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.
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.
By Miriam Raftery
September 24, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – Cal Fire reports this morning that an estimated 20 homes have been destroyed and another 10 damaged, along with approximately 15 outbuildings. The fire is now 2,000 acres and 10% contained.
Homes lost are all in the Tierra del Sol area, Mike Mohler of Cal Fire told ECM. “We’re going to go out right now to compile a list of the addresses,” he said when asked for details on locations of residences that burned.
“Tierra del Sol and Jewel Valley remain evacuated and are still threatened,” Roxanne Provaznik of Cal Fire said in a release issued at 6:50 am. Highway 94 is closed between the Shockey Truck Trail east to Jewel Valley.
September 13, 2012 (Jacumba) – In its heyday, Jacumba Hot Springs housed a resort that drew Hollywood elite and tourists from far and wide. But somewhere along the way, the official name got shortened to Jacumba.
Now a group of Jacumba residents seeks to restore the original name. On Tuesday, County Supervisors voted to support the change. Next up, state and federal geographic name change commissioners will consider whether to formally approve the return to the town’s historic name.
By Tom Lemon
August 10, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) — When you're driving east on Interstate 8 past Jacumba and the Desert View Tower there's a sharp left turn and you begin to descend Mountain Springs Grade. You will drop about three thousand feet to the desert in ten miles, and can see the remains of Old Highway 80 in the canyons and some of the original concrete road just past the Mountain Springs exit.
Canines identify dozens of sites in path of wind and power line projects
Wind developers “cooperate” with tribes on searches-- but SDG&E refuses to allow dogs on its ECO-Substation site
Story by Miriam Raftery
Photos by Tom and Nadin Abbott, Miriam Raftery, and Jim Pelley
July 18, 2012 (McCain Valley) – Weaving across cactus-studded terrain in McCain Valley, Piper, a border collie trained to find ancient human remains, pauses to sniff the ground. Ears erect, he sits, alerting handler Lynne Engelbert, who records the GPS coordinates. (Click video to view.) Minutes later, Piper’s find is independently confirmed by a second search dog.
June 24, 2012 (San Diego) -- The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) this week approved San Diego Gas & Electric's (SDG&E) East County (ECO) Substation Project, a development that involves two electric substations along SDG&E's Southwest Powerlink transmission line.
June 7, 2012 (Jacumba) – Telemagica’s Galaxia 2012 takes place June 8, 9 and 10 beginning at 12:00 p.m. on Friday on the grounds of the Institute of Perception (Railroad Street) in Jacumba.
The event is a yearly gathering of collective performance art dedicated to the evolution of the human spirit through the arts.
By Meg A. Watts
April 1, 2012 (Jacumba) – Officially, the power outage that left 1.4 million customers in San Diego and across the southwest in the dark last September has been blamed on a worker in Yuma, according to SDG&E. But an ECM investigation reveals an electrifying new theory, backed up by photos and an eyewitness account from an off-duty Border Patrol Agent.