Borrego Springs

WELCOME, DESERT DENIZENS!

Our deserts section covers the Anza Borrego Desert State Park and the communities of Borrego Springs, Ocotillo, Ocotillo Wells and Jacumba.


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55TH ANNUAL BORREGO DAYS DESERT FESTIVAL WELCOMES BACK VISITORS OCT. 23-24

East County News Service

August 21, 2021 (Borrego Springs) – The 55th annual Borrego Days Desert Festival is slated to take place October 23 and 24 at Christmas Circle Community Park on Palm Canyon Drive in Borrego Springs. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. Admission and parking are free.


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PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: DUST STORM IN BORREGO SPRINGS

East County News Service

August 31, 2021 (Borrego Springs) – “Strong thunderstorms east of Borrego and subsequent downdrafts has created a Haboob in Borrego Springs, see progression below over several minutes,” says Bob Kutscher, who sent in these photos. A haboob is an intense dust storm carried on an atmospheric gravity current or weather front; haboobs occur commonly in dry land areas around the world. 

 

Kutscher runs a weather station and is a severe weather spotter for the National Weather Service.


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HEARING ON PREDATOR PLACEMENT IN BORREGO POSTPONED; WAKEFIELD TO RECEIVE SIX MONTHS OF IN-PATIENT TREATMENT BEFORE FEB. HEARING

By Miriam Raftery

August 27, 2021 (Borrego Springs) – A hearing on the proposed placement of sexually violent predator Merle Wakefield has been posted to February 22, after Liberty Healthcare/CONREP withdrew its request to place him at 1575 Yaqui Road in Borrego Springs.


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PHOTO OF THE WEEK: SUNRISE AFTER A DESERT STORM

East County News Service

August 20, 2021 (Borrego Springs) – Bob Kutscher snapped this photo on August 11, the morning after a storm dumped three quarters of an inch of rain accompanied by thunder and lightning – all preceded by a Haboob, or dust storm that left particles to intensify the sunrise hues.


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THREE COUNTY PARKS CLOSED IN AUGUST DUE TO SUMMER HEAT

By Gig Conaughton, County of San Diego Communications Office

August 1, 2021 (San Diego's East County) - Three San Diego County parks will be closed for the month of August starting Sunday, a measure taken each year because of the month’s typically high temperatures.

Parks officials announced that El Capitan Preserve near Lakeside, Hellhole Canyon Preserve in Valley Center and Mt. Gower Preserve in Ramona will be closed.


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BORREGO RESIDENTS ORGANIZE TO OPPOSE PREDATOR PLACEMENT AT DE ANZA GOLF ESTATES

By Miriam Raftery

July 31, 2021 (Borrego Springs) – The Borrego Springs Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau is leading efforts to oppose the state’s plan to place a sexually violent predator in the community.  A townhall meeting August 4 at 3 p.m. is planned at Anza Country Club, along with other actions.


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BIGHORN SHEEP COUNTER DIES IN ANZA-BORREGO DESERT, ANOTHER HOSPITALIZED; FIREFIGHTER COLLAPSES DURING RESCUE

Update July 4: The California State Park Service has cancelled this year's sheep count due to the death and will be examining safety protocols.
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo courtesy of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
 
June 23, 2021 (Borrego Springs) Updated July 25 – A hike into Palm Canyon within Anza-Borrego Desert State Park to leave water in preparation for the annual desert bighorn sheep count turned deadly Saturday afternoon.  Medics were called to rescue a pair of hikers in distress around 12:40 p.m.
 
Cal Fire Captain Frank LoCoco told CBS 8, “One of those hikers succumbed to that heat illness and was declared deceased at the scene, and the other was transported to the hospital in critical condition.”  The hiker was identified by the Medical Examiner on June 25 at Donald White of Culver City. Fox 5 reports that he was a volunteer participating in the annual desert bighorn sheep count.
 
A firefighter from Borrego Springs also collapsed during the rescue operation, LoCoco said.

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50TH ANNUAL BORREGO BIGHORN SHEEP COUNT SET FOR JULY

By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo by Darren Sefcik
 
May 28, 2021 (Borrego Springs) – For the past half-century, teams of volunteers have ventured into rugged terrain amid high heat to count bighorn sheep in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Last year, the count was partially curtailed due to COVID-19, but this year, the count is slated to occur July 1-4.  

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BORREGO SPRINGS FILM FESTIVAL TO HOLD DRIVE-INS APRIL 15-19

 

East County News Service

April 11, 2021 (Borrego Springs) - The 8th annual Borrego Springs Film Festival April 15-19 will be a free outdoor drive-in event.

The special event will take place at the shopping mall in the center of Borrego Springs. Guests will see a collection of films from all around the world.


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CAL FIRE WILL ADMINISTER COVID VACCINATIONS TO RESIDENTS IN BORREGO SPRINGS THIS SATURDAY AND SUNDAY, JANUARY 30 AND 31

Source:  Borrego Springs Chamber of Commerce

January 28, 2021 (Borrego Springs) - This Saturday and Sunday (January 30th and 31st) between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. CalFire will vaccinate people at the Borrego Springs Library.


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MISSING OFF-ROAD MOTORCYCLIST FOUND IN BORREGO SPRINGS

East County News Service

January 26, 2021 (Borrego Springs) -- A man who went missing while off-roading in Borrego Springs over the weekend has been found safe and will soon be reunited with his family, the Sheriff’s Department reports.

James Richard Rawlins III, 55, was spotted just after 7:00 a.m. this morning by drivers along Highway 78 near the Desert Ironwood Resort in Borrego Springs.  Rawlins was in good spirits and taken to a medical facility in Brawley, according to a press release from the Sheriff’s department, which adds, “Once he gets a clean bill of health, Rawlins will be reunited with his family”.


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SUPERVISORS APPROVE DARK SKIES PROTECTIONS FOR JULIAN AREA AND BORREGO SPRINGS

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  Night sky in  Borrego Springs, by Dennis Mammana

November 18, 2020 (San Diego) – San Diego Supervisors today voted to approve amendments to the county’s Light Pollution ordinance which will provide “Dark Sky Community” designation to both the Julian and Borrego Springs community planning areas.  The action aims to prevent light pollution, enhancing astronomy viewing and related tourism.

The action comes after the Julian Dark Sky Network asked Supervisors in 2018 to create a way for Julian to meet International Dark Sky Association recognition. Borrego Springs was the first California community to receive that designation in 2009.

"Our community is part of the 1% of the U.S. that can still see the Milky Way. Our distance from the urban glow of San Diego's skies and the surrounding mountains help with our sky quality, but preservation must be intentional," the Julian Dark Sky Network's website states.


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COVID RATES REMAIN LOW IN MOST REOPENED EAST COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICTS, BUT MANY LACK TRANSPARENCY

Cajon Valley, first to reopen, has most cases.  Three other districts report cases; others lack transparency in disclosure.  

Update October 31:  The Cajon Valley Union School District has added a breakdown by schools of its COVID cases, which now number 15 students and 2 employees  (17 total) at 11 schools. 

By Miriam Raftery

October 21, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – How safe is it to send your child back to school amid a pandemic, or for teachers to provide instruction inside classrooms?

East County Magazine has checked out the websites of all districts in East County to determine how many cases have been reported at schools that have reopened thus far, and how transparent each district is in making this information easily available to parents, teachers and staff.

To date, the County Public Health Department has not reported any outbreaks (defined as 3 or more cases tied to a single location) at any East County elementary, middle, high school or community college district. However some school districts do have cases among both students and staff. It is unclear whether cases were contracted on campus, or how many others may have been exposed.

In some districts, information on schools with COVID cases are being publicly disclosed, but not in others. Asked about this discrepancy, County spokesman Michael Workman said, "A change in the order regarding schools is being discussed and may be in place soon. The state guidance referenced above covers school notification. It’s too early to say what our health order change may say."

Here are the results of ECM's investigation.


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BORREGO RESIDENT KILLED IN ROLLOVER CRASH

By Miriam Raftery
 
September 4, 2020 (Borrego Springs) – A 52-year-old man from Borrego Springs died at the scene of a single-vehicle crash yesterday.  
 
The victim was driving a 2006 Ford F-150 pickup truck southbound on Borrego Springs Road north of State Route 78 around 4:11 p.m. when the vehicle crossed the center line and drifted across northbound lanes, then off the east edge of the road.  The pickup then struck a sign post and overturned.
 
“It is believed the driver was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the collision. Unfortunately, the driver succumbed to his injuries at the scene,” says Officer Travis Garrow with the California Highway Patrol.  

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PHOTO OF THE WEEK: NEOWISE COMET OVER EAST COUNTY

By Miriam Raftery

July 23, 2020 (Borrego Springs) -- Photographer Scott Burnham captured this amazing image of Comet Neowise over Borrego Palm Canyon from the edge of Borrego Springs on Friday evening, July 17.

The icy comet will make its closest approach to Earth tonight, and may be seen through July 25.

Once it’s gone, it won’t return for another 6,800 years. 


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VIRTUAL CAMPFIRE CHATS WITH ANZA-BORREGO PARK RANGERS KICK OFF THIS WEEKEND

 

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East County News Service

Photo by Kirtland Smith: Verdin in Ocotillo

June 18, 2020 (Borrego Springs) – The Anza Borrego Foundation is planning five virtual Campfire chats with retired Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Rangers and Superintendents, streamed live from various Park locations.

In 30-minute segments, each ranger will share stories, focused on their favorite park topics such as birding, bighorn sheep, land conservation and military history of the Park.


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VIRTUAL DESERT WILDFLOWERS TOUR

East County News Service

April 4, 2020 (Borrego Springs) -- The COVID-19 stay-home order and parking lot closures at all state parks has prevented many San Diegans from traveling to see desert wildflowers. Fortunately, the Anza-Borrego Foundation has put up a video tour of this year's blossoms, with this note:  "Since so  many of you cannot visit Anza-Borrego right now, we wanted to bring our spring bloom to you. Enjoy!

Take the virtual wildflowers tour here:  https://www.facebook.com/AnzaBorregoFoundation/videos/1112381709122228/


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WHAT’S OPEN AND CLOSED IN BORREGO SPRINGS

Borrego Springs Wildflowers Mountains Sky

By Miriam Raftery

March 28, 2020 (Borrego Springs) – The Borrego Springs Chamber of Commerce has sent an e-mail with information for Borrego-area residents on what’s open and closed.


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FREE ART WORKSHOPS IN BORREGO SPRINGS FOR ALL AGES

By Miriam Raftery
 
March 6, 2020 (Borrego Springs) – Candlewood Arts Festival Gallery is hosting free art workshops for all ages each Sunday in March from 1 to 5 p.m. Aspiring artists are invited to make new projects with different artists each week:
 
Drop in anytime and stay as long as you wish at Candlewood Arts Festival Gallery, 587 Palm Canyon Drive, #125, at the mall in Borrego Springs.
 
For more information, visit www.CandlewoodArtsFestival.org 

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SENATOR BRIAN JONES HOSTS BORREGO SPRINGS TOWN HALL FEB. 1

East County News Service

January 31, 2020 (Borrego Springs)  -- State Senator Brian W. Jones invites you to attend a Borrego Springs Town Hall on Saturday, Feb. 1 at the County Library, 2580 Country Club Rd., Borrego Springs.

A nonprofit expo will be held at 9 a.m. followed by a town hall from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.

Share your views, ask questions on issues important to you, and learn about great work being done by nonprofits in the community.


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CALLING ALL PHOTOGRAPHERS IN BORREGO SPRINGS

East County News Service
 
January 19, 2020 (Borrego Springs) - The Under The Sun Foundation is organizing a photography exhibition for the 2020 Candlewood Arts Festival and invites you to submit your works for consideration.
 
They are looking for photographic works that visualize your Borrego Springs - images that capture the essence of this unique community and the special sense of place cultivated in this corner of the Sonoran Desert.
 
The works selected for the exhibition will be put on display in the old library space in The Mall during the upcoming Candlewood Arts Festival, from February 29 - March 29, 2020.

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BORREGO FARMERS MARKET OPENS FOR WINTER SEASON

East County News Service

October 30, 2019 (Borrego Springs) – The Borrego Farmers Market will return on Fridays from 8 a.m. until 12 p.m. starting November 1st at Christmas Circle in downtown Borrego Springs.

The market features certified farm fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh flowers, handmade items, T-shirts, soaps, jewelry, and more.

The market is hosted by the Borrego Springs Chamber of Commerce. For more information, call 760-767-5555.


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SUPERVISORS VOTE WEDNESDAY ON WITHDRAWING COUNTY AS GROUNDWATER SUSTAINABILITY AGENCY FOR BORREGO VALLEY GROUNDWATER BASIN

Update:  Supervisor Jim Desmond introduced a mtion to approve this mesaure, which was passed unanimously by Supervisors with one amendment:  the withdrawal will take effect when the stipulated agreement is submitted to a court, or on December 31, 2019, whichever occurs first.

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

Photo: Citrus growers and other farmers in Borrego use 75% of the area’s groundwater. A new plan proposes allowing large water users to buy or trade water use credits. 

 

October 14, 2019 (Borrego Springs) – Faced with a state mandate to reduce water use by 75 percent after years over over-pumping groundwater, major water users in Borrego Springs have submitted a stipulated agreement for reducing the desert community’s water use by an estimated 75 percent. On Wednesday, San Diego County Supervisors will vote on withdrawing as a groundwater sustainability agency for the Borrego Valley Groundwater Basin, with a goal toward transitioning into water management.


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TWO EAST COUNTY PROJECTS WIN ORCHID AWARDS FOR ARCHITECTURE

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, top: Ilan-Lael Center; bottom: Borrego Springs Library

 

October 5, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – The annual Orchids & Onions Awards have presented coveted “Orchid” awards to two East County projects.  

 

The Ilan-Lael Center in Santa Ysabel built by Hubbell and Hubbell Architects received the award for collaborative architecture. The County’s Borrego Springs library, park and Sheriff’s office designed by RNT Architects received an Orchid architectural award.


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52ND ANNUAL BORREGO DAYS DESERT FESTIVAL: BLOOM IN BORREGO OCT. 18-20

By Miriam Raftery

 

September 23, 2019 (Borrego Springs) -- The 52nd annual Borrego Days Desert Festival in Borrego Springs will be blossom Friday through Sunday, October 18- 20th. This year’s theme is “Bloom in Borrego” to pay homage to the beauty of Borrego Springs and the surrounding 600,000 Anza Borrego Desert State Park. Festivities include a parade, live music, arts and crafts, kids’ activities and much more.


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ANZA BORREGO FOUNDATION HOSTS “PINTS 4 THE PARK” OCT. 19

By Miriam Raftery

Photo credit for images in banner: Rad Schmidt (left image) and Adam Gordon (star trails, right image)

September 18, 2019 (Borrego Springs) – Anza Borrego Foundation is kicking off the fall season with its fourth annual “Pints 4 the Park” as part of Borrego Days on Saturday, Oct. 19 from 5 to 7:30 p.m.


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BIGHORN POPULATION STABLE, BORREGO COUNT FINDS

By Miriam Raftery
 
August 7, 2019 (Borrego Springs) – Braving scorching heat, 84 volunteers led by environmental scientist Mike Puzzo tallied 273 Desert Bighorn Sheep during the 49th annual count in the Anza-Borrego Desert July 4-7.

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SON KILLS MOTHER, THEN SELF IN BORREGO SPRINGS

Update July 19, 2019:  The Medical Examiner has completed the autopsies and identified Ann Sides and her son, Corey Sides. Ann Sides cause of death has been ruled as a gunshot wound, and the manner of death, a homicide. Corey Sides cause of death has been ruled as a gunshot wound, and the manner of death, a suicide.
 
East County News Service
 
July 17, 2019 (Borrego Springs) — A homicide investigation is underway after the bodies of a man and woman were found inside a home at 2909 Double O Road in Borrego Springs this morning. Both had trauma to their bodies, says Lt.Chad Boudreau.

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PHOTO OF THE WEEK: BORREGO RAINBOW

 
East County News Service
 
May 22, 2019 (Borrego Springs) -- Rob Amato shot this idyllically posed photo of a rainbow arcing over horse statues by artist Ricardo Breceda in Borrego Springs.
 
You can read more about world-famous metal sculptor Breceda at his website: http://ricardobreceda.com/
 
Find a map and details on the Borrego sculptures at https://www.desertusa.com/borrego/bs-art.html#newmap.


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