Dec

19

It is with great sadness and a very heavy heart that I must let everyone know that our beloved Stitch passed away this morning after a brief illness.

Stitch was the Pine Cove Water District mascot and was loved my many.  He attended all water district meetings as well as many other meetings around Idyllwild.  Many of you will remember Stitch as the dog who rode around in the water district truck with Jerry.  He appeared in many of the Pine Cove Water District newspaper ads as well as in our newsletters and here on the blog and website.  Many politicians would envy all the publicity and popularity that Stitch garnered.

He loved riding all around Pine Cove and Idyllwild in the truck and hanging out with his buddy Jerry.  Sometimes if he didn’t think he got to ride around enough, he would refuse to get out of the truck upon his return to the water district office.   He would patiently sit in the truck and wait until Jerry was ready to roll again.  No amount of coaxing  could entice him to leave his seat.

Stitch was initially born and raised in Idyllwild, but for the past several years, he resided with his family, Art and Kirsten Torres, down in Hemet.  However, he visited Pine Cove often, as his home away from home was with Jerry and Katie Holldber.

It was always a treat when Stitch would arrive at the office.    He would hop out of the truck, come into the office,  push open the swinging gate and come back and greet Becky and Vicki.   Of course he was always greeted with open arms, a hug, some pets on the head and of course, some treats.  He would lounge about the office, greet customers and guests and patiently wait for his next ride.  He even had his own Category here on the blog!

If you wish to express your sympathy to either the Torres family or the Holldber family, please leave a comment here on the blog and we will pass your messages on to them.

Stitch was a one of a kind dog and he will be greatly missed.  Rest in peace buddy.  You had a great doggie life and you will live on in our hearts forever!

Dec

15

Pine Cove received 1.51″ of rain last week, and 1/4″ of snow.  We are expecting to get a little of the next storm that’s coming in! As we always like to remind you, now is the time to shut off your water, if you haven’t already done so!  snow scene

Dec

4

We have received 3.27 inches of rain in the month of December!!  What a great start for Winter!!

We had quite the thunder storm last night……rolling thunder….the sky was lighting up and the rain was coming down!  The temps are too high for snow, but we can keep hoping!

Bills are in the mail today, and they will be due on 12/29, instead of 12/25.

Drive safe out there today!Morning Fog

Dec

1

We hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving…..filled with lots of love, family, and food!

If you’ve been following the news at all, you know that we have a winter storm coming!  Let’s hope that it hits our mountain village!

We are reading meters today and tomorrow, and will have the bills in the mail, no later than Thursday.  The bill is due on December 25th, but because of the holiday, the bill will be due on 12/29/14.  We want to remind everyone that it is time to shut off your water, if you have not already done so.  If you need us to shut it off for you, at your customer valve, please give Becky a call at 951-659-2675, and she will schedule it to be done. There is a $15.00 service call fee to have us do this. rain06

Nov

25

Thanksgiving-BottlecapPine Cove Water Districts wants to wish all of our customers a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday. Please drive safe, and enjoy the time your spending with family and friends.

Nov

21

Hello Readers.  I just wanted to let you know that I am still on a blogging hiatus for a few more months.  Due to health issues, I will be off until February 1st, 2015.  Even though I won’t be posting any new articles for a while, all the present information will remain up and on the blog.  I look forward to getting well and returning to my duties here at the water district.

Don’t forget you can go to the water district website at pcwd.org for information as well.

Happy Holidays!  Vicki

Jun

11

Sunday and Monday brought some heat to the hill, but as of yesterday, it has cooled off beautifully!  Day time temps are in the high 60’s or low 70’s and night time temps are in the 50’s.  This is the most pleasant of weather.  Sleeping is wonderful as well with the cooler evenings.  No need for fans or air conditioners up here folks!   It doesn’t get better than this here in Pine Cove.  Now if we would get some rain, all would be perfect with the world.

Summer Sun

Jun

11

Here at the Pine Cove Water District, we send out water bills every other month on the even months.  So June is a billing month.  Bills were mailed on June 2nd and are due on June 25th.  If you have not received your bill, you can give us a call at 951-659-2675 and we can tell you that amount that is due.

We accept cash, checks and Visa, MasterCard or Discover cards.  We can take a credit card payment over the phone or at the counter and there is a $2.50 fee that is charged by the company that processes the payments for us.  You can also pay us through your online banking if that is how you prefer to pay your bills.

If you are a renter you can always call us and find out what the amount due is.  All water bills are kept in the homeowners name and it is up to the landlord and tenant to make arrangements on how the water bills are handled.

We greatly appreciate you paying your bill in a timely manner and paying on time prevents a late fee of $15 from being added to your bill.

 

worried-about-a-bill-clip-art

 

Jun

5

In an effort to reduce water usage out of doors, but still be able to garden, one option is a self watering container.  They are an excellent choice because the water is contained under the plant and therefore does not evaporate and is available to the plant 24/7, which makes over or under watering impossible.  As long as the water reserve has water in it, the plant takes what it needs when it needs us and pretty much cuts the human out of the equation all together.  Which brings me to my next point.  Self watering containers free up your time.  Instead of being a slave to watering the garden, you just make sure the containers are kept full and that is all you have to do.  While you can use a drip or soaker system on a timer, these methods take more effort to install and the squirrels love to reek havoc on drip system parts.  Luckily, they cannot do much damage to a self watering container.

So if these self watering containers are so fabulous, why isn’t everyone using them?  Well, price is a big obstacle.  They are fairly expense when compared to other types of containers of a similar size.  Plus, what if you want to make a raised bed veggie garden for instance?  The amount of containers you would have to buy would be extensive.  So what is the solution?

A self watering raised be garden of course.  I found this video over at mylittlehomestead.com, where they show how they made a self watering raised bed garden using a 55 gallon drum cut in half.  Genius!  Why didn’t I think of that?  Here is the video.
 

I think this is a fabulous way to have your cake and eat it too. All the benefits of a raised bed garden combined with the benefits of a self watering container. What could be better? If you try this in your garden, let us know! Send us pictures or video and we will post it here on the blog. Also if you discover how to make any improvements to this design, let us know. I will be trying this in my own garden. I think it would be great.

Jun

3

The June bills have been mailed and the Stage One water conservation rates will be in effect.  What does this mean for you?  Not much.  Since we use a tiered rate system, the rates in Stage One do not increase until the 18,000 to 24,000 gallon level.  Most customers will not see an increase in their bill unless they use a large amount of water, so most customers will not notice the increase.  If you use less than 18,000 gallons each billing period, your rates will not increase.

Remember, Stage One is voluntary compliance.  We are asking you to conserve water whenever possible.  By conserving water voluntarily now, that means there will be more water later and conserving now could possibly mean that moving into Stage 2 could be delayed or possibly avoided altogether.  Our goal here at the Pine Cove Water District is to be sure that there is always an adequate amount of water for everyone.  If we work together, we can get through these tough water times.

We have water saving kits available here in the office, free to all Pine Cove water customers.  Just stop in and ask for yours today.  Our office is located at 24917 Marion Ridge Road here in Pine Cove.  We are right next to the fire station.  Our blog and website also offer many excellent tips and suggestions for saving water indoors as well as outdoors.  So we hope you will comply and voluntarily conserve water.

water-droplet-th

May

28

Last week we had quite the wild weather!  The thunder and lightening storm on Thursday afternoon was pretty intense.  The thunder was so close and so loud it sounded like it was sitting right on top of Pine Cove.  The hail was a surprise as well.  I actually saw the snow plow go by my house!  You just never know what is going to happen here on the mountain.  While all moisture is welcome, that was a bit much for the end of May.

This week the forecast is for something much calmer luckily.

Detailed Forecast

  • Today Mostly sunny, with a high near 73. Southwest wind 5 to 10 mph.
  • Tonight Partly cloudy, with a low around 55. Northwest wind 5 to 10 mph.
  • Thursday Sunny, with a high near 72. North wind 5 to 10 mph becoming southwest in the afternoon.
  • Thursday Night Mostly clear, with a low around 56. West wind around 5 mph becoming north after midnight.
  • Friday Sunny, with a high near 73. West wind 5 to 10 mph.
  • Friday Night Mostly clear, with a low around 53.
  • Saturday Sunny, with a high near 68.
  • Saturday Night Mostly clear, with a low around 46.
  • Sunday Sunny, with a high near 64.
  • Sunday Night Mostly clear, with a low around 50.
  • Monday Sunny, with a high near 69.
  • Monday Night Mostly clear, with a low around 52.
  • Tuesday Sunny, with a high near 69.

As we move into the summer season, please be mindful of the extreme fire danger that is ever present.  Over Memorial Day weekend, one of our board members spotted 3 different visitors to the hill, flicking cigarette butts out of their car windows.  It will only take one to light a forest fire.  Please remind all your guests who visit you here on the hill, to be mindful as well.  And be sure to do your fire abatement around your mountain home and property.  It is important that everyone comply with this because if you don’t, you can put not only yourself in danger, but your neighbors and the whole hill as well.

 

0808-0710-1617-3417

 

 

May

28

I have completed the CERT training that was held at the Nature Center on May 16th, 17th and 18th.  It was an intense, 20 hour course on emergency preparedness.  They cover a lot of information in 20 hours and at the very least, you will learn how to take care of yourself and your family after a disaster.   Some people will go on to form teams and help their community after a disaster.  The main focus is on being prepared and keeping yourself and your family safe as well as how to help others in a safe way.  We learned what is safe for us to do and what is not.  CERT team members cannot do the same things that trained fire fighters or paramedics can do, however, they are an important link between those who need assistance and the professionals.

Any adult can take CERT training classes regardless of their physical abilities.  After a disaster there are many jobs to be done and there is something for everyone to do.  Perhaps you can’t perform physical rescues, but you could do paper work.  CERT is not just about running into buildings and saving people or putting out fires.  While those things are important, there are many other tasks that need done as well. Volunteers trained in CERT also offer a potential workforce for performing duties such as shelter support, crowd control and evacuation. The role of a CERT volunteer is to help themselves and to help others until trained emergency personnel arrive.

And even if all you learn is how to take care of yourself and your family, that is a huge help after a disaster because it means you are part of the solution and not part of the problem.  By being prepared and taking care of yourself and your family, you are freeing up resources that can be used elsewhere.  After a disaster, there will be so much need that emergency services will be stretched to their limits and here on the hill, we will be one of the last areas to receive help because there will be so much need off the hill.   I believe the ratio quoted to us was one emergency services person for every 1500 people.

So, as you can see, it will be rough getting help after a disaster.  It is best to be prepared to fend for yourself for several days, if not a week or more.  Learn what to do and how to prepare now.  Be part of the solution, not part of the problem.  Next time there is a CERT training class, sign up and go.  It is free of charge and you will take away tons of helpful information.  An investment of one weekend, could save you or someone you love’s life.

Here is a link to their websites so you can read all about CERT, the training and what it’s purpose is.

www.riversideca.gov/readyriverside/cert/

rivcocert.webs.com/

May

14

Hold on to your hats!  We are under a high wind warning until 4 p.m. this afternoon.  There is also a red flag warning until 8 p.m. tonight.

* WINDS…AREAS OF EAST WINDS 25 TO 35 MPH…WITH GUSTS UP TO 65
MPH. ISOLATED GUSTS UP TO 85 MPH ON WIND PRONE SLOPES.

WIND…AREAS OF EAST TO NORTHEAST WINDS 25 TO 35 MPH…WITH
GUSTS TO 65 MPH. ISOLATED GUSTS TO 85 MPH. WINDS STRONGEST ALONG
THE COASTAL MOUNTAIN SLOPES AND IN THE INLAND VALLEYS.

Hopefully, there will be no ill effects from all this wind.  Batten down your hatches and hope for the best!

Windy

May

13

We have a couple of great events going on this weekend.  First is the 24th annual Idyllwild Earth Fair.  Normally, the Pine Cove Water District would have a presence at the fair, but due to another event, which is also scheduled for this weekend, we had to bow out this year.  But we will be there next year to help them celebrate 25 years of earth fairs.

The fair will take place on Saturday, May 17, 2014, and runs from 11 am until 5 pm.  As always, admission is free.  So stop on by and support everyone who is participating and who give up their time to organize and run the fair.  For more information, you can go to their website at earthfair.com.

The other event that is happening actually starts on Friday evening.  Riverside County Fire Department Office of Emergency Services is sponsoring  CERT training and the Idyllwild Nature Center is hosting the event.  CERT stands for Community Emergency Response Team and is all about readiness, people helping people, rescuer safety and doing the greatest good for the greatest number.  Participants will be taught how to react after an emergency and through CERT training, they will learn to manage utilities, put out small fires, treat the three killers by opening airways, controlling bleeding and treating for shock, provide basic medical aid, search for and rescue victims safely and organize themselves and spontaneous volunteers to be effective.

There is no cost for this training and if  you would like to sign up, please go to www.rivcocert.org to register.  You can also register by calling 951-955-4700.  Class size is limited to 40 people and those who successfully complete the practical exercise with hands-on instruction in fire suppression, search and rescue, cribbing and medical will receive a certificate of completion and a free CERT kit.  The class schedule is:

Friday, May 16, 2014 from 5:30 pm until 9:30 pm

Saturday, May 17, 2014 from 8:00 am until 5:00 pm

Sunday, May 18, 2014 from 8:00 am until 5:00 pm

Classes will be held at the Idyllwild Nature Center located at 54000 County Park Road, Idyllwild CA  92549.  Register today because you can never be too prepared!

May

13

Wednesday, May 14, 2014 is our monthly board meeting.  It starts at 10 a.m. sharp and takes place in the board room here at the district office.  Our address is 24917 Marion Ridge Road if you would like to attend.  We are right next to the fire station an the public is always welcome to attend.

Our board meetings are held on the second Wednesday of every month.  If you can’t make the meeting, you can check out our website at  www.pcwd.org to get the minutes from the meetings as well as all sorts of other information and helpful tips.  Hope to see you at the meeting!

board meeting audience

May

8

Here it is Friday again.  Hope your week was good.  With the weekend ahead of us, it is time to turn our attention to the garden.

Since we will spend the summer in the grips of a drought, now is a good time to review your outside watering needs and do something to reduce them.  How is this frugal you may wonder?  Well, sometimes money well spent can save you money in the long run.   Here are some tips to help you prepare for a long, dry summer and save money in the process.

  • Amend your soil.  This may not seem like a water saving tip at first glance, however, well amended soil absorbs and retains water much better than soil that is not amended.  So if you are going to be watering outside, be sure the soil is in the best shape possible so you get the most out of the water you are putting on your garden.
  • Mulch.  After your soil is in tip top shape, adding a layer of bark mulch will help retain moisture and prevent soil erosion from wind and rain runoff.  The bark mulch will also keep water from splashing up onto plants and will help keep water from running off in downpours.
  • Install soaker hoses or drip irrigation.  If you have a garden or outdoor watering needs, you can use water more wisely by applying it right where the plant needs it.  By laying a soaker hose under the bark mulch, you will let the water slowly seep into the ground and avoid any evaporation at all.  Drip systems deliver water right to where the plant needs it without spraying anything up in the air.  Both of these ways of watering are much more efficient than watering with sprinklers or a hose.
  • Water in the early morning or late in the evening to avoid water evaporating before it gets to the plants.
  • Use water that would otherwise go to waste.  Put a bucket in the shower and collect water while you shower.  Use a basin to scrub veggies instead of washing them under running water and then take the water in the basin out to the garden.  If you have outdoor animals or dogs, put their old water onto the garden instead of just dumping it onto the ground when you are giving them fresh water.
  • Cut back on water use altogether.  Try showering every other day if you aren’t doing dirty work.  Wear clothes twice before laundering, especially in the winter when you aren’t outside getting dirty.  Take shorter showers.  Only run clothes washers and dish washer with full loads.  Compost instead of using a garbage disposal.  Install a low flow toilet and use the mellow yellow rule.

These are just a few ideas you can incorporate into your daily routine to save water. Check the page at the top of the blog for even more ideas on how to save water inside and outside of your home.  Remember using less water is not only good for the environment as well as your pocketbook!

 

May

8

Everyone here at the Pine Cove Water District would like to wish all the mom’s out there a very happy Mother’s Day on Sunday May 11, 2014.  Being a mom is the hardest job in the world!

 

Mother's Day 2

Mother's Day 3

May

8

Hope you made it through the storm ok.  I wasn’t too bad.  On the cool side, but not much rain or snow came out of it unfortunately.  Looks like we are back to sunny skies for the next week or so.  Enjoy!

Detailed Forecast

  • This Afternoon Sunny, with a high near 53. Southwest wind 5 to 10 mph.
  • Tonight Partly cloudy, with a low around 43. Northwest wind 5 to 10 mph.
  • Friday Sunny, with a high near 62. West wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.
  • Friday Night Mostly clear, with a low around 46. Northwest wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.
  • Saturday Sunny, with a high near 62. West wind around 10 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.
  • Saturday Night Clear, with a low around 45.
  • Sunday Sunny, with a high near 57.
  • Sunday Night Clear, with a low around 48.
  • Monday Sunny, with a high near 67. Breezy.
  • Monday Night Mostly clear, with a low around 53.
  • Tuesday Sunny, with a high near 71.
  • Tuesday Night Clear, with a low around 55.
  • Wednesday Sunny, with a high near 74

 

 

Summer Sun

May

6

Is there anything better than fresh, red, juicy, straight out of the garden strawberries?  Well, maybe winning the lottery, but apart from that, I would have to say no the above question.  Strawberries are so good and are fun to grow as well.  As many of you know, there are wild strawberries that grow around the Idyllwild, Pine Cove and Fern Valley areas.  So growing them in our gardens should be a piece of cake, right?

strawberries in bowl

As most things in life, this is easier said than done, although I have had way more success with berries, including raspberries and blackberries, than with most other things up here, so strawberries are always part of my garden.  The biggest problem with strawberries is the amount of space you need to get a large crop of berries.  However, the good thing about strawberries is that unlike raspberries or blackberries, they stay relatively compact if you remove the runners.  And since they do grow so many runners, they are extremely easy to propagate and so it costs virtually nothing to expand your strawberry garden.

The bad news is that you will probably run out of space in your garden before you run out of strawberry runners.  So what is a strawberry lover to do?  Containers of course!  The great thing about strawberries is that they can be planted just about anywhere.  Hanging planters, pots, rain gutters, baskets, PVC pipe, you name it.  So don’t worry if you don’t have room for a large strawberry patch in your yard.  Let your imagination run wild and before you know it, you will have a fabulous strawberry container garden and you will be enjoying fresh, picked strawberries!  Here are a few pictures from Pinterest to get your imagination going.

strawberries in rain guttersLove this space saving idea.  Strawberries in rain gutters!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAStrawberries in rain gutters hung on a picket fence.  What could be cuter?

strawberries in guttersThis is very clever.  Strawberries in rain gutters raised up on rebar supports.  This sure would make picking easy.

strawberries in PVCHow about some vertical strawberry towers made from PVC pine?

strawberries in PVC 2Here is quite an ambitious vertical strawberry garden.

strawberry tower 2A raised bed strawberry tower.  This could be made out of bricks or stones as well.

strawberry towerA beautiful tower of strawberries!

strawberries in hanging potsAnd there is always the traditional option of hanging planters.

strawberry basketCute country cottage basket of berries!

Hope this helps getting you thinking outside the garden and planting strawberries everywhere.  Just remember that they do need a lot of sun, so a shady spot won’t work.  So go forth and plant strawberries and then enjoy the fruits of your labor!

 

May

6

Well here it is, 10:00 a.m. and there has not been a single drop of moisture yet.  No rain and certainly no snow.  While it is a brisk 31 degrees and very overcast with the occasional wisp of fog floating by, it is still bone dry.  So it is anyone’s guess as to whether or not we will actually see any moisture out of this cold, little storm.  We should be back to our normal spring temperatures by the end of the week, so I am hoping we at least get some rain today.  But as we all know, we are not in charge.  Mother Nature is, so we will see if she favors us with a shower.

spring_clipart_rain_umbrella