Descanso

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.

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.”

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.

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: DRY TIMES AT LAKE CUYAMACA AND MOUNT LAGUNA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery; photos by Tom Lemon

February 23, 2014 (Cuyamaca) – “The meadows should be green, Cuyamaca Lake full. Not so,” Tom Lemon writes after a trip to the mountain area.  “The area is tinder dry and the lake down six or eight feet.” 

Still, he found some interesting sights, as thees photos reveal.

EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE’S NOVEMBER RADIO SHOWS ARE NOW ONLINE: LISTEN NOW!

 

Our November shows are now online—including special reports on East County issues, interviews with top newsmakers, local musicians, authors, colorful characters and people making a positive difference in our community. Click here for a list of our November shows and guests with links to listen online.

You can also hear our show live when it airs on KNSJ 89.1 FM on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 5 p.m. and reruns Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 9 a.m.  Or listen live online during those hours at www.KNSJ.org.

Audio: 

ARTS AND CRAFTS FAIR IN DESCANSO NOV. 23

 

November 14, 2013 (Descanso) – Looking for a place to do some early holiday shopping?  Descanso is hosting an Arts and Crafts Fair, where you can enjoy free refreshments, listen to some wonderful live music, and purchase hand-crafted items, all while taking in the fresh mountain air along with a little backcountry hospitality.

PUBLIC MEETINGS TUES. & WED. ON SDG&E PROPOSAL IN CLEVELAND NATIONAL FOREST AND NEARBY PROPERTIES

October 21, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – Two scoping meetings are planned this week in Julian and Alpine  for the public to obtain information and voice views on a proposal by San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E)  that includes Cleveland National Forest lands.  SDG&E wants to combine over 70 existing special use permits for electric facilities in the forest into one Master Special Use Permit.  In addition, SDG&E wants to replace some power lines and distribution liens both inside and outside the forest  including fire hardening, relocation and undergrounding of certain facilities.

Areas impacted include the vicinity of Descanso, Campo, Pauma Valley, Santa Ysabel, and Warner Springs.

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: BOBCAT ON THE PROWL

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 15, 2013 (Descanso) – Debbie Ekhaml had just finished a horseback ride near Descanso and was eating lunch shortly after noon recently when a surprise visitor emerged. 

“This beautiful male Bobcat appeared and caught a gopher while we quietly sat under an oak and watched,” she told ECM. “ He hung around for about 50 minutes and tried to get a second one (unsuccessfully).  We were amazed not only to get to watch him, but to see him hunt in the middle of the day!”

50 RANCHERS GATHER TO "BRAND" DESCANSO JUNCTION REMODEL

 

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

October  6, 2013 (Descanso) –The aroma of burning wood filled the air as ranchers pulled their iron brands out of a flaming pit at the Buckel Ranch in Descanso. Old-timers said it was the only time ever that ranchers from all of East County’s historic ranches gathered  in one place. The occasion?  Tammy Cooker, owner of the Descanso Junction Restaurant, invited these seasoned cowhands to burn their brands into tabletops for her popular eatery now undergoing a remodel. 

Cooker has earned the community’s loyalty, having opened her restaurant just before the Cedar Fire, then keeping it open to serve up firefighters, displaced residents and stranded motorists.  Located in a century-old building, her restaurant closes down tomorrow and will hold a grand reopening celebration October 10-12. The revamped interior will celebrate our region’s historic roots.

SELL-OUT CROWD SAVORED OUR BBQ AND WILD WEST FEST IN DESCANSO

 

By Miriam Raftery; photos by Miriam Raftery, Tom and Nadin Abbott

August 29, 2013 (Descanso) – More than 150 people turned out for East County Magazine’s BBQ and Wild West Fest at the Descanso Town Hall earlier this month.   

In addition to delicious barbecue-grilled tri-tip and chicken served up by Descanso Junction, guests enjoyed lively entertainment by the Pine Creek Posse Band, Western reenactors Gaskill Brothers Gunfighters and the Hole in the Wall Gang, as well as music by Wind Wind Spirit Drum, winners of the national Native American Music Awards.

“We’re delighted at the success and hope to hold a similar event at this historic setting in the future,” said ECM editor and founder Miriam Raftery.  The benefit raised funds to support wildfire reporting to supplement the Viejas Wildfire & Emergency Alerts provided by East County Magazine via e-mail, Twitter, and on KNSJ 89.1 FM radio.

OUR WILD WEST FEST JUST KEEPS GETTING WILDER! COME JOIN THE FUN SAT. AUG. 10 & BENEFIT WILDFIRE REPORTING

EARLY BIRD RATES EXTENDED THROUGH FRIDAY: $15 INCLUDES WILD WEST SHOW, BBQ DINNER, LIVE MUSIC, DANCING & THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS IN PRIZES!

Late breaking news: Wind Spirit Drum, winner of the Native American Music Awards, to perform

 

Our "Wild West Fest" this Saturday, August 10 from 4-7 p.m. is shaping up to be our wildest event ever with some amazing prizes. entertainment and great food!

Want to be a cowboy for a day (or cowgirl) and ride the range at a working cattle ranch?  We're giving away this experience---for two--thanks to Campo Creek Ranch. (view video) Or win a stay at the new Viejas Resort, plus steakhouse dinner and outlet center shopping spree?

How about $165 in hay bales? Gift certificates to restaurants, salons, markets, major stores and shops?  Wine baskets? Leather bag from McClintock Saddleworks? Event tickets to "Magic in the Mountains" in Julian? Wine baskets? And much more? All to benefit wildfire reporting in this severe fire season.

Don't miss the fun - we still have tickets left so we've extended the early bird rates through Friday.  We've also added kid rates - $10 for kids ages 4-12. The fun takes place this Saturday, August 10 from 4-7 p.m. at the historic Descanso Town Hall, 24536 Viejas Grade Road in Descanso (Please note corrected address of event).

Western wear is encouraged - channel your inner cowboy (or cowgirl), round up the family and head on out! 

EARLY BIRD RATES EXTENDED! WESTERN REENACTMENTS TO BRING OLD WEST ALIVE AT WILD WEST FEST AUGUST 10--ALL TO BENEFIT WILDFIRE REPORTING FOR ECM

 

 

Thousands of dollars in fabulous prizes--and a wild west show!

Listen to our audio preview for this exciting event 

July 12, 2013 (Descanso) --Descanso Junction is firing up the BBQ to help us celebrate East County's western heritage at our Wild West Fest and BBQ on Saturday, August 10 from 4-7 p.m. at the historic Descanso Town Hall (24536 Viejas Grade Road, Descanso).  Prince includes BBQ feast, wild west show, dancing, live music, and prizes galore!

Your ticket ($15 at early-bird rates, $20 at the door) includes a delicious tri-tip and chicken barbecue feast,  Wild West show, live music, dancing, and a chance to win thousands of dollars in prizes.The Hole in the Wall Gang and  Gaskill Brothers Gunfighters will provide live western reenactments with a full half-hour wild west show. Author Bryon Harrington will be there with his book, Campo, the Forgotten Gunfight. Plus we'll have a Doc Holliday reenactor. Pine Creek Posse Band will provide live music- so bring your dancing shoes (or your cowboy boots!)

THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS IN PRIZES: Prizes include a vacation at the Viejas Resort, "cowboy for a day" at Campo Creek Ranch, gift certificates from delicious restaurants, $165 in hay bales, gifts from feed stores, retail shops, salons, leather bag from MCClintock Saddleworks, hay bales, winery gift baskets, bowling, buffets, event tickets and even a free rental at Descanso Town Hall! and more. Descanso Junction will serve up the barbecue feast. KNSJ 89.1 FM radio will be on hand to record YOUR stories, too.

MOUNTAIN EMPIRE MEN’S CLUB SCHOLARSHIP FUNDRAISER SHOWS REGION WHAT IT TAKES TO GIVE BACK

 

By Ariele Johannson

July 21, 2013 (Descanso) Efforts of the Mountain Empire Men’s Club culminated in a demonstration of the maxim “It takes a village to raise a child.”

An outpouring of volunteer effort, donations, and pitching-in from the mountain community of Descanso made this year’s scholarship fundraiser on June 28 event another success. Tammy Cooker and her crew from Descanso Junction and Catering served up a fabulous barbecue dinner of Jack Daniels tri-tip and chicken, while the Blue Mountain Band performed live music onstage at the historic Descanso Town Hall.

BACK TO THE OLD WEST: DESCANSO DAYS JULY 13 PACKS PLENTY OF FAMILY FUN

 

 

July 5, 2013 (Descanso)--You’re invited to come “Back to the Old West” at Descanso Days on July 13, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and join in some good old-fashioned backcountry fun at the historic Descanso Town Hall including live music, deep-pit barbecue, a parade, booths, prizes and more.

Guests can also cheer on entries in the Descanso Days Parade – Aussie, the Australian shepherd, on his motorcycle; a variety of unique and antique tractors; Eric Runningpath and Daughter (professional Native American dancers); and several mounted groups including the Grand Ladies of the Old West, the Winchester Widows, the Hole in the Wall Gang, and the Escondido Mounted Patrol. For excitement in the sky, members of the El Cajon Classic Hangar Club will fly over the Parade route in their WWII airplanes.

PANCAKE BREAKFASTS ANNOUNCED

 

July 8, 2013 (Descanso) -- The public is invited to support a historic building and enjoy all the pancakes you can eat at the Descanso Town Hall’s monthly Pancake Breakfast.  The second Sunday of every month (except July and December), from 8:30-11:30am, the Descanso Town Hall Association hosts a  Pancake Breakfast cooked by local residents. The menu includes pancakes, eggs, sausages, fruit, orange juice, and coffee, tea, or hot chocolate.

MOUNTAIN EMPIRE MEN'S CLUB HOSTS SCHOLARSHIP FUNDRAISER JUNE 28 AT DESCANSO TOWN HALL

                       

By Ariele Johannson

June 26, 2013 (Descanso) -- Get ready to kick up your heels, because there will be live music and dancing in Descanso on Friday evening, June 28, 2013. Mountain Empire Men’s Club presents their 5th Annual Scholarship Fundraiser at the Descanso Town Hall. The newly designated “historical” town hall is located at 24536 Viejas Blvd. in Descanso. The event is from 5-10 p.m.

Descanso Junction Catering is hosting the event and cooking up a delicious smoked barbecue dinner. This special event also features a silent auction and raffle prizes. All funds collected will go directly to the Scholarship Fund for students in the Mountain Empire School District, of which Descanso is a  part.

DESCANSO MAN FOUND IN FIRE DIED OF HEART ATTACK

 

May 22, 2013 (Descanso) – The Medical Examiner has determined that Robert Sean Gibbons died of natural causes  from a heart attack related to coronary artery disease.   The body of Gibbons, 46, was found by firefighters who responded to a fire at his trailer, which was fully engulfed in flames.

HISTORIC DESCANSO TOWN HALL TO BE HONORED ON APRIL 20

April 18, 2013 (Descanso) – The Descanso Town Hall will be honored on Saturday, April 20 at 10 a.m. and you are invited to join in the festivities.  The historic Town Hall has been selected by E Clampus Vitus, a national primer historical society, to be honored with a monument and plaque.

This historical preservation society, under the leadership of Descanso’s own Warren Geiske, will be unveiling the monument on April 20.

What determines a structure as a historical building includes age, era in which it was built and style. Descanso’s Town Hall was built in 1898, during the time when town halls were being built across the United States.  The purpose for town halls was to build a meeting place where one could get married, have a wake, enjoy a square dance, a pot luck, or even attend church—much the same ways in which Descanso’s town hall continues to be utilized to this day.

HISTORIC DESCANSO TOWN HALL TO BE HONORED ON APRIL 20

 

The Descanso Town Hall will be honored on Saturday, April 20 at 9 a.m. and you are invited to join in the festivities.  The historic Town Hall has been selected by E Clampus Vitus, a national primer historical society, to be honored with a monument and plaque. 

This historical preservation society, under the leadership of Descanso’s own Warren Geiske, will be unveiling the monument on April 20.

WANT TO BE ON THE RADIO? KNSJ HOSTS TRAININGS IN DESCANSO STARTING MARCH 28

March 21, 2013 (Descanso) -- Descanso will soon be the home of a new non-commercial community radio station, KNSJ, which will broadcast on 89.1 FM from Monument Peak, Mt. Laguna.  The station aims to begin broadcasting in April, once a transmitter is built.

The station is actively soliciting community members to broadcast their own shows, stories, events listings and items of local information, and to join with and guide the station as it grows into a real 24/7 media outlet by and for the people.

SNOW BLANKETS LOCAL MOUNTAINS

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 9, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) ---Heavy snowfall has transformed our local mountains into winter wonderlands.  Mount Laguna received 10 inches of snowfall in the past 24 hours, followed by Palomar Mountain with 7 to 8 inches.  Cuyamaca also received significant snowfall, as this image sent in by reader Grace Schlesier shows. Frost and freezing temperatures are expected through Monday in inland valleys.

Other areas dusted in white include Julian (3-6 inches), Ranchita (5 inches), Santa  Ysabel (2 inches) and Pine Valley (2 inches) .  Snow even dipped down to Descanso and Campo, which received less than a half inch each.

PINE VALLEY SHERIFF'S SUBSTATION OPENS IN TEMPORARY LOCATION

 

January 27, 2013 (Pine Valley)--Beginning Friday, February 1, the Pine Valley Sheriff's Substation can be found at a new location as construction on a new substation gets underway. The temporary address of the substation is 28914 Old Highway 80 Suite 106, Pine Valley, CA 91962 with the same telephone number at (619) 473‐8774.

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: WINTER WONDERLAND

 

December 31, 2012 (San Diego's East County) -- A blanket of snow envelops our local mountains and rural areas this New Year's Eve. Melody Ponchot arose early to snap sunrise photos as the morning's first rays illuminate snow dusting trees across her ranch in Boulevard (left, right, and below, right)

Julie Salmons also sent in an image of the Laguna mountains (below, left), viewed from Descanso, wearing a crown of winter white.

ATTENTION HOLIDAY SHOPPERS: DESCANSO ARTS & CRAFTS FAIR ON NOVEMBER 17

November 13, 2012 (Descanso) – Looking for some hand-crafted, locally made gifts this holiday season? Visit the Descanso Town Hall at 24536 Viejas Grade on November 17 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for the Arts & Crafts Fair. 

Many local artists and craftspeople will be displaying their wares for sale.  Items include paintings, photography, jewelry, decorative gourds, custom embroidery, leather goods and much more.

HIKER DIES ON TRAIL AFTER FINDING THREE SISTERS FALLS DRY

By Miriam Raftery

September 30, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – A 27-year-old Coronado man collapsed and died yesterday on the return hike from Three Sisters Falls.  According to the San Diego Medical Examiner’s office, the man was hiking with three friends on the trail in the Descanso/Julian area when he collapsed.

“It was a hot day and the falls apparently were dried up,” the Medical Examiner’s website reports.  Temperatures were in the 80s, with an excessive heat warning from the National Weather Service in effect.

DESCANSO DAYS: PARADE AND FAIR JULY 14

July 12, 2012 (Descanso) – Help fund preservation of Descanso’s historic town hall, built in 1899, by joining in this vintage Americana celebration in East County. Descanso Days fun begins with the “Proud to be an American” parade on Saturday, July 14 at 10 a.m. The parade route starts at Viejas Grade Road in Descanso and ends at the town’s elementary school. 

Later, enjoy live music by Pine Creek Posse Band as well as a bluegrass band and a “tin” band. The fair, held at the Descanso Town Hall, 24536 Viejas Grade Road in Descanso, also features arts and crafts, games, rides for kids, food and beverages.

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