Rural communities

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: BUTTERFLY RELEASE IN ALPINE

 

May 12, 2015 (Alpine) – Greg Dunn sent in these photos with this note:  “We had a blast watching the kids see the butterfly's released out in front of our store…Sage & Songbird Festival was out in front of Barons Market… We gave out apples and soft drinks. Great turnout, weather was perfect, the butterflys are free.”  He adds, “The best part was watching the smiles on the little kids.”

BODY FOUND IN BURNED ALPINE HOME

 

May 13, 2015 (Alpine) – Yesterday at 1:55 p.m., detectives from the Alpine Sheriff’s station responded to a radio call reporting a structure fire in the 1400 block of Marshall Road in Alpine.  Finding a home fully engulfed in flames, deputies evacuated nearby neighbors and check surroundings for any victims.

SANDAG OPENS PUBLIC COMMENTS ON NEW REGIONAL PLAN, ANNOUNCES HEARINGS: SEEKS LOCATIONS IN EAST COUNTY

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 25, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – The San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) has released a $200 billion, 35-year regional growth plan for the county titled "San Diego Forward: The Regional Plan."   The plan lays out visions for transportation, sustainability and growth through 2050 including higher density land use along transportation corridors.

Several public hearings will be held including a May 13th hearing at 6 p.m. in La Mesa’s community center.  But thus far, no hearings have been schedule in East County’s mountain, desert or rural areas.

East County Magazine asked the County why no hearings are scheduled in those areas. We pointed out that rural, mountain and desert areas lack public transit, making it difficult for residents to travel long distances to attend hearings in San Diego or even La Mesa.  In response, the County indicated it could hold additional workshops potentially if a community group to partner with could be found.

MARDI/TARDY GRAS BALL MAY 2 TO BENEFIT ALPINE SCHOOLS

 

April 24, 2015 (Alpine) – The 3rd annual Mardy/Tardy Gras Ball will be presented by the Alpine Education Foundation on Saturday, May 2nd from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. at the Alpine Community Center, 1830 Alpine Blvd, in Alpine.

ALPINE PARENTS OBJECT TO KIDS PAINTING WINE GLASSES, BEER STEINS IN SCHOOL

 

By Miriam Raftery

Updated April 24, 2015 with response from Alpine Education Association and details on the fundraising event.

April 22, 2015 (Alpine) – Some Alpine parents were surprised to learn that children in the fifth grade at Alpine Elementary School were assigned to paint wine glasses and beer steins for an upcoming fundraising event organized by the Alpine Education Foundation.

CAMPO-LAKE MORENA ANNUAL ROUNDUP MAY 2

 

April 19, 2015 (San Diego's East County) - The 9th annual Campo-Lake Morena Roundup is set to be held on Saturday, May 2nd at the Camp Lockett Event and Equesterian Facility (799 Forrest Gate Rd.) in Campo. Gates open at 7 a.m. with opening ceremonies at 9 a.m. and presentation of this year’s grand marshall at 10 a.m. Period costumes are welcome.

BYSTANDERS FLIP BURNING CAR, SAVE TEENS

 

 

East County News Service

April 15, 2015 (Spring Valley) – Three young people trapped in a burning car that flipped over after a crash in front of Monte Vista High School on Monday owe their lives to courageous bystanders.

BLACKWATER GUARDS SENTENCED: 30 YEARS TO LIFE FOR MASSACRE IN IRAQ

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos:  East County residents celebrated Blackwater halting plans to build a training camp in Potrero in 2008.

April 15, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – Many in East County recall the successful battle wagered by rural residents here to halt a Blackwater paramilitary training camp from being built in Potrero.   Just months before Blackwater announced plans to cancel the Potrero project in 2008, news broke that Blackwater guards had been accused of massacring innocent civilians in Iraq’s Nisour Square on September 16, 2007.

READER'S EDITORIAL: THOUGHTS ON AMBULANCE SERVICE FROM DEERHORN AND "OUTER JAMUL"

 

By Kim Hamilton, Editor, Deerhorn Valley Antler

Editor’s note: A similar version of this letter was also sent to Supervisor Dianne Jacob’s office.

April 12, 2015 (Deerhorn Valley) -- In the outer rural areas we are spread out over a very large area. We have only two paved roads (Honey Springs and Deerhorn Valley Rd.), and from that intersection it is 15 miles and 20 minutes to reach the fire station in Jamul. Most of us live off of secondary roads like Mother Grundy Truck Trail, Bratton Valley, and Sierra Cielo. These are dirt roads that are privately maintained (or not).  The additional distance on rutted roads can add another 20-plus minutes of drive.  And that's when you know where you're going. Some roads are almost impassable for a large vehicle.

18TH ANNUAL CHIRP SAGE & SONGBIRDS GARDEN TOUR - MAY 1-3, 2015

 

April 12, 2015 (San Diego's East County) The Sage and Songbirds 18th annual graden tour will be held May 1-3, 2015. This year’s self-guided tour includes five private homes plus a hummingbird haven and raptor rehabilitation facility.

SAGE & SONGBIRDS GARDEN TOUR TAKES WING MAY 1-3

 

April 10, 2015 (Alpine) – The 18th annual Sage & Songbirds Garden Tour on May 1-3 will feature five private home gardens plus a hummingbird haven and a raptor rehabilitation facility for close-up viewing of wildlife.

VINTAGE ALPINE: WINETASTING IN THE COUNTRY TO BENEFIT CHILDREN'S CAUSES

 

April 10, 2015 (Alpine) – The 25th annual Vintage Alpine on Sunday May 3rd from 1 to 4 p.m. at Summers Past Farms in Flinn Springs will feature tastings of 40 wines plus foods from fine restaurants across our region.  This event attracts over 500 people annually, with all proceeds used to benefit services and programs for the children of San Diego.

SAN MIGUEL BOARD VOTES TO BUY 2 FIRE ENGINES, MOVE FORWARD ON COUNTY TAKEOVER OF TRAINING FACILITY

 

By Paul Kruze

April 10, 2015 (Spring Valley)--In spite of tight finances and the looming possibility of a separation and divorce from CALFIRE, the San Miguel Fire Board of Directors majority went forward with a staff recommendation to purchase two new fire engines at its March 11th meeting.  The Board also took action on the County's proposal to takeover an unfinished training facility that has languished due to lack of funds.

DROUGHT DRIES UP WATER SOURCES FOR FIREFIGHTING

 

East County News Service

Photo: Once brimming with water, the eastern portion of Lake Morena is bone dry.

April 9, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – The drought is shrinking ponds and lakes across East County—and Cal-Fire is concerned about the loss of water for fighting fires.

HOW DO COUNTY'S RESPONSE TIMES FOR AMBULANCE SERVICE STACK UP TO OTHER AREAS?

 

 

Ambulance responses in our region raise alarms:  Part IV in a series

By Miriam Raftery

April 6, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)—San Diego County’s contract with its new ambulance provider for East County, Mercy,  requires that response times be less than 30 minutes 90% of the time in rural areas and 10 minutes in urban areas.  That’s too long if you’ve had a heart attack or other major trauma. 

When we inquired about response times, County staff advised us that in 2014, the County Fire Authority (ie Cal Fire) had a better response time than the requirement, averaging just over 10 minutes, while the former ambulance provider, AMR, average about 14 minutes. (Read more)

CONGRESS PASSES MEASURE TO ALLOW SELLING OFF NATIONAL FORESTS AND OTHER PUBLIC LANDS

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Cleveland National Forest, courtesy National Forest Service

April 6, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)—The Republican-controlled House and Senate have passed measures that would allow the sale or outright giveaway of most public lands –including national forests, federal wildernesses and  wildlife preserves and Bureau of Land Management properties.  Only Republicans voted for the language slipped into a non-binding budget resolution—which passed without a single Democratic vote. 

The shocking news is revealed in a New York Times editorial by Will Rogers, president of the Trust for Public Lands, titled “Our Land, Up for Grabs.”  

While it’s unlikely that President Barack Obama would support such an extreme measure, if a Republican president is elected in 2016 and Republicans maintains control of both houses of Congress, losing our cherished public lands such could be a very real possibility.

Here in San Diego County alone, that could mean the demise of:  Cleveland National Forest,  Otay Mountain Wildnerness, Hauser Wilderness, Pine Creek , Carrizo Gorge, Sawtooth Mountains Wilderness , Agua Tibia Wilderness, San Diego National Wildlife Refuge, San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge , Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge, McCain Valley National Recreation Area and more.

COUNTY RESPONDS TO AMBULANCE SERVICE QUESTIONS

 

 

Ambulance responses in our region raise alarms:  Part III in a series

By Miriam Raftery

April 3, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – AS we reported, effective April 1st the County has shifted to Mercy as its new ambulance provider for rural East County.  After residents raised concerns over coverage, response times and mutual aid, we asked Supervisor Dianne Jacob’s office for a response.

PASSAGES: ACCLAIMED POTRERO POET STEVE KOWIT

 

April 3, 2015 (Potrero) – Steve Kowit, well-known poet, author, teacher and Potrero resident, passed away this morning following heart surgery  Kowit taught at Southwestern College and San Diego State University, mentored many, and inspired a generation of local writers through his teaching, readings and writings.

He was distinguished by his many awards for poetry, which include the National Endowment Fellowship in Poetry, two Pushcart Prizes, the Atlanta Review Poetry Prize, the Ouroboros Book Award, the 2006 Tampa Review Poetry Prize, and most recently the San Diego Theodore Geisel Award.

SDG&E USE OF DRONES APPROVED BY FDA

 

East County News Service

March 31, 2015(San Diego) – SDG&E has received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to use unmanned drones to conduct aerial inspections of its gas and electrical facilities in rural East County.

JAMUL ADDS PARAMEDICS TO FIRE ENGINES

 

East County News Service

March 30, 2015 (Jamul)—Jamul’s Fire Station now has paramedics on every fire engine.  Starting in mid-March, Jamul has had three paramedics to provide advanced life support services that emergency medical technicians can’t provide—such as administering IV medications and defibrillation of heart attack patients.

SDG&E WORKERS FIND HUMAN REMAINS AT ALPINE HS SITE

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 25, 2015 (Alpine) – Homicide detectives are investigating the discovery of human remains in Alpine, the Sheriff’s department reports. According to Lieutenant John Maryon, it appears the remains have been there for quite some time.

AMBULANCE UPDATES ANNOUNCED

 



Ambulance responses in our region raise alarms:  Part II in a series

By Miriam Raftery

March 23, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)—Earlier we reported on a new contract for ambulance service that the County has signed, effective April 1st.  That contract required only four ambulances for an entire district stretching from the border north to Mount Laguna, and from Jamul east to the Imperial County line.

COUNTY CHANGES AMBULANCE SERVICE WITHOUT PUBLIC NOTICE: PUBLIC SAFETY ADVOCATES VOICE ALARM



Ambulance responses in our region raise alarms:  Part I in a series

By Miriam Raftery

March 22, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – What if you had a medical emergency and the nearest ambulance had to come from Imperial County or other distant places up to an hour away?  That’s the very real prospect facing rural East County residents under a stealth change in ambulance service approved by a county bureaucrat with no public notice, no hearing, and no vote by the Supervisors.

While some aspects of coverage stand to improve under the contract, adding more in-district ambulances and newer equipment, there are some major concerns raised by local safety advocates with regard to mutual aid and staffing.

RUSSO SET TO REGAIN ALPINE PLANNING GROUP SEAT AFTER ELECTION WINNER LEFT TOWN

By Miriam Raftery

March 20, 2015 (Alpine) – Lou Russo, an outspoken former member of the Alpine Community Planning Group, may soon be back on the board, the Registrar of Voters office has confirmed.

James Roe defeated Russo on the November ballot, but moved out of the area for a job prior to the election and is thus ineligible to take the seat.

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