Ramona

A MEMORIAL DAY TO REMEMBER

By Miriam Raftery

Photos:  Norm Case examines Civil War drum played at the Battle of Shiloh  (photo, left) by his ancestor, Philo L. Case (photo, right)

 

May 28, 2017 (Ramona)--Philo Case, a drummer in the Union Army, played the long roll that called troops to arms during the battle of Shiloh, one of the bloodiest conflicts in the Civil War.  This Memorial Day weekend, his drum is on display at Hatfield Creek Winery in Ramona at 2 p.m. each day. 

Norm Case, Philo's descendent, shared the amazing history handed down through his family -- a tale that includes not only Civil War stories, but also a mystery involving another branch of his family tree that includes the niece of John Wilkes Booth.  Case says she's told him her family has kept a secret for generations--claiming her uncle came to Yakima, Washington and asked that his presence be kept secret -- after the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.

SANGRIA CONTEST: SAVORING THE START OF A “SUMMER OF WINE” IN RAMONA

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Jacques Sapier serves up a glass of peach and cherry sangria

 

May 28, 2017 (Ramona) – What better way to start off summertime than sipping sangrias on a stone patio in the noontime sun?  At Vineyard Grant James, a sangria contest  began Friday and continues through Monday for Memorial Day reason. 

Savor three tasty options – peach cherry, lemonade or a red wine and jalapeño based sangria—and then vote for your favorite.  Glimpsing the jarful of ballots, the votes appeared split between all three of these creative choices, which went well with a delightful  locally made cheese that we savored as well.

RAMONA PLANNERS PUSH STATE FOR SAFETY SOLUTIONS ON STATE ROUTE 67

 

East County News Service

April 24, 2017 (Ramona) – State Route 67 between Ramona and Lakeside is one of the most accident-prone stretches of highway in San Diego County. 

Caltrans is planning to install flexible posts between Willow Road in Lakeside and Shady Oaks in Ramona at a cost of $7.14 million in hopes of preventing head-on collisions.

FRIENDS COOK UP BENEFIT SATURDAY TO HELP AILING OWNERS OF LONDON BAKERY IN RAMONA

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 7, 2017 (Ramona) –Joanne Bennett and her daughter, Paige Duffy, have a passion for baking authentic English pastries, from classics with a modern twist to a lemon curd recipe dating back over 100 years from the family’s roots on London’s east side.  Together, the mother-daughter duo opened their London Bakery in Ramona (632 Main St.) with the slogan “food fit for a Queen.” 

Both have been stricken with major medical conditions and are facing healthcare staggering bills as they struggle to keep their business open.  So an employee has organized a fundraiser tomorrow at the bakery from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. The public is urged to stop in, buy some goodies, and if possible, make a donation.

RAMONA RANCH WINERY TEAMS UP WITH JR ORGANICS TO OFFER PICKUPS OF LOCAL VEGGIES: LEARN MORE THIS SUNDAY

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 10, 2017 (Ramona) – “We’re crazy about all things local,” say the owners of Ramona Ranch Winery.  Besides offering locally produced wines and cheeses, the winery is now offering customers the opportunity to take home boxes of fresh vegetables from JR Organics.  

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.

RAMONA’S WINEMAKING COMES OF AGE

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos by Mark and 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.

FIRE SURVIVORS' ADVOCATE URGES PUBLIC TO SPEAK AT MONDAY CPUC HEARINGS ON SDG&E PROPOSAL TO CHARGE RATEPAYERS FOR 2007 WILDFIRE COSTS

Hear our KNSJ radio interview with Diane Conklin, Mussey Grade Road Alliance, by clicking the audio link. Conklin estimates cost of SDG&E’s proposal could be $280 per household.

By Miriam Raftery

January 6, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) --In 2012,  a huge turnout by ratepayers helped persuade the California Public Utilities Commission to deny SDG&E’s request to charge ratepayers for its uninsured costs of  three 2007 wildfires.

 Now the utility has revived a similar proposal, seeking $379 million from ratepayers. On Monday, the CPUC will hold public hearings in Escondido at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the California Center for the Arts Escondido conference center, Salon 1Room, 340 North Escondido Blvd. in Escondido.

Advocates for ratepayers and fire survivors are urging the public to again turn out in force at Monday’s hearings, arguing that it would be unfair and set a bad precedent to allow a utility to charge ratepayers for fires caused by its equipment. They say that SDG&E should have foreseen high winds and taken steps to protect the public.   The group estimates average cost per household would be $280 if SDG&E’s proposal is approved.

 But SDG&E contends that  it’s fair to ask ratepayers to help shoulder costs of the fires, which it contends were natural disasters with winds stronger than seen in previous fires.  The company also notes that it has worked to reduce claims and made major investments to improve fire safety for the future.

Audio: 

PASSAGES: VICTIM IN RAMONA CRASH WAS SKATEBOARD LEGEND VICTOR EARHART, 70

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 29,  2016 (Ramona)—The motorcyclist killed Friday morning on Highway 79 in Santa Ysabel in a collision with a Prius has been identified as Victor Earhart,  70, a prominent skateboarder who inspired fans of all ages. 

Sector 9, a skateboard company where Earhart worked and performed as a team writer,  posted a  tribute titled “Legends Never Die” that praised him as “a great ambassador for skateboarding and a legend to many. He was always down to ride skateboards rain or shine, dirt or asphalt. He was very loved by all and will be sorely missed in the skateboard community.”

LANE CLOSURES THIS WEEK: STATE ROUTE 67 AND DYE ROAD/HIGHLAND VALLEY ROAD

 

Source: Caltrans

November 15, 2016 (Ramona) - Caltrans crews will set up lane closures on northbound State Route 67 at the intersection with Dye Road/Highland Valley Road near Ramona on Monday and Tuesday from  7 a.m.- 3:30 p.m. for paving operations.

NIGHT WORK AT STATE ROUTE 67 AND DYE ROAD/HIGHLAND VALLEY ROAD

Delays are expected Thursday night during one-way traffic control operations

Source: Caltrans

October 27, 2016 (San Diego) - Caltrans crews have scheduled lane closures at the intersection of State Route 67 (SR-67) and Dye Road/Highland Valley Road near Ramona on Thursday night from 7 until 5 Friday morning.

HAVE YOU SEEN OUR NEWSLETTER?

 

September 2, 2016 (San Diego's East County) -- Our latest newsletter just came out --with all the hottest news and events impacting you in East County all in one single-page newsletter.  You can view the latest edition here.   

To get a free subscription to our weekly newsletter-- and also the option to get free wildfire and emergency alerts, click here

Tell your friends and family!

2 SIGALERTS IN EAST COUNTY

 

August 20, 2016—Two Sig Alerts have been issued due to separate crashes in East County, both forcing long-term shutdowns of  major roadways.

A fatality accident has shut down State Route 67 in both directions for 8 to10 hours. Southbound 67 is closed at Archie Moore Road.  Northbound SR 67 is closed at Poway Road.   A head-on crash between a silver pickup and black Nissan reportedly occurred  on the highway just north of Cloudy Moon Road after the truck veered across the centerline.

LAKE HENSHAW FUNDRAISING EVENT ON AUGUST 28TH TO BENEFIT SHELTER TO SOLDIERS

 

East County News Service

August 12, 2016 (Ramona) -- Ramona Ranch Winey and Round Up Grill/John Little Catering are partnering to host “Live at the Lake," an interactive outdoor music, food and wine fundraising event on Sunday, August 28, 2016 from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm to benefit Shelter to Soldier, a non-profit organization that adopts and trains shelter dogs to serve as psychiatric service dogs for post-9/11 combat veterans. The event will take place at the Lake Henshaw parking lot located at 26439 Highway 78 in Santa Ysabel, CA, 92070.

FIRE IN RAMONA

UPDATE AS OF 8:26 P.M.:  Fire holding at 28 acres, 75% contained.

UPDATE AS OF 9:49 A.M.:  fire is 28 acres and 50%  contained

UPDDATE AS OF 6:20 P.M.:  Fire at 20 acres, 5% contained.  All evacuation orders lifted.  UPDATE AS OF 6:05 P.M.:  Fire holding at 30 acres.  Forward spread has been stopped.

UPDATE AS OF 5:49 PM:  SIGALERT, NB and SB SR-67 BETWEEN ARCHIE MOORE AND POWAY ROAD, ALL LANES CLOSED, UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

UPDATE AS OF 4:47 P.M.: Air attack notes "I've got mud all around it, now just working way back in"

"Currently: 30 acres

Light threat to structures

Potential: 250+ acres"

Road closures will be posted for I-15 and I-8, may impact commute traffic

East County Alerts

Photo:  Mt. Woodson looking east, credit to Dennis on the Brush Fire Partyline on Facebook

July 22, 2016 (Ramona)--A 12-acre fire that started from a car fire is burning now in Ramona at Highway 67 and Rockhouse Road.



Highway 67 is backed up bumper to bumper.  AVOID THIS AREA. 



A 5th air tanker has been ordered from Hemet and incoming crews are coming to Rockhouse Rd. for immediate structure threat.  No mandatory evacuations have been issued, but possible evacuations are:  Rockhouse Rd., Jackie St., Tommie Ln., and Hedy Dr.

U.S. FOREST SERVICE AGREES TO LAND FIREFIGHTING TANKER PLANE AT BROWN FIELD IN OTAY, BUT NOT RAMONA

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 9, 2016 (Otay)—Effective immediately, the U.S. Forest Service has authorized its Next Generation firefighting air tankers to operate at Brown Field in Otay Mesa near the border during times of elevated wildfire risk.

Supervisor Dianne Jacob  called the announcement “a step forward” but added, “They don't go far enough. Ramona Air Attack Base, in the heart of wildfire country, still makes the most sense.”  She noted the high risk of wildfire in Ramona, site of the devastating 2003 Cedar Fire and the2007 firestorms.

DIANNE JACOB BLASTS FOREST SERVICE FOR REFUSING TO FLY TANKERS FROM RAMONA AIR BASE, WHERE CAL FIRE IS LANDING SAME PLANES

 

East County News Service

June 20, 2016 (Ramona) --Supervisor Dianne Jacob  posted blisteringr remarks on her Facebook Page today, with the Border Fire raging out of control and forcing evacuations in multiple rural commnities: 

"The following is my statement in response to reports yesterday that United States Forest Service (USFS) air tankers were not utilizing the Ramona Air Attack Base, and instead were flying to San Bernardino in between drops on the Border Fire. The same Next Generation Air Tankers used by CAL FIRE were safely refilling at the Ramona Air Attack Base yesterday.

“The USFS and federal leaders are failing our region and unnecessarily putting lives and property at risk. The Board of Supervisors last summer called on the USFS and the federal government to land their Next Generation Air Tankers at the Ramona Air Attack Base in order to increase the frequency of drops on a wildfire. CAL FIRE has demonstrated that these types of planes can safely use the Ramona airport. Now we need the USFS to demonstrate that public safety is a higher priority than bureaucratic stubbornness. These planes can carry up to 3,000 gallons of retardant and increasing the frequency of drops gives us a better chance of knocking down dangerous wildfires,” Jacob concluded.

HIGHWAY 67 CONSTRUCTION UPDATE

 

East County News Service

June 14, 2016 (Ramona) -- Motorists traveling along SR-67 at Dye and Highland Valley Road in Ramona may have already noticed indications of construction at the intersection as part of a major upgrade project that includes road widening and more.  Crews placed construction signs the first week of June and the speed limit has been reduced from 55 to 45 mph for the safety of commuters and highway workers. For a description of the project click here.  

CLEVELAND NATIONAL FOREST WELCOMES NEW DISTRICT RANGERS

 

Source: U.S. Forest Service

June 6, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) -- The Descanso Ranger District in Alpine, and the Palomar Ranger District in Ramona, have recently gained over 30 years’ experience between them with the addition of 2 new district rangers. Christopher Dowling for the Palomar, and Bob Heiar for the Descanso, both come from an extensive Forestry background and have already begun making substantial head weight on improving recreational opportunities, enhancing community protection, and enforcing ecological restoration. Forest Supervisor William Metz believes the expertise and timing couldn’t be better, "This comes at a crucial time as we head into fire season and begin preparations on the ground. Our focus is to meet the mission of public safety by increasing resources and expanding expertise, demonstrating our continued commitment to the people of San Diego County.

YEAR-LONG CONSTRUCTION STARTS THURSDAY ON STATE ROUTE 67 AT HIGHLAND VALLEY AND DYE ROAD INTERSECTION

 

East County News Service

May 30, 2016 (Ramona) -- Travelers on State Route 67 in the community of Ramona are alerted that construction activities will begin Thursday at the intersection at Dye and Highland Valley roads, according to Caltrans.  Crews will begin placing construction signs and marking underground utilities.

CIVIL WAR DRUM ON DISPLAY MEMORIAL DAY AT HATFIELD CREEK WINERY IN RAMONA

 

East County News Service

May 29, 2016 (Ramona) — In April 1862, the Battle of Shiloh was a key early victory for the Union Army during the Civil War.  On Memorial Day, May 30th, Norm Case, co-owner of the Hatfield Creek Vineyards and Winery in Ramona, will be displaying the historic drum on which his great-great grandfather, Philo Case, played the long roll to begin the Battle of Shiloh.

HISTORIC LINDBERGH MURAL AND NEW CEDAR CREEK FALLS MURAL COMING TO RAMONA

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 16, 2016 (Ramona) – The Ramona H.E.A.R.T. Mural project has already brought seven beautiful murals commemorating Ramona’s history to this town nestled in the mountains of San Diego’s East County.  Soon, two more murals of epic significance will be on display, thanks to a recent vote by Ramona’s Design Review Board approving the projects.

COUNTY STAFF RESPONDS TO ECM INQUIRY ON WINERY ORDINANCE PROPOSED CHANGES

 

East County News Service

April 23, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – On Wednesday, April 27, Supervisors will consider two versions of proposed changes to the tiered winery ordinance, as ECM reported. Ramona winemakers have raised serious concerns over a version proposed by county staff that differs from the version approved by the County Planning Commission. 

RAMONA WINE INDUSTRY IN JEOPARDY, VINTNERS WARN: SUPERVISORS HOLD HEARING APRIL 27 ON REGULATORY CHANGES

Update April 23, 2016:  County staff has responded to ECM questions on this issue.  View their response here.

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left: Elaine Lyttle, Hatfield Creek Winery & Vineyard, says the county's "priorites are wrong" and faults excessive regulations for stifling her award-winning winery in Ramona.

April 20,2016 (Ramona) –  Leaders in Ramona’s burgeoning wine industry warn in correspondence to Supervisors that Ramona’s wine industry could die on the vine as a result of changes proposed to the County’s Boutique and Small Wineries Regulations.

 The changes are set for hearing by Supervisors on Wednesday, April 27 at 9 a.m. at the County Administration Center (Room310, 1600 Pacific Highway, San Diego).  View agenda and hearing announcement. 

Two versions of the ordinance will be up for consideration, one approved by the Planning Commission, the other a recommendation by staff of Planning & Development Services. One important note: legal challenges may be limited only to issues raised at a public hearing or in written correspondence delivered to the hearing body at or before the hearing, according to the hearing notice.

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