Mountains

ALPINE HIGH SCHOOL CASE HEADS TO TRIAL: CASE HINGES ON WHETHER OR NOT ENROLLMENT TRIGGER WAS MET

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 23, 2015 (Alpine) – Just in time for Christmas,  Judge Joel Pressman issued a decision in the Alpine high school case that gives neither side what it wanted. 

The Judge denied the Grossmont Union High School District’s motions to dismiss the case but also denied a request from Alpine Union School District and Alpine Taxpayers to issue a summary judgment in their favor.

Judge Pressman did determine that the Appeals Court found Grossmont made a promise to build a high school that is binding. However, that promise hinges on whether or not the enrollment trigger was met or not.

RAMONA CARJACKING SUSPECT WANTED

 

East County News Service

December 23, 2015 (Ramona) –Authorities are searching for a man in a silver Mercury SUV who reportedly kidnapped two men, crashed the car, and then carjacked an elderly woman, heading south on Highway 67.  He is driving a silver Mercury SUV with California license plate 6KLF075. 

The SUV has a sunroof, roof rack and Kansas Jayhawks license plate. The suspect is desecribed as a white man, 50-60 years old, , 5'8" to 5'9" tall,  unshaven, with a thin build.  He was last seen wearing black sunglasses, a zippered hoody, faded blue jeans and light colored shoes. He might have been injured in the crash.

Deputies from the Ramona Sheriff's Substation responded to a report of a car crash on San Vicente and Wildcat Canyon Roads just after 10:00 a.m. today. Upon arrival, two men inside the car told deputies they had been kidnapped from a sports complex in the Kearny Mesa area of San Diego. After the crash, the alleged suspect carjacked an elderly woman in the SUV now sought.

COVERT CANYON OPPONENTS APPEAL TO SUPERVISORS

 

"Arguably, the County will now be required to allow any such property owner to conduct commercial firearms training on an interim basis so long as a permit application is eventually submitted." -- Marco Gonzalez

By Miriam Raftery

December 23, 2015 (Alpine) –Attorney Marco Gonzalez has filed an appeal with County Supervisors on behalf of environmental groups and neighbors of Covert Canyon in Alpine. If the Planning Director's decision stands, he argues, it would set a precendent that could subject residents across vast areas of the County  to neighbors opening up similar commercial shooting ranges.

The appeal contends that it was illegal for the Planning Director to issue an order reclassifying the zoning ordinance defintion of “law enforcement” to include military and law enforcement firearms training at Covert Canyon, a mountain meadow surrounded by Cleveland National Forest, without reveiw under the California Environmental Quality (CEQA) Act. 

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: NATURE'S CAMOUFLAGE

 

 

 

East County News Service

 

December 18, 2015 (Descanso) – Can you spot the California Tree Frog  (Pseudacris cadaverina) in this photo?

It blends in quite well with the granite background in this image taken in Descanso by Duncan McFetridge. 

"Mr. McFetridge’s photo of the treefrog is a very classic example of their habitat and behavior and it is great to see a photo of a local amphibian as the photo of the week," says Chris Brown with the U.S. Geological Survey, Western Ecological Research Center, who identified the well-hidden amphibian for us. 

LOCAL WINERIES WIN BIG WITH SAN DIEGO COUNTY WINES

 

Source: Ramona Valley Vineyard Association

December 17,  2015 (Ramona) – Vineyard & Winery Management’s 25th Annual Grand Harvest Awards revealed the results of this year’s competition, naming top honors for three local wineries: Ramona Ranch Winery, Altipiano Vineyard and Winery, and Lenora Winery. From a pool of nearly 1500 entries submitted from throughout the United States and as far away as New Zealand, the total number of awards included 48 Best of Class, 44 Double Gold, 183 Gold and 574 Silver medals.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY TO ENLIST INMATES IN EL NIÑO RESPONSE

 

 

Source: County News Service

December 15, 2015 (San Diego)--County Supervisors on Tuesday agreed to seek rapid deployment of state inmate work crews if El Niño packs a punch in the coming months.

The board voted to approve Supervisor Dianne Jacob’s proposal to team up with Cal Fire and ensure that the region’s nearly 500 work crew inmates are quickly available to assist with flood prevention and cleanup.

HEARING ON HOSKINGS RANCH POSTPONED TO FEB. 5

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 11, 2015 (Julian) – The County Planning commission today granted a continuance for a hearing on 24 homes proposed on the 1,000-acre Hoskings Ranch at Highway 78 and Pine Hills Road in Julian.  A request for continuance until February 5 at 9 a.m. was requested by both the developer and an attorney representing residents opposed to the project.

Over 250 people signed up for the Hoskings Ranch Subdivision Action and Resource group on Facebook within two hours of its being formed.  About 50 concerned residents met December 8th at Julian’s town hall.

SNOWY, WINDY WEATHER TO SOCK REGION STARTING TONIGHT

By Miriam Raftery

December 10, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – A low pressure trough moving south into our region is forecast to bring strong westerly winds, showers and mountain snow tonight through Friday, meteorologist Mark Moede with the National Weather Srevice in San Diego advises.

Wind gusts could reach 60 to 70 miles per hour, posing hazards to high profile vehicles in mountains and deserts, including on I-15, I-8, and I-10.  There is also a chance of thunderstorms, hail and brief, heavy downpours possible.

VINE SPIRITS: HOLIDAY WINE TRAIL CONTINUES DEC. 12-13

 

 

East County News Service

December 9, 2015 (Ramona)--The Ramona Valley Vineyard invites you to take a break from the holiday hustle and give yourself and and your friends a unique holiday wine experience.  You can join  Join 15 RVVA member wineries on December 12th & 13th for the second weekend of wine, fun and holiday spirits along the Holiday Wine Trail.

Your “Get Your Merry On” Holiday Wine Trail Passport is your ticket to great deals and festive fun over all four days of the wine trail.  Each participating winery is offering different holiday wine trail specials including heavily discounted tastings and pairings, bottle and merchandise discounts, unique holiday gift items featuring local artisans.

NEW FILINGS IN ALPINE HIGH SCHOOL CASE

By Miriam Raftery

December 8, 2015 (Alpine) – A lawsuit over a high school for Alpine is slated to be back in Superior Court downtown on December 17at 9:30 a.m.

Alpine taxpayers and the Alpine Union School District have filed a  reconsideration request asking Superior Court Judge Joel Pressman to grant Alpine’s  motion for summary adjudication and deny Grossmont’s motion for summary judgment, in  light of a Court of Appeals decision that found  Propositions H and U contain a promise to build an Alpine High School. 

Grossmont filed a  response asking just the opposite – urging Judge Pressman to deny Alpine’s motion for reconsideration.

ARSENAL OF GUNS, AMMO AND DRUGS SEIZED IN RAMONA RAID

By Miriam Raftery

December 3, 2015 (Ramona) – Three  people were arrested following a raid this morning at a home in the 2300 block of Ramona Road. Sheriff’s detectives and  Ramona Crime Suppression Team served a warrant and seized narcotics and numerous items related to sale of methamphetamine. 

In addition, detectives seized 17 firearms, 1,000 rounds of ammunition, 36 grams of methamphetamine,  LSD, narcotic paraphernalia and other illegal items.

COLLISION WITH DUMP TRUCK IN LAKESIDE LEAVES RAMONA MAN WITH LIFE-THREATENING INJURIES

East County News Service

December 3, 2015 (Lakeside) – A 22-year-old Ramona man was airlifted to Sharp Memorial  Hospital with major life threatening injuries after a two-vehicle collision today at 2:40 p.m.

The Ramona man turned onto northbound State Route 67 from Posthill Road but failed to see a 3-axle dump truck towing a trailer approaching from the left.  The Suzuki pulled out in front of the truck driver, who had little or no time to react, according to California Highway Patrol Officer Kevin Pearlstein.

ANZA-BORREGO FOUNDATION OBTAINS FINAL LINK IN WILDLIFE CORRIDOR FROM DESERT TO LAGUNA MOUNTAINS



 

Source: Anza Borrego Foundation

 

December 2, 2015 (Borrego Springs) — Anza-Borrego Foundation (ABF), official partner of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, today announced final elements in conservation of the Lucky 5 Ranch in the Laguna Mountains, northeast of San Diego.

ABF purchased just under 1,130 acres and obtained a conservation easement on 433 acres to fulfill decades-long efforts by California State Parks, ABF, The Nature Conservancy, and others to connect the 4,245-acre ranch to adjacent pieces of federal and state conservation land, creating a major parcel of exceptional natural beauty and biological importance. The acreage will eventually become part of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.

ALPINE VILLAGE CHRISTMAS PARADE OF LIGHTS & SNOW FESTIVAL DEC. 4

East County News Service

November 30, 2015 (Alpine) – The community of Alpine welcomes visitors to the 20th annual Alpine Village Christmas Parade of Lights and Snow Festival on Friday, December 4th.

The free Snow Festival includes a real snow hill, lighting of the Alpine Community Christmas Tree, Santa Claus (bring your camera!), family activities, vendors, crafters and more.  The parade starts at 6:30  p.m. (with entrants lining up starting at 6 p.m. at Alpine Blvd. and West Victoria Drive,) and ends at the Alpine Creek Town Center (1347 Tavern Road) for the Snow Festival from 7 to 9 p.m.

$1,000 REWARD OFFERED FOR SUSPECT FOLLOWING TEEN GIRL IN ALPINE

 

East County News Service

December 1, 2015 (Alpine) -- San Diego County Crime Stoppers and investigators from the Alpine Sheriff's Station are asking for assistance from the public to help identify and locate a man wanted for annoying a child.  Authorities have released a sketch of the suspect.

On November 4 and November 18, 2015, a 16 year-old girl was reportedly followed by a black man driving an older model tan Toyota Camry or similar vehicle while walking near Alpine Boulevard and West Victoria Drive in Alpine.  On November 4th, the suspect drove up to the girl and asked if she needed a ride to her car. When she ran away, the suspect circled the block several times to try and find her. On November 18th, the girl told deputies she saw the man again as she was walking to school and he followed her to the bus stop.

RAMONA AMONG COMMUNITIES THAT FELL SHORT OF OCTOBER WATER USE GOAL

 
By Liz Alper
 
December 1, 2015 - Earlier this year, the state of California issued a decree in an effort to conserve water.  KUSI reports that overall, San Diegans have done a good job with their water conservation.  However, nine cities fell short of their water use goal for the month of October, according to a report released Tuesday by the State Water Resources Control Board.  The community of Ramona is also among those who fell short.

AMBULANCE SERVICE ON AGENDA AT RAMONA MEETING DEC. 8

 

East County News Service

November 30, 2015 (Ramona) – On Tuesday, December 8th, the Ramona Municipal Water District will consider options to fund ambulance services. Those options include keeping the same paramedic transport services and replacing three ambulances (requiring a public vote to raise a fire fee), or outsourcing service to  private company.  The 2 p.m. meeting will be held in the Ramona Community Center,434 Aqua Lane.

BRRR! FREEZE FORECAST FOR HOLIDAY WEEKEND

 

East County News Service

November 26, 2015 (San Diego's East County)--A lingering cold air mass, light winds and mostly clear skies will bring frost and freeze conditions for portions of local valleys and deserts from Friday night through Monday morning. The National Weather Service advises bringing pets in overnight to avoid harm and covering or bringing sensitive plants indoors.

Temperatures could dip into the 20s in desert areas and down to 31 degrees in inland valleys.  Below are forecast details:

 

RAMONA BANK ROBBERY SUSPECT ARRESTED

 

November 24, 2015 (Ramona) -- San Diego Sheriff's Deputies assigned to the Ramona station working with FBI agents have made an arrest as a result of the investigation into the November 19th robbery of the Bank of America branch located at 1407 Main Street, Ramona. Timothy Grahman, 64, was arrested Friday on Hanson Lane in Ramona and has been booked into San Diego Central Jail.

TREE-LIGHTING, SLEIGHT RIDES AND MORE IN RAMONA'S OLD TOWN DEC. 5

East County News Service

Photo, left: historic buildings at the Guy B. Woodward Museum in Ramona's Old Town

November 23, 2015 (Ramona)--The Ramona Chamber of Commerce will host its annual Christmas tree lighting event on December 5th from 5-8 p.m. in Old Town Ramona. The event features sleigh rides, carolers, Santa’s Village, performers and Santa Claus.

The tree-lighting will be at the Guy B. Woodward Museum (645 Main St..),  which includes a collection of historical buildings form Ramona's western past. The Holiday Craft Village with Santa will be in Ramona’s Town Hall.  Around town, watch for other activities and shops competing for the best-dressed window contest.

In addition, Old Town Ramona shops invite you to join in a “Find the Elf” contest from 3 -8 p.m. on the same day.

WHITE THANKSGIVING IN EAST COUNTY

 

East County News Service

November 20, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – The National Weather Service is forecasting snow Wednesday and Thursday down to 3,000 feet, potentially including I-8 in East County.  Significant levels of snow are forecast above 5,000 feet, bringing a white Thanksgiving to our mountain areas. 

Holiday travelers should use caution due to slippery roads and strong west winds, as well as potential for ice, snow, and of course, wild turkeys!

PARENTS, STUDENTS PROTEST GROSSMONT DISTRICT LAWSUIT TO CLOSE CHARTER SCHOOLS

 

Board also votes to incur debt to fight Alpine lawsuit—and gets legal warning of CA Voting Rights Act violations

By Miriam Raftery

“You should be proud that a school like this is helping students out. Are you thinking of the students and our futures, or just yourselves and your money?”—Jackie Ramirez, 16, young mother and student at Diego Valley Charter

November 19, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) –Wearing green shirts reading “Defend School Choice”,  over 100 parents, students and teachers turned out to protest the Grossmont Union High School District’s litigation that seeks to shut down multiple charter schools.  Speaker after speaker gave emotional testimony tonight, pleading with the GUHSD board to save their schools.

A lawsuit filed by the district seeks to shut down Diego Valley Public Charter, which serves at-risk  students including many Chaldeans and other minorities, drop-outs , pregnant students, and students who have aged out of the public high school system, as well as Julian Charter School-Alpine Academy. A hearing on the case is scheduled for June 10, 2016 at 8:30 a.m. before Judge Joan M. Lewis in San Diego Superior Court.

COUNTY TO ALLOW APPEALS ON COVERT CANYON, SETS DECEMBER 11 HEARING

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: U.S. Army marksmanship training

November 19, 2015 (Alpine) –The County Planning Commission last week voted to allow two additional appeals of an interim permit issued by the planning director for Covert Canyon to operate firearms training for military, governmental and law enforcement. The groups have 10 days to file appeals. A December 11th hearing is set to hear all appeals.

The appeals requests were filed by Danielle Belliveau on behalf of 15 Alpine residents and from attorney Marco Gonzalez of Coast Law Group representing Cleveland National Forest Foundation, Save Our Forests and Ranchlands, and the Coastal Environmental Rights Foundation.  Those requests were in addition to a previously accepted appeal filed by neighbors Clark and Robin Williams, who live within 300 feet of Covert Canyon. (See ECM ‘s previous article on the appeals and on the County’s interim approval of a stipulated administrative enforcement order. )

WARNER SPRINGS RANCH RESORT FORMS CONSERVANCY TO PRESERVE AND SUSTAIN OVER 1,000 ACRES OF HISTORIC LAND

 

Warner Springs Ranch Habitat and Cultural Conservancy oversees protection of the resort currently under renovation

November 16, 2015 (Warner Springs)--Warner Springs Ranch Resort has formed the nonprofit Warner Springs Ranch Habitat and Cultural Conservancy to protect and manage the property’s numerous historic, cultural and natural assets.

GUHSD BOARD VOTES THURSDAY ON MORE MONEY FOR ALPINE HIGH SCHOOL LAWSUIT: CASE HEADS TO COURT DEC. 17

 

Board to vote Nov. 19 on whether to incur $550,000 in new debt to fund continuing legal battle

By Miriam Raftery

November 16, 2015 (Alpine)— Superior Court Judge Joel Pressman  has set a December 17th hearing date for a trial filed against the Grossmont Union High School District by supporters of an Alpine High School. The suit seeks to assure that a fair share of bond money approved by voters will be used to build the long-promised school.  

The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that Judge Pressman urged both sides to settle and even offered to help—after an appeals court ruled that Grossmont violated an obligation to voters by failing to build the Alpine high school and upheld Pressman’s decision to order funds set aside.

But far from seeking to settle, the GUHSD this week will be considering approval of $550,000 in additional legal fees to continue the battle. The GUHSD already has authorization to spend $1.8 million and had spent $1.4 million as of June on the case, board documents reveal.

COVERT CANYON APPEAL REQUESTS TO BE HEARD FRIDAY BY PLANNING COMMISSION

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 11, 2015 (Alpine)—An appeal by neighbors and two additional requests for permission to file appeals to the County’s stipulated administrative enforcement order authorizing Covert Canyon to conduct firearms training for military, government and law enforcement at its Alpine property.  The requests for appeals will be heard as item 5 on the Planning Commission agenda Friday, November 13.

The formal appeal was filed on behalf of Clark F. and Robin Williams, neighbors with property adjacent to Covert Canyon.  View the Williams appeal (parts 1, 2, 3)  The requests for permission to file appeals came from Danielle Belliveau on behalf of 15 Alpine residents and from attorney Marco Gonzalez representing Cleveland National Forest Foundation, Save Our Forests and Ranchlands, and the Coastal Environmental Rights Foundation.

CHRISTMAS IN ALPINE HOME TOUR DEC. 12

 

November 11, 2015 (Alpine) - The Alpine Woman’s Club will hold its Eleventh Annual “Christmas in Alpine” Home Tour on Saturday, December 12th from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.. You will have an opportunity to stroll through five stunning country estates and visit Alpine’s Garden and Gifts Shop. After the tour The Historic Town Hall will be open from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. for ticket holders to enjoy light refreshments, to pick up a surprise gift and view Andrew Poindexter’s incredible nutcracker collection.

GRAND OPENING: WARNER SPRINGS RANCH GOLF CLUB TEES OFF

 

 

Warner Springs Ranch Resort, LLC Reopens Upgraded Clubhouse, Restaurant

November 10, 2015 (Warner Springs) – The Warner Springs Ranch Golf Club is ready for play after a two-year renovation undertaken after the property was bought in 2013 by Pacific Hospitality Group Inc.

SUMMERS PAST FARMS HOSTS HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE NOV. 12

 

November 10, 2015 (Flinn Springs)--You are invited to start your holiday season at Summers Past Farms, which is hosting a holiday open house on Thursday, Nov. 12 from 5 to 8 p.m. featuring fall and Christmas gifts plus home decor. The barn will be filled with lights and the trimmings of the season. The store will glisten with holiday sparkle and  scents of the season. The Soap Shoppe will also be open with special holiday soaps and gifts .

Making this an old fashion open house please bring a plate of your favorite homemade cookies for the cookie table. Summers Past will have Christmas music & hot wassail for you to enjoy at this most enjoyable event under the Christmas lights.

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