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By Miriam Raftery

February 16, 2017 (Alpine) — The Alpine Sun newspaper celebrated its 65th anniversary on Valentine’s Day.  At Tuesday’s Alpine-Mountain Empire Chamber of Commerce “Hot Topics” breakfast meeting,  the newspaper’s publisher and editor were presented with certificates and plaques  from the offices of Congressman Duncan Hunter,  State Senator Joel Anderson, and Assemblyman Randy Voepel.

The newspaper’s first edition was published on February 14, 1952 as a small pamphlet .  “Today, Alpine gets a valentine!” the publication proclaimed, adding, “When the time comes for a town to have a voice and be recognized by the world as an entity in civic personalities, it perforce must have a newspaper. So today this lovely part of San Diego’s mountains sees the birth of a new community spirit, the Alpine Sun.

“It was the tiniest newspaper in the United States,” said publisher Vonnie Sanchez, who thanked businesses for supporting the newspaper through the years.

Headline stories  in that first edition included an announcement of final drawings for a new Alpine school, news of a Canadian oil man and wheat farmer buying an 80-acre ranch,  a traffic warning about drivers not stopping for school buses, results of a fire board election, and news of a drive to build a youth center. 

Then, as now, the newspaper covered the issues that mattered most to local residents—packing its pages also with tips on registering to vote, meeting tax deadline and highlighting good works by community members.

In an era when many small-town and even city newspapers in East County have closed their printing presses,  it’s not hard to see why the Alpine Sun endures.