Communities

FLETHER HILLS RESIDENTS PLAN LAWSUIT OVER GILLESPIE FLIGHT SCHOOL TRAINING AND LEAD POLLUTION

 

East County News Service

March 4 meeting planned for Fletcher Hills residents with attorneys

February 25, 2015 (El Cajon) – Fletcher Hills residents are planning a lawsuit over loss of property values, quality of life and lead pollution associated with increased air traffic at Gillespie Field Airport.

MAJOR TRAIL CHANGES PROPOSED TO THREE SISTERS FALLS

 

 

Public comments due by March 25

By Miriam Raftery

February 25, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--Three Sisters Falls is one of the most beautiful natural attractions in East County – a trio of waterfalls and natural swimming holes in a wilderness area within Cleveland National Forest.  But the falls are also among the most difficult scenic sites to access.

Now Cleveland National Forest’s Palomar Ranger District is planning a major recreation management   project at Three Sisters Falls, located near Boulder Creek Road between Santa Ysabel  and Descanso. The proposed action is to adopt and/or construct a Level 2 System Trail to Three Sisters Falls, to decommission and restore existing user-created trails, and to clear and construct  a primitive dirt or gravel parking area off of Boulder Creek Road, also adding a kiosk with educational materials.

The purpose of this project is to  address concerns related to public health and safety, resource impacts from unmanaged recreation use, and compromised access along Boulder Creek Road for area residents and emergency vehicles during high-use periods at Three Sisters Falls, says district ranger Joan Friedlander.

SEARCH UNDERWAY FOR MISSING HIKER WHO LEFT ANZA TWO WEEKS AGO

 

Hikers find belongings 13 miles off Highway 79, north of Warner Springs

East County News Service

February 24, 2015 (San Diego) updated February 26, 2015—San Diego Search and Rescue Crews are hunting for a 28-year-old hiker, Chris Sylvia, who left Anza, California on Thursday, February 12th to hike south on the Pacific Crest Trail for a week or more. He called a friend February 16th to meet him near Warner Springs to pickup supplies on February 17th, but never arrived.   

His friend told authorities he assumed Sylvia had continued his hike without stopping. But when he failed to reach his final destination, Campo, Sylvia’s friend became concerned and contacted the Sheriff on February 24.

Also on the 24th, other hikers found gear including a sleeping bag, sleeping pad and backpack that appear to belong to Sylvia. His identification was also found at this site approximately 13 miles off Highgway 79, north of Warner Springs.

GUHSD BOARD VOTES TO APPEAL ALPINE HIGH SCHOOL RULING; LEGAL BILLS COULD COST TAXPAYERS A QUARTER OF A MILLION DOLLARS

By Paul Kruze

February 19, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--In a 3-2 vote which was preceded by rancorous accusations, sniping, sharp retorts and loud outbursts between board member Priscilla Schreiber and board chairman Robert Shield, the Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD) approved a measure to appeal an court injunction forcing it to set aside $42 million towards building a disputed high school in Alpine at its regularly scheduled February 11th meeting. Schreiber and board member Jim Stieringer voted against the resolution.

Several times during the meeting, Schreiber expressed concern that the board had voted twice to set money aside for the project and that it was acting in “bad faith." Stieringer said he opposed an appeal because the decision to set aside $42 million for the high school “is well reasoned.”

RIDERS RALLY TO HELP BURN VICTIM WITH NO INSURANCE

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 8, 2015 (Ramona) – Nearly 80 riders on horseback hit the trail Saturday in Ramona to help pay medical bills for Lynn Fuller, a Poway resident who suffered burns over more than 75% of her body.

STATE APPROVES FUNDS FOR JACUMBA AIRPORT UPGRADES

 

East County News Service

February 4, 2015 (Jacumba Hot Springs) -- The state has approved funding for construction of infrastructure improvements at the Jacumba Hot Springs airport . Back in 2012, County Supervisors authorized a co-pay with the state to pave the runway and make other upgrades.

A DARK DAY FOR DEMOCRACY: SUPERVISORS OVERRIDE BOULEVARD'S ELECTED PLANNING OFFICIALS, FORCE INDUSTRIAL-SCALE SOLAR ON RURAL TOWN

 

By Miriam Raftery

View video of full hearing: http://sdcounty.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=9&clip_id=1660

Note: Tune in Friday to our radio show on 89.1 FM from 5 to 6 p.m. to hear interviews with Boulevard residents and a hydrologist sharing their views on this outcome.  Jim Whelan, a representative of Soitec project property owners Hamann and Gibson was invited and refused to participate.

 

February 4, 2015 (San Diego) – Boulevard residents fought down tears in stunned disbelief today (photo, left) as San Diego Supervisors voted 4 to 1 to approve Soitec’s Tierra Del Sol and Rugged Solar projects, overriding a unanimous vote by Boulevard’s elected planning group that opposed the projects. Collectively the two massive projects will cover 1,185 acres (the equivalent of 185 city blocks) of rural terrain with thousands of concentrated solar tracking panels, each 48 feet wide by 30 feet tall.

Only Supervisor Dianne Jacob voted against the project, following an extensive speech in opposition. She called county staff’s finding that the project was compatible with rural community character “absolutely incomprehensible to me.”  Jacob pointed out that the General Plan is supposed to assure environmental stewardship, preservation of agricultural lands, open space and community character, among other qualities – all of which will be destroyed if the Soitec projects are built.

TROUT STOCKING AT SANTEE LAKES FEB. 6

 

February 3, 2015 (Santee Lakes) - Santee Lakes will be stocking lakes two and three with 1,000 pounds of trout on Friday, February 6th – bringing the total of Rainbow Trout planted in the lake since November to a whopping 10,500 pounds.  For  fishing information, you can visit www.SanteeLakes.com.

BOULDER SLAMS INTO ALPINE RENTALS

 

Update: Alpine Rentals is open for business, working out of a trailer temporarily, the Alpine Community Network reports.

East County News Service

Photo courtesy ECM news partner 10 News

February 1, 2015 (Alpine)--Things were rocking and rolling in Alpine early this morning.

DESERT VIEW TOWER: EAST COUNTY'S HISTORIC HIGHWAY STOP

 

 

By Hayden Parsley

January 29, 2015 (Jacumba Hot Springs)—Take a trip into California’s past at the Desert View Tower, a quirky and whimsical relic of the past that is still open to the public in San Diego’s East County.  Located just off Interstate 8 at the In-ko-Pah exit, the tower is poised on a rocky overlook surrounded by desert on all sides.

Built in the 1920s by Bert Vaughn, a real estate tycoon who owned much of Jacumba,  this 70-foot watchtower has become a tourist attraction and a local landmark on the outskirts of the small town today known as Jacumba Hot Springs.

JUDGE RULES IN ALPINE’S FAVOR ON HIGH SCHOOL FUNDING

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 23, 2015 (Alpine) – The Grossmont Union High School District must set aside $14 million in bond money immediately and another $28 million by January 2016 to fund building a high school in Alpine. Superior Court Judge Joel Pressman issued the ruling Thursday, granting an injunction sought by Alpine Taxpayers for Bond Accountability.

Priscilla Schreiber, the only member of the Grossmont Board who has consistently supported building the high school in Alpine, told East County Magazine, “I’m thrilled.” 

But a statement from the district claims that other schools in the district will not get needed improvements due to the court’s decision.  The district indicates it will be back in court January 28 filing for a stay in hopes of halting the injunction.

SD TRAILS: IRON MOUNTAIN

 

By Randy Zuniga

January 15, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--Iron Mountain, located at the backside of Poway, just off of the Highway 67, stands 2,696 ft. tall. I consider this a moderate hike of about 6 miles in length and 1,000 ft. in elevation gain.  I don’t want to put a time frame on it because everyone is different and anyone could spend all day out there if they took the time to take in every sight along the journey.

WIND TURBINE BURSTS INTO FLAMES IN OCOTILLO

By Miriam Raftery

January 17, 2015 (Ocotillo) –A wind turbine at the Ocotillo Wind Energy Facility burst into flames on January 15th.  East County Magazine photographer Jim Pelley, an Ocotillo resident, caught the incident on video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGYvHM5KlJs&feature=youtu.be. The Siemens 2.3-108 turbine was a 2.3 megawatt  model with 108 meter blades.  The turbine (#110) is located along a mining road.

“There were no injuries,” Jeff Grappone from Siemens told ECM.  An investigation is underway to determine the cause of the fire, he stated in an e-mail.  The equipment impacted (six turbines on one circuit) has been de-energized, a safe perimeter established and the tower is being monitored continuously, he indicated.

MILHOLLAND SOLAR AND ELECTRIC CELEBRATES 25TH ANNIVERSARY

 

 

East County News Service

January 5, 2015 (El Cajon)--Milholland Solar and Electric, the premier solar installation and electrical contractor in Southern California, celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.

A BEARY MERRY CHRISTMAS AT LIONS, TIGERS AND BEARS IN ALPINE

 

Bobbi Brink, founder of the rescue facility in Alpine (photo, left) works to save bears and other exotic animals from canned hunts and cub petting operations in U.S.

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

December 5, 2014 (Alpine) – East County Magazine stopped by  Lions, Tigers and Bears this week for a sneak-preview of the brand new bear enclosure that opens this Saturday, December 6th, at the rescue facility’s annual holiday party and fundraiser from 1 to 4 p.m.. 

We also got some up-close-and-personal looks at some of the big cats and bears who will be celebrating too—with Christmas trees, holiday packages to rip open and special foods for these special rescued animals—including Cherry Bomb, Teddy, Albert and Baloo —grizzly and Himalayan black bears who will be turned loose into their new two-acre home (albeit a temporary home while an even bigger two-acre preserve is built.)

HEAVENLY VIEWS: MT. LAGUNA OBSERVATORY GETS NEW TELESCOPE

 

November 29, 2014 (Mount Laguna)--There’s a brand new, $1.5 million telescope at the observatory atop Mount Laguna in East County.  Astronomers from San Diego State University, which operates the observatory, will now be able to see farther into the universe than in the past.

LEMON GROVE MURAL WINS AWARD FROM GOVERNOR BROWN

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 2, 2014 (Lemon Grove)—An elaborate five-panel mural depicting the history of Lemon Grove has been awarded the Governor’s Historic Preservation Award for 2014.  A letter from the Governor’s office sent to the Lemon Grove Historical Society, which commissioned the project, called it “an exceptional example of historic preservation efforts on behalf of California’s cultural heritage.”

VINES AND WINES: RAMBLIN' ROUND RAMONA

 

By Don Rutkoff

Photo: Elaine Lyttleton, Hatfield Creek Winery

July 30, 2014 (Ramona)--I went tooling around Ramona Sunday, visiting and tasting some newer wineries, and I will tell you, if you haven't started tasting the locals, you need to get off your couch and hit the road.  There are a lot of very good wines in Ramona, mostly red, mostly familiar grapes, and a few lesser known grapes too.

EXPERTS VOICE ALARM OVER SURVIVAL OF LOCAL BIGHORN SHEEP

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 17, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – Could big energy projects proposed in East County lead to the decimation of federally endangered Peninsular Bighorn Sheep? 

From 1972 to the present, the Carrizo Gorge band of these bighorns has plummeted from about 120 sheep to less than 40.  “Off-road vehicles, trespassing cattle, poaching in the 1960s and ‘70s, drought, disease and Mountain Lion predation have worked together to push this population o the edge. We hope we can save this group before it is too late,” Mark Jorgensen, advisor to the Bighorn Institute and former Superintendent of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park wrote in the Desert News.

In his comments submitted on  four solar projects proposed by Soitec in Boulevard, Jorgensen writes that “Construction of yet another group of solar projects will further impede the free movement of wildlife by reducing habitat connectivity and ruining wildlife corridors.”  He further notes that Soitec’s sites are very near lands purchased and set aside specifically to protect species  the endangered bighorn, golden eagles and other species in peril.

SHOTS FIRED DURING BORDER PATROL PURSUIT IN CAMPO

By Miriam Raftery

Photo courtesy ECM news partner 10 News

June 5, 2013 (Campo) – A Border Patrol agent discharged his weapon during a pursuit in Campo early this morning.  A suspected drug smuggler was injured by flying glass when the vehicle window shattered, according to a Sheriff’s report, which indicated the agent claims to have fired in self-defense.

Lieutenant Glenn Giannantonio with the San Diego Sheriff’s Homicide Detail said the suspect was treated at a hospital and released to custody of the U.S. Border Patrol.

BORDER PATROL AGENTS SEIZE OVER A HALF MILLION DOLLARS IN METHAMPHETAMINES AT CHECKPOINT IN JAMUL

December 19, 2012 (Jamul) -- U.S. Border Patrol agents intercepted a smuggling attempt on State Route (SR) 94 in Jamul yesterday, resulting in seizure of nearly 26 pounds of methamphetamine.

Agents encountered a U.S. citizen, 49, driving a 2000 BMW at the SR 94 checkpoint near Jamul at 2:45 p.m..  Agents became suspicious of the man’s nervous demeanor and referred him for secondary inspection.  A Border Patrol K-9 performed a cursory inspection of the vehicle resulting in an alert.

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