Mountains

NEWS FROM THE ALPINE HISTORICAL SOCIETY: APRIL - JUNE 2016

 

By Tom and Judy Myers

April 7, 2016 (Alpine) - The following are some upcoming events from the Alpine Historical Society.



1. Potluck Luncheon & Presentation, Sunday, April 17, 2016

History in the Headlines, by Del Hood, contains a half-century of El Cajon Valley’s most notable events, from 1950 to 2000, chronicled as a ready reference to the area’s important historical moments. Drawn from headlines in The Valley News and The Daily Californian, more than 1,700 “little stories” about what happened in the valley and in neighboring communities depict the notable events of those years. The events are presented in chronological order and are designed as a guide for those researching specific events or newsmakers. Historic photographs enhance several stories.

CAPABILITY RANCH PLANS FUN ACTIVITIES FOR DEVELOPMENTALLY DISABLED

 

By Janis Russell

March 30, 2016 (Ramona) - Capability Ranch: Special Needs Activities and Events Center for Youth and Young Adults located in Ramona has been open for over a year. Nicola Bridges, founder of the ranch, and her husband, Tony Oxley, have been operating this ranch along with volunteers who teach activities. The ranch is geared towards young people who are 16-27 years of age, with the average being 21 years. ECM participated in an exclusive interview with Bridges.

ALPINE WOMAN’S CLUB 23RD ANNUAL VICTORIAN TEA APRIL 16 OFFERS A STEP BACK IN TIME

 

East County News Service

March 27, 2016 (Alpine) --The Alpine Woman’s Club Victorian Tea has been compared to the teas at the Hotel Del Coronado and Westgate Hotel. This is the perfect venue to showcase your finest hat, share good conversation with good friends and introduce your daughter or granddaughter to their first Victorian Tea. What a wonderful experience for any young lady ages 8 years and up. Entertainment will feature piano music by William D. Young, playing songs from yesteryear. There will also be a raffle, door prizes and other surprises. Period attire is recommended but not required.

SUPERVISORS TEMPORARILY BAN NEW MEDICAL MARIJUANA DISPENSARIES

 

East County News Service

March 26, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – By a unanimous vote, San Diego Supervisors voted last week to adopt an immediate 45-day moratorium on medical marijuana collectives with a possibility of making the ban permanent.

ALPINE RESIDENTS, WATCHDOG GROUP SEND REQUEST TO CPUC FOR INVESTIGATION OF EMFS

 

East County News Service

March 20, 2016 (Alpine) Alpine residents and the watchdog group Citizens Oversight have sent a letter to the President of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) asking assistance in identifying any potential hazards associated with electromagnetic fields ((EMF) related to Sunrise Powerlink.  The residents ask for an investigation to assure that the public is protected. 

The residents’ letter claims that San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) could increase power flowing through the underground Sunrise Powerlink along Alpine Blvd. 

READERS EDITORIAL: STOP GROSSMONT'S GERRYMANDERING! SPEAK OUT AT COUNTY’S ALPINE FORUM APRIL 4

 

 

By George Barnett

March 19, 2016 (Alpine) – Grossmont Union High School District Trustees are in the process of gerrymandering its voter district. Grossmont intends to move from a process of electing trustees on an “at large” basis to a re-districting to a by-trustee basis.  This means that individual communities such as that across Alpine, Blossom Valley, Harbison Canyon – for example – could elect their own chosen representative on the Grossmont board.  Grossmont is being forced into re-districting by threat of separate law suits. 

Fundamentally, it is a sound idea.  However, Grossmont also decided to do this without voter input or approval.  The scheme of re-districting that Grossmont has selected is gerrymandering and results in:

WEATHER SERVICE VOLUNTEERS NEEDED

 

East County News Service

March 20, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – We all want to know how much rain or snow has fallen in local communities – and get accurate forecasts on future weather. Now you can help make that happen. The National Weather Service is looking for volunteers to gather information that will help them better predict the weather, particularly in mountain and desert areas where valuable data on precipitation is lacking.

COUNTY SETS HEARINGS ON REDISTRICTING PROPOSED BY GROSSMONT UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT

 



By Miriam Raftery

Updated March 31 with new info from the County Office of Education.

March 15, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – The County Committee on School District Organization will hold six hearings to get public input on the Grossmont Union High School District’s proposed shift to electing governing board trustees by districts.  The GUHSD board voted 4-1 to adopt a controversial map and seek a waiver of a public vote despite opposition from members of the public who spoke, some alleging gerrymandering to oust a dissenting board member and break up a vocal minority voting block, as ECM reported.

The six hearings are set for March 17 in La Mesa, March 28 in El Cajon,  April 4 in Alpine,  April 5 in Jamul, April 6 in Lemon Grove, and April 11 in Lakeside.  The public can testify at the meetings and also submit written comments up until April 7.  The County’s committee will vote to approve or disapprove the district’s request at its April 13 meeting. The Alpine hearing was added after ECM and community members asked that Alpine be added as a location due to the many controversies involving the Alpine area.

For the full schedule of meetings, rules and details, click "read more" and scroll down.

To view the San Diego County Office of Education hearings announcement in English, Spanish and Arabic, click here.

To view data on the GUHSD redistricting plan including demographic details and maps, click here.

ALPINE HEARING ADDED ON GUHSD REDISTRICTING: APRIL 4

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 15, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – In response to an East County Magazine inquiry asking why Alpine was excluded from a list of upcoming hearings on the proposed Grossmont Union High School District's controversial redistricting plans, The County Committee on School District Organization has announced it will hold an additional hearing in Alpine on April 4 at 6 p.m. at Joan McQueen Middle School.

The County had previously scheduled four hearings in other locations,  to get public input on the Grossmont Union High School District’s proposed shift to electing governing board trustees by districts. 

For Alpine, the stakes are high. Alpine stands to lose its only advocate for an Alpine High School, Priscilla Schreiber, who would lose her seat under the plan approved by the GUHSD.  Alpine would be represented by Jim Kelly, a vocal opponent of the Alpine High School, an issue currently in litigation that has also led to unification efforts in which Alpine parents are seeking to break away from the GUHSD.

For the full schedule of meetings slated across East County set by the County Office of Education, rules and details, click "read more" and scroll down.

ALPINE SCHOOL DISTRICT TURNS DOWN OFFER FOR INDEPENDENT TESTING OF ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELDS

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 9, 2016 (Alpine) – The Alpine Union High School District(AUSD)  has turned down an offer by the Alpine Education Foundation to conduct independent testing of electromagnetic fields (EMFs) at the Alpine Elementary School campus, citing legal concerns. 

But Superintendent Bruce Cochrane suggests the door is open to a compromise to get the readings done.  “IF AEF were open to donating the necessary funds to the AUSD, the district would be open to contracting out to the firm they have recommended to do testing at AES,” the Superintendent told ECM.

REVISED SCHEDULE FOR PARENT AND COMMUNITY MEETINGS ON ALPINE SUPERINTENDENT SEARCH

 

East County News Service

March 9, 2016 (Alpine) –  The Governing Board of the Alpine Union School District has selected McPherson & Jacobson, L.L.C Executive Recruitment & Development to assist the Board in its search for a new Superintendent. Executive Director Anita Johnson is working with the Board on the search process. The Board wishes to extend an invitation to all parents and members of the community to meet with Ms. Anita Johnson to help identify the specific traits, skills, abilities, and experience desired in the new Superintendent. The meeting will be held on:

ALPINE MOUNTAIN EMPIRE CHAMBER ANNOUNCES UPCOMING EVENTS

 

East County News Service

March 9,2016 (Alpine) — The Alpine Mountain Empire Chamber of Commerce has announced the following upcoming events for the remainder of 2016.  These include monthly Hot Topics breakfasts, mixers, and special events including an “I Love a Clean Alpine” Earth Day celebration April 23, leadership awards, the annual Snow Festival, and more.

Scroll down for the full schedule, or visit www.AlpineChamber.com.  You can also stop by the Chamber office at 1620 Alpine Blvd. Suite 208, in Alpine or call 619-445-2722, or email AlpineChamber@att.net.

CPUC CHAIR AGREES TO REVIEW ALPINE EMFs, BUT JACOB SAYS AGENCY RESPONSE FALLS SHORT

 

East County News Service

March 4, 2016 (Alpine) – California Public Utilities Chairman Michael Picker has sent a response to Supervisor Dianne Jacob’s letter, in which Jacob asked for an independent state review of electromagnetic field levels in the Alpine area near the underground Sunrise Powerlink.  But Jacob contends, “The agency’s initial response falls far short of what must be done.” 

JULIAN OAK TREE DEATHS INCREASING: LEARN MORE MARCH 8

 

Expert Panel to Discuss Oak Borer Beetle Tuesday March 8, 6 p.m. at Julian Library.  Public invited free.

Photo, left:  Gold Spotted Oak Borer

By Jim Madaffer

March 4, 2016 (Julian) -- Suspecting we had dead or dying oak trees on our property in Wynola Estates, my wife and I hired an arborist to inspect and inventory our trees.  The verdict: out of 80 trees, 10 oak trees are dead and must come down – all thanks to the Golden Spotted Oak Borer Beetle, or GSOB.

COUNTY OFFICE OF EDUCATION RELEASES EMF SURVEY RESULTS FOR ALPINE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

 

Viejas announces funding for EMF measurements at school

By Miriam Raftery

February 29, 2016 (Alpine) -- The San Diego County Office of Education on Friday released a draft Survey and Exposure Assessment  or electrmagnetic fields (EMF) for Alpine Elementary School.  The study concludes that  the Sunrise Powerlink transmisison line buried on Alpine Blvd.does not pose a significant safety or health risk to the school site." The study further finds that readings in and around buildings at Alpine Elementary "while not representative of a pristine EMF environment, were within a normal range of exposures one could expect in a society with electric power."

The County study examines 94 measurements taken inside and outside the school and  cites several reasons for concluding the site is safe.

SENATOR ANDERSON CALLS ON STATE AGENCIES TO PROVIDE ANSWERS ON ALPINE EMFS

 

By Miriam Raftery

Correction:  A prior article in ECM stated that Senator Anderson supported construction of Sunrise Powerlink. His office indicates he took no position on the project. We regret our error.

February 29, 2016 (Alpine) – “Keeping constituents safe is my top priority,” Senator Joel Anderson states  in a letter today to Supervisor Dianne Jacob.  “I want to make sure all available and appropriate state resources are deployed so that my constituents are provided answers to their questions about the electric and magnetic field (EMF) levels in our community.”

Senator Anderson’s letter indicates he has contacted three state agencies regarding the EMF concerns, including the California Department of Health (CDPH), which advised him that they will review measurements taken by local governments to see how they compare with other schools that were surveyed by the CDPH in a previous study.  

BREAKING UP IS HARD TO DO: GROSSMONT BOARD VOTES FOR TRUSTEE DISTRICTS, BYPASSING PUBLIC VOTE

 

By Miriam Raftery

Controversial plan outrages Alpine voters, Chaldeans and other district residents

Priscilla Schreiber (photo, left) will be forced off board

February 25, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – Grossmont Union High School District voted 4-1 to ditch district-wide elections and switch to electing trustees from each of five districts. (View map)  The board also voted to ask the San Diego County Committee on School Board Reorganization to waive a requirement that would ordinarily allow the public to vote on redistricting. (View map at bottom of this article)

BREAKING UP IS HARD TO DO: GROSSMONT VOTES FOR TRUSTEE DISTRICTS, BYPASSING PUBLIC VOTE

 

By Miriam Raftery

Controversial plan outrages Alpine voters, Chaldeans and other district residents

Photo: Priscilla Schreiber will be forced off the board in November if the county approves the GUHSD's redistricting proposal.

February 25, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – Grossmont Union High School District voted 4-1 to ditch district-wide elections and break up the district into five areas that will each elect its own trustee. (View map)  The board also voted to ask the San Diego County Committee on School Board Reorganization to waive a requirement that would ordinarily allow the public to vote on redistricting.

COMMUNITY MEETING IN ALPINE DRAWS HUNDREDS OVER EMF CONCERNS

 

 

"When a child could get cancer, you take action." --  Alpine resident Bree Rowand (photo, left), mother of Kylie Rowand, toddler who died of neuroblastoma.

"We're here because we'd really like to ease your minds...There is no conclusive evidence that EMFs cause health risks....You have EMFs probably everywhere you go. They are coming out of your cell phone." -- Don Parent, SDG&E, which offered to conduct free measurements for any concerned property owners.

"I'm very concerned for the health of my students and health of my staff...but right now we have having safe levels [in classrooms.]" -- Bruce Cochrane, Superintendent, Alpine Union School District, adding that campus-wide results of an independent expert will be posted Friday.

"This is a failure in our system. Regulatory agencies should be the ones monitoring...If every one of you would e-mail the president of the California Public Utilities Commission as I have and ask as I have for someone to come down here and meet with the community, maybe we will get results."

By Miriam Raftery

February 25, 2016 (Alpine) – Over 230 people came to a community meeting at Alpine Elementary School Tuesday evening to learn more about electromagnetic field measurements in Alpine, ask questions of local officials and SDG&E, voice concerns and at times, shout out frustrations. (View video highlights from 10 News.)

IS IT GERRYMANDERING? FINAL VOTE THURS. ON GROSSMONT REDISTRICTING: ALPINE AND CHALDEAN ADVOCATES OBJECT, ASK PUBLIC HELP

 

By  Miriam Raftery

February 23, 2016 (San Diego’s East County)—Grosssmont-Union High School District’s board is expected to cast a final vote Thursday at 4 p.m. on controversial redistricting maps. The board will also vote to seek a waiver from the state from a requirement that would ordinarily requiring putting the redistricting measure on the ballot, and waiver from a state requiring that new trustee area plans be in effect at least 120 days before the next election in November.  (View meeting notice. The meeting will be at the East County Regional Education Center, 924 East Main Street, El Cajon.)

The district contends it has acted appropriately in response to a threat of legal action over alleged voting rights violations. But critics say the plan would oust the board’s most outspoken dissenting member, Priscilla Schreiber, leave Alpine represented by an opponent of the Alpine High School, and divide Iraqi-Chaldean residents into multiple districts, diluting their power as a voting block.  It also carves out a new district in the Lemon Grove/Spring Valley area with no trustee currently residing in that district, which does have a history of representing people of color.

SDG&E RESPONDS TO QUESTIONS ON ALPINE ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELD (EMF) LEVELS

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Sunrise Powerlink (left) transmits 500 kilovolts of electricity above ground across most its its route, but was installed underground in Alpine, where it flows beneath the main street in  the rural mountain town.

February 20, 2016 (Alpine) – East County Magazine reached out to San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E)  after reviewing results of two studies measuring electromagnetic field (EMF) levels in Alpine. (The first study, done by an engineer and contractor, found high levels along Alpine Blvd. above the underground Sunrise Powerlink. The second, commissioned by the County Office of Education, measured levels at Alpine Elementary School.  It found relatively low levels at most places on the campus, though two outside areas nearest the boulevard were higher, one substantially so. View details here.) Those reports raised concerns among some community members about potential health risks for chlidren, though medical studies have shown conflicting results on this issue.

We asked SDG&E if it has plans to measure EMF levels at other locations, what EMF levels it would consider safe, what  fixes or mitigation might be possible, and what EMF research the company supports. Below are our questions and the answers provided by Allison Torres, SDG&E media representative:  

ALPINE EDUCATION FOUNDATION AGREES TO FUND INDEPENDENT EMF STUDIES

 

Superintendent issues correction: EPA has not issued recommended EMF safe levels.

Meetings Feb. 23 and 25  will address EMF issues in Alpine.

By Miriam Raftery

February 20, 2016 (Alpine)—The Alpine Education Foundation has agreed to fund hiring a professional independent expert to measure electromagnetic frequency (EMF) readings along the route of the buried Sunrise Powerlink in Alpine, AEF president George Barnett has informed East County Magazine.

COMMUNITY FORUM TO DISCUSS ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELDS FROM SDG&E UNDERGROUND TRANSMISSION LINES – FEB. 23 IN ALPINE

 

 

 

East County News Service

February 20, 2016 (Alpine) – A community forum to discuss electromagnetic fields from SDG&E’s underground transmission lines will be held on Tuesday, February 23 at 6 p.m. in the Alpine Elementary auditorium (1850 Alpine Blvd.)  You’re invited to join the Alpine Union School District, Supervisor Dianne Jacob and members of her administration for this informal discussion.

ALPINE POWERLINK CONCERNS SPARK RESPONSES

 

New EMF readings at Alpine Elementary have lower levels; district offers reassurance to parents

By Miriam Raftery

February 18, 2016 (Alpine) –  Alpine planners, school officials, and SDG&E have weighed in with responses to publication of meter readings that revealed high electric-magnetic frequency (EMF) levels along Alpine Boulevard, where Sunrise Powerlink high voltage lines are buried. The readings were first published in the Alpine Sun and later highlights, analysis and community reactions were published in East County Magazine and the Alpine Community Network.

MILAGRO FARM VINEYARD AND WINERY CLOSES TASTING ROOM FOR REMODELING

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 16, 2016 (Ramona) – The Milagro Farm Winery has announced that it is closing its tasting room to the public effective immediately while undergoing upgrades, with plans to reopen in the next couple of months.

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