Thursday, December 30, 2010

State Diaster Emergency request

Yesterday, Acting Governor Abel Maldonado requested President Obama declare a major disaster for the State of California, including Riverside County as a result of severe winter storms.


Maldonado estimated total expenses have exceeded $100 million and were continuing to grow. Riverside County costs were more than $10.5 million.


In the letter, Maldonado discussed the damage caused by last week’s rains and emphasized that the National Weather Service was predicting more rainfall during the next week.[Editor’s note: Idyllwild received more than 1.5 inches Wednesday, Dec. 29.]


Other counties included in the state’s request for emergency assistance are Inyo, Kern, Kings, Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Tulare.


On Dec. 14, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger had already ordered the implementation of State Emergency Plan. A week later, in accordance with federal law, he proclaimed State of Emergency in six counties including Riverside.

Weather: Thurs. Dec 30 sunny & cold


It's sunny today in the mountains. See the photos from this morning. The roads, especially the highways, are clear and gravel or cinder has been dropped.


But the National Weather Service forecast is for a high of 34º, ice in the shade is unlikely to melt until tomorrow when temperatures are expected to cross above 40º. Yesterday more than 1.5 inches of rain fell at Keenwild Ranger Station.

The total since July 1 is now 18.83 inches. The average rainfall from July 1 through Dec. 31 is 9.22 inches. The annual average rainfall is 25.67 inches.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Riverside County Fire collecting storm damage info

Riverside County Fire/OES Seeks Storm Data Information

In an effort to assist Riverside County residents affected by the recent storms, the Office of Emergency Services is gathering storm damage information.

Residents living in the unincorporated areas in Riverside County who sustained storm-related damage to their homes, businesses, and vehicles are urged to report that damage to the Riverside County Office of Emergency Services.

The Riverside County Fire Department, Office of Emergency Services (OES) is the lead Emergency Management agency for the County of Riverside and serves as the liaison between our cities, special districts and other agencies to the State and Federal Governments.

Residents may call 951-955-8440 during normal business hours (Monday – Thursday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.) to report damages. Damage reports may also be submitted via email to rvceoc@fire.ca.gov.

Please include your name, phone number, address and any damage-related photos.
For more information on flood preparation and flood safety, visit www.rvcfire.org or www.floodcontrol.co.riverside.ca.us.

latest weather

SHORT TERM FORECAST
1226 PM PST WED DEC 29 2010


National Weather Service San Diego CA

SAN BERNARDINO and RIVERSIDE COUNTY MOUNTAINS-


.NOW... rain will change over to intermittent

showers in the Inland Empire this afternoon.

Steady snow will continue over the

Riverside County mountains where several inches

of new snow are likely above 6500 feet.

Intermittent snow showers will taper off over

the San Bernardino mountains this afternoon.


Oh yes, as of 30 minutes ago, Keenwild Ranger Station

has recored .75 inches of rain today, the total this

month is over 12 inches.


Since July 1, Keenwild has recorded 18 inches. The

long-term (since 1948) annual average rainfall in Idyllwild

has been 25.7 inches.


We're more than 70 percent there, with six months to go.

but don't forget the La Niña pattern may still arrive

after New Year's.

Weather: Wed. Dec 29 Snow, Rain, Ice?


The soft wet snow has turned to rain. The main roads have
been plowed and with the rain tires
are making direct contact wit
h the pavement.
Keep in mind regardless
of the snow
or rain foreca
st for today.
The cold front is “cold” tonight so roads
will turn icy and be that way
in Thursday morni
ng.

Below are some photos from around town this morning.
 

SHORT TERM FORECAST
National Weather Service San Diego CA
San Bernardino and Riverside County mountains-
1125 am pst wed dec 29 2010
.now... at 1130 am...
steady rain
was moving southeast across the area. the
rain will change over to intermittent showers this afternoon.
snow will fall in the mountains above 5000 feet.

Here we see Emily White, of Idyllwild Inn, clearing the entrance to the office.




















These photos were submitted
by Pat Smith and Mike Freitas.

CALTRANS says chains

this just arrived

SR-243 from Mountain Center to Idyllwild (Riverside County)

Until further notice, CalTrans is requiring chains on all commercial vehicles (trucks or buses).


All other vehicles (cars, pick-ups, vans, etc.) must have

either snow tread tires or chains on the drive axle.

Weather Wednesday Dec 29 SNOW

Well for all you sentimentalists, Idyllwild may have a delayed "White Christmas". Some snow has already fallen and below is the latest National Weather Service Forecast for the remainder of today, Wednesday, Dec. 29.

Winter Storm Warning

Urgent - winter weather message national weather service 
San Diego ca 2:32 am pst wed Dec 29 2010 
 ...WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS 
at the higher elevations today...  .a cold front will bring snow...
blowing snow and strong gusty winds to the higher elevations today.
Snow levels will start near 6500 feet and then lower to near 4000 feet
by this evening. there could be heavy snow above
6000 feet this morning with the frontal passage.
San Bernardino county mountains-Riverside County mountains-
including the following locations...angelus oaks...baldwin lake... barton flats...
big bear city...big bear lake...crestline... fawnskin...forest falls..
.i-15 at cajon summit... i-15 at 3500 feet...lake arrowhead...mount baldy...
mountain home village...oak glen...phelan...running springs... twin peaks...
wrightwood... aguanga...
ANZA...GARNER VALLEY... IDYLLWILD...MOUNTAIN CENTER...
PINE COVE...PINYON PINES...
VISTA GRANDE
...winter storm warning in effect until 8 pm pst this evening above 6000 feet... 
* snow levels: 6000 feet with the heavy snow at 7000 feet and   
higher. the snow level will drop to 5000 feet by wednesday afternoon...
then to 4000 feet and locally lower to around
3000 feet wednesday night. by wednesday night...light snow
showers are expected.
* snow accumulations: over one foot above 7000 feet...4 to 8   
inches above 6000 feet.
* timing: this morning with snow showers and strong gusty winds   
continuing into this evening.
* winds: up to 35 to 45 mph with gusts around 65 mph.
* visibility: near zero in blowing snow and dense fog.
* impacts: travel will be difficult on the mountain roads.   
lower elevation roads will become icy wednesday night...
including possibly interstate 15 through cajon summit.
precautionary/preparedness actions...
a winter storm warning for heavy snow means severe winter weather conditions
are expected or occurring. significant amounts of snow are forecast that
will make travel dangerous. only travel in an emergency. if you must travel...
keep an extra flashlight... food...clothing and water in your vehicle in case
of an emergency. hazardous driving conditions will exist due to slick and icy roads.
if possible...carry chains.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Weather wrap





Here are some photos taken in the middle of Idyllwild this morning. It's so bright, we're all wearing sunglasses!!




The final rain totals were amazing. From Thursday, Dec. 16 through Wednesday, Dec. 22, Keenwild Ranger Station recorded 10.83 inches of rain. The average December rain is 3.39 inches, in one week, we had three times the average.

Since the beginning of the rain year (July 1, 2010), the total rain fall is 83 percent greater than the long-term average rainfall through Dec. 31.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Storm Damage

It's official more than 10 inches of rain at Keenwild.

this just in from Riverside County

County number available to report non-emergency problems related to storms

Residents in unincorporated areas of Riverside County who need to report non-emergency problems related to the recent storms may call the county Office of Emergency Services at (951) 955-4700. County staff will be available to answer the phones until 7 p.m. today (Wednesday) and from 7 a.m. to at least 5 p.m. tomorrow (Thursday).

Residents who have an emergency still should call 911 to ensure the fastest response.

Weather wet Christmas?

7:30 a.m.
I forgot to mention that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has proclaimed a state of emergency in Kern, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo and Tulare counties due to extreme weather and storm conditions.


7:10a.m.
While the National Weather Service has a winter storm warning (see below) posted for Southern California mountains, including the San Jacintos, I believe the San Bernardino Mountains to the north are the more likely target.

It's still raining here. Quite a bit in the past 30 hours. Here's the rain data:

Since midnight 2.05 inches
Tuesday 1.93 inches
Since it began Thurs 9.06 inches

December's average rainfall 3.75 inches (since 1948)
December's avg rainfall 5.17 inches (since 2006)

Two wettest Decembers
1951 14.56
1966 18.05

URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE  NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SAN DIEGO CA
416 AM PST WED DEC 22 2010

...PERIODS OF HEAVY SNOWFALL POSSIBLE IN THE MOUNTAINS THROUGH
WEDNESDAY...

.A FLOW OF MOISTURE FROM THE SOUTHWEST WILL BRING PERIODS OF
LIGHT SNOWFALL TONIGHT. FOR LATE TONIGHT AND WEDNESDAY...A
STRONGER...COLDER TROUGH OF LOW PRESSURE FROM THE NORTHWEST WILL
BRING NUMEROUS SNOW SHOWERS AND ISOLATED THUNDERSTORMS WITH HEAVY
SNOWFALL POSSIBLE ABOVE 6500 FEET.

SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY MOUNTAINS-RIVERSIDE COUNTY MOUNTAINS-
INCLUDING THE FOLLOWING LOCATIONS...BALDWIN LAKE...
BIG BEAR CITY...BIG BEAR LAKE...FAWNSKIN


...WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 6 PM PST THIS
EVENING ABOVE 6500 FEET...

A WINTER STORM WARNING ABOVE 6500 FEET REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL
6 PM PST THIS EVENING.

* ELEVATION: ABOVE 6500 FEET.

* SNOW LEVELS: 6000 TO 6500 FEET...LOWERING TO 5000 TO 5500 FEET
TODAY.

* SNOW ACCUMULATIONS: NEW SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF 10 TO 18 INCHES
ABOVE 7000 FEET AND 6 TO 10 INCHES FROM 6000 TO 7000 FEET TODAY
WITH A FEW INCHES OF SNOWFALL POSSIBLE BELOW 6000 FEET.

* TIMING: WIDESPREAD SNOWFALL THROUGH AROUND DAYBREAK ABOVE 6000
TO 6500 FEET...THEN SCATTERED SHOWERS AND ISOLATED THUNDERSTORMS
THROUGH THIS AFTERNOON.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

White Christmas??

SHORT TERM FORECAST      NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SAN DIEGO CA
945 AM PST TUE DEC 21 2010

MODERATE RAIN WILL CONTINUE THIS MORNING. LOCAL FLOODING OF LOW
LYING AREAS AND DEBRIS FLOWS WILL BE POSSIBLE NEAR THE FOOTHILLS.
THE HEAVIEST BAND OF RAIN WILL CONTINUE TO EXTEND FROM ORANGE
COUNTY...THROUGH THE NORTHERN INLAND EMPIRE...ACROSS THE SAN
BERNARDINO MOUNTAINS...AND INTO THE UPPER DESERTS. TRAVEL WILL BE
SLOW AND POSSIBLY DIFFICULT ON ALL ROADS THIS MORNING.



URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SAN DIEGO CA
418 AM PST TUE DEC 21 2010

...PERIODS OF HEAVY SNOWFALL POSSIBLE IN THE MOUNTAINS THROUGH WEDNESDAY...

.A FLOW OF MOISTURE FROM THE SOUTHWEST WILL BRING PERIODS OF LIGHT
TO LOCALLY MODERATE SNOWFALL TODAY. FOR TONIGHT AND WEDNESDAY...A
STRONGER...COLDER TROUGH OF LOW PRESSURE FROM THE NORTHWEST WILL
BRING NUMEROUS SNOW SHOWERS AND ISOLATED THUNDERSTORMS WITH HEAVY
SNOWFALL POSSIBLE ABOVE 7000 FEET.


SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY MOUNTAINS-RIVERSIDE COUNTY MOUNTAINS-
INCLUDING THE FOLLOWING LOCATIONS...BALDWIN LAKE...
BIG BEAR CITY...BIG BEAR LAKE...FAWNSKIN
418 AM PST TUE DEC 21 2010

...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 6 PM PST THIS EVENING
ABOVE 6500 FEET...
...WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 6 PM THIS EVENING TO 6 PM
PST WEDNESDAY ABOVE 6500 FEET...


* ELEVATION: ABOVE 6500 FEET.

* SNOW LEVELS: 6000 TO 6500 FEET TODAY...MAY RISE BRIEFLY THIS
EVENING...BEFORE LOWERING TO 5000 TO 5500 FEET WEDNESDAY.

* SNOW ACCUMULATIONS: 4 TO 8 INCHES ABOVE 6500 FEET TODAY. FOR
TONIGHT THROUGH WEDNESDAY...12 TO 24 INCHES ABOVE 7000 FEET WITH
4 TO 12 INCHES FROM 6000 TO 7000 FEET.

* TIMING: LIGHT TO LOCALLY MODERATE SNOWFALL TODAY. NUMEROUS SNOW
SHOWERS AND ISOLATED THUNDERSTORMS FROM LATE TONIGHT THROUGH
WEDNESDAY MORNING WITH HEAVY SNOWFALL POSSIBLE...DECREASING WEDNESDAY
AFTERNOON AND ENDING WEDNESDAY NIGHT.

* LOCATIONS INCLUDE: BALDWIN LAKE...BIG BEAR CITY...BIG BEAR
LAKE...FAWNSKIN

* WINDS: SOUTHWEST 15 TO 25 MPH WITH GUSTS TO 35 MPH TODAY. SOUTH
WINDS 20 TO 30 MPH WITH GUSTS TO 45 MPH TONIGHT...BECOMING
SOUTHWEST ON WEDNESDAY.

* VISIBILITY: AREAS OF NEAR ZERO VISIBILITY AT TIMES IN BLOWING
SNOW AND AREAS OF FOG.

* IMPACTS: A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR HEAVY SNOW MEANS SEVERE
WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. SIGNIFICANT
AMOUNTS OF SNOW ARE FORECAST THAT WILL MAKE TRAVEL DANGEROUS.
ONLY TRAVEL IN AN EMERGENCY. IF YOU MUST TRAVEL...KEEP AN EXTRA
FLASHLIGHT... FOOD...AND WATER IN YOUR VEHICLE IN CASE OF AN
EMERGENCY.

Friday, December 3, 2010

No Hill fire stations closing, Poppet Flats affected

As part of proposed $4.4 million budget savings, Riverside County Fire Chief John Hawkins has recommended closing three fire stations. While none on the Hill, several nearby stations are affected, including Poppet Flats (Station 63) to the north and Lake Riverside (Station 77) to the southwest.


The career firefighter staff at these two stations and at El Cariso (Station 51) will be withdrawn and the stations will be staffed solely with Reserve volunteer firefighters. In addition, the two pages of proposals include the closing of a 2-person paramedic squad in Anza (station 29) and adding a single paramedic firefighter to the crew of CAL FIRE engine at the station.


Hawkins recommendations which included several other shifts and reductions were forwarded to County Executive Officer Bill Luna just be Thanksgiving. Luna has placed them on the Board of supervisors’ agenda for its meeting, Tuesday, Dec. 9.


None of the other recommendations have a direct affect on the Hill. For example, closing a 3-persone paramedic engine companies in Blythe, El Cerrito, West Riverside and Oasis.


Hawkins anticipates the changes will begin on Jan. 1, 2011 and will continue through next fiscal year. In a message to his the department, Hawkins said, "I know these reductions are difficult … I do know the Board of Supervisors all dearly respect our work and what we do. they also know we have tried to save budget funds over the last several years since the economic decline started during 2008."


While nearly 80 positions might be eliminated, current vacancies through Riverside County fire Department may limited the actual number of firefighters who are released to between 20 and 30.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Tree Monument at Home







It's moved!! Many thanks to David Roy, Mimi Lamp, Nick Todd, the Johnson brothers and all others who have helped. The monument now rests in village center. Come take a gander Saturday before, during or after the Christmas Tree Lighting
Celebration!! Marshall took the photo of them setting the monument in its new site. The next one is from this morning.














This is the morning view from in front of office.

HHS Girls Volleyball

The Hemet High School Girls Volleyball team's dream journey ended last night. Fortunately, they were at home and didn't endure the ride back. But in a very close match Hemet (seeded no. 7) lost to San Diego Canyon Crest Academy (seeded no. 2). The game scores were 25-19, 25-21 and 28-26.

Hayleigh Friemoth elevates for another kill, but Canyon Crest was able to overcome Hemet's best. Even Rosie Robinson had to pick herself up. Photos by DeeAnn Bradley.


Monday, November 22, 2010

Weather this week



Cal Trans warning today at noon:

HIGHWAY

STATUS

REASON

DURATION

All chain restrictions have been lifted – but snow is expected for tomorrow Tuesday, November 23rd – you must carry chains in your vehicle if traveling to mountain areas – it’s the law…

No chain restrictions

at this time.

Until next storm.


National Weather Service Forecast (1:11 pm PST Nov 22, 2010)


Tonight: Partly cloudy, with a low around 20. West wind between 5 and 10 mph.

Tuesday: A 20 percent chance of showers after 10am. Partly sunny, with a high near 37. West wind between 10 and 15 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph.

Tuesday Night: A 40 percent chance of showers, mainly before 4am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 26. West wind between 10 and 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph.

Wednesday: A slight chance of rain showers before 10am, then a slight chance of snow showers. Mostly sunny, with a high near 38. West wind between 5 and 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

Wednesday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 21.

Thanksgiving Day: Sunny, with a high near 46.

Thursday Night: Clear, with a low around 27.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Weather Sunday Nov. 21

Below is the morning National Weather Service Short Term forecast. Rainfall yesterday, Nov. 20 was about 1.49 inches at Keenwild and nearly 3.5 inches at Vista Grande.

SHORT TERM FORECAST 
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SAN DIEGO CA 
643 AM PST SUN NOV 21 2010 
SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY MOUNTAINS-RIVERSIDE COUNTY MOUNTAINS- 
 
A COLD FRONT WILL BRING STRONG AND GUSTY WINDS AND
A PERIOD OF MODERATE TO HEAVY RAIN AND SNOW SHOWERS
THROUGH 9 AM THIS MORNING AS IT MOVES SOUTHEAST ACROSS THE AREA.
 
UP TO FOUR INCHES OF SNOW WILL BE POSSIBLE ALONG WITH WIND GUSTS TO 55 MPH.
HEAVY SNOW...BLOWING SNOW...AND DENSE FOG WILL MAKE TRAVEL HAZARDOUS.
 
THE SNOW LEVEL WILL BE NEAR 4500 FEET. EXPECT BRIEF HEAVY RAIN AT LOWER
ELEVATIONS ALONG WITH SOME PONDING OF WATER IN LOW LYING AREAS
AND ON SOME ROADS.
 
A WINTER STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT ABOVE 6000 FEET. 

Saturday, November 20, 2010

HHS Girls Volleyball Champs


(All photos by Michael Drell)

Congratulations to the Hemet High School Girls Volleyball team, they are now the California Interscholastic Federation — Southern Section Division 4 Champions! The team and coach, Jewel Robinson, hold the championship plaque. Idyllwild residents Gina Drell and Taylor Griner (first two on the left of row one) are ginning widely. Former Idyllwild residents, Rosie Robinson (black jersey row one) and Hayleigh Freimoth (right side of row two) are equally joyous.



Coach Robinson and Athletic Director Dave Anderson with the championship plaque. Although Hemet again won the match in three games, this was the closest match they have had throughout the Southern Section tournament. Scores were 25-16, 25-21 and the final game was 25-23.


Gina (above serving) and Taylor (below) preparing to serve.

Cal Trans chain advice

This is from Cal Trans.

Mountain Travel in Winter Weather

Winter weather is expected this weekend in the San Bernardino and San Jacinto mountains. That means it’s time to start carrying chains when traveling in mountain areas. The different levels of chain control are described below.

Snow chains can be purchased at discount, sporting goods, and auto parts

stores. Remember, mountain weather can change dramatically on very short notice.

CHAIN CONTROL REQUIREMENT LEVELS:

R-1: Chains are required on all commercial vehicles (trucks or buses). All other vehicles (cars, pick-ups, vans, etc.) must have either snow tread tires or chains on the drive axle.

R-2: Chains are required on all vehicles except four-wheel drives with snow tread tires. Four-wheel drive vehicles must carry chains in the vehicle.

R-3: Chains required - ALL VEHICLES - no exceptions.

Weather Nov. 20 and 21


The weather conditions are becoming foggy (see photo to right) and damp. About .19 inches of rain has fallen at Keenwild Ranger Station since 3 a.m.

The National Weather Service forecast calls for more rain and snow sunday.

URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SAN DIEGO CA 409 AM PST SAT NOV 20 2010

RIVERSIDE COUNTY MOUNTAINS- INCLUDING THE FOLLOWING LOCATIONS... PINE COVE

409 AM PST SAT NOV 20 2010 ..

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN SAN DIEGO HAS ISSUED A WINTER STORM WARNING ABOVE 6000 FEET...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 10 AM THIS MORNING TO MIDNIGHT PST SUNDAY NIGHT.

* SYNOPSIS: A LARGE STORM SYSTEM APPROACHING FROM THE NORTHWEST WILL BRING HEAVY SNOW AND WINDY CONDITIONS INTO SUNDAY NIGHT.

* ELEVATION: ABOVE 6000 FEET. * SNOW LEVELS: 7000 FEET TODAY...LOWERING TO NEAR 4500 FEET BY LATE SUNDAY.

* SNOW ACCUMULATIONS: 6 TO 12 INCHES BETWEEN 6000 FEET AND 7000 FEET WITH A FOOT OR TWO ABOVE 7000 FEET.

* TIMING: SUNDAY EVENING.

* LOCATIONS INCLUDE: PINE COVE...ANGELUS OAKS...BALDWIN LAKE... BARTON FLATS...BIG BEAR CITY...BIG BEAR LAKE...FAWNSKIN... FOREST FALLS...RUNNING SPRINGS...WRIGHTWOOD

* WINDS: SOUTHWEST TO WEST 30 TO 40 MPH WITH GUSTS TO MPH NEAR THE RIDGES.

* VISIBILITY: LESS THAN A QUARTER MILE AT TIMES IN SNOW... BLOWING SNOW AND DENSE FOG.

* IMPACTS: TRAVEL WILL BE HAZARDOUS DURING WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS. .OUTLOOK: LIGHTER SNOW SHOWERS WILL CONTINUE INTO MONDAY.

· PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR HEAVY SNOW MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOW ARE FORECAST THAT WILL MAKE TRAVEL DANGEROUS. ONLY TRAVEL IN AN EMERGENCY. IF YOU MUST TRAVEL...KEEP AN EXTRA FLASHLIGHT... FOOD...AND WATER IN YOUR VEHICLE IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY.


Hazardous Weather Outlook

HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SAN DIEGO CA 840 AM PST SAT NOV 20 2010

RIVERSIDE COUNTY MOUNTAINS-

840 AM PST SAT NOV 20 2010

THIS HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK IS FOR ALL OF EXTREME SOUTHWESTERN CALIFORNIA. .

DAY ONE...TODAY THROUGH TONIGHT A LARGE PACIFIC STORM WILL BRING WET...COOL AND WINDY WEATHER. THE HEAVIEST PRECIPITATION WILL OCCUR THIS AFTERNOON...AND THE STRONGEST WINDS WILL BE IN THE MOUNTAINS AND DESERTS THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH TONIGHT.

A WINTER STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT ABOVE 6000 FEET FOR THE SAN BERNARDINO AND RIVERSIDE COUNTY MOUNTAINS. A WIND ADVISORY IS IN EFFECT FOR ALL MOUNTAIN AND DESERT AREAS. A SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IS IN EFFECT FOR THE INNER AND OUTER WATERS.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Tree Monument

The Idyllwild Chamber of Commerce is still planning on moving David Roy's Tree Monument to the center of the village, according to Chamber Director Nick Todd. The move is scheduled for Tuesday morning, Nov. 23.
The above photos were taken during Thursday's attempt to move the Tree Monument. Photos by Marshall Smith



In the meantime, the Chamber and Roy are trying to iron some details, which explains why Roy has placed the "For Sale" sign on the art work.

Photo taken Friday, Nov. 19 by James Larkin

More to follow

Thursday, November 18, 2010

winter hours for grinding station

Idyllwild grinding facility winter hours


The Idyllwild grinding facility will be closed on Saturdays from Dec. 1, 2010 through April 30, 2011. Saturday operations will resume May 7, 2011.

Monday through Friday operations will continue uninterrupted and greenwaste will be accepted between 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information, contact Riverside County Waste Management Department at (951) 486-3200 or visit www.rivcowm.org .

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Register of Voters dismissed

Riverside County Registrar of Voters Barbara Dunmore was dismissed from her position Tuesday.

The dismissal by County Executive Officer Bill Luna came after a lengthy discussion at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting about the ballot count in last week’s general election and how the results were released.

“I appreciate Ms. Dunmore’s service but it is time for new leadership,” Luna said.

Dunmore was appointed registrar in July 2004. The Registrar of Voters is responsible for conducting all elections within the county. The office also processes state and local initiatives, referenda and recalls. Prior to her appointment as registrar, Dunmore worked for 14 years in the Riverside County Executive Office, the last two as a deputy county executive officer.

Beginning immediately, the Registrar of Voters office will be overseen by the county Executive Office, working directly with the registrar’s staff. The Registrar of Voters is a position appointed by the county executive officer.

A process to begin recruiting a new registrar of voters will commence immediately. No timetable has been set for appointing a replacement but county officials will move the process forward as quickly as possible.

RMRU rescues Tahquitz climbers in dangerous conditions



Riverside Mountain Rescue Unit (RMRU) pulled two climbers off the face of Tahquitz Rock during what Lee Arnson called “brutal conditions.” What began as a textbook rescue on a beautiful Sunday, Dec. 7 night quickly deteriorated “into a full blown technical over the side mission with weather as dangerous as it gets,” as described by Arnson.

Two 23-year-old climbers from Santa Cruz, properly clothed and equipped, began their climb in beautiful weather Sunday during the day on a moderate ascent route and got off track. They wound up stranded 80 feet from the top of the peak, near White Maiden’s Walkaway, unable to go back or forward. “They went into a bad route and got way above their climbing ability,” said Arnson. The climbers used a cell phone to call 911. RMRU mobilized at 7, and had three members in place on the top of the peak by 10 that night. Arnson described rappelling down to the stranded climbers in rain, snow, winds gusting up to 50 M.P.H. and fog beginning to set in, using the voices of the climbers to orient the descending team.

By 3:30 a.m. the climbers were off the rock and at Humber Park thanks to Lee Arnson, Les Walker, and new member Donny Goetz, himself an accomplished climber. “Les and Donny were the technical guys,” said Arnson. “It was gold.”

Manning a Humber communication base and serving as backup were RMRU
members Paul Caraher and Carlos Carter.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Hwy 243 maintenace Next week

Cal Trans is planning maintenance work on Highway 243 next week (Nov. 10 and 12). see below for the details.


Wed & Fri

Nov 10 & 12

SR-243 from Poppet Flats to Twin Pines (below Idyllwild)

Flagging

8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Drain repair






Stone to meet about property tax bills

Meetings set for residents in Supervisor Stone’s district to discuss tax bills

Residents in the Supervisor Jeff Stone's third supervisorial district will be able meet with county officials by appointment to discuss property-tax bills at two special meetings in November.

At the request of Supervisor Stone, representatives from the county Assessor-Clerk-Recorder, Clerk of the Board of Supervisors/Assessment Appeals Division and Treasurer-Tax Collector offices also will be on hand to answer questions about tax bills, valuation of assessments, applications for assessment appeals and related topics.

Appointments are limited to 15 minutes each and must be made in advance by calling (951) 955-1030. The meetings will last from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and be held:

Nov. 8 -- Supervisor Stone’s Hemet office, 43950 E. Acacia, Suite A, Hemet in the Riverside County Sheriff’s Valle Vista Station off Florida/Fairview.

Nov. 22 -- Supervisor Stone’s French Valley office at the French Valley Airport, 37600 Sky Canyon Dr., Suite A, Murrieta.

For more information, contact Supervisor Stone's office at (951) 955-1030.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Nov. 3 Highway 243 cycle collision



Around noon on Wed., Nov. 3, a motorcyclist northbound on State Highway 243 just south of the grinding station rounded a curve, crossed the yellow line and collided with the left rear tail light assembly of a southbound tandem multi-axle truck, according to California Highway Patrol officer Mike Murawski.

The bike skidded and came to rest north of the collision point near the shoulder of the northbound lane, closing traffic in both directions for nearly 30 minutes. The driver of the motorcycle, who appeared to be in his 30’s and is unidentified at the time of this writing, was airlifted from the Mountain Center helipad. The Forest Service served as incident commander since they were first on the scene, aided by Idyllwild Fire and CAL FIRE. There is no word of the motorcyclist’s condition at this time.

Murawski cited excessive speed on the part of the motorcyclist as a probable cause of the incident. Murawski acknowledged the high number of motorcycle collisions on Hill highways and noted that excessive speed by the cyclists is the primary contributing factor. “I write them tickets and it’s like a game of cat and mouse,” he said. “They know the [speed] laws. They just choose to disobey them.”

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Steele wins, PGA next

Brendan Steele, Idyllwild native, won his first and mort important Nationwide Tour tournament today. He captured the Nationwide Tour Championship at Daniel Island today in a four hole playoff with Colt Knost.

Steele was first or tied for first after each round of the tournament. He and Knost finished the fourth round tied at 275, 13 under par for 72 holes. It took another four holes before Steele could claim sole possession of the championship.

This victory and its purse jumped into the sixth highest money winner on the 2010 Nationwide Tour. The Top 25 winners earn the opportunity to compete in the Professional Golfers Association Tour in 2011.

Congrats, Brendan.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Brendan Steele run for the championship

Well, former Idyllwild native Brendan Steele is making quite a charge at becoming one of the newest members of the Professional Golf Tour.

For the past several years, Steele has been on the Nationwide Tour which is preparation for the PGA Tour. Each year, the top 25 money winners form the Nationwide Tour advance to the PGA. With one tournament left, Steele was number 30 on the Nationwide Tour's money leaders.

But this week, at the final Nationwide Tour of 2010 in Charleston, SC. Steele has lead the tourney from start through today. For 54 holes he has been number one.

Steele began today tied with two others for first place, but his seven under par performance was the best result of everyone today. He is now five strokes ahead of his challenger.

The Tour Championship at Daniel Island concludes tomorrow.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Steele Still Tied for Lead After Round Two

In his final tournament of the year on the Nationwide Tour and his final opportunity to break into “The 25” players who will qualify for the PGA Tour next year, Brendan Steele now is tied for the lead after the second of four rounds.


At the Daniel Island Club in Ralston, Charleston, South Carolina, he posted an early birdy, but later struggled with back-to-back bogies before closing his second round with a pair of birdies for a one-under-par 71.

To secure a position in The 25, Steele likely will need at least a top-ten finish—perhaps more likely a top-five—in this week’s $1,000,000 Nationwide Tour Championship, where the winner’s share is $180,000.

Steele tees off in the third round tomorrow, Saturday, at 9:25 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time. His exploits may be followed on the Golf Channel from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. PDT. (with a recap from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.) and online at http://www.pgatour.com/leaderboards/current/h045/.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Brendan Steele in Charleston

This just in from our golf correspondent, Jack Clark, somewhere in the mid-West.

Steele Tied for Lead After Round One

In his final tournament of the year on the Nationwide Tour and his final opportunity to break into “The 25” players who will qualify for the PGA Tour next year, Brendan Steele is tied for the lead after the first of four rounds.


At the Daniel Island Club in Ralston, Charleston, South Carolina, he opened today with a bogey-free, six-under-par 66.

Steele tees off in the second round tomorrow, Friday, at 9:20 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time. His exploits may be followed on the Golf Channel from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. PDT. (with a recap from 6:30 p.m. to 8:20 p.m.) and online at http://www.pgatour.com/leaderboards/current/h045/.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Rainfall Tuesday Oct. 19

As of 9:30 p.m., last night, Tuesday, oct. 19, the national Weather Service is reporting the following amounts of rainfall:

MT. SAN JACINTO 0.83
PINE COVE 0.93
IDYLLWILD 0.67
PINYON PINES 0.88
ANZA 1.17

Since 8:20 a.m. yesterday, Keenwild has recorded
nearly .75 inches, for a total of 1.9 inches
since July 1.
Since 1948, the average rainfall
between July 1 and Oct. 31is nearly 3.46 inches.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Suicide Fire

The Forest Service reported the Suicide Fire early this afternoon. It was spot fire — a single tree and about 400 square feet. Then the afternoon rains came.



Bob and Kathy Haine sent this photo of it. They were on Tahquitz View near High Castle. Center right you can see the smoke.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Hemet Hospital staff vigil

Midnight, Wednesday, Oct. 13, Physicians for Healthy Hospitals (PHH) finally closed its deal to purchase Valley Health Systems (the local public hospital district) on Wednesday. The physicians’ first action was to let several dozen employees go. So far at total of 14 registered nurses have been asked to leave and more than 40 other employees.


“Today marks the beginning of a new era in quality healthcare for our communities and area residents,” said Dr. Alex Denes, spokesman for PHH, in a press release. “We will honor voters’ confidence in PHH by rebuilding our hospitals into centers of medical excellence, with an emphasis on quality patient care.”


Thursday night a vigil for the dismissed staff was held outside the hospital. At the corner of San Jacinto and Devonshire streets, cars, vans and trucks blared their horns in support of the former hospital staff. The noise made conversation difficult.


“Ninety-six percent of VHS’ approximately 1350 employees were rehired as PHH employees. Those not hired represent departments across both hospitals and include staff and management, union and non-union members,” said Jerri Randrup, the VHS vice president for communication and marketing. “Some were caregivers. The law requires that we maintain specific staffing ratios between patients and caregivers.”


At least seven emergency room (ER) nurses and several from the regular night shift were part of the group the physicians chose not to employee, according to John Stead-Mendez, labor representative for California Nurses Association. Lawanda Turner has more than 20 years working in emergency and critical care nursing. VHS paid her a bonus to join their staff.


But many more, Jessica Lopez and Helen Ostott had been with VHS for decades. Lela Valencia had been 15-year registered nurse in the ER. Rose, a resource secretary for the ER, had been with VHS for years.


“It’s a travesty. People should be concerned,” Stead-Mendez said. “There will be drastic understaffing in the ER. A year ago, PHH said they wanted to keep the ER in the community. Who will hold them to their commitment? This seems politically motivated.”


Current VHS Vice President for Communications Jerri Randrup did not respond to questions about the criteria for the doctors’ decision to not hire these employees. None had been told they were underperforming. Many of the employees felt it was retaliation for their involvement in employee organizations.


“I checked the hire dates and there has not been a nurse hired into ER since August despite the fact that there have been positions posted there for some time. So it is simply disingenuous to claim as, Jerri Randrup did, that ‘We've continued to fill vacancies as they've occurred.’ In fact, they have not filled vacancies in ER for months and they just created [seven] more vacancies there,” Stead-Mendez said in an email.


“I’ll fight the battle 24/7 now,” Turner said, angry about how the nursing staff has been treated. “I’ll protect the workers.”


While she was not concerned about a new job for herself, she worried about her co-workers and patients. “The quality of care isn’t what is should be,” she stressed.


While ER nurses were being asked to leave, many remember that the hospital apparently was still trying to fill its ER staffing.


Lopez, a respiratory therapist, has more than 30 years experience. She now has to find new employment. She cares for grandson Elijah, who is now worried about where Grandma will work.


“I could lose my home, I have no savings,” Sharon Robinson, an oncology nurse, lamented. She was hired only 90 days ago, although she has more than 20 years nursing experience. While some nurses already have potential new jobs, many are still looking and worried. Despite state mandates for minimal nurse to patient ratios, the market for nurses has been weak according to many.


While many will have problems until new jobs are found, most still expressed concern about patient care. “We assumed they would be adding staff for winter,” Turner said.


When PHH initially engaged the district in selling the hospitals, one of the main arguments was the doctors lived here and wanted to protect the community. One nurse lives only two blocks from the hospital. Nurses are in high demand and she already has potential leads, but now she will work outside of the community.


In an interview a year ago, (October 2009), Dr. Alex Denes, one of the PHH founders and spokesman, said “We want to provide as much [medical] service as the communities need. We need to re-establish trust in these hospitals.


During the interview, Denes said PHH”s data suggested that almost 50 percent of patients from the Hemet area and close to 80 percent from the Menifee Valley service area seek medical care outside this hospital district.


“Keeping patients and getting them to return to this healthcare system will be a high priority for PHH” Denes added. “Look at emergency room utilization. We’ll need to make it more appropriate. This is not a ‘quality of care’ issue, it’s about the enormous wait. Sometime people have to sit six to seven hours wait for help. No one, not even the doctors like this.”


Most were informed early Tuesday morning as they came for their shift. Apparently VHS officials were concerned about employee reactions to the dismissals and asked Hemet Police to safeguard the hospital. Several police squad cars were seen parked outside the hospital Tuesday morning.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Deputies arrest Pine Cove woman on charges of elder financial abuse and fraud


At around 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 13, Riverside County Sheriff's Department deputies, under direction of Special Investigations Supervisor Sgt. Steven Mike, arrested Pine Cove resident Teri Danette Blackburn, age 50, in the 24700 block of Marion Ridge Road in Pine Cove for suspected felony financial abuse of an elder and felony making false statements with the intent to defraud. Deputies had served a search warrant on the residence at about 11:30 a.m. Deputies removed boxes of files from Blackburn's residence (see photo). The arrest was the result of a departmental investigation that began in Aug. 2010. Hemet Station was alerted by the executer of a deceased Winchester woman's estate that numberous charges were made to pay bills of a former caregiver. The charges began in August of 2009 and continued through July of 2010.

According to Mike, Blackburn had served as caregiver for the deceased Winchester resident from Oct. 2008 until Nov. 2009 when she resigned. According to bank records, the charges began in August of 2009 and continued through July 2010 totaling over $36,000. The Winchester woman for whom Blackburn had cared died in March 2010. The investigation also revealed Blackburn opened two separate life insurance policies in the victim's name, deducting the premiums from the victim's accounts. Unbeknownst to Blackburn, the policies were opened after the victim had died.

If convicted, Blackburn could face fines and prison time of up to four years.

Blackburn was incarcerated at Larry D. Smith Correctional Facility in Banning and released on Oct. 14 on $25,000 bail, pending a court date on Friday, Dec. 12 at Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Power outage

A power outage has occurred this morning at 8:50 a.m.

Southern California Edison reports that about 1,086 customers from Pine Cove to Allendale are without electricity this morning.Crews are already on the scene.

The cause is still being investigated; but it is not caused by the Smart Meter installations. SCE does not have an estimate of when the power will return to the area, although one customer has reported the return of her electricity.

The exact boundaries are south of Round Robin Drive, west of Foster lake Road, north of Sunrise Drive and east of Deer Path Road.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Hwys 74 & 371

Don't forget, starting Thursday, traffic between Idyllwild and Palm Desert —

State Routes 74 and 371

Project to Construct Left-Turn Lanes Begins

Riverside County– Hazard Construction Company has been awarded a $406.5 thousand contract to construct left-hand turn pockets and improve the intersection at SR-74 and SR-371

in Anza, CA.

Beginning Thursday, September 30th, crews will work Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the 8-week construction project. One-way traffic control will be in effect through the construction site. Minimal delays are anticipated. Allow extra time for your commute.

Thank you for your patience. For information relating to this and other District 8 projects

visit the web site at caltrans8.info or call (909) 383-4631.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Election blog

Our newest blog "Election 2010 — The Hill" is now available. By tomorrow, we will have the links from our home page connected to the political pages. come and visit. Lots to peruse and not just previously published articles.

Also go the blog and offer some thoughts about Election Day November 2!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Authorities seek Lake Fulmor skull ID

Riverside County Sheriff's Department Homicide unit is seeking information about the identity of a man whose skull was found just off Highway 243 about two miles east of Lake Fulmor on May 18, 2010.

Homicide detectives released a composite sketch of the man based on the bone structure of the skull. He is believed to be Caucasian between 20 and 40 years old at the time of death. Detectives, who are treating the case as a homicide, estimate the skull had been at the Lake Fulmor area site for some time. No additional skeletal remains were found, just the skull. Because of the skull's condition, it can't be tested for DNA.

At the time of discovery in May, detectives searched outstanding missing persons reports but found no match or leads.

Homicide is hoping that by publishing the composite sketch and calling attentiion to the case and location where the skull was found, people might come forward with information that could lead to identifying the individual.

Authorities are asking anyone with information to call Investigator Rick Simms at (760) 393-3524 or the Sheriff's homicide tipline website at www.riversidesheriff.org/tipline.

Traffic restrictions Hwys 74 & 371

Road construction on Highway 74 at the intersection with Highway 371 will impede traffic beginning next week and continuing for about eight weeks.


Beginning Thursday, Sept. 30, Cal Trans will be adding a left turn lane from Hwy. 74 to Hwy 371 in the west bound lane (coming from Palm Desert) and pavement improvement.


From 7 a.m. until 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, traffic will be restricted to one way with a flagger.


The $400,000 project is estimated to take about eight weeks, according to Shelli Lombard, Cal Trans.