AT ANNUAL TURKEY BASH NOV. 23

 

 

Visit rescued big cats and exotic animals as they enjoy their own Thanksgiving feast

Source:  Lions, Tigers and Bears

November 13, 2018 (Alpine) - Looking for something fun to do the Friday after Thanksgiving?  Bring your family and friends to visit the rescued animals of Lions Tigers & Bears Big Cat and Exotic Animal Sanctuary for the annual Turkey Bash.   

99 YEARS AGO, NOV. 15, 1919, SAN DIEGANS BEGAN TRAVELING EASTBOUND ABOARD SAN DIEGO & ARIZONA RAILWAY; PACIFIC SOUTHWEST RAILWAY MUSUEM BEGINS YEAR-LONG, 100-YEAR CELEBRATION

 

East County News Service

November 13, 2018 (Campo) – Beginning Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018, the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum Association (PSRM), a historical and educational nonprofit based in Campo, Calif., will launch a year-long, 100-year anniversary celebration of the Nov. 15, 1919 completion of the San Diego & Arizona Railway.

MAN FATALLY SHOT IN ALPINE BY DEPUTIES

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Daniel Ayala, courtesy of ECM news partner 10 News

November 12, 2018 (Alpine) – Sheriff’s deputies were called by an employee in the Summit at Alpine apartment complex who reported a man threatening to kill someone. Deputies arrived eight minutes later and report that the man charged at them with a knife. Multiple deputies fired shots, killing the suspect. 

FIVE SCHOOL DISTRICTS CLOSE WEDNESDAY DUE TO POWER OUTAGES

 

Update Nov. 13: Jamul-Dulzura has been added to the list of school districts closed today.

East County News Service

November 12, 2018 (San Diego's East County) -- Four East County school districts will be closed tomorrow because San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) has activated a public safety power shutoff in some rural areas of the County. The following districts' schools wil be closed: 

  • Jamul Dulzura Union School District
  • Julian Union School District
  • Julian Union High School District
  • Mountain Empire Unified School District
  • Spencer Valley School District

SDG&E OPENS 4 COMMUNITY RESOURCE CENTERS TO PROVIDE SUPPORT DURING OUTAGES AND RED FLAG WARNINGS

Source: SDG&E

November 12, 2018 (San Diego's East County) -- With the multi-day Red Flag Warning in effect through Tuesday, Nov. 13, 5 p.m., SDG&E has opened four of our nine Community Resource Centers to support residents who may lose power because of the extreme weather conditions.

  1. Mountain Empire – Mountain Empire High School Gymnasium, 3305 Buckman Springs Road, Campo CA 91906
  2. Potrero – Potrero Resource Center, 24550 Hwy 94, Potrero, CA 91963
  3. Descanso – Camp Oliver Lodge, 8761 Riverside Drive A, Descanso, CA 91916
  4. Campo – Golden Acorn Casino & Travel Center, 1800 Golden Acorn Way, Campo, CA 91906

At these facilities, residents can get water and snacks, charge their phones, and get up-to-date information on outages.

ALL ABOARD! SANTA AND ELVES INVITE YOU TO RIDE THE NORTH POLE LIMITED TRAIN

 

 

East County News Service

November 10, 2018 (Campo) -- The famous North Pole Limited returns to celebrate the holiday season at the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum in Campo. Aboard the historic 1920s train, Santaelves will sing Christmas carols, read a popular holiday story, passing out cookies and hot chocolate to allthen stop at Santas workshop to pick up Santa and Mrs. Claus.

SCHOOL BOND MEASURES: MT. EMPIRE FAILING, SANTEE AND BORREGO PASSING

By Miriam Raftery

November 8, 2018 (San Diego's East County) -- Two East County school districts appear to have reached the 55% majority needed for passage, but a third failed to meet the mark, with 100% of precincts counted but some mail-in and provisional ballots still to be tallied.

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