Viejas

A SMASHING SUCCESS: LEMON GROVE WINS FIREFIGHTERS DEMOLITION DERBY

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 17, 2012 (Lemon Grove)—It was a sweet victory for Lemon Grove Firefighters Saturday night, when driver Joe Lavigne climbed out of his smashed-up vehicle to claim his department’s trophy.  Lemon Grove entered two cars in the Firefighters’ Demolition Derby at the San Diego County Fair in Del Mar—and both made it into the final round.

 View our video of the final round by clicking above. 


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TRIBAL MEMBERS HOLD VIGIL AT OCOTILLO WIND SITE

Public asked to join with tribes on June 23



“The snake was moved but kept coming back, just like our people.  We will continue to keep coming back.” – Preston Arrowweed, Quechan elder. He believes unusual animal visitations at site are signs from Indian spirits, asking his people to help.

By Miriam Raftery

Jim Pelley, Denee ‘Estevane’ Woolley, and Susan Massey also contributed to this report

June 7, 2012 (Ocotillo)—Neither blistering heat nor blowing dust dissuaded Native Americans from at least four tribes from taking part in a five-day occupation in Ocotillo last week. 

They came to be with the spirits of their ancestors.  They also aim to show that desert devastation occurring with construction of the Ocotillo Express wind facility is wrong and must be stopped. 


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THANKS TO ALL FOR OUR “CLASS ACT” CELEBRATION!

 
By Miriam Raftery
 
May 24, 2012 (La Mesa) – East County Magazine extends our heart-felt thanks to the San Pasqual Winery, A Class Act Night Entertainment, Terra American Bistro and our generous readers  for making our “Class Act Night in La Mesa” a rousing success! 

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SUIT FILED TO HALT OCOTILLO WIND AS COALITION HOLDS PROTESTS IN SAN DIEGO AND EL CENTRO

 

“This is nothing more than a public land grab for private profit. The BLM is literally giving this away to corporations…This may be out in the desert today, but tomorrow it could be in your backyard…Already over a dozen projects are proposed in San Diego and Imperial County.” – Robert Scheid, Viejas media relations

May 16, 2012 (La Jolla) – At a press conference yesterday outside the gleaming corporate towers occupied by Pattern Energy in La Jolla, a coalition of environmental groups, Native American tribes and outraged citizens urged President Barack Obama to stop fast-tracking of massive energy projects on public lands and halt construction at the Ocotillo Express wind facility immediately.

Heavy equipment has begun grading the site, ripping massive ocotillo cacti out by the roots, burying burrowing owl nesting sites and breaking hearts of the many people who love this  desert land.

ECM contacted the White House to request an interview with President Obama. No response has been received.


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COALITION OF TRIBES, ENVIRONMENTAL LEADERS & LAWYERS CALL FOR HALT TO "FAST TRACKING" OF MASSIVE ENERGY PROJECTS ON FEDERAL PUBLIC LANDS

“We are the canaries in the coal mine. If this is not stopped here, destruction of millions of acres of public lands across the southwest will likely soon follow.” -- Terry Weiner, Desert Protective Council

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 11, 2012 (Ocotillo) -- Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today signed the Record of Decision, giving a go-ahead for the contentious Ocotillo Express wind project. 

The announcement came just hours after a coalition of environmental leaders, tribal representatives, off-road vehicle users, outdoor enthusiasts, residents and legal spokespersons called for a national moratorium on the "fast tracking" of massive energy projects on federal public lands.


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BROKEN PROMISES: OCOTILLO WIND PROJECT WINS APPROVAL DESPITE OUTCRY FROM TRIBES, RESIDENTS AND ENVIRONMENTALISTS

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

 

 

 

April 26, 2012 (Ocotillo) – A former firefighter who has parachuted into raging wildfires, Viejas Community Relations Director Charlie Brown (photo, left above) has no shortage of courage. But he choked back tears as he spoke about what Ocotillo and its ancient geoglyphs means to him and other tribes that have long considered the site sacred.

Brown has heard stories from his grandfather, who lived to be 109, about Ocotillo--where mountains are named in tribal creation stories. He has taken his own son there to learn about his heritage. One giant geoglyph is registered on the National Registry of Historic Places. Tribes across the southwest convene here for sacred ceremonies.

But soon, Brown fears, the sound of turbines atop his ancestors’ graves will “be like beating on somebody’s soul…sacrificing something that’s been there for 10,000 years.”  http://youtu.be/FbPmplN2UDA.


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WIND STORM : TRIBES IMPLORE PRESIDENT OBAMA TO STOP OCOTILLO EXPRESS WIND PROJECT, SAVE CULTURAL RESOURCE SITES

 

“We believe that DOI [Department of the Interior] is poised to violate the law and our rights to religious freedom and our cultural identities guaranteed by DOI’s own policies, the United States Constitution, and international declarations. We need your help.” --Chairman Anthony Pico, Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians, in a letter to President Barack Obama

Part I in an ECM special report series on potential impacts of the Ocotilllo Wind Express project

By Miriam Raftery

March 23, 2012 (Ocotillo) – For months, Ocotillo residents and conservationists have been waging a David and Goliath battle seeking to stop Pattern Energy’s proposed Ocotillo Wind Express project. Now Kumeyaay, Cocopah,Quechan and other Native American tribes have banded together to oppose the massive project-- joining residents, desert conservation groups and outdoor enthusiasts who seek to protect resources from destruction—including hundreds of cultural and archaeological sites. 

On March 28, the Imperial Valley Planning Commission will rule on whether to approve the controversial project, which would generate power for San Diego County.  At the federal level, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior  is expected to issue a final decision  by May 1.  A petition seeking to stop the project has been launched by Ocotillo residents:  http://www.change.org/petitions/say-no- ... y-project#.  


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“CHANCE” IMPROVES, HAS SECOND CHANCE AT LIFE AFTER SURGERY FOR GUNSHOT WOUND

$3,000 reward offered for information leading to arrest of shooter

February 23, 2012 (Alpine) – A dog found shot and abandoned in Alpine is improving after surgery, ECM news partner 10 News reports. Named “Chance” by veterinary staff, the golden retriever mix is no longer on oxygen or an IV; Chance is eating and drinking on his own and may soon be available for adoption.


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DOG FOUND SHOT NEAR VIEJAS IN ALPINE

 Authorities seek info on shooter; owner found but relinquishes dog

February 21, 2012 (Alpine)—A dog found lying on the side of Viejas Grade Road  near Willows Road in Alpine with a bullet in its chest remains in extremely serious condition following surgery.  The 40-pound retriever mix was found by a passerby and a Viejas firefighter yesterday morning around 7:30 a.m.


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DEVICE AT VIEJAS OUTLET CENTER FOUND HARMLESS

 

February 9, 2012 (Alpine) –At 8:15 p.m. tonight, Sheriff’s dispatch confirmed that a suspicious device has been found at the Viejas Outlet Center, 5000 Willows Road in Alpine.  The Sheriff’s Bomb and Arson squad was dispatched and found the device to be harmless.

"Out of an abundance of caution, we evacuated the outlet center," Robert Scheid, Viejas spokesman told ECM.  


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FREE “START SMART” DRIVER TRAINING FOR TEENS & PARENTS JAN. 12 IN ALPINE

 

January 5, 2011 (Alpine) Responding to an alarming teen fatality trend in San Diego County,  Alpine Sheriff’s Station will host “Start Smart” on Thursday, January 12 at 7 pm. at the Viejas Training Center, 5000 Willow Road in Alpine (first driveway on the left after the casino).


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PHOTO OF THE WEEK: CHRISTMAS AT VIEJAS

December 16, 2011 (Alpine) - It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the Viejas Outlet Centers and Viejas Casino. ECM editor Miriam Raftery snapped this shot of holiday lighting at Viejas, where you'll find San Diego's largest outdoor ice skating rink, a holiday fountain light show, national-brand shops and more this holiday season.  


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STARS VIE TO RAISE MONEY FOR CHARITY AT VIEJAS CELEBRITY SLOT TOURNAMENT MONDAY NOV. 28

November 25, 2011 (Alpine) -- Gretchen Rossi of Bravo's hit reality series "The Real Housewives of Orange County" will join 11 other local celebrities at Viejas Casino on Monday, November 28 in a Celebrity Slot Tournament at Viejas Casino.  100 percent of the winnings from the tournament, which begins at 10:30 a.m., will be donated to the local Salvation Army.


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COOL! ICE SHOW NOV. 11, OUTDOOR ICE RINK OPEN FOR HOLIDAY SEASON AT VIEJAS OUTLET CENTER

Tree-lighting and ice show extravaganza  light up the night tonight

November 11, 2011 (Alpine) -- Skate into the holidays on Southern California’s largest outdoor ice rink, now open at Viejas Outlet Center in Alpine. The  nearly 10,000-square-foot rink, one of our region’s most popular winter playgrounds, will remain open through Jan. 8, 2012.


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VIEJAS PRESENTS HOTEL PROPOSAL TO ALPINE RESIDENTS

By Miriam Raftery

 

September 23, 2011 (Alpine) – A proposed 150-room hotel adjacent to the Viejas Casino would be “great for our guests and great for the community,” said Viejas public affairs director Robert Scheid at last night’s Alpine Community Planning Group meeting. The $36 million project would generate 450 construction jobs and upon completion, 45 employees at the hotel, said Scheid.


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LUCKY DOG: FIREFIGHTERS SAVE FALLEN ANIMAL IN DRAMATIC ALPINE RESCUE

 

 

 

Photos by Captain Brian Boggeln

 

 

 

 

September 22, 2011 (Alpine) – A dog that fell and became wedged inside a rocky, 15-foot deep crevasse in the 2600 block of Big Wheel Way is free and in good health, thanks to the extraordinary efforts of Alpine firefighters. 


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Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

VOTE TODAY! LAST CHANCE TO HELP OUR WILDFIRE & EMERGENCY ALERTS

 

Fire officials warn this could be the worst fire season in years--and budget cuts has slashed 72 firefighters from Cal Fire in San Diego.  We need funds now to be sure we can keep you alerted if a major fire strikes!

 

We can still earn hundreds of dollars more to fund our Viejas Wildfire& Emergency Alerts if you vote TODAY. 

 Please vote here now:  www.ideal4acause.com/vote.php

(1 vote person; only San Diego County votes will be counted. Mulltiple votes per household or computer are

allowed.) Ask friends, family and coworkers to vote, too! We get money for every work.

 

Photos courtesy of Dennis Richardson and La Mesa Fire Department


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CORVETTE GIVEAWAY CAPS ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION AT VIEJAS


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GIVING THANKS: VIEJAS FREE FEAST FOR COMMUNITY TOOK TEAMWORK


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VIEJAS TO SERVE UP FREE MEALS TUESDAY, SEPT. 13 AT HARVEST BUFFET FOR 20TH ANNIVERSARY OF CASINO

Tribe says “Thank You” to community

 

September 12, 2011 (Alpine) – Viejas Casino, a premier Southern California gaming, dining and entertainment destination, is celebrating its 20th Anniversary by offering the public a free meal at the award-winning Harvest Buffet. That’s a free meal – no strings attached – from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, September 13.


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NEW 150 ROOM HOTEL FOR VIEJAS TO BRING JOBS TO EAST COUNTY


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VIEJAS CASINO CELEBRATES 20 YEAR WINNING STREAK SEPT. 17

 

Guests to be treated to free meal at Harvest Buffet, $100,000 Bingo celebration and a Corvette giveaway


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40 BANDS, $40,000 BUCKS – VIEJAS ULTIMATE MUSIC CHALLENGE


August 6, 2011 (Alpine)--The Ultimate Music Challenge is a cover band contest held in the DreamCatcher Lounge at Viejas Casino. The competition will be held every Sunday night from August 14th through October 23rd, from 6pm-10pm. Three lucky winners will take home a total of $40,000.


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WHAT’S IN YOUR FUTURE? FAMED PSYCHIC/MEDIUM GARY SPIVEY TO OFFER PREDICTIONS AUGUST 6 AT VIEJAS

August 4, 2011 (Alpine) -- Gary Spivey, internationally acclaimed psychic, medium and predictor of future events, will appear August 6 in the DreamCatcher at Viejas Casino. 

 


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SUMMER SCENE: LOCAL MALLS OFFER EVENTS IN JULY

 

by Elena Peña

July 7, 2011 (San Diego’s East County)--We go to the mall to watch a movie, to shop for new attire, or maybe just to walk around and spend some quality time window shopping. However, there are plenty of other things to do besides shop, if you go on the right day.

 


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VIEJAS FIREFIGHTERS TRAVEL FROM ALPINE, CALIFORNIA TO ALPINE, ARIZONA--HELPING TO BATTLE HUGE WILDFIRE


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NO INVITATION TO THE ROYAL WEDDING? NO PROBLEM!

  

VIEJAS ROLLS OUT RED CARPET FOR GUESTS AT A ROYAL TEA

 

Wedding cake, visits from royal family look-alikes and replay of historic wedding on TV

 

April 22, 2011 (Alpine) – Viejas Casino vows to treat everyone like royalty as the world celebrates the historic wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton on April 29. The public is invited to a Royal Tea (and coffee) from 3-5 p.m. in the V Lounge at Viejas Casino.

 

Cheers!


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SURE BET: VIEJAS CASINO TO SET NEW RECORD, GIVEAWAY $100,000 PRIZE IN POKER CLASSIC THIS WEEKEND

 

April 12, 2011 (Alpine)--Anticipation is building at Viejas Casino, where one lucky poker player is guaranteed to win a record $100,000 in this weekend’s Viejas Poker Classic III tournament. For the third year in a row, the tournament will feature the largest poker payout to a single player in San Diego Casino history.

 

 


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ANTHONY PICO, SWORN IN AS NEW VIEJAS LEADER, PLEDGES NATION-BUILDING

 

February 11, 2011 (Alpine) – “What’s my vision? Two words: nation building,” Anthony Pico, chairman of the Viejas band of Kumeyaay Indians, told tribal members and guests at a swearing-in ceremony yesterday for newly elected tribal council members. View a video of Chairman Pico speaking on his vision of nation building.
 

Two weeks ago, the Viejas tribal council unanimously approved the nation-building concept. In late February, council leaders will meet with representatives from the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government to begin dialogue and create a two-day workshop on defining nation-building, Pico revealed.


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VIEJAS USHERS IN CHINESE NEW YEAR WITH OPENING OF EMERALD ASIAN CUISINE

 

February 4, 2011 (Alpine) – Chinese New Year kicked off at Viejas Casino yesterday with the opening of Emerald Asian Cuisine.

 

Owned and operated by San Diegan Mike Lee and his family, Emerald Asian Cuisine is known for its award-winning Chinese and Vietnamese dishes, including authentic pho, Vietnamese coffee, Banh Mi, and much more.

 


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