Mountains

HAPPY 65TH ANNIVERSARY TO THE ALPINE SUN

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 16, 2017 (Alpine) — The Alpine Sun newspaper celebrated its 65th anniversary on Valentine’s Day.  At Tuesday’s Alpine-Mountain Empire Chamber of Commerce “Hot Topics” breakfast meeting,  the newspaper’s publisher and editor were presented with certificates and plaques  from the offices of Congressman Duncan Hunter,  State Senator Joel Anderson, and Assemblyman Randy Voepel.

RAIN AHEAD, FREE SANDBAGS AVAILABLE

 

By Gig Connaughton, County of San Diego Communications Office

February 16, 2017 (San Diego) - Rains, possibly heavy at times, are heading back to San Diego County in the coming days, according to weather officials.

Which means that if you haven’t done it already, it’s a good time to stock up on free sand and bags to protect your home and property.

HERE’S THE BUZZ: QUEEN BEE TEA MARCH 5TH IN ALPINE

 

East County News Service

February 15, 2017 (Alpine) – Now here’s the buzz! Alpine Mountain Empire Chamber of Commerce invites you to the Queen Bee Tea on March 5th at 11:30 in the Alpine Community Center.  Teatime will be presented by Donna Marie’s Tea Time, plus guests will enjoy vendors and a fashion show by Dana’s Boutique.

STUDENT FLIGHT OUT OF GILLESPIE CRASHES NEAR RAMONA, KILLING WOMAN

 

 

Crash raises concerns from flight school neighbors

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 14, 2017 (Ramona) – A Cessna registered to the American Aviation Academy and flying out of Gillespie Field as an instructor/student flight on Sunday crashed onto a mountainside in Ramona, killing Shaira Noor, 21, of Bangladesh. She had been training at the academy for nine months. Noor was in the backseat of the Cessna and was impaled by a tree on impact, which killed her instantly.

Two other occupants survived, climbing to an elevated area and using cell phones to call for help, the Sheriff’s department reports.

GUHSD BOARD TO DISCUSS LAWSUITS AND LABOR NEGOTIATIONS THURSDAY

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 11, 2017 (El Cajon) — In a closed-door session Thursday just before the 6 p.m. public meeting, the Grossmont Union High School District Board will discuss ongoing litigation over funds for an Alpine high school in a case filed by Alpine Union School District and Alpine taxpayers,  as well as a new lawsuit filed in January by San Diegans for Open Government alleging campaign violations by the district over school bond Proposition BB.  A conference with labor negotiators is also on the closed-session agenda.

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.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: DEVELOPING ALPINE, THE NEW GENERAL PLAN AND HOW TO HAVE INPUT

 

By Ben Locke, Alpine resident

January 31, 2017 (Alpine) -- Located at http://www.sandiegocounty.gov/pds/generalplan.html is the County website for the General Plan (GP).  As you may have heard, a GP update will be taking place for Alpine over the next 18 months.  The preamble to the GP states that it is:  “…a framework for the future growth and development of the unincorporated areas of the County.”  And that it “…is based on a set of guiding principles designed to protect the County’s unique and diverse natural resources and maintain the character of its rural and semi-rural communities. It reflects an environmentally sustainable approach to planning that balances the need for adequate infrastructure, housing, and economic vitality, while maintaining and preserving each unique community within the County, agricultural areas, and extensive open space.”  Finally, it states that it:  “…reflects the County’s commitment to  a sustainable growth model that facilitates efficient development near infrastructure and services, while respecting sensitive natural resources and protection of existing community character in its extensive rural and semi-rural communities. The General Plan provides a renewed basis for the County’s diverse communities to develop Community Plans that are specific to and reflective of their unique character and environment consistent with the County’s vision for its future."

GOT SANDBAGS? WATCH FOR WEEDS

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 24, 2017 (Boulevard) – A reader alerted us that after picking up free sandbags recently at the Boulevard Fire Station,  he noticed “hoary mustard weed growing out of the sand they used…The hoary mustard is a terrible weed that is spreading in Boulevard on equipment or anything that gets dirty and now is in sand bags spreading into even more areas. Once on someones property they will be fighting it forever as it invades gardens and any disturbed soil.”

TREE FALLS ON VFW HALL IN ALPINE

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos by Don Lumb

January 22, 2017 (Alpine) – A towering eucalyptus tree has toppled onto a patio roof at the Veterans of Foreign Wars building in Alpine.  The VRW center is located at 944 Tavern Road.  Don Lumb sent these photos; no other details are  immediately available.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: SNOWMAN ON THE BEAT IN JULIAN!

 

East County News Service

January 22, 2017 (Julian) – As a new storm sweeps into our region, the San Diego Sheriff retweeted this image, along with some winter wit from the Sheriff’s Julian substation: “Extra police presence in SD Mtns during inclement weather, use caution, FYI.”

LANE CLOSURES TUESDAY NIGHT ON STATE ROUTE 67 AND HIGHLAND VALLEY ROAD

 

Source: Caltrans

January 16, 2017 (San Diego) - Caltrans crews will close lanes on State Route 67 (SR-67) and Highland Valley Road at the SR-67 Dye Road/Highland Valley Road intersection in Ramona on Tuesday from 7 p.m.-5 a.m. The lane closures are need for temporary striping and K-rail placement.

RAMONA’S WINEMAKING COMES OF AGE

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos, left:  Bill Schweitzer, Ramona Valley Vineyards Association cofounder and past president at Highland  Hills Winery; Pamo Valley Tasting Room on Holiday Wine Tour

January 8, 2017 (Ramona) –“2016 is going to be our greatest vintage so far. Everybody says it came in perfect,” says Bill Schweitzer, cofounder of the Ramona Valley Vineyard Association (RVVA) in 2002,  and a driving force in attaining an American Viticulture Area (AVA) designation for Ramona back in 2006.  That’s due to the ideal combination of heat, rains and drought years—as well as years of efforts by local vintners now savoring the fruits of their labors.

Sipping wine on the sunny patio at Highland Valley Winery during the Holiday Wine Trail event in December, he reflected that back in 2001,  Ramona had just one winery (Schwaesdall) and 20 vineyards growing grapes.  Today, there are at least 29 wineries in Ramona, soon to be 35, and 150 vineyards.

HUNTER, ISSA VOTE TO ALLOW GIVEAWAYS OF FEDERAL LANDS

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Cedar Creek Falls in Cleveland National Forest, located in San Diego’s East County

January 8, 2017 (San Diego) – San Diego Republicans Duncan Hunter and Darrell Issa joined with the House Majority in voting for a rules change would allow giveaway of federal lands to states, local governments, or tribes.  Potentially, such giveaways could include national parks such as Yosemite or the Grand Canyon. It also encompasses all other public lands; here in San Diego these include Cleveland National Forest, federal recreation areas and national wildlife preserves.

AUTHORITIES SEEK OWNERS OF CREDIT CARDS, MAIL, GIFT CARDS AND OTHER SUSPECTED STOLEN ITEMS FOUND IN RECOVERED U-HAUL TRUCK IN ALPINE

 

East County News Service

January 8, 2017 (Alpine) – Authorities recovered a stolen U-Haul truck on Friday, filled with other stolen property.

An Alpine Sheriff’s deputy was patrolling the lot of a local casino and spotted the stolen U-Haul truck.  With help from casino security, the deputy located the truck’s two occupants, Kimberly White, 47, and Salomon Saenz, 60. 

STOLEN GOLF CART RETURNED TO TIR NA NOG

 

East County News Service

January 1, 2017 (Guatay) – The holiday season just got brighter at Tir Na Nog, a horse rescue sanctuary in East County.

In mid-November, as we reported, two golf carts used to feed rescued horses were stolen from the facility in Guatay. But now one of those golf carts has been found on a property nearly five miles away and returned, thanks to an anonymous tipster.

ARBORIST OFFERS ADVICE ON SAVING OAK TREES

Gnarled Old Oak, Fog, Twilight, Bare Oak Tree, Big Tree

 

December 30, 2016 (San Diego's East County) -- Oak boring beetles and other insect pests have decimated vast swaths of oak forests across San Diego's East County.  Recently, we interviewed arborist Bret Hutchinson, an expert on oak tree infestations and owner of Green Tree Forest Service, on the latest efforts to preserve oaks in our region.

Drought leaves trees more vulnerable to infestation.  Learn how to prevent problems, spot infestations, and what to do if your oak trees are stricken by clicking the audio link to hear our interview, originally aired on KNSJ 89.1 FM radio. (sound files may take a few moments to load.)

Audio: 

JOYS OF JOINING THE LAGUNA MOUNTAIN VOLUNTEERS

 

East County News Service

Photo courtesy Bob Perry

December 29, 2016 (Mount Laguna) – The Laguna Mountain Volunteers (www.LMVA.net) are looking for more volunteers to man the visitor center and do other good works.  There are no minimum obligations, “just opportunities to seize,” says Bob Perry, who sent us these photos of a visit this week to the winter wonderland complete with  six inches of snow:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/rudyperry/albums/72157678384403265

He adds, “Louise and I drive up from El Cajon two Sundays a month to open the visitor center.  It's just the two of us having fun at 6,000 feet.  We've been doing this for six years.” 

ALPINE FIRE SWEARS IN TWO BOARD MEMBERS

 

Source: Alpine Fire Dept.

Photos:  District Legal Counsel Steve Fitch administers oath of office to incumbent Alpine Fire Board member Thomas “Jim”  Mann (left) and new member Steve Taylor (right).


December 27, 2016 (Alpine) -- The Alpine Fire Protection District swore-in two Board members at the December 20, 2016 Board meeting.  Incumbent Thomas “Jim” Mann took the oath for his second 4-year term on the Fire Board.  New Board member Steve Taylor was sworn in for a 4-year term as well. Both Board members were the top two vote getters in a 5 person race for two seats on the Fire Board.  Both Board members were sworn in by District Legal counsel Steve Fitch.  Outgoing Board member Mary Fritz did not seek re-election.  Board member Fritz was thanked by staff, the firefighters and her fellow Board members for her many years serving on the Fire Board. 

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.

WHITE CHRISTMAS: SNOW FORECAST DOWN TO 3,500 FEET

 

Sheriff warns of snow jams

Readers, send us your snow photos! editor@eastcountymagazine.org

East County News Service

December 22, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – A winter storm in the region is dropping heavy rain across our region, with snow forecast to dip down to 3,500 feet by Saturday. That includes Pine Valley, Descanso,  and Julian,  with  six inches or more possible atop Mt Laguna.

Strong winds of 60 miles per hour or more are expected in some mountain areas.

The Sheriff offers this advice if you plan to visit these areas:

CUYAMACA RANCHO STATE PARK TO HOST NEW YEAR’S DAY HIKE ON AZALEA GLEN TRAIL

 

East County News Service

December 20, 2016 (Julian) – The public is invited to start the New Year off on the right foot in a California State Park with a “First Day Hike” guided by Park Interpretive Specialist, Michele Hernandez at Cuyamaca Rancho State Park.  The hike will begin on January 1, 2017 at 10 a.m.

WOMAN, 23, FOUND DEAD AFTER LEXUS CRASH OFF I-8 IN DESCANSO

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 16, 2016 (Descanso) — This morning, the body of a 23-year-old woman was found near a Lexus vehicle that had plummeted off I-8 east of State Route 79 in Descanso.  The woman had been ejected from the vehicle and died of her injuries at the scene.

SUPERVISORS APPROVE CHANGES TO ALLOW DEVELOPMENT OF LANDS FORMERLY PROTECTED BY FOREST CONSERVATION INITIATIVE

 

By Miriam Raftery

Next up: Alpine General Plan amendments to be considered in 2017

December 16, 2016 (San Diego’s East County)—By a  4 to 1 vote with Supervisor Dave Roberts opposed,  San Diego Supervisors on Wednesday voted to approve a Forest Conservation Initiative Lands General Plan Amendment, along with community plan amendments, rezoning and  certification of a supplemental environmental review. The action paves the way for development of parcels  in the Alpine and Descanso areas that were formerly protected under the Forest Conservation Initiative passed by voters, but that has since expired due to a sunset provision in 2010.

Travis Lyon, chair of the Alpine Community Planning Group, reports that the Supervisors “took all the recommendations ACPG made at the last meeting.” 

Jack Shu, president of the Cleveland National Forest Foundation,  said after the hearing, “The bottom line is that the County has moved to do away with what the voters – two thirds of them—wanted in 1993 to protect our local Forest."

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