Deserts

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: BORREGO SUPER BLOOMS

 

East County News Service

March 23, 2017 (Borrego Springs) – Bob Kutscher of Borrego Springs shared these gorgeous flower photos taken during this month’s “super bloom” in the Anza-Borrego Desert.

“A routine of mine this year has been taking afternoon off-road rides and searching out flowers.  Needless to say it's been an enjoyable time this year.”

WILDFLOWER JAMS: VISITORS FLOCKING TO BORREGO SPRINGS CAUSE LONG TRAFFIC DELAYS

 

East County News Service

March 12, 2017 (Borrego Springs) – The recent rainstorms have created quite a sight in the Borrego Springs area: a desert wildflower bloom that hasn't been this vibrant in years. But those blossoms are also attracting huge crowds, the San Diego Sheriff’s Department warns, and that’s led to traffic problems on roadways in and around Borrego Springs.

ARCHAEOLOGY WEEKEND IN ANZA BORREGO DESERT STATE PARK MARCH 25-26

 

East County News Service

March 4, 2017 (Borrego Springs) - The Colorado Desert Archaeology Society (CDAS), in conjunction with the Anza-Borrego Foundation, will be holding its 14th annual Archaeology Weekend event at the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park ’s Visitor Center in Borrego Springs, California on March 25-26, 2017. 

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: DESERT DELIGHTS

 

 

East County News Service

March 4, 2017 (Borrego Springs) – You never know what you’re going to find in the Anza Borrego Desert!  Our editor, Miriam Raftery, headed out in search of wildflowers this weekend.  It’s still 1-2 weeks too early to see fields of flowers in bloom, but she did get some close-ups of early blossoms, scenic shots and an up-close look at some of the many whimsical sculptures dotting the desert terrain.

HIKER FOUND DEAD IN ANZA BORREGO DESERT STATE PARK

 

East County News Service

March 1, 2017 (Anza Borrego) – The body of a man found near Indian Head Peak in Anza borrego Desert State Park is believed to be that of a hiker reported missing last Friday, the Borrego Sun reports. Identification will be determined by an autopsy.

BLOOMING DESERT HIKE MARCH 4

 

East County News Service

March 1, 2017 (Borrego Springs) -- Once in a blue moon our deserts get big winter rains and explode into an extraordinary spring bloom. Join the Water Conservation Garden's Director of Horticulture, Clayton Tschudy, for a wildflower tour of the Anza-Borrego State Park on Saturday, March 4.

CIRCLE OF ART SHOW AND SALE MARCH 18-19 IN BORREGO SPRINGS

 

East County News Service

February 26, 2017 (Borrego Springs) — The 28th annual Circle of Art Show and Art Sale celebrating art in the desert will take place Saturday March 18 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. .and Sunday, March 19 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Christmas Circle in the heart of Borrego Springs.

BORREGO LIBRARY, PARK AND SUBSTATION PROPOSED DESIGNS NOW ONLINE: PUBLIC COMMENTS ACCEPTED THROUGH FEB. 24

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  Library entrance, Proposal A

February 19, 2017 (Borrego Springs) -- Proposed designs for the new Borrego Springs Library/Park/Sheriff's Substation project are be viewable online from February 18, 2017 to February 24, 2017. The public is invited to view the three proposed designs at: http://www.sandiegocounty.gov/content/sdc/general_services/Facility_Planning_Design_Construction.html

SUPERVISORS REJECT RENEWABLE ENERGY OVERLAY ZONE

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 18, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – San Diego Supervisors have rejected plans for a renewable energy overlay zone feasibility study, which would have cost an estimated half million dollars. The action came during a hearing on a Comprehensive Renewable Energy Plan.

Donna Tisdale, Chair of the Boulevard Planning Group and founder of Backcountry Against Dumps (BAD), voiced relief at the Supervisors’ rejection of the overlay zone.  “A renewable energy overlay zone would fast track any projects located within the designated boundaries. Based on some previous information, we had concerns that a renewable energy overlay zone would be placed over the Boulevard Planning Area and/or the Jacumba Planning Area,” she told ECM.

BORREGO DAYS MAY BE CANCELLED

 

East County News Service

February 12, 2017 (Borrego Springs) — The Borrego Days Desert Festival faces possible cancellation this year due to a shortage of sponsors, the Borrego Sun reports. The festival has taken place for the past 52 years as a tradition to welcome snowbirds who flock to the desert each winter with a parade and other activities. 

HEAR OUR INTERVIEWS ON 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF ANZA BORREGO FOUNDATION--AND COLORFUL TALES OF DESERT LORE

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Listen now to our interviews, originally aired on KNSJ radio, by clicking the audio link above.

February  7, 2017 (Borrego Springs)—In April, the Anza-Borrego Foundation will celebrate its 50th anniversary.  We recently interviewed Paige Rogowski, ABF’s executive director, on exciting events coming up to celebrate the occasion. In addition, we interviewed Diana Lindsay, a historian who has written extensively about Anza Borrego Desert State Park. 

They shared some fascinating history with us about our desert region, and the colorful characters from the region’s past, info on the State Park, as well as the Foundation’s successes and continuing efforts to purchase and preserve privately owned lands within the largest state park in California.

Audio: 

COUNTY PROCLAIMS LOCAL EMERGENCY DUE TO RECENT STORMS

 

Photo: The winter storms caused damage throughout the County such as flooding and this rockslide on Wynola Road in Julian.

Residents asked to report all storm damage: County has not reached level yet to get help for individuals or businesses

By Michele Clock, County of San Diego Communications

Photo: The winter storms caused damage throughout the County such as flooding and this rockslide on Wynola Road in Julian.

February 5, 2017 (San Diego) --The County of San Diego proclaimed a local emergency Friday, due to damage caused by the severe winter storms that hit the region late last month.

AGREEMENT PROTECTS SAN DIEGO’S VANISHING BURROWING OWLS, INCREASES SOLAR ENERGY

 

Agreement includes pilot project to repopulate burrowing owls across San Diego County; comes in response to lawsuit filed over destruction of burrowing owls near airport

January 23, 2017 (San Diego) -- An agreement announced today between conservation and environmental justice groups and private developers will protect imperiled burrowing owls, increase renewable solar energy and conserve wildlife habitat to offset impacts from the redevelopment of San Diego’s Brown Field Municipal Airport. The airport — located near the Mexico border in Otay Mesa — will be redeveloped with new commercial and aviation facilities and include on-site solar energy to reduce energy consumption.

The agreement follows a lawsuit filed against the City of San Diego in 2013 by environmental groups to protect burrowing owls at the airport and protect their habitat.  Coalition for a Safe Environment's executive director Jesse Marquez stated at the time, "On one of our visits we discovered that the owl burrows had been poisoned to eliminate the owls in order to avoid having to relocate them. We must do everything possible to protect these owls from becoming extinct in San Diego."

CALIFORNIA DREAMIN’: THE STORY OF MIGRATION AND IMMIGRATION JANUARY 28

 

East County News Service

January 18, 2017 (Borrego Springs) – The Anza Borrego Desert Natural History Association will present a three-part program titled “California Dreamin’” on the story of migration and immigration.  All three parts will be presented on Saturday, January 28th and will encompass the history of the early Californians, Western women, and the impacts of immigration on Native Americans.

ALL ABOUT WORMS: VERMICOMPOSTNG WORKSHOP AT JACUMBA LIBRARY JAN. 24

 

East County News Service

January 12, 2017 (Jacumba Hot Springs) – Vermicomposting (worm composting) is an environmentally-friendly way to turn your food waste into nutrient rich castings for your plants or garden beds. Learn all about how easy it is to compost your food waste with red wriggler worms at an interactive presentation on Tuesday, January 24 at 12:30 p.m. in the Jacumba Branch Library (44605 Old Highway 80 in Jacumba.).  Map | Website

ANZA-BORREGO DESERT STATE PARK HOSTS TWO FIRST DAY HIKES ON NEW YEAR’S DAY

 

East County News Service

December 27, 2016 (Borrego Springs) – Anza Borrego Desert State Park invites the public to start the New Year off with a “First Day Hike.”  The park will offer two guided hikes on January 1st, one at 9 a.m. and the second at 2 p.m.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: RAINBOW OVER OCOTILLO

 

East County News Service

December 24, 2016 (Ocotillo) – Parke Ewing sent this stunning shot, perfectly composed, of a rainbow arcing above wind turbines in the desert at Ocotillo on Christmas Eve after the storm.

Residents have long complained about the turbines marring desert views.  So when Ewing posted this image on Facebook, it received some equally creative comments.

2 ADULTS DEAD IN CHRISTMAS EVE CRASH, BUT CHILDREN SURVIVE

 

Not wearing seatbelt led to ejection of driver from vehicle

East County News Service

December 25, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) — Two women died yesterday morning  after they were ejected from a vehicle that rolled over on a rain-slicked section of S-2, the Great Southern Overland Stage Route, south of State Route 78 in rural East County.

SENATOR HUESO SEEKS ANSWERS ON OCOTILLO WIND TURBINE COLLAPSE

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos by Jim Pelley

December  11, 2016 (Ocotillo) – State Senator Ben Hueso (D-40th district) wants to know why a massive wind turbine collapsed on November 21st  in Ocotillo on public land—and what will be done to prevent future such disasters.

In a letter to Beth O’Brien,  Pattern Energy’s manager of external affairs,  Senator Hueso notes that this is the third serious incident that has occurred at the Ocotillo Wind Energy Facilitiy since it opened approximately four years ago.  Prior problems include a wind turbine that burst into flames and another that hurled a multi-ton blade onto a public trail.

He indicated that residents have contacted him with concerns and asked him to look into the matter.  East County Magazine also contacted the Senator to ask what steps will be taken to protect public safety.

BORDER PATROL RESCUES UNDOCUMENTED MAN IN OCOTILLO

 

East County News Service

December 9, 2016 (Ocotillo) - Border Patrol agents rescued a 39-year-old illegal immigrant, whose identity is being withheld, in the mountains west of Ocotillo on Friday around 12:40 p.m., NBC 7 reports.

California Highway Patrol agents were able to find the man, a native of El Salvador, after a report filed that he was lost about half a mile north of the Mexican border.

BORREGO SPRINGS FILM FEST SELECTS ARTIST JIM HALL FOR POSTER & PROGRAM

 

Painter featured in documentary headed for festival

East County News Service

Photo: Artist Jim Hall paints an iconic scene of Borrego Springs in his Lineillism style for the town’s 2017 film festival poster and program.  Hall is the subject of  the documentary, Lines of Sight, staging its California premiere at the festival in January.

December 3, 2016 (Borrego Springs) - The Borrego Springs 2017 Film Festival slated for January 12-14 will feature a poster and program created by artist Jim Hall, whose daring new painting style and life story are the subject of the award-winning documentary, Lines of Sight. The hour-long film will stage its California premiere at the festival in January.      

Hall created a new painting style called “Lineillism” after his vision was temporarily marred by a case of Shingles. He saw the world in all vertical lines and decided to paint that way. The style is similar to Pointillism, but instead of dots, Hall uses all vertical brushstrokes - up to 500,000 in a painting.      

OCOTILLO TURBINE COLLAPSE: INVESTIGATION LAUNCHED

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos by Jim Pelley

November 22, 2016 (Ocotillo) – Ocotillo Wind Energy has issued a statement on its website after collapse of a massive wind turbine Monday at its Ocotillo, California site.  The statement indicates the turbine fell within the designed setback zone and no one was injured. Officials say they are working closely with Siemens, the manufacturer, to identify the cause of the failure, with a “full investigation” underway.   The company said safety is its “first priority” and that more information will be released as it becomes available, KYMA TV reports.

WIND TURBINE COLLAPSES IN OCOTILLO

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Jim Pelley

November 21, 2016 (Ocotillo) – A 500-foot-tall wind turbine at the Ocotillo Wind Energy Facility collapsed this morning, spewing debris and three blades each weighing many tons across the desert floor.

Photographer Jim Pelley, an Ocotillo resident, says 30 minutes after the collapse, the other 111 turbines were still spinning and no one from Pattern Energy had arrived.  Around an hour or more after the collapse, Pattern arrived and deenergized the entire project.

50TH ANNIVERSARY CHALLENGE: HIKE ANZA-BORREGO DESERT STATE PARK’S BEST TRAILS AND PEAKS

 

Update: Hear our interview with Paige Rogowski, Executive Director of the Anza Borrego Foundation and Diana Lindsey,  past president of the Foundation and historian for Anza Borrego Desert State Park. Listen now by clicking the audio link above.

Guided hikes are also available

East County News Service

November 16, 2016 (Anza-Borrego) In celebration of Anza-Borrego Foundation’s 50th Anniversary, Anza-Borrego Foundation and Anza-Borrego Desert State Park are inviting visitors to complete two five-hike challenges on some of the most famous (and infamous) peaks and trails in the region.

Audio: 

BORDER PATROL AGENTS RESCUE LOST ATV RIDER IN DESERT

 

East County News Service

November 1, 2016 (Ocotillo Wells) -- Border Patrol Search Trauma and Rescue (BORSTAR) agents rescued a man who was lost in the Ocotillo Wells Desert early Monday morning.

On Sunday, around 6:30 p.m., a ranger with California Department of Parks and Recreation contacted Border Patrol agents assigned to the Highway 86 checkpoint and asked for help to locate a missing man last seen in the Ocotillo Wells Desert. He was reported missing by his family after he failed to return from an ATV ride in the desert.

POWAY MAN KILLED IN DESERT DIRT BIKE CRASH

 

East County News Service

November 1, 2016 (Ocotillo Wells) – Poway resident Gary Schultz, 56, was found Sunday morning after a dirt bike crash in Ocotillo Wells and died soon after of injuries.

Authorities believe he was riding his dirt bike when he lost control, hit a sand berm and was ejected.  Motorcyclists found him off Split Mountain Road near Old Kane Springs Road.

HELP AVAILABLE FOR PROPERTY OWNERS WITH DRY WELLS

 

Loans are available to help people with dry wells due to the drought

By Michele Clock, County of San Diego Communications Office

October 27, 2016 (San Diego) -- Do you own a property with a well in San Diego County? Is it dry due to our prolonged statewide drought? Help is available.

A new emergency water distribution program is offering assistance to residents without access to running water for drinking and sanitation due to a dry well. Residents who qualify can receive low-interest loans to replace individual water well systems and install temporary water tanks. The water assistance is not for landscaping or agricultural needs.

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