April 5, 2014 (Jacumba) – Tom Lemon sent this surreal looking shot of a dinosaur sculpture and man-made caves at the Desert View Tower, long a favorite roadside stop of travelers in Jacumba. Visit it while you still can – word is its long-time proprietor may be set to retire in the near future.
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.
March 3, 2014 (San Diego): The Fire Safe Council of San Diego County, in partnership with the Resource Conservation District of San Diego County, is offering a free Defensible Space Assistance Program (DSAP) for low income seniors or disabled residents.
February 21, 2014 (Jacumba) - Back by popular demand, the Jacumba Hikers will lead a Jacumba Walk-About on Saturday, February 22. Walkers will meet at 8:00PM at Mr. Jalapeno's Restaurant, 44461 Old Hwy. 80, Jacumba Hot Springs. Breakfast is available starting at 7:00AM. This hike will take you to the Chinese Castle, the natural hot springs, Jacumba lake, the Cook's House, Sand Wash, Railroad Station, through the Jacumba Hot Springs neighborhood with stops at the Jacumba Spa, library/community park, border fence, and ending at Mr. Jalapeno's.
By Miriam Raftery
February 17, 2014 (Jacumba) – An 80-year-old woman in a motorized wheelchair crossing Old Highway 80 in Jacumba was struck and killed by a white van turning onto the highway at 6:38 p.m. last night. The victim, Jimmie Dyampert Genet of Jacumba, died at the scene.
“Jimmie was a larger than life character who was liked by everyone,” said Danielle Cook, a Jacumba resident. “I used to see her in the pools at the spa or rolling down the road towards the store and Post Office. She will be missed.”
February 15, 2014 (Jacumba)—Wayne Brammer sent in these photos of SDG&E’s new Eco Substation in Jacumba. The project is (so-named for hooking up to industrial-scale renewable energy projects. But to most backcountry residents, the project is an ecological disaster that destroyed the landscape and used three times more water (90 million gallons total) than SDG&E estimated.
“This thing is a monster and they’re wasting water all over the place, not just here but all the way to Boulevard,” writes Bramley, referencing other energy projects in the pipeline. “We really do need to separate from the city and have our own county,” he concluded, linking back to a reader’s editorial on this issue.
By Roy L Hales
February 10, 2014 (Boulevard)--Yesterday, we reported how three authorities state Soitec's consultant is wrong, Boulevard does not possess enough water for their proposed solar project. Now a video from the February 6 community meeting, at Boulevard, reveals that Soitec's consultant, Dudek, recently underestimated the amount of water needed at SDG&E recent ECO substation project by more than three times what would be the final total. (The original estimate was 30 million gallons and the actual amount was closer to 100 million gallons.) Dudek is also alleged to have seriously underestimated the amount of water needed for the Ocotillo Wind Project. If this is true, how can we assume that Dudek's estimates for the Boulevard project are correct?
February 1, 2014 (Jacumba Hot Springs) – Celebrating its 100th year, Jacumba Hot Springs in San Diego's East County has launched a Centennial website at http://www.jacumbahotspringscentennial.org/.
The site lists upcoming festivals in this historic high desert community, plus a historical timeline, attractions and tips for visitors. Festivals include a Blues Fest on May 3, a Healing Waters and Arts Festival on May 24, a Fall Centennial Festival on October 4, and a Feliz Navidad Christmas festival on December 6. Scroll down for more details, and visit the Centennial webpage for additional information. The site will be updated throughout the year with even more details, including a separate page for each of these unique festivals.
January 30, 2014 (Carrizo Mountain)—The Jacumba Hikers will be hitting the trail this Saturday at 8 a.m. for an “extreme” hike to Painted Gorge/Carrizo Mountain. Heat and movement over time has created fantastic shapes and colors as the sun illuminates and plays shadows upon this geologic wonder.
January 11, 2014 (Jacumba Hot Springs) – Energy Works Rejuvenation is hosting group meditation on Saturdays from 4 to 5 p.m. at 44545 Old Highway 80 in Jacumba Hot Springs.
The class offeres guided relaxation meditation and light refreshments. No experience is necessary; wear comfortable clothing.
READERS EDITORIAL: SOUNDING THE ALARM AS COUNTY BREAKS PROMISES FOR FIRE PROTECTION IN RURAL EAST COUNTY
By Howard W Cook, Jacumba Hot Springs Sponsor Group Chair
September 30, 2013 (Jacumba) -- When the Jacumba Hot Springs Community showed up to attend The Real East County Fire Safe Council(Ken Daubach, President) tonight 09/30/2013 at the Jacumba Hot Springs Fire station, the station was completely dark. Shutdown as it has been frequently in the past month. Likewise, Boulevard Fire Station was also dark tonight as it has been for most of the past several months.
Yet, in the EIR's for all of the recent electrical projects, Eco at Jacumba and the Boulevard substation as well as the Tule wind farm project the Fire Dept. establishment promised 24/7 coverage.
East County doesn't know who in the Fire establishment they can trust.
We had an medical emergency today out at De Anza Resort(probably a fatality). Eventually the station at White Star responded after an hour.
By Miriam Raftery
September 11, 2013 (Jacumba Hot Springs) – “The people of this town came together,” said famed sculptor Ricardo Breceda after hoisting a 1200-pound metallic rattlesnake sculpture into place in front of the Jacumba Community Park.
Best known for his larger-than-life sculptures of present and prehistoric wildlife in the Anza-Borrego desert, Breceda yesterday sold additional sculptures to Jacumba Hot Springs art fans – works that will soon grace rocks and roadways in this high desert community seeking to reinvent itself as an arts colony.
It all started with a winged dragon.
Photo: Artist with a similar snake sculpture; installation set for Sept. 10
September 1, 2013 (Jacumba Hot Springs)--On Tuesday, September 10, Jacumba Hot Springs welcomes a giant striking rattlesnake sculpture by artist/designer Ricardo Breceda at the Community Park on Old Highway 80. The sculpture is constructed of welded metal and weighs over 800 pounds. It was a gift to the community from an anonymous community booster.
The artist , who is best known for his gigantic metal sculptures in the Anza-Borrego Desert, will be on site for the September 10th installation--and the community is planning festive activities all day from 9 am to 5 p.m. to celebrate the event.
September 1, 2013 (Jacumba Hot Springs) -- Next year marks the century milestone of the founding of Jacumba Hot Springs. Although the community of Jacumba was settled in the mid- 1800s, the first time the community appeared in an official document as Jacumba Hot Springs was in a State of California Railroad Commission document dated1914.
Four major festivals are planned for the Centennial: a third annual Blues Festival May 3, a Healing Waters and Arts Festival the weekend of May 24, a Centennial Fall Festival October 4 and a Christmas Festival December 6. More details on the festivals will be announced at a later date.
By Ali McCall
April 12, 2013 (Jacumba Hot Springs)--Spend a cool afternoon jammin’ to some blues that won’t “tax” your wallet at the free Jacumba Blues Fest on Saturday, May 4 in Jacumba Hot Springs.
The festival, sponsored by the Jacumba Arts Council, runs from 12-8 p.m. at Highland Community Center on Olde Highway 80. Bring a lawn chair and enjoy food as well as cold, non-alcoholic beverages while you listen to some “smokin’ blues,” organizers suggest.
March 26, 2013 (Jacumba) – From wildflowers to waterfalls, the Jacumba Hikers have announced a variety of unique hiking destinations for their outings this spring. Scroll down for a list of hikes and descriptions of hikes set for April and May.
To view flyer with details, including difficulty/accessibility of hikes, click here.
By Miriam Raftery
After high winds on April 8 ripped their trailer home off its foundation west of Jacumba in Bankhead Springs, Dewey St. Julien and Virginia Hogan found themselves homeless. They lived in their truck and later, a motel with help from Red Cross. Now they are on a list hoping to receive a home from Habitat for Humanity.
“They asked how they could repay what blessings have come their way,” said Lorrie Ostrander, who has been assisting the young coupe. So tonight, April 18, Julien and Hogan have organized a spaghetti dinner to benefit Julie Atherton, a Mountain Empire Health employee with breast cancer.
The dinner will be held at the Mountain Empire Community Center, 976 Sheridan Road in Campo. Suggested donation is $5 for adults and $3 for children. A silent auction will also be held.
Photo: Lake Jacumba
April 11, 2013 (Jacumba)--The Jacumba Hikers/Walkers will host their first Spring Walk on Saturday. April 13. The Border Fence and Rock House Walk is rated easy and will walk the Border Fence separating the U.S.and Mexico from the Jacumba Lounge/Park to the Jacumba Airport & Old Rock House. Distance is 3.5 mi. round trip.
March 11, 2013 (Jacumba Hot Springs)--Pinch Flat Fortune Productions has created a delightful video that provides a cyclist’s eye view of Jacumba Hot Springs, a town built around a natural mineral spring bubbling up from the ground near a pond that’s a birdwatcher’s haven. The filmmakers call Jacumba Hot Springs “magical,” adding that in addition to free camping and soothing soaks, the community has, “some of the kindest, quirkiest, most interesting people we have ever met, all in one place.”
March 2, 2013 (Jacumba) – The Jacumba Hikers will host three upcoming hikes into some of the most unique destinations in our region on February 16, March 2, and March 16--including sites where you can view Native American pictographs, spectacular scenery, and a 200-foot-high railway trestle.
Destinations include Indian Hill and Gun Powder Shack, Carrizo Gorge, and Mortero Palms/Goat Canyon. Scroll down for details.
Town sells to owner of clothing optional resort.
By Miriam Raftery
February 25, 2013 (Jacumba Hot Springs) – Hoping to revitalize tourism in their community, leaders in the small eastern San Diego County community of Jacumba petitioned the State to change the town’s name back to Jacumba Hot Springs, as it was known in a bygone era. Now it’s official, community members learned today.
“I am excited to announce that Jeff Chambers of the State of California Geographic Names Commission called Dave Landman, Mark Ostrander and Howard [Cook[ this morning to say that the Federal Geographic Names Commission has approved our name change (back to Jacumba Hot Springs) effective February 14th of this year,” Danielle Cook with the Jacumba-Boulevard Revitalization Alliance nformed ECM.
January 27, 2013 (Pine Valley)--Beginning Friday, February 1, the Pine Valley Sheriff's Substation can be found at a new location as construction on a new substation gets underway. The temporary address of the substation is 28914 Old Highway 80 Suite 106, Pine Valley, CA 91962 with the same telephone number at (619) 473‐8774.
January 26, 2013 (Campo) -- Underage drinkers, empty lots littered with empty beer bottles and irresponsible alcohol retailers have residents speaking out after a recent community meeting to voice their concerns about youth access to alcohol in Back Country areas.
Boulevard resident Tammy Daubach said she noticed teens drinking in the empty lot near her home in Boulevard. She explained kids frequent the empty lot to ride their BMX bikes on the dirt tracks. “When the kids need to fill their motor bikes at the gas station nearby, they gas up and get their stuff. You constantly see the trash back there. We’ll go out with bags to pick it all up and find chips and wine coolers and little liquor bottles, all of that.”
January 12, 2012 (Jacumba) -- This week's winter storm brought an unusual treat for residents of Jacumba, elevation 2850: snow! Danielle Cook took these photos outside Jacumba Hot Springs, where a light dusting of snow blanketed the area. Don't rush out to visit, though -- it's already melting away in the mid-day sun.
November 20, 2012 (Jacumba)--Cal-Fire will conduct a burn tomorrow, November 21 in McCain Valley near the community of Jacumba. The burn will be approximately 35 acres and smoke will be visible off Interstate 8 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Cooking items, sheets still needed
November 10, 2012 (Jacumba/Boulevard) – Lorrie Ostrander, who has been coordinating efforts to help families who lost homes in the Shockey Fire, has sent the following letter thanking ECM readers for your generosity. While many needs have been met, some remain. Please read her letter below, and help if you can.
November 1, 2012 (San Diego) –Responding to complaints from neighbors of two organic farms in Escondido and Jacumba, County Supervisors on October 30 approved a plan to order farmers to reduce eye gnat infestations. The plan adopted stops short of allowing the county to order pesticide use, but does give the county the right to order other abatement measures if voluntary efforts don’t work.
For details, see ECM news partner 10 News’ article at http://www.10news.com/news/county-tentatively-approves-program-to-reduce...
Fundraiser a success, but more help is needed: “wish list” provided for families who lost homes
By Miriam Raftery
October 17, 2012 (Jacumba/Boulevard)—Ray Ritter, 2, and his parents are among nine families who lost everything in the Shockey Fire last month. The home they were renting burned to the ground and they had no insurance. But that’s just the latest in a string of tragedies for the Ritters.
“Dad died September 14,” Monica Ritter told ECM. “His memorial service was Sept. 20 and on the 21st, our house burned down.”
ECM met the Ritter family at a fundraiser for Shockey Fire victims held last Friday at the Jacumba community center, where firefighters and community members turned out to raise $1,378.59. The Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation had already given over $3500 to the families during recovery after the fire—but now fire victims need additional help to rebuild their lives as the cold season draws near.
October 5, 2012 (Jacumba)--The Jacumba Arts Council (JAC) is holding an art festival and fund-raiser between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturday, October 27th at the Highland Community Center on Old Highway 80. Some of Jacumba’s most talented artists will be displaying their art and offering many pieces for sale. Mark your calendars now!
By Nadin Abbott
Photos by Tom and Nadin Abbott
September 26, 2012 (Boulevard)—Around five in the afternoon, as the sun was starting to set, the first residents of Boulevard’s Tierra del Sol neighborhood began to come home. There was anxiety in some faces, as well as relief on others, as they learned what state their properties were in –and whether their homes had survived the devastating 2,850 acre Shockey Fire that destroyed 11 homes and claimed the life of an elderly man.