Mountains

WINERY ORDINANCE AND HOSKINGS RANCH TO BE HEARD FEB. 5 BY PLANNING COMMISSION

 



 

East County News Service

January 31, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – The San Diego County Planning Commission, after months of review and public input on proposed changes to the tiered winery ordinance, will hold a hearing on Friday, February 5th on the proposed zoning ordinance amendment.  In addition, planners will consider a proposed map for the Hoskings Ranch residential development project in Julian.

Some winery owners voice continuing concerns over the proposed changes. Teri Kerns, co-owner of Ramona Ranch Winery, told East County Magazine, "We are pleased to see that a few of our suggestions have been incorporated, for example, allowing the wineries to be open until 6 pm during the winter hours, and increasing van capacity to 15 but disappointed that the majority have not been.   We are concerned that new wineries will not be able to open, given the restrictions on structures and codes and disagree with the County's broad prohibition on events and parties, amplified music, and the stand against advertising.

CAMEL DAIRY OPEN FARM TOURS AND SHOWS: SHARE THE LOVE VALENTINE’S WEEKEND

 

East County News Service

January 31, 2016 (Ramona) -- Love is in the air at the Oasis Camel Dairy in Ramona.  The February Open Farm Tour and Show on Valentine’s Day weekend February 13 and 14 from 1-4 p.m. features bouncy baby lambs, curious camels you can ride and cuddle, plus the oh-so-fun Camel Dairy Animal Friends Show. 

You can also pamper yourself and the ones you love with something special from the RARE MILK Camel Milk Skin Care product line and try a bit of decadent camel milk chocolate.

AWARD-WINNING WINEMAKERS RECOGNIZED BY REPRESENTATIVE DUNCAN HUNTER

Indication of Growing Winemaking in San Diego County

By Miriam Raftery

January 27, 2016 (Ramona)  – Three award-winning Ramona Valley winemakers were presented recognition certificates from Representative Duncan Hunter at the monthly meeting of the Ramona Valley Vineyards Association (RVVA) on Tuesday, January 26th as an indication of the quality and growth of the  winemaking industry in San Diego County. Duncan Hunter has represented San Diego County in the U.S. House of Representatives for seven years and is co-chair of the Congressional Wine Caucus.

STORM FREEZES, BREAKS TRANSMITTER FOR KNSJ: DONATIONS NEEDED FOR REPAIR

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 14, 2016 (Descanso) -- KNSJ Radio (89.1 FM Descanso) is off the air affter the station's transmitter on Mount Laguna froze and broke during  last week's winter storm.  The repair estimate is $1,500, said Martin Eder, founder of KNSJ, a public nonprofit radio station that serves East County and San Diego.

Donations are urgently needed to cover this unexpected major repair cost and may be made via PayPal, credit card or check at http://knsj.org/donate/.  

The East County Magazine  Show airs on KNSJ on Mondays and Fridays from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.  During the outage, which began last week, our radio show and others on the station can still be heard online by downloading the TuneIn App for your cell phone or by listening to the streaming audio online at http://knsj.org/knsjpopup.html.

EAST COUNTY HISTORY: READER RECALLS BLIZZARD 65 YEARS AGO

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Nancy Manning: Snow in Descanso in 2012

January 9, 2016 (Descanso) – This week’s snowstorms evoked strong memories for Robert Stille, who wrote to share his recollections from the winter of 1949-50, which he recalls as one of the worst winters on record, at least in modern times.

“ I was a kid of 13 that winter in Descanso,” he writes.  “We had three feet of snow at Descanso and on up to Cuyamaca and Laguna they had six feet of it.  We went up with my dad when the storm first hit, to Harrison Park and evacuated a 9-month pregnant woman and her daughter out of there.  It was snowing so hard we barely made it back down to Descanso.”

18 INCHES OF SNOW ON MT. LAGUNA

 

East County News SErvice

January 9, 2016 (Mt. Laguna) - The totals from this week's storm are now complete--and Mt. Laguna received a full foot and a half of snow. 

If you're looking for a snow play day, today's a good option. However a new storm is due in this evening and early in the morning, though it will be lighter, dropping less than an inch of precipitation in most areas.

Click here to view snow and rainfall totals for areas across our region from the National Weather Service:  http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/total_forecast/getprod.php?wfo=sgx&sid=SGX&pil=RRM.  To view more images from local HP Wren web cameras run by the University of California San Diego, such as the image at left, visit http://hpwren.ucsd.edu/cameras/.

OVER A FOOT OF SNOW ON MT.LAGUNA, RAINS DRENCH REGION

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos: Above, Jim Pelley sent us photo of snow-covered Laguna Mountains, viewed from desert in Ocotillo

Below, Fox 5 TV tweeted image of news van on Mt. Laguna for a "San Diego snow day"

January 7, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – After four years of drought, when it rains, it pours!  During the past 72 hours, the National Weather Service reports heavy snowfall in our local mountains including 12 to 15 inches on Mt. Laguna.  In addition, many communities soaked up  several inches of rain, topped by Mt. Woodson with nearly seven and a half inches.

Here are highlights on the snow and rainfall totals over the past three days.

JULIAN GETS NEW PARAMEDIC SERVICE FROM COUNTY AND CAL FIRE

 

Source: County News Service

January 7, 2016 (Julian) -- Julian residents and visitors now have around-the-clock access to paramedic engine service, thanks to an agreement reached among the region’s lead rural fire agencies and Julian fire officials.

 

MORE SNOW MAY FALL ON MOUNT LAGUNA

 

East County News Service

Photo: Mt. Laguna on December 29, 2015, courtesy UCSD's HP WRen webcam

December 30, 2015 (Mt. Laguna)--Visitors flocked to Mount Laguna yesterday after a light snowfall left just enough for sledders to enjoy some winter fun.  A frost advisory is in effect for much of our region tonight through Thursday, with clear skies forecast for New Year’s Eve.

Though warmer weather this weekend is expected to melt away those patches of snow remaining, a new storm expected to hit Wednesday and Thursday of next week could bring more snow to the region, including Julian as well as Mt. Laguna—so keep those snow boots and sleds handy.

COUNTY PLANNERS TO VISIT JULIAN TOWN HALL MEETING JAN. 12 TO DISCUSS HOSKINGS RANCH HOUSING PROPOSAL

 

 

By  Kiki Skagen Munshi

December 30, 2015 (Julian)--The Hoskings Ranch development will be discussed with staff from the Country Planning Commission and the developers at the Julian Town Hall on January 12, 2015 at 6:00 p.m.  The public is encouraged to attend.

Development plans for the Hoskings Ranch, which extends south and west from the junction of Pine Hills Road and Highways 78/79, include 24 lots each of which may have up to two houses and various other buildings and facilities.  Local residents are concerned about the impact of this upscale subdivision on water resources, local roads, and the rural character of the area.  Plans were originally scheduled to be presented to the Planning Commission for approval on December 11, 2015, but the hearing was postponed to February 5 to allow time for the public to review the planning documents.

ACCUSED RAMONA CARJACKER/KIDNAPPER ARRESTED AFTER BIZARRE STRING OF CRIMES

Suspect Ira Stringer, courtesy of ECM news partner 10 News

Slideshow image credit: courtesy of ECM news partner 10 News

 

Victims fought back, escaped kidnapper

By Miriam Raftery

December 30, 2015 (Ramona) -- A man who kidnapped a baseball coach and teen player, then later carjacked a second vehicle with a Ramona grandmother inside has been arrested.  Ira Stringer was taken into custody in Riverside on Sunday after a 45-mile police chase and a two-hour SWAT stand-off, the Ramona Sentinel reports.

MISSING MAN : LAST KNOWN TO BE IN DULZURA-CAMPO-JAMUL AREA

 

East County News Service

Update:  John "Arias" Harrington has been found in Tecate, Mexico and is now back in the U.S. in a hospital receiving medical treatment, a family friend informed ECM today.

View or print missing flyer

December 29, 2015 (Dulzura)—John Sebastian “Arias” Harrington, 25, has been missing since Christmas Eve.   His family is very concerned for his safety.  He was last seen driving a friend’s red F-150 truck with CA license 7U32923. He was last seen wearing a red windbreaker jacket, jeans and a black watch.

Harrington dropped off friends  at the San Diego Airport on on Dec. 24.  He is from Oceanside, but GPS indicates his last known location was in the Campo-Dulzura area at 10 p.m. that night.  A caretaker for disabled individuals, most recently he was working for a person in Jamul. His mother, Deb Meacham, told ECM that police  said his employer received a text message from him a day or so later. He has not been heard from since then.  There are indications he may be confused due to missing medication, his mother said.

SNOW, ICY ROADWAYS IN MOUNTAINS

 

East County News Service

File photo: Snow in Cuyamacas by Grace Schleiser

December 28, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – A winter storm is bringing snow, ice and fog to our mountain regions.

Chains are required due to icy/snowy conditions on the Julian-Sunrise Highway from State Route 79 to Old Highway 80, according to the County Department of Public Works. Caltrans reports icy conditions on I-8 at Mountain Pass as well as on State Route 76 at Palomar Mountain.

The Laguna Mountain Lodge reports on its Facebook page that snow is falling on Mt.Laguna.  Residents across East County report snow in the Lake Cuyamaca area, an iced over pond in Descanso and cold conditions across our inland region.

HIGH WINDS, RAIN AND SNOW TO AFFECT HOLIDAY TRAVEL

 

East County News Service

December 24, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – The National Weather Service has issued a high wind warning in effect from Christmas Eve through Christmas morning in San Diego’s mountain and desert regions.  Winds of 35-40 miles per hour with gusts up to 80 mph are forecast. 

A cold front is also moving across the region, bringing rain and snow down as low as 3,000 feet.

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.

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