Descanso

HAVE YOU SEEN OUR NEWSLETTER?

 

September 2, 2016 (San Diego's East County) -- Our latest newsletter just came out --with all the hottest news and events impacting you in East County all in one single-page newsletter.  You can view the latest edition here.   

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Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

A BLAZE OF GLORY: DESCANSO DAYS JULY 9

 

East County News Service

July 7, 2016  (Descanso)--The annual Descanso Days takes place on July 9th, featuring a festival at the historic Descanso Town Hall (24536 Viejas Grade Road) and a parade rolling out at 10 a.m. This year’s theme is “A Blaze of Glory."

Be sure to arrive early, since Viejas Grade Road shuts down before the parade, and stay late to enjoy games, food, vendor booths and entertainment.


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LARGE ANIMAL SHELTERS OPEN IN DESCANSO AND BOULEVARD

Source: County of San Diego

June 21, 2016 (San Diego's East County) --The County of San Diego Office of Emergency Services announced this afternoon that large animal shelters are  available at the Boulevard Customs and Border Protection station located at 2463 Ribbonwood Rd., Boulevard, and Circle T Ranch at 24215 Viejas Grade Rd., Descanso.

If you need emergency assistance evacuating, call 9-1-1. If you need additional information, visit sdcountyemergency.com or call 2-1-1.

For assistance evacuating animals, call County Animal Services dispatch at 619-236-2341.


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BREAK-IN TAKES COMMUNITY RADIO KNSJ 89.1 FM OFF THE AIR: BROADCAST EQUIPMENT STOLEN & VANDALIZED

 

 

East County Magazine Show is among programming knocked off air; funds urgently needed to restore broadcasting

 

June 7,2016 (San Diego)—Community radio station KNSJ 89.1 FM Descanso has been temporarily knocked off the air after a break-in and theft. KNSJ's transmitter site on Monument Peak in the Laguna Mountains was broken into, with vandalism intentionally disabled broadcasting on Thursday, June 2nd at 7:05 p.m. PST. The immediate impact of this crime is loss of the FM broadcast and service as an emergency alert system. KNSJ continues to stream 24/7 online, but not over the public airways. Because this break-in occurred on federal land and interrupted a licensed FCC full-power FM station, this forced entry is a considered a federal crime.

KNSJ is making a public appeal to raise $5000 to get the station back on the air.

Donations are needed to replace equipment, upgrade a security system and the speedy return of this non-profit radio station to regular programming. Tax-deductible donations can be made at KNSJ.org KNSJ is an all volunteer station relying primarily on donations.


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HOWDY AND ALOHA! WESTERN LUAU JUNE 11 IN DESCANSO

 

East County News Service

May 21, 2016 (Descanso) – You’re invited to a Western luau blending traditions of Hawaii and the Old West on Saturday, June 11 from 4:30 to 8 p.m. at Chapel of the Hills Community Church, 25153 Viejas Blvd. in Descanso.


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STORM FREEZES, BREAKS TRANSMITTER FOR KNSJ: DONATIONS NEEDED FOR REPAIR

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 14, 2016 (Descanso) -- KNSJ Radio (89.1 FM Descanso) is off the air affter the station's transmitter on Mount Laguna froze and broke during  last week's winter storm.  The repair estimate is $1,500, said Martin Eder, founder of KNSJ, a public nonprofit radio station that serves East County and San Diego.

Donations are urgently needed to cover this unexpected major repair cost and may be made via PayPal, credit card or check at http://knsj.org/donate/.  

The East County Magazine  Show airs on KNSJ on Mondays and Fridays from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.  During the outage, which began last week, our radio show and others on the station can still be heard online by downloading the TuneIn App for your cell phone or by listening to the streaming audio online at http://knsj.org/knsjpopup.html.


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SNOW, ICY ROADWAYS IN MOUNTAINS

 

East County News Service

File photo: Snow in Cuyamacas by Grace Schleiser

December 28, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – A winter storm is bringing snow, ice and fog to our mountain regions.

Chains are required due to icy/snowy conditions on the Julian-Sunrise Highway from State Route 79 to Old Highway 80, according to the County Department of Public Works. Caltrans reports icy conditions on I-8 at Mountain Pass as well as on State Route 76 at Palomar Mountain.

The Laguna Mountain Lodge reports on its Facebook page that snow is falling on Mt.Laguna.  Residents across East County report snow in the Lake Cuyamaca area, an iced over pond in Descanso and cold conditions across our inland region.


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HOLIDAY OPEN RANCH AT ALPACAS OF SAN DIEGO IN DESCANSO DEC. 13

 

November 30, 2015 (Descanso) – You’re invited to a Holiday Open House at Alpacas of San Diego, located at 10499 Highway 79 in Descanso, on December 13 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.. Admission is free.

Learn all about alpacas and alpaca ownership see why these animals are so loveable and eco friendly, and you can do some holiday shopping for gift items such as luxurious alpaca scarves, throws, socks, yarn skeins and plush toys.  There will also be a craft table and activities for the kids, as well as a raffle gift basket giveaway.


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ALPACA FARMING: A WILD AND WOOLY VENTURE

By Miriam Raftery

October 10, 2015 (Descanso) – Weavers spun yarn, kids petted alpacas with names like Cinnamon and Swirl, while guests of all ages learned about the care and feeding of these Andean  denizens during National Alpaca Farm Days.

The event was held locally at Atlas Alpacas in Descanso, a ranch owned by Amay Alyeshmerni and her partner, David Kabbai.  The venture recently merged with Hazard Alpacas of Jamul to form Alpacas of San Diego.

 “This isn’t about selling alpacas. It’s about teaching people,” says Kabbai, adding that he loves the experience.  “Kids come up here and have no idea where their sweaters are coming from.”


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MEMORIALS PLANNED FOR GARRY MCCLINTOCK SEPT. 20 AND 26

 

September 1, 2015 (Descanso)—A series of events are planned to honor the memory of famed saddle maker Garry McClintock including a memorial ride and barbecue on September 20th, as well as a church service and reception September 26th.


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A SMOKIN' HOT EVENT: DESCANSO DEEP-PIT BBQ SEPT. 6

 

August 25, 2015 (Descanso)--Our Lady of Light Catholic Church in Descanso will hold its 78th Annual Deep Pit Barbecue on Sunday, September 6th during the Labor Day weekend.


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ON THE TRAIL WITH GARRY MCCLINTOCK: A MEMOIR

 

By Marty Jorgensen

September 1, 2015 (Descanso) -- When I think of Garry McClintock, what I will remember more than anything else is his attitude towards life.  He was always upbeat and positive, and full of curiosity of the world around him.  He had the inner and spiritual strength to continue to carry that on despite his long illness. When you spoke with Garry you always felt that he was really interested in what you had to say, and you always seemed to go away better for it.  His shop was always somewhere that you could not only buy a saddle or tack or have it repaired but a place where you could find out what was happening, in Descanso or in the equestrian community.  It was as much a social center as it was a saddle shop.  And I cannot remember him in any conversation ever saying a bad thing about anybody.


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LARGE BLACK CAT SIGHTING REPORTING AT CEDAR CREEK FALLS

 

By Miriam Raftery

File photo: Black jaguar

September 1, 2015 (Cedar Creek Falls) – Last year, East County Magazine ran a two-part series  on numerous reported sightings of large black wildcats in our region :

http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/are-black-wildcats-prowling-east-county

http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/hello-kitty-more-black-wildcat-reports-surface

Today, we received an email from Chris and Peter Ruth, Forest Service volunteers and trail head hosts at Cedar Creek Falls.  “We now have had two reports of a black `cat-like’ animal down by the falls,” they wrote, adding that there is water in the pond though the waterfall is dry this time of year.

Multiple hikers reported seeing a “large black animal” resembling a big cat in a tree near the falls in San Diego's backcountry in Cleveland National Forest between Julian and Descanso. The sightings were reported to the ranger.  In addition, the Forest Service volunteers state, “Today, two female volunteers who hike the trail and pick up trash heard growling noises three times. With the drought, we wonder if animals are frequenting the pond to get water.”


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PASSAGES: GARRY MCCLINTOCK, DESCANSO'S FAMOUS SADDLE MAKER

 

Memorial planned for September 26, 2015

By Miriam Raftery

August 16, 2015 (Descanso) –For the past 43 years, Garry McClintock has been making saddles to outfit trail riders and cowboys across our region. On August 14th, the master  saddle maker passed away at his Descanso home. With his passage, a towering part of San Diego’s western heritage rides off into the sunset. though his memories live on.

East County Magazine’s “Sounds of History” host Helen Ofield interviewed McClintock for our radio show on KNSJ. You can hear the  series here, including McClintock discussing the art of saddlemaking in part 1 and the history of vaqueros in our region in part 2:

http://k001.kiwi6.com/hotlink/7avse2re64/Soundsof_History-GarrymcClintock-saddles1.mp3

    http://k001.kiwi6.com/hotlink/n2cwhibth1/SoundsofHistory-2McClintock-Vaqueros.mp3


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LION'S CAMP JACK GIVES AT-RISK YOUTHS MEMORIES TO LAST A LIFETIME

 

East County News Service

July 9, 2015 (Descanso) – Once again, Camp Jack will offer a summer camping experience for at-risk youths. This year’s camp starts on July 26 with a Traditional Barbeque hosted by the El Cajon Valley Host Lions club.


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MAJOR TRAIL CHANGES PROPOSED TO THREE SISTERS FALLS

 

 

Public comments due by March 25

By Miriam Raftery

February 25, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--Three Sisters Falls is one of the most beautiful natural attractions in East County – a trio of waterfalls and natural swimming holes in a wilderness area within Cleveland National Forest.  But the falls are also among the most difficult scenic sites to access.

Now Cleveland National Forest’s Palomar Ranger District is planning a major recreation management   project at Three Sisters Falls, located near Boulder Creek Road between Santa Ysabel  and Descanso. The proposed action is to adopt and/or construct a Level 2 System Trail to Three Sisters Falls, to decommission and restore existing user-created trails, and to clear and construct  a primitive dirt or gravel parking area off of Boulder Creek Road, also adding a kiosk with educational materials.

The purpose of this project is to  address concerns related to public health and safety, resource impacts from unmanaged recreation use, and compromised access along Boulder Creek Road for area residents and emergency vehicles during high-use periods at Three Sisters Falls, says district ranger Joan Friedlander.


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FRIENDS OF THE DESCANSO LIBRARY GROUP IS LOOKING FOR VOLUNTEERS!

 

January 26, 2015 (Descanso)—Friends of the Descanso Library needs volunteers—including a  new treasurer this month! The current treasurer will train you on Quick Books and treasurer’s duties.


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PHOTO OF THE MONTH: GUESS WHAT'S SPOTTED IN DESCANSO?

 

December 15, 2014 (Descanso) - “Descanso reader Duncan McFetridge was surprised to find an unusual visitor nestled down in his kitchen during this week’s storm:  a spotted skunk, who didn’t mind sharing the space with a couple of housecats, McFetridge adds.


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DESCANSO’S WATER BOARD ACCUSED OF COVER-UPS ON URANIUM CONTAMINATION AND MORE

 

Open letter sent to District Attorney, Grand Jury, ratepayers and regulators

October 18, 2014 (Descanso) – An open letter sent to ratepayers, the County Grand Jury, health officials, legislators, media and District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis accuses the Descanso Community Water District board of covering up matters that could endanger health and property values—including uranium contamination. (ECM has previously reported on uranium in Descanso's water supply; see story here.)

The letter, titled “Secrecy—The Diseases of Corrupt Public Officials” urges ratepayers to attend the water board’s next meeting on Monday, October 27th at the Descanso Town Hall on Viejas Grade Road.  It is signed by Jeff Rzendal, BoardVice President, GarySanner, incoming Director, John LaPlante, former Director and Treasurer, and Ivan Heckscher, a ratepayer. Below is the text in full. We have asked the Board President, Lee Jonnson, for a response to the allegations raised and will publish his response once received.


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SADDLEMAKER GARRY MCCLINTOCK INJURED IN ACCIDENT; BENEFIT PLANNED IN DESCANSO

 

October 9, 2014 (Descanso) – A “Trail Challenges” clinic will be held November 29th at Descanso Feed and Hay to benefit Garry and Ann McClintock.  Garry, a famed saddlemaker in Descanso, was seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident.


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READER'S EDITORIAL: HELICOPTERS FLYING TOO LOW

 

Photo: View of Oak Creek/Boulder Creek area taken by Cynthia Burnham from her home, where she reports seeing an SDG&E helicopter hovering "very low" for at least 10 minutes.

An open letter sent to the California Public Utilities Commission,  U.S. Forest Service/Cleveland National Forest, Congressman Duncan Hunter and Supervisor Dianne Jacob:

By Cindy Buxton

Dear CPUC, Foresters, Congressmen, and Supervisors:  

August 31, 2014 (Boulder Creek)--Several residences and visitors to the Cleveland National Forest lately between Descanso and Julian in the Boulder Creek area have complained about low flying helicopters.  These were seen hovering over people's back yards by only a few hundred feet. Subsequently we are to learn in the East County Magazine that several other residences identified the helicopters belonging to SDG&E, also experienced this to the point that horses were so frightened that they were injured.  One of the helicopters seen by several residences along Boulder Creek Road had a visible camera on the front  and apparently was not necessarily  in line with the ROW (right of way) for the TL626 line.


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SDG&E LOW-FLYING HELICOPTER CAUSED HORSE INJURY IN DESCANSO, OWNER CLAIMS

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 29, 2014 (Descanso) –A helicopter chartered by San Diego Gas & Electric Company to survey lines in Descanso was flying below the legal height limit on Wednesday, startling a horse that was injured as a result, says owner Rita Gallant.

Tim Garland, a ferrier who works for Garland, was shoeing horses on her property and called Gallant to report that horses were being spooked by the low-flying chopper.

“He said, `You’ve got this helicopter hovering above your property. It’s right at the top of your gate and your horses are going crazy,” Gallant told East County Magazine.  She added that Garland told her the helicopter was just 150 to 200 feet above the gate—close enough to get a good look at the pilot.  Anything under 1,000 feet would be illegal, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).


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OUR LADY OF LIGHT CHURCH DEEP-PIT BARBECUE AUG. 31

 

 

August  29, 2014 (Descanso)--Our Lady of Light Catholic Church in Descanso will hold its 77th Annual Deep Pit Barbecue on Sunday August 31st of the Labor Day weekend. The Festivities will start at 11 a.m. and continue until 6 p.m.

The barbecue has been a major event of the mountain empire area since before World War II. It will be held on the Church grounds on Riverside drive in Descanso.


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BRUSH FIRE IN DESCANSO HALTED AT 8 ACRES

 

August 24, 2014 (Descanso) – A wildland fire in Descanso on Sunday briefly threatened structures. The blaze started in light, flashy fuels near the Descanso Library at River Drive and Viejas Boulevard.


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SEXUAL PREDATOR RELEASE IN EAST COUNTY WITHOUT MONITORING OR CONDITIONS

 

July 16, 2014  (San Diego’s East County)--David Chambless is a convicted child molester and sexually violent predator  with a mental disorder who has been living in Jacumba for the past five years, after being released from a state mental hospital.


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LIONS CAMP JACK 2014 GIVES AT-RISK YOUTHS MEMORIES TO LAST A LIFETIME

 

Source: El Cajon Valley Host Lions Club

July 8, 2014 (Descanso)--Lions Camp Jack was the dream of its founder, PDG Jack Wyatt, a member of the San Diego Host Lion’s Club. This year’s camping experience starts on July 20 with a traditional barbeque hosted by the El Cajon Valley Host Lions club.


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URGENT POLL: ASK KNSJ TO AIR LIVE WILDFIRE ALERTS & WILDFIRE REPORTING: HONOR PROMISES MADE TO DONORS & HELP SAVE LIVES

 

Dear  Readers:

A year ago when KNSJ radio launched, the station promised to air our live wildfire and emergency alerts. Saturday is their anniversary party - please send a message TODAY asking them to honor this promise!

In the July 2013 Chariot Fire the station did go live and I reported on the fire on Mt. Laguna.  For a few weeks, KNSJ aired our alerts with a delay of an hour or so, promising to improve technology to get real live alerts. Later KNSJ stopped airing wildfire alerts at all. I’ve pleaded with KNSJ to air Viejas Wildfire Alerts as promised, which we offer them free, to save lives and keep you safe. In the backcountry when power lines burn and some have no cell service,  battery-powered radio is often the only way to get news during fires.

KNSJ’s CEO says having the federal emergency broadcast system  in place is enough, but it’s not. It wasn’t activated during recent fires in East County.  KNSJ's CEO and Board  refuse to even guarantee a start date for alerts or an exact dollar figure that would guarantee these would air. They ask for more money, without delivering on promises made to donors who already gave to support getting alerts on the air.  KNSJ also has zero live broadcasting, even for breaking news during fires.

TAKE OUR POLL AND SEND A MESSAGE TO KNSJ:  Should the FCC ask KNSJ to keep its promise and air live Viejas Wildfire & Emergency Alerts & have live news broadcasts during wildfires?

PLEASE VOTE HERE:  http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/poll/should-fcc-ask-knsj-keep-its-promise-air-live-viejas-wildfire-emergency-alerts-and-have-live-ne


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URANIUM IN WELL WATER THREATENS DESCANSO RESIDENTS

 

Bringing Backup Well Online May Be First Step in Solving the Problem

By Sharon Penny

March 24, 2014 (Descanso)-- Like all backcountry communities, the town of Descanso depends on groundwater for its water needs. A high level of uranium in the town’s main well has become a concern for many residents.  

For the last three quarters of a year, the water district’s Well No. 5 has exceeded what is considered a safe level of uranium, which the California Code of Regulations lists as 20 pCi/L. Fourth quarter readings are planned for April.


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ATTORNEY SENDS PUBLIC RECORDS REQUEST TO DESCANSO COMMUNITY WATER DISTRICT

 

By Sharon Penny

March 28, 2014 (Descanso) – Attorney Marco Gonzalez of the Coast Law Group has sent a request to the Descanso Community Water District for inspection of documents, based upon the California Public Records Act.

According to Gonzalez, his firm is representing various ratepayers and other interested entities concerned with management and operation of the District. He is seeking access to public documents that, he says, are “virtually impossible at this time for any member of the public to deduce where such documents are stored.”


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MORE SOLAR FARMS PLANNED FOR SEVERAL BACKCOUNTRY COMMUNITIES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Descanso, Pine Valley and Potrero targeted next

By Sharon Penny

Photos: Proposed Descanco siting

February 23, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)--The massive solar farm planned for the community of Boulevard has been documented in the East County Magazine, but what has been largely under the radar are several smaller-scale solar farms planned throughout the backcountry, including Descanso, Pine Valley, Potrero and others.

On Thursday, February 20, the Descanso Planning Group (DPG) heard a brief presentation on a proposed solar farm on the south side of Viejas Boulevard on the Merigan property. Carlos Valdivia from Ecoplexus, the firm that is proposing to develop both Descanso and Pine Valley solar farms, gave an informational overview to the DPG and about 25 residents in attendance.


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