Julian

WELCOME, MOUNTAIN DWELLERS!

Our Mountain Living section covers the mountain communities in San Diego's East County north of I-8 including Aguanga, Cuyamaca, Descanso, Guatay, Julian, Mount Laguna, Pine Valley, Ranchita, Ramona, Santa Ysabel, Shelter Valley and Warner Springs.


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JULIAN’S COUNTRY CHRISTMAS AND TREE LIGHTING NOV. 27

East County News Service

November 23, 2021 (Julian) – Julian’s Country Christmas will be held on November 27 from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Pioneer Park. 


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CHRISTMAS MARKET DECEMBER 4 AT JULIAN MINING COMPANY

East County News Service

October 27, 2021 (Julian) – You’re invited to an old-fashioned Christmas Market at the Julian Mining Company (4444 Highway 78, Julian) on Saturday, December 4 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.


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ENTER IF YOU DARE: HAUNTED FOREST AT BANNER RANCH IN JULIAN

East County News Service

October 27, 2021 (Julian) – You’re invited to get into the Halloween spooky spirit Halloween weekend at Ghost Town Banner City’s haunted forest from 7 to 11 p.m. The Haunted Forest is located at historic Banner Ranch about seven miles from downtown Julian.


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HIGH WIND WARNINGS AND ADVISORIES TODAY

East County News Service

October 11, 2021 (San Diego) – The National Weather Service has issued a high wind warning from 11 a.m. today to 3 a.m. Tuesday. Gusts up to 65 miles per hour are forecast in mountain areas including Julian and Pine Valley, with west to northwest winds of 30-40 mph. Gusts up to 45 mph are possible in San Diego County’s deserts, valleys and coastal areas, where a wind advisory is in effect.

These damaging winds can blow down trees and power lines, so power outages are possible.

Secure outdoor objects which may become projectiles in high winds, and close patio umbrellas.


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JULIAN OPEN STUDIOS ART TOUR OCT. 9-10 SHOWCASES A DOZEN ARTISTS’ WORKS

East County News Service

September 30, 2021 (Julian) -- The Julian Arts Guild’s Open Studios tour is October 9 – 10 this year from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  A dozen artists are participating in the tour through the Cuyamaca mountains area of Julian in San Diego’s East County.


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BOIL WATER ORDER IN EFFECT FOR BUTTERFIELD RANCH

Update September 30, 2021 - This order has been lifted.

Source:  San Diego County Emergency Updates

September 25, 2021 (Julian) - The County of San Diego, Department of Environmental Health and Quality has issued a Boil Water Order for the Butterfield Ranch water system located at 14925 Great Southern Overland, Julian, CA 92036, effective immediately. All affected customers are advised to not drink the water without boiling it first.


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SUSPECT ARRESTED IN TEXAS FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AGAINST MAN AND WOMAN IN JULIAN

East County News Service

September 24, 2021 (Julian) – A suspect has been arrested for severely beating and tying up a man and woman in Julian on September 19 in a domestic violence case, says Lieutenant Thomas Siever with the Sheriff’s Homicide Unit.


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PASSAGES: JULIAN NEWS PUBLISHER MICHAEL HART LOSES BATTLE TO CANCER

By Miriam Raftery

September 22, 2021 (Julian) – Michael Jon Hart, long-time publisher of the Julian News and past president of the San Diego County Umpires Association, died September 14 after battling brain and lung cancer. His wife, Michelle Harvey, confirmed Hart’s passing on her Facebook page.

“Mike and I have so many friends,” Harvey posted. “I am glad that we spent our lives working to help others.”

The newspaper has been for sale for months; Hart’s death leaves the future of Julian’s newspaper in limbo.  A newspaper listing in July asked $300,000 for the publication, which was described as “highly profitable” despite pandemic lockdowns.

Hart and Harvey acquired the independent weekly newspaper on July 4, 2004; the paper has been the voice of Julian, CA since 1984. It’s been a labor of love for Hart, who covered major news stories ranging from the 2007 Witch Creek Fire that ravaged the region to controversies involved the county’s acquisition of Julian’s formerly all-volunteer fire department. Hart sometimes took heat for his coverage but took pride in covering all sides of community issues, according to Harvey.


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JULIAN'S 'MUSIC ON THE MOUNTAIN' SERIES CONTINUES WITH FRED BENEDETTI SEPT. 3

East County News Service

August 15, 2021 (Julian) - The Friends of the Julian Library continues their "Music on the Mountain" concert series with guitarist Fred Benedetti.  

Born in Japan, Benedetti began playing guitar at age nine and is now Chair of Guitar Studies and an associate professor of music at Grossmont College.  

The event will be Friday, September 3 at 3 p.m. at the Julian library.  Admission is free. For more information, please email Jonna Waite at jakwaite@gmail.com.


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MOTORCYCLIST KILLED IN MULTI-VEHICLE CRASH IN JULIAN

By Miriam Raftery

August 6, 2021 (Julian) – An Oceanside man driving a 2008 Harley Davidson Dyna Glide died at the scene of a multi-vehicle accident this afternoon on State Route 79, north of KQ Ranch Road in Julian. A Ramona woman also suffered injuries.


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JULIAN NEWSPAPER FOR SALE AS PUBLISHER BATTLES CANCER

By Miriam Raftery

July 17, 2021 (Julian) – For the past 37 years, the Julian News has been the voice of Julian, a historic gold-mining town in San Diego’s mountain region.  Michael Hart and his wife, Michele Harvey, have owned and run the independent weekly publication since July 4, 2004, covering everything from major firestorms to community events.


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JOIN THE 2021 JULIAN HIKING CHALLENGE

East County News Service
 
July 12, 2021 (Julian) --You’re invited to explore some of Julian's most beautiful trails in the Julian Hiking Challenge. Complete the five hikes listed by December 31, submit photos and you will receive a special certificate, sticker and entry into a raffle to win a Julian Goodie bag of Julian keepsake items, special offers, freebies-- plus the added bonus of some awesome outdoor adventures.
 
Send selfies to share@visitjulian.com after you finish each hike or all five hikes. The First 300 to complete the challenge will also receive a Julian Hiking Challenge Patch.
 

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SIP OF JULIAN ON JULY 31: TASTING ROOMS OFFER SAMPLES OF WINE, BEER, HARD CIDER AND CRAFT COCKTAILS

East County News Service

July 8, 2021 (Julian) -- On Saturday, July 31, the Julian Chamber of Commerce will co-host the 6th Annual Sip of Julian featuring alcoholic beverages and local cuisine.

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DESTINATION EAST COUNTY: FOURTH OF JULY FESTIVITIES

By Miriam Raftery

Fireworks are back—along with many traditional Fourth of July festivities in San Diego’s inland region, from parades to picnics to patriotic music, rides, games, and more. Find Indepedence Day events and/or fireworks in El Cajon, Julian,Poway, Ramona, Santee and Valley Center.


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DOG DAYS OF SUMMER IN SAN DIEGO’S MOUNTAIN COMMUNITIES

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 29, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) – If you’re looking for a getaway with your furry friends, you’ll find many dog-friendly destinations in San Diego’s mountain communities

Your options range from dog-friendly hikes to restaurants, wineries, breweries, stores and adventures to share with your four-footed traveling companions.


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JULIAN 4TH OF JULY PARADE CELEBRATES TOWN’S SESQUICENTENNIAL

By Miriam Raftery
 
June 28, 2021 (Julian) – Founded in 1870, Julian turned 150 years old last year.  Due to the pandemic, no events could be held. So this year’s 4th of July parade has the theme “Julian 150+1 years.”  Pre-parade activities begin at 10am and the parade starts at noon. Main Street closes down at 9 a.m., so plan to arrive early.

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2021 SDG&E WILDFIRE RESILIENCE DRIVE-THRU SAFETY FAIRS IN JULIAN, RAMONA, VALLEY CENTER AND ALPINE

Source: SDG&E
 
May 23, 2021 (San Diego's East County) -- Fire season is around the corner and SDG&E wants you and your loved ones to remain safe. Learn what you can do to protect your family and property, as well as gain first-hand safety tips from SDG&E and their regional partners. You'll receive information about stocking an emergency kit, developing an emergency plan, designing or modifying the space around your home to resist wildfire and more.
 
Due to continued COVID-19 and social distancing requirements, this years' Wildfire Safety Fairs will continue to be drive-thru events that provide preparedness information to some communities most at risk of wildfires. SDG&E is asking participants to please wear protective face coverings or masks to these events. 

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FUNDRAISER TO SAVE BIRDSELLS’ HOME IN JULIAN

By Miriam Raftery

 

April 24, 2021 (Julian) –  Betty Birdsell has served as an elected member of Julian’s community planning group, secretary of the Julian Chamber of Commerce, owner of the former Bad Betty’s boutique and helped organize relief efforts after the Cedar Fire.  Her husband, Jim, is a long-standing Julian resident whose family has been in the community since the late 1800s.  An engineer and contractor for the National Forest Service, he is also a ham radio operator and along with Betty, helped many residents after the devastating 2003 firestorm.

 

But now the couple has fallen on hard times due to health issues and the pandemic. So a fundraiser has been set up at GoFundMe to help save the home that the couple shares with their dog, Buddy. The fundraising page is titled “Help us save  Buddy’s home.” But so far, only about 10 percent of the $25,000 goal has been reached.


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VIDEO OF THE WEEK: THREE SISTERS FALLS

 

March 21, 2021 (San Diego's East County) -- What better way to celebrate the arrival of spring than to hike to one of the most beautiful places in East County, Three Sisters Falls in Cleveland National Forest? 

Scott Lagace made the trip this week with friends. The trail is a steep two-mile hike down and two miles back -- all uphill.

Despite these challenges, Lagace says,"It was a beautiful hike there and back. The falls was flowing beautifully. It was amazing at a distance and close up. I would definitely do this hike again. Just got to remember to take the road from the Julian side, not Descanso!"


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JULIAN STATION HOSTS BLOOD DRIVE FEB. 26

Source: San Diego Blood Bank
 
February 11, 2021 (Julian) -- Julian Station on is hosting a blood drive in partnership with the San Diego Blood Bank on Friday, February 26 from 12:00 pm - 5:00 p.m. at 4470 Julian Road in the parking lot. 

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CHP ISSUES "SNOW ETIQUETTE" GUIDELINES

East County News Service

File photo by Billy Ortiz

January 22, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) -- With heavy snow forecast in our local mountains over the next several days, the California Highway Patrol asks the public to practice good “snow etiquette” when visiting the Mount Laguna/Julian area.

The advisory aims to protect public safety, assure that travelers have chains or snow tires, respect private property, and help keep our mountain areas clean for residents. Law enforcement will be present enforcing these guidelines and laws.


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SNOW BLANKETS MOUNTAINS; WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT THROUGH TUESDAY MORNING

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  Laguna Mountain Lodge webcam

December 28, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – Heavy snow has fallen on Mount Laguna, while a lighter dusting of snow has blanketed the Cuyamaca and Julian communities. Elsewhere across the county, the cold winter storm brought much-needed rain.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning through Tuesday. Elevations over 5,000 feet such as Mount Laguna may receive 14 inches of snow, with up to 20 inches at elevations over 6,500 feet such as Palomar Mountain. Bring tire chains if traveling in the mountain areas. Chains were required today on parts of State Route 79 and Old Highway 80, while a portion of Sunrise Highway was closed.


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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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SOME BUSINESSES AND CHURCHES SET TO DEFY SHUTDOWN ORDERS

By Miriam Raftery

Photo,left: Major's Diner in Pine Valley, a long-time roadside stop for travelers also popular with local residents, could not survive another shut down in winter weather, the owner says.

November 13, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – Several East County business owners and at least one megachurch have announced intentions to defy a new state mandate to shut down indoor services starting Saturday.  In addition, El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells says police in his city won’t prioritize enforcement of businesses that remain open despite public health orders.

Places of worship, gyms, restaurants and movie theaters are ordered to stop indoor operations under state mandates due to high rates of COVID-19 that have moved San Diego County into the purple tier.  Retailers are supposed to cut service to 25% capacity and any schools not yet reopened are prohibited from doing so.

Restaurants and bars have been tied to 9.2% of all COVID cases in San Diego County from June 6 through November 7, or 3,666 cases, according to newly released county health data. Even with many modifications, the most recent two weeks of data from October 25 to November 7 show 389 cases tied to restaurants and bars, or 10.01% of total new cases—more than any other specific business category.

Yet some restaurant owners say they’re done with shutdowns and would be unable to survive another shutdown as winter approaches.


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COVID CASES SOAR AS COUNTY REMAINS IN PURPLE TIER, RISK OF CLOSURES FOR BUSINESSES AND CHURCHES GROWS

 

To report violations of county health rules call (858) 694-2900 or email SafeReopeningComplianceTeam@sdcounty.ca.gov.

By Miriam Raftery

File photo from 2019: A shutdown could hit hardest in mountain towns such as Julian, where winter weather makes it difficult for businesses to operate outdoors.

November 9, 2020 (San Diego) – Churches, restaurants, gyms, theaters and some other locations will have to end indoor operations in San Diego County if the number of cases doesn’t drop out of the state’s purple tier soon. Retailers would have to reduce capacity.The state could order shutdowns as early as tomorrow.

Winter weather will make it harder for businesses and worship services to be conducted outdoors, particularly in East County’s mountain areas, which had their first snowfall of the season last night.


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MOUNTAIN SCHOOLS CANCEL CLASSES, SHIFT ONLINE DUE TO FREEZING WEATHER, SNOW FORECAST, AND COVID

Districts vary in COVID response: Cajon Valley keeps schools open despite 52 cases since August

East County News Service

November 9, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – Four East County school districts in mountain areas have announced temporary halts to in-person learning due to winter weather and in one rural district, COVID-19. Yet other districts continue in-person instruction despite numerous cases amid the pandemic.


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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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CAR THIEF SUSPECT ARRESTED IN JULIAN AFTER HIGH-SPEED CHASE AND FOOT PURSUIT

Residents praise “heroic” actions of Deputy Jared Anderson

By Miriam Raftery

September 26, 2020 (Julian) – Ernest Bartocci, 45, was arrested last night after leading law enforcement officers on a high-speed chase followed by a foot pursuit through a residential area of Julian, where “assistance from residents played an essential role in locating Bartocci,” says Sergeant William Uelen with the San Diego Sheriff’s department.

Bartocci is accused of stealing a Honda Pilot in Borrego Springs near Palm Canyon Drive and Christmas Circle around 4:45 p.m.. A be-on-the-lookout alert was sent out to local law enforcement units.


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MOST JULIAN BUSINESSES ARE OPEN FOR VISITORS, BUT JULIAN CARRIAGE COMPANY FALLS VICTIM TO PANDEMIC

 

Story and photos by Miriam Raftery

August 13, 2020 (Julian) – Tourists are returning to Julian, the historic gold-mining town nestled in the mountains of San Diego's East County.  According to Robin Boland at the Julian Chamber of Commerce, nearly all businesses that are allowed to be open under state and county health mandates are now open, including shops, outdoor and takeout restaurants, breweries and wineries serving food. Though a few have limited hours, Boland assures, “There is still plenty to do and plenty of places to eat.”

One long-time town fixture, however, has fallen victim to the pandemic. Julian Carriage Company posted on Facebook July 31, "I'm sorry to hhave to inform you that due to COVID-19 and other extenuating circumstances we are no longer in business. Brett and I will sure miss everyone that came to Julian and rode our carriage. Life has taken us on another journey now and we are no longer in Julian. We love all of you!!!!!!! Thank you for an amazing 7 years!!!!!!! I will never forget this chapter of our lives."


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