Alpine

ALPINE COUPLE’S HOME DESTROYED IN CHRISTMAS EVE FIRE

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 31, 2013 (Alpine) – Residents of Alpine are pulling together to help a young couple whose home on Arnold Way was destroyed by a fire on Christmas Eve.

Shara Halverson and her boyfriend, Sean Barrett were away visiting friends when their home caught fire.  They have no renters insurance and lost almost everything in the flames, though they are grateful for small miracles.

ROSE PARADE FLOAT TO HONOR MEATBALL, RESCUED BEAR IN ALPINE

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 28, 2013 (Alpine) -- Meatball’s fame just keeps growing.  On New Year’s Day, the Rose Parade will feature a float honoring Meatball, the now famous black bear residing at Lions, Tigers and Bears, a rescue facility in Alpine. 

Meatball was removed from the wild after he started raiding trashcans in a suburban Glendale neighborhood, where he had a fondness for frozen meatballs. Now the City of Glendale is drawing attention to the situation of Meatball of other wildlife with its float in the Rose Parade. The float, titled “Let’s Be Neighbors” will feature a mechanized Meatball in a trash can surrounded by other forest creatures.

EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE’S NOVEMBER RADIO SHOWS ARE NOW ONLINE: LISTEN NOW!

 

Our November shows are now online—including special reports on East County issues, interviews with top newsmakers, local musicians, authors, colorful characters and people making a positive difference in our community. Click here for a list of our November shows and guests with links to listen online.

You can also hear our show live when it airs on KNSJ 89.1 FM on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 5 p.m. and reruns Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 9 a.m.  Or listen live online during those hours at www.KNSJ.org.

ALPINE CALLER DEEMED "PRANK" AFTER CLAIMING TO HAVE SHOT 2 PEOPLE AND PLANTED BOMBS

 

December 23, 2013 (Alpine) – The Sheriff seeks tips to identify a caller who reported late this morning that he had shot a friend and his friend’s father, tossed a grenade, and planted bombs around a residence. The caller also claimed he planned to shoot it out with deputies.

GUHSD ISSUES VAGUE STATEMENT IN RESPONSE TO GRAND JURY REPORT ON ALPINE HIGH SCHOOL

 

"There is no good faith, no no intentions..." -- Priscilla Schreiber, Board Member, who asserts that the GUHSD response "in no way satisifies what, I believe, the Grand Jury recommended."

"...The statement to the Grand Jury is a complete fabrication. The facts demonstrate there is no “intent” to build the Alpine high school ..." -- Sal Casamassimo, Chair, Alpine High School Citizens Committee

By Miriam Raftery

December 14, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – Back in May, the San Diego Grand Jury issued a report urging the Grossmont Union High School District to "declare unconditionally, by December 31, 2013, if they are or are not going to build the 12th high school using funds from Propositions H and U.”    The report, titled “Fool Me Once, Fool Me Twice,” criticized the district Board for failing to build the school despite voters twice approving bond measures to fund the new school in Alpine, as ECM previously reported. The Grand Jury concluded, “Residents of the GUHSD and the greater Alpine area deserve clarity from the School Board regarding the proposed 12th high school."

Yesterday the Board issued the following brief media statement, which falls far short of the unconditional statement or clarity to district residents that the Grand Jury sought:

VIEJAS CASINO & RESORT GIVES OVER 12,000 TOYS TO LOCAL SALVATION ARMY

 Link to video from Toy Drive “Big Reveal”: http://youtu.be/Wt6i9YqPrHM

December 12, 2013 (Alpine) – When the curtain went up on stage at the DreamCatcher Lounge last night at Viejas Casino and Resort, it revealed 12,017 toys to benefit local children this holiday season. 

Representatives of Viejas Tribal Council also presented a $15,000 check to  East County Salvation Army Captain Terry Masango on behalf of the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians, along with the largest donation of toys ever received by the local Salvation Army chapter.

"THE BIG REVEAL" DEC. 11 AT VIEJAS TO UNVEIL HOLIDAY TOYS

 

December 7, 2013 (Alpine) – On December 11th at 6 p.m., the curtain will rise at the Viejas Dreamcatchers Lounge to reveal results of this year’s Viejas Holiday Toy Drive. The goal is to bring in donations of 10,000 toys to brighten the holidays for East County families in need.

The Viejas band of the Kumeyaay Indians joins in the 39th annual East County Toy Drive to support Stoney’s Kids and Salvation Army of East County. 

HOLIDAY SEASON KICKS OFF WITH TREE LIGHTING AND FREE ICE SKATING PERFORMANCE AT VIEJAS OUTLETS DEC. 7

 

December 6, 2013 (Alpine) – Viejas Outlets officially kicks off the holiday season this weekend with the lighting of one of Southern California’s largest trees and a free ice skating performance by regional, national and international ice skating competitors.

A massive 60-foot holiday tree will be illuminated at 6 p.m. on Saturday, December 7 at the Viejas Outlets ice rink followed by free ice skating performances by some of the world’s best ice skaters. The ice rink will be open to the public immediately before and after the event, with special pricing for kids, seniors and military.

ALPINE PARADE OF LIGHTS AND SNOW FESTIVAL DEC. 6

 

Alpine celebrates the season with the 17th Annual Alpine Village Christmas Parade of Lights & Festival on December 6 at 6:30.

This family-friendly event, sponsored by the Alpine Chamber of Commerce, also features a visit from Santa and his helpers, Christmas caroling and a snow mountain for sledding at the Alpine Community Center on Alpine Boulevard.

CPUC TO HOLD HEARING IN ALPINE FEB. 5 ON NEW "STEALTH" SDG&E POWER LINE PROJECT PROPOSED IN BACKCOUNTRY

NOTE: CORRECTED DATE

 

View map of all energy projects in our region to see cumulative impacts and disparate impact on rural areas

Judge to Decide Whether to Have Hearings on Nearly Half Billion Dollar SDG&E Power Line Project That Opponents Say Threatens Back Country Communities

January 31, 2014 (Alpine)--The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) will hold a prehearing conference at 1:30 p.m. February 5 in the Oak Room of the Alpine Community Center, 1830 Alpine Blvd. in Alpine regarding proposed SDG&E’s Master Special Use Permit project that wouldl impact communities throughout the San Diego backcountry from Pauma Valley to Potrero (north to south) and from Ramona to Boulevard (west to east). The project is so large that SDG&E estimates construction will take about five years. 

Administrative Law Judge Jean Vieth will determine if there will be full evidentiary hearings for this project or if this prehearing conference will be the only time the issues are heard. "In its application, SDG&E asked the CPUC for permission to construct this $418.5 million project without any hearings at all—their usual method of operation,"Backcountry Against Dumps, a nonprofit community organization, states in a press release.

Donna Tisdale, President of Backcountry against Dumps and Chair of the Boulevard Planning Group, voiced these concerns. “SDG&E’s project is being sold solely as fire-hardening but it appears to be an undisclosed stealth increase in carrying capacity that may directly or indirectly support numerous commercial solar projects that are already proposed along or near the route in Boulevard, Pine Valley, Descanso, Potrero, Julian, Ramona, and perhaps elsewhere that we are not yet aware of. Solar generation projects represent potential new fire ignition sources that cannot be de-energized during red flag wind events or other emergencies.”

ELDERLY WOMAN FOUND DEAD IN ALPINE; SON ARRESTED FOR MURDER

November 27, 2013 (Alpine) – The body of a missing 81-year-old Los Angeles woman was found Tuesday in the 600 block of Alpine Heights Road near Avenida del Cielo in Alpine.  Her name has not been released by authorities, however the Los Angeles Times reports that her son, 53, has been arrested in Los Angeles County and booked on suspicion of murder.

LIONS TIGERS & BEARS 2013 CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL IS DEC. 7

 

November 24, 2013 (Alpine) – Lions Tigers & Bears is holding its 2013 Christmas Festival on Dec. 7 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. at 24402 Martin Way, Alpine.  Watch the animals open their presents and do your holiday shopping all in one day at this fun-filled family event.  There will be many local vendors, food, entertainment and even Santa Claus.

HOMES NEEDED FOR CHRISTMAS IN ALPINE HOME TOUR

 

November 14, 2013 (Alpine) – For the past 8 years the Alpine Woman’s Club has sponsored “Christmas in Alpine” Home Tour. However, as of October, the group has only one house for this year’s tour.

“This fundraiser helps to provide scholarships that we give away each year. Since 1950 the Alpine Woman's Club has given away more than $95,000 to exceptional Alpine graduating seniors,” said Carlette Anderson, president of the Alpine Woman’s Club. “We are reaching out to the community and looking for Alpine residents who love to decorate for the holidays and would enjoy sharing their decorating skills with others. The event is scheduled for Saturday Dec 14th from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. All we ask of you is to decorate your home. We provide insurance, booties to wear over your shoes (if you want them) and docents who are present in your decorated rooms.”

LIBRARY CONTEST YIELDS BIG WIN FOR ALPINE 10-YEAR-OLD

 

November 14, 2013 (Alpine) – When Amy Gorence saw an email in her inbox from Scholarshare, she didn’t open it because she assumed it was advertising. It turns out she overlooked a notification that her daughter, Ryley, had won a scholarship for $529 through a contest, “Reading Makes Cent$,” at the Alpine Library.

Luckily, the folks with California’s official 529 College Savings Plan didn’t give up too easily. A few weeks later, Amy got a phone call asking if Ryley was still interested. “Interested in what?” she asked. The answer was a big surprise: Ryley’s name was chosen, out of all the entries from the San Diego County Library system, to receive $529 in a tax-advantaged savings plan for her college education. As if this weren’t enough good news, there’s more: the Alpine Library will receive matching funds—another $529—to spend on materials.

VIEJAS ICE RINK OPENS FOR HOLIDAY SEASONS

 

November 13, 2013 (Alpine) – A little known secret in East County is that each winter, you can enjoy outdoor ice skating at a rink larger than the famed Rockefeller Center rink in New York.   Viejas Outlet Center’s rink is also the largest in Southern California.  You can enjoy shopping, holiday décor and entertainment, sip hot cocoa or order off a rink-side menu.

The rink is now open through the holiday season. If you bring a new, unwrapped toy worth $5 or more by December 4, you can also get a $3 discount on skating prices (see rates below).

DESCANSO RANGER DISTRICT BEGINS PRESCRIBED FIRE ACTIVITY IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY

 

November 9, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – The Descanso Ranger District of the Cleveland National Forest will conduct prescribed burning from November 2013 to May 2014, if weather and fuel moisture conditions permit.  The project will cover approximately 500-700 acres and will take place near the communities of Mount Laguna, Alpine, and Pine Valley.

The prescribed burns are for the purpose of assisting in providing community protection by slowing the spread of wildfires that occur under normal summer conditions as well as forest health.  Some drifting smoke may be visible during the period of burning along Sunrise Highway, Japatul Road, and Interstate 8.

MISSION HONORED, DREAM ACHIEVED: ALPINE VETERANS DAY CELEBRATION NOVEMBER 11

 

 

November 8, 2011 (Alpine) -- On Monday, November 11th, 2013, at 11:00 a.m., a ceremony will be held at the Alpine Wall of Honor (next to Alpine's Community Center) to celebrate the addition of an additional row of heroes and remember all of the great men and women on the Wall of Honor who have served our country or are currently serving.

VFW Post 9578 will be providing our Color Guard, and Peter Hastings will perform some patriotic songs.

After the ceremony, the VFW will be serving hamburgers and hot dogs at the Post and is inviting all who are interested to continue the day's celebration.

VIEJAS LAUNCHES HOLIDAY TOY DRIVE

 

October 24, 2013 (Alpine) -- Viejas Casino & Resort has launched its annual Holiday Toy Drive to support the local Salvation Army. With the help of Viejas Team Members and guests, the goal is to provide 10,000 toys to deserving families in San Diego and Imperial Counties. That’s up from a target of 5,000 toys last year.

CHILD AND 3 ADULTS SUSTAIN LIFE-THREATENING INJURIES IN ALPINE ROLLOVER CRASH

 

October 23, 2013 (Alpine) – Four people sustained life-threatening major injuries in a rollover accident on westbound I-8 at East Willows Road in Alpine at 11:50 a.m. on October 21.   None were properly restrained in seat belts, according to CHP officer Kevin Pearlstein.

According to the CHP, a 28-year-old woman from Campo was driving a 2001 Ford Explorer westbound at about 70 miles per hour when her vehicle drifted onto the dirt center divide and rolled out.  A 2-year-old girl was ejected from the vehicle.  She was transported to Children’s Hospital.

CHAMBER MUSIC CONCERT NOV. 9 IN ALPINE

 

October 22, 2013 (Alpine) – A “Music of the Masters” chamber music concert will be presented on Saturday, November 9 at 3 p.m. at Christ the King Episcopal Church, 1460 Midway Drive in Alpine. Directed by Sylvia Lorraine Hartman, the concert will feature Gregory Lawrence, violin; Melissa Hartman, flute; Ian Lawrence, guitar; The Christ the King Singers; and Sylvia Hartman, piano and harp.

Tickets are $25 for the concert and include a wine and cheese reception with the artists following the concert (intermission is “no-host”). There will be a silent auction and an art display as well. Tickets are limited and sold in advance.  Tickets can be purchased online through PayPal, or by calling (619) 445-8968. For more information visit http://www.christthekingalpine.org/

PUBLIC MEETINGS TUES. & WED. ON SDG&E PROPOSAL IN CLEVELAND NATIONAL FOREST AND NEARBY PROPERTIES

October 21, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – Two scoping meetings are planned this week in Julian and Alpine  for the public to obtain information and voice views on a proposal by San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E)  that includes Cleveland National Forest lands.  SDG&E wants to combine over 70 existing special use permits for electric facilities in the forest into one Master Special Use Permit.  In addition, SDG&E wants to replace some power lines and distribution liens both inside and outside the forest  including fire hardening, relocation and undergrounding of certain facilities.

Areas impacted include the vicinity of Descanso, Campo, Pauma Valley, Santa Ysabel, and Warner Springs.

MINOR DECOYS DEPLOYED IN "SHOULDER TAP" OPERATION AT LOCAL ALCOHOL RETAILERS

 

October 20, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – On October 17, a shoulder-tap operation was conducted by the Sheriff’s Department and other agencies to see if retail outlets are illegally selling alcohol to minors in Santee, Alpine, Lakeside, Spring Valley, Lemon Grove, and unincorporated El Cajon.

Deputies from the San Diego County Sheriff's Department, Agents from Alcohol Beverage Control, and three minor decoys conducted a "Minor Decoy" and "Shoulder Tap" Operation at various locations in the East County. The operation involved minors who tested "on-sale" and "off-sale" establishments. The minor decoys tested retailers and servers at a number of locations in an attempt to purchase alcoholic beverages inside their establishments. Three employees sold alcohol to the decoys.

BOO! SDBA FALL FESTIVAL & HOWL-O-WEEN CONTEST OCTOBER 19

 

October 16, 2013 (Alpine) – The San Diego Business Associates presents Fall Festival October 19 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Albertsons Parking Lot, 2955 Alpine Blvd., Alpine.  This free family friendly event will benefit The Heights Charter School.  Come out and enjoy children’s entertainment & games, silent auction, food and local merchants.

TIGER PATRIARCH, RAJA, LAID TO REST AT LIONS, TIGERS AND BEARS

 

 

“Raja’s spirit will continue to live on as we uphold our promise to provide a safe haven for the unwanted and abused. Rest in peace Raja, you will forever be in our hearts.” -- Bobbi Brink

By Miriam Raftery

October 15, 2013 (Alpine) – Last week, Lions Tigers and Bears in Alpine held a memorial service for Raja, the beloved tiger patriarch who resided at the facility since his rescue from a Texas owner in 2002.  The 17-year-old tiger died October 7 of complications from chronic renal failure, a common cause of death in elderly felines.

BABY DELIVERED AFTER ALPINE CRASH DIES AT HOSPITAL; MOTHER ALSO KILLED

(File photo)

October 10, 2013 (Alpine) –  An infant girl delivered by emergency Caesarean after her mother was fatally injured in a car accident has also died of injuries from the crash.  The medical examiner identified the newborn as Baby Oliver.

Darneshia McFarlin, 27, was eight months pregnant when the accident occurred the morning of October 6th.   She was a passenger in an Oldsmobile driven by her husband when he lost control and the vehicle rolled over.

1ST SATURDAY NATURE WALK AT WRIGHT'S FIELD PRESERVE IN ALPINE OCT. 5

 

October 3, 2013 (Alpine) – On Saturday, October 5 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon, join Restoration Ecologist Scott McMillan of AECOM as the environmental consulting firm begins its initial effort to restore our very own populations of the rare and endangered San Diego Thornmint at Wright's Field in Alpine.  During this walk, he will introduce our group to this tiny member of the mint family, which is a federally listed endangered plant that only grows in San Diego County. 

For those interested in getting more involved, McMillan and BCLT will be recruiting volunteers for more hands-on restoration of the Thornmint populations over the next few years.  Learn more about the thornmint and how you can help out at this event.   Group parks and meets at Joan MacQueen Middle School - 2001 Tavern Rd, Alpine.  Sponsored by: Back Country Land Trust.  Full calendar of events for Fall 2013 is available at www.bclt.org.

ARRESTS MADE IN 2005 COLD CASE OF DANIEL RODRIGUEZ, FOUND FATALLY SHOT ON I-8 IN ALPINE

 

One suspect also charged with two deadly shootings in South Bay area 

September 24, 2013 (Alpine) –The San Diego Sheriff’s office today announced the arrests of three men suspected of killing 20-year-old Daniel Rodriguez.   On October 13, 2005, Rodriguez was found under a bridge at Interstate 8 and Tavern Road in Alpine. He had been shot in the head and died three days later. 

On September 19, 2013 a coalition of law enforcement agencies including the Sheriff's Homicide Detail – Cold Case Unit, the East County Gang Task Force, the Chula Vista Police Department, the National City Police Department, and the FBI arrested three suspects for the murder of  Rodriguez. Jose Valdez, 30, John Reyna, 30, and Rashad Lansing , 32, were each booked for murder and conspiracy.

ALPINE VIEJAS DAYS PARADE SEPTEMBER 29

 

September 23, 2013 (Alpine) – The Alpine Stagecoach Lions present the Alpine Viejas Western Days Parade and Craft Fair on September 29.  The parade will begin at Albertsons at 2 p.m. and continue down Alpine Blvd. to Alpine Creek Town Center where the craft fair and car show will be held.   Visit www.alpinedaysparade.com for more information.

TRIPLE WIN: VIEJAS BREAKS THREE WORLD RECORDS

September 19,2013 (Alpine)—Friday the 13th proved lucky at Viejas Casino & Resort, where three  Guinness world records were set on September 13 th in celebration of the casino’s 22nd anniversary.

“It’s a challenge, a difficult,” Guinness Book of World Records adjudicator Philip Roberts said after Viejas employees and guests teamed up to open 639 bottles of wine simultaneously.  This broke the old record set in Las Vegas of 474. 

Those gathered went to set another world record for most people giving high fives in one place:  684.  The former record (405) was held by the United Arab Emirates, Roberts announced as the crowd cheered.

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