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Stories written by unestidstwern

Bluegrass fever ‘is spreading like crazy’

   Ramona’s first Bluegrass & Old West Festival is shaping up to be a humdinger, event co-chair Rob Lewallen said.
   The two-day event will be from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, May
8, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday in the Ramona Outdoor Community
Center at 421 Aqua Lane.
   “We are going to have some absolutely tremendous talent this
weekend,” said Lewallen. “And don’t forget that this is not going to be
just a bluegrass festival.”
   In addition to 19 hours of bluegrass music on the main stage will be
the “Tween Sets” stage, where cowboy poetry, a history of chaps by
Captain Jim Cooper, The Leatherman, historic storytelling, and Cowboy
Balladeer Tom Hiatt with his sidekick Bruce Huntington on standup bass
are among short acts scheduled. Non-stop music by bluegrass bands will
be in 50-minute sets on the main stage.

Congressman’s statement about deporting children of illegals stirs debate

   U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter’s statement in support of deporting U.S.-born
children of parents in the country illegally is attracting a great deal
of attention, including on the Sean Hannity radio show on Monday.
   Hunter’s comment was in response to a question posed by Dave
Patterson of Ramona during a tea party meeting in Ramona on April 24.
   “Would you support deportation of natural-born American citizens that
are the children of illegal aliens?” Patterson asked.
   “I would have to, yes,” the Republican congressman responded. “And
let me tell you why. You can look and say, ‘You’re a mean guy, that’s a
mean thing to do, that’s not a humanitarian thing to do.’ We simply
cannot afford what we’re doing right now. We just can’t afford it.”
   Patterson posted a video of his question and Hunter’s answer on

RHS Interact is making a difference

   Cynthia Salow and Paula Payne got to kiss a goat recently, compliments of the Interact Club at Ramona High School.
   Interact students held a Kiss A Goat Fundraiser at the school to
benefit Heifer International. For two weeks, participating RHS staff
collected donations to see who could raise the most money. Staff
members raising the most and the least money were to kiss a goat.

Archie Moore’s legacy may return to Ramona

   Eleven days after a new Mt. Woodson Elementary School opened its
doors on Archie Moore Road in 1989, the road’s namesake visited with
the students.
   Sept. 15, 1989, was Archie Moore Day in Ramona. County and school
officials joined the boxing legend and the schoolchildren to celebrate
the paving of Archie Moore Road between state Route 67 and Highland
Valley Road just two days before the school opened.
   Then District 2 Supervisor George Bailey hosted Moore’s visit,
telling the children about Moore, the former light heavyweight world
boxing champion with a still-standing record of 145 knockouts.

Sponsors needed for Bluegrass & Old West Fest

   A two-day event with an eye toward developing Ramona’s reputation as
a music town and at the same time generating a buzz about the 2010
Ramona Rodeo will be at the Ramona Outdoor Community Center (ROCC) on
May 8 and 9.
   Ramona Bluegrass & Old West Festival promises
“one heck of a show” with great music and a range of other activities
such as antique tractors, cowboy poetry, chicken bingo, Ramona history,
a history of chaps, food, drink and spontaneous jam sessions.
“The bluegrass groups that are coming are fantastic and we’ll be having
overnight camping and lots of other activities,” said Rob Lewallen,
Ramona musician and event co-chair with Chris Anderson of Ramona.
Among musicians at the festival will be Bluegrass Etc., Lonesome Otis,
Bluecreek Band, Taildraggers, Celia Lawley & Harmony Hill,
Shirthouse Bluegrass Band, Bluegrass Brethren, Windy Ridge, Full Deck
and Westwind.
   Celia  Lawley’s “Meet the Fiddle” workshop is slated for Sunday, May 9.

Residents ready for clean-up Saturday

   Whether it’s young Cub Scouts or seasoned Rotarians, Ramona
residents will be busy with community clean-up projects on Saturday
   Most of the work will be along the Santa Maria Greenway as part of
the Creek Bed Clean-up under the umbrella of I Love A Clean San Diego’s
Creek to Bay Cleanup. One group of volunteers will start the creek
clean-up at the Ramona Trails Association (RTA) staging area in Ramona
Community Park off Aqua Lane and another will start at the Ramona
Disposal Transfer Station at 324 Maple St.
   Volunteers are needed at both locations. Those starting at the RTA
staging area may call Ingrid Tighe at 760-789-8709. They will work from
8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., with a plan of action/safety meeting starting
at 8:30 a.m. Pickup trucks to haul items from the creek to the dumpster
at the staging area are needed.
   Those starting on Maple Street may contact Ramona High School senior
Bailey Kotas at 760-419-5410 or They will work from 9
a.m. to noon.
The first 20 people to arrive at Kotas’ start-up point will receive a free recycled water bottle.

Registered sex offender back in prison

   A registered sex offender who violated a condition of his parole was
arrested by officers from the sheriff’s Ramona Substation last week,
and on Monday he was transferred from county jail to state prison, said
sheriff’s Lt. Duncan Fraser.
   James Maurer, 47, was arrested April 13 at the Highland Valley
Christmas Tree Farm at 18425 Highland Valley Road,  where he was living
in a cottage, after a sheriff’s deputy and a state parole official
learned he was using computers and had a Facebook page. One of the
conditions of Maurer’s parole was that he not have computers or have
access to computers, said sheriff’s Detective Barbara Crozier in
Ramona, adding that the officers confiscated three computers he had
been using.
   When sheriff’s officials had checked on Maurer earlier in the year,
he was complying with conditions of his parole, said Crozier.

School bus drivers to have their day

   Ramona Unified School District school bus drivers will have a
special day on Tuesday, April 27, if district administrators,
transportation staff and others in the district have anything to say
about it.
   The fourth Tuesday in April is School Bus Driver Appreciation Day in
California and “we want Ramona to know you are the best — most awesome
and deserving of recognition and appreciation,” reads a release from
the district.
   Ramona’s public schools have about 35 school bus drivers, said Merit
Whitney, the district’s transportation supervisor, who is helping
coordinate  the day’s events.
Cynthia Salow, secretary for Ramona High School Principal Tony Newman,
is scheduled to arrive with coffee and bagels before the drivers leave
for their morning routes, and a brunch is planned at the transportation
office about 9 a.m., said Whitney.

Sheriff Department exhausts search for missing man

After two intense examinations of the Lake Sutherland area where a
missing Ramona man’s car was found last month, officials have exhausted
their search unless there are new developments, Lt. Duncan Fraser with
the sheriff’s Ramona Substation said on Monday.
   William Kelly Buntain, 48, has been missing since the early
afternoon of March 22, when he left his home, telling his wife he was
going to get some bottled water. On March 27, hikers scouting for a
turkey hunting area found his car stuck on the riverbed in a remote
area about two miles southeast of the Lake Sutherland boat launch, and
a full-scale search of the area by sheriff’s officials and volunteers
followed for nearly a week.

Search expanded this week for missing Ramona man

   Sheriff’s officials and  volunteers conducted a second full-scale 
search this week for a Ramona man reported missing on March 23. Drones
from RP Flight Systems joined sheriff’s search and rescue volunteers in
an expanded search of the Lake Sutherland area, where the missing man’s
car was found, but he was not located in what sheriff’s Lt. Duncan
Fraser said is now a recovery operation.
   William Kelly Buntain, 48, left his home March 22, telling his wife
he was going to get some bottled water. His wife reported him missing
the next morning. On March 27, hikers scouting for a turkey hunting
area found his car in a remote area about two miles southeast of the
Lake Sutherland boat launch, said Fraser with the sheriff’s Ramona
Substation. An extensive search of the area occurred in the days
following, with dogs, mounted patrol, ASTREA helicopters and divers