Category archives for: Country Living

Low humidity, wind prompt another fire weather watch Thursday night to Friday night

Low humidity and strong gusty northeast-to-east winds will prompt the National Weather Service to issue a fire weather watch for the inland valleys and mountains of San Diego County Thursday night to Friday night, meteorologists said.
“Surface high pressure moving into the Great Basin will bring areas of strong gusty northeast to east winds late Thursday night and Friday, especially through and below passes and canyons,” according a NWS advisory. “These winds will combine with very low humidity to bring elevated fire weather conditions for the mountains and inland valleys.’’
The agency said sustained winds of 15 to 25 miles per hour and gusts of 35 to 45 mph were likely from Thursday night to Friday night.
The daytime humidity on Thursday is expected to be around 8 to 15 percent, with poor overnight improvement, according to the weather service.

Ramona Calendar of Events

KIWANIS OF RAMONA, 7 to 8:30 a.m., Ramona Valley Grill, 344 Main St. More: 760-440-3000.

WEIGHT WATCHERS, Ramona Woman’s Club, 524 Main St., 8 a.m.

TOM STEPHAN’S RAMONA HAWK WATCH, 9 a.m., meet at Highland Valley Road and Highland Valley Court. Bring binoculars, water, sunscreen. More: 760-445-2023.

Wildlife center’s African lion dies

Samson Lion Enrichment Time

Wednesday, Jan. 15—Samson, an African lion and long-term resident at The Fund for Animals Wildlife Center in Ramona died today due to declining health.
He came to the wildlife center as a 3-month-old in 2001 after being rescued from the exotic pet trade and an unlicensed owner who hoped to use the kitten as a profit-making prop, according to a statement from the center. Despite his physical deformities, likely a result of improper breeding, Samson enjoyed rolling on pine trees, roaring into a barrel to hear his own echo and supervising his domain from atop a platform, the center reported.
“This brave lion overcame many obstacles and received extra special care from the staff and volunteers to ensure he was enjoying life to the fullest,” said Ali Crumpacker, director of the Fund for Animals Wildlife Center. “In recent weeks, Samson’s health declined and with his long-time caregivers at his side, he slid into a peaceful place where we can only hope he is finally able to run free across the savannah of the sky.”
A spokesperson for the center said the world African lion population is estimated between 23,000 to 39,000 and there has been a suspected population decline of nearly 50 percent over 22 years. The Humane Society of the United States, its global arm Humane Society International and the Fund for Animals are working to list the African lion as an endangered species under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.

Flu contributes to six deaths last week, health agency reports


Six people died of influenza-related causes in the San Diego region last week, bringing the total for flu season to seven, the county Health and Human Services Agency announced today.

Each of the victims tested positive for the pandemic H1N1 strain of influenza and only one of them is known to have had a recent flu shot. They ranged in age from 35 to 80 years old, and all had underlying medical conditions, the agency reported.

Wind, low humidity contribute to red flag warning

RED flag.WEBfeature.images-2

Warm, dry conditions coupled with gusty Santa Ana winds raised the threat of wildfire in the inland valleys and mountains of San Diego County today, meteorologists said.

The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning for the inland valleys and mountains until 6 p.m. Wednesday, saying sustained winds of 20 to 30 miles per hour and gusts up to 60 mph were likely. A red flag warning is the agency’s most serious fire-related warning.

County plans workshop on possible changes to winery ordinance


Update, Monday, Jan. 13—Those interested in attending a county workshop Friday to discuss possible changes to the tiered winery ordinance have until Jan. 15. to RSVP to Planning and Development Services (PDS).

Joe Farace with PDS said the deadline was extended and the workshop is open to the public. The workshop will begin at 10 a.m. in the public hearing chambers at the San Diego County Operations Center, 5520 Overland Ave., San Diego. To RSVP, call Farace at 858-694-3690 or email

Hawk Watch founder keeps tradition alive


Ramona naturalist Thomas Stephan, who started Ramona’s Hawk Watch as Raptor Watch in the early 1990s, wants to keep the annual tradition alive, albeit in a more informal way.

Several years after Raptor Watch began, Dave Bittner assimilated it into his Wildlife Research Institute program and called it Hawk Watch. The free program, held on Saturday mornings each January and February, attracted hundreds of visitors a session.

Transportation services in Ramona


Several transportation services are available in Ramona. North County Transit District (NCTD) and Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) offer scheduled routes from the Ramona Station at Main and Day streets by the Kmart shopping center. Other options listed provide service to and from the home but require reservations.

Manes & Trails: The California Mission Ride

Joe Solazzo &  Domenico Sumonte cmr2 use-1.WEB

It took more than two years to complete. The logistics and planning took quite a bit of time. The northern leg covered about 450 miles. The southern leg covered another 450 miles, give or take.

The reality of riders on horseback making an estimated 900-mile journey through California was a huge undertaking and may even sound like something done in the distant past, but they finished here in San Diego just weeks ago.

Santa arrives for Ramona Christmas Tree Lighting


Santa, with Ramona Chamber of Commerce Director Bob Krysak dressed in his top hat and traditional Dickens of a Christmas outfit, encourages early arrivals to give a hearty “Ho! Ho! Ho!” to mark the chamber’s lighting of the Ramona Christmas Tree in Collier Park just after 5:30 p.m. Saturday. An estimated 150 people arrived for a chance to share their Christmas wishes and have their photo taken with Santa Claus. The chamber rescheduled a scaled-down version of the event originally scheduled for last week, when wind and rain forced the cancellation of the 21st annual celebration. The tree will be lighted every night through New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31.