Alpine

ALPINE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION NOW ACCEPTING TAX-DEDUCTIBLE DONATIONS TO HELP WEST FIRE SURVIVORS

 

By Miriam Raftery

Drone video of West Fire devastation in Alpine: "Aftermath from above" by Joseph A. Acevedo, N6SIX

July 15, 2018 (Alpine) – People who want to help Alpine residents rebuild homes lost after the West Fire, and fill gaps that insurance companies and other agencies aren’t filling, can now make a tax deductible donation to the Alpine Community Foundation, a 501c3 nonprofit organization.

A community recovery team will help the Foundation verify needs and resources. Money will pay bills directly, and will not be paid directly to individuals. Those in greatest need will receive help first.  The Foundation is run by volunteers in the community, so no fees will be charged and 100% of donations will benefit fire survivors.

HOW TO HELP WEST FIRE SURVIVORS IN ALPINE

By Miriam Raftery

July 14, 2018 (Alpine) – Many of our readers have been asking how to help people who lost homes in the West Fire in Alpine earlier this month.  Several organizations are helping out and GoFundMe pages have also been set up for some of the families.

Alpine Christian Fellowship has established a West Fire relief fund that is accepting financial donations.  You can also sign up to volunteer to help with debris clean up, supply distribution, food and water, pet care, child care, spiritual care, or transportation.

A Fire Victim Supply Post has been set up at Boulder Oaks Elementary (2320 Tavern Rd., Alpine) where you can donate and drop off supplies to help fire survivors such as clothing, clean-up supplies, non-perishable food items and household goods.  For more info please call or text Margo at 619-876-8713 or Stephanie at 619-573-5638.

Keller Williams Realty has started a fund to help West Fire survivors and is also accepting donations of immediate relief supplies at three locations in Alpine and El Cajon. Details are at their GoFundMe link.

Below are other  GoFundMe sites set up to help specific individuals and families who lost homes in the West Fire. While some have already raised tens of thousands of dollars, other have nearly no donations. Please help our neighbors in need.

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: SAN MIGUEL FIREFIGHTERS BATTLE FLAMES IN ALPINE

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 14, 2018 (Alpine) – San Miguel Fire Protection District posted these dramatic images of their firefighters battling to save mobile homes during the West Fire in Alpine on July 6th.   

PUBLIC HEARING SET FOR POSSIBLE ALPINE HOMES PROJECT

 

Source: Alpine-Mountain Empire Chamber of Commerce

 

July 12, 2018 (Alpine) - A public hearing about the storm water management plan for the proposed Rancho Sierra residential subdivision in Alpine will be held on Friday, July 20, in San Diego.

 

The County of San Diego has set the hearing for its 9 a.m. session in the County Operations Center Chambers at 5520 Overland Ave.

COUNTY OPENS ASSISTANCE CENTER FOR FIRE VICTIMS

 

 

By Suzanne Bartole, County of San Diego Communications Office

July 11, 2018 (Alpine) - A local assistance center has been set up at the Alpine Library following the recent West Fire, that destroyed homes in the Alpine community, and the Building Fire.

The County of San Diego, along with other community partners, has experts stationed there so that fire victims can get everything they need to know in one central location.

TRUCK DRIVER STRANDED 24 HOURS IN ALPINE RAVINE IS RESCUED BY SHERIFF’S SEARCH TEAM

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

Photo:  ASTREA helicopter, file photo

 

July 10, 2018 (Alpine) – A truck driver trapped in a ravine for over 24 hours was rescued by the Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team shortly before 5:30 a.m. The search began after Alpine Sheriff’s station deputies checked on an overdue big rig; the driver’s GPS led them to his truck parked near the I-8 viewpoint parking lot with engine running and headlights on.

OUR EAST COUNTY WILDFIRE ALERTS PROVIDED CRITICAL, TIMELY INFORMATION DURING EARLY HOURS OF WEST FIRE IN ALPINE

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos by Bob Scheid, shortly after the West Fire began, helped us provide critical early warning to our readers

July 9, 2018 (Alpine) – In the critical first few hours of the West Fire in Alpine, our East County Wildfire & Emergency Alerts provided the earliest news that a fire had begun and was threatening homes in Alpine. In the first 12 hours, we posted 38 updates including Twitter, email, articles and social media.

During the fire’s first day, our first alert was sent at 11:44 a.m (simultaneous to the Forest Service's first Tweet five minutes after the fire was reported at 11:39 a.m., per Cal Fire's incident report). That was nearly an hour and a half before the first Cal Fire and County Fire Authority Tweet at 1:04 p.m.  and a full four hours before the first Cal-Fire e-mail alert went out at 3:43 p.m. announcing “numerous structures destroyed.”

Cal Fire/County Fire Chief Tony Mecham has said homes were burning within eight minutes after the fire started, Patch.com reports.

Alpine Fire Department, battling the inferno amid power outages and grappling with a seriously injured fire captain, didn’t get their first Twitter alert out until the next day.  Cleveland National Forest did send timely alerts via Twitter only, but stopped after the fire burned outside of federal lands and into neighborhoods with homes.

During the first 12 hours of the fire, we sent frequent updates via Twitter and email, as well as posting numerous updates on our webpage plus photos and video link. We even went the extra mile to post some information on our Facebook page and on some community forum Facebook pages in or near the Alpine area, where many were without power but could access those sites on cell phones.

ANIMAL SERVICES HELPS PETS, LIVESTOCK DISPLACED IN WEST FIRE

 

Owners sought for pets found after Alpine fire

By Yvette Urrea Moe, County of San Diego Communications Office

July 9, 2018 (Alpine) - The County Department of Animal Services rescued or sheltered approximately 30 animals from the West Fire, and after reuniting all but four, staff members are helping people impacted by the fire with pet food and resources if needed at the Alpine Local Assistance Center.

DONATE GOODS TO HELP ALPINE FIRE VICTIMS

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 9, 2018 (Alpine)--A donation center has been set up  by Living Life Alpine for the pubic to drop off goods to help survivors of the West Fire in Alpine, which destroyed at least 35 homes as well as many outbuildings, also damaging other properties.  Donations can be dropped from from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Boulder Oaks Elementary School auditorium at 2320 Tavern Road, Alpine.

This location has changed from an earlier site opened last night, which has already provided relief supplies to several families. 

“Any donations are welcome,” the organization’s Facebook page states.  “Here are some ideas:”

WITH FIRE 92% CONTAINED, ALPINE RESIDENTS RETURN HOME – WITH DOZENS FINDING ONLY ASHES

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Ready San Diego

July 8, 2018 (Alpine)—The grim toll wrought by the 505-acre West Fire in Alpine has risen. With the wildfire now 92 percent contained and all evacuations lifted, reentry brought relief for some who found homes still standing, but heartache for others facing total devastation.

The fire destroyed at least 56 structures, including 34 homes, a business, and 21 other buildings including barns and sheds.  Another 15 homes were damaged, along with 5 outbuildings.

Merlyn Cochran, assistant manager at Baron’s Market, was at work  when the fire started. Neighbors Al and Sharon Haven told Cochran and her husband to “go get my mother-in-law, who is 96 years old and lives at our ranch, because the winds were shifting and blowing towards our ranch,” Cochran recalls.

HEARTBREAK AND HEROISM IN ALPINE

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left, courtesy San Diego Sheriff Office, Alpine

 

July 6, 2018 (Alpine) – At the Secret Hills Ranch in Alpine, owner Missy Bender posted this  panicked message on Facebook today as the #WestFire approached: “Fire is here desperately need help…”   With 41 horses in need of evacuation, she pleaded for  help “even on foot” adding that the Sheriff wasn’t letting trailers in. “We have to lead horses out on foot,” she said, adding, “We are fighting the fire off our back fence…”

CAL FIRE LIFTS EVACUATION WARNING FOR SOME WEST FIRE AREAS

 

Update July 8, 2018 --  A Local Assistance Center (LAC) will open Monday, July 9th at the Alpine Library. County representatives & other organizations will be there to help impacted residents begin the rebuilding & recovery process. The LAC will operate 9am-6 pm, until further notice.

Source: County Emergency Services

Photo by Miriam Raftery

Update 8:30 p.m. -- Due to more accurate mapping Cal Fire reports the West Fire is now 504 acres. Firefighters continue to make excellent progress, as the fire is now 81% contained. Evacuation orders and road closures remain in effect throughout the night.

 

July 7, 2018 (Alpine) 6 p.m. --CAL FIRE San Diego announced that the following areas previously under evacuation order or warning for the West fire are now open to residents only:

  • Palo Verde Ranch community to areas outside the fire perimeter
  • Rancho Palo Verde community to areas outside the fire perimeter
  • West of South Grade Road area
  • West of the fire perimeter
  • South of Alpine Boulevard between Peutz Valley Road and South Grade Road
  • West of South Grade Road between Alpine Boulevard and Via Viejas Oeste
  • West of Via Vejas Oeste between South Grade Road and Via Asoleado
  • West of Via Asoleado between Via Viejas Oeste and Japatul Road 

The following areas remain under an evacuation order throughout the night and until further notice:

RECOVERY RESOURCES AVAILABLE FOR WEST FIRE SURVIVORS; 18 HOMES LOST IN ALPINE

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 7, 2018 (Alpine) – Firefighters made progress on the #WestFire overnight, holding the wildfire to 400 acres with containment now 30%.  At least 18 homes are reported destroyed and 8 more damaged.  Evacuation orders remain in place.  A shelter at Los Coches Middle School remains open and pets are welcome at the shelter.

If you need help after the #West Fire in Alpine, you can call 211 or click here for a list of resources:  https://www.sdcountyrecovery.com/events/july-2018-fire-recovery-resources/.

State and county emergency declarations have been issued. 

ALPINE FOURTH OF JULY PARADE DRAWS A CROWD

 

Source: Alpine Chamber of Commerce

 

July 5, 2018 (Alpine) -- Alpine’s hometown 4th of July Parade & Festival was a joyful celebration of the nation’s 242nd birthday. Whether they walked, danced or waved from vehicles and floats coming down Alpine Boulevard, parade participants with more than 65 entries smiled and called out to family, friends and visitors.

MORE CRASHES TIED TO CONCRETE BLOCKS CHP SAYS WERE LEFT INTENTIONALLY ON I-8 NEAR ALPINE

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 10, 2018 (Alpine) – California Highway Patrol seeks public help to find a person or persons who have been leaving 60-pound concrete parking blocks as well as cinder blocks on Interstate 8 near Alpine. Numerous vehicles have been damaged this year, starting in January. The most recent incidents occurred Saturday shortly after midnight, when eight to ten vehicles were damaged or disabled.

AYRES LODGE ALPINE: GATEWAY TO SAN DIEGO'S BEAUTIFUL BACKCOUNTRY

 

Our guide to unique lodging and adventures in San Diego's beautiful backcountry.

Photo, left: Courtesy: Ayres Lodge Alpine

Photo, right, by Jonathan Goetz

Story and most photos by: Jonathan Ronald Goetz

June 10, 2018 (Alpine) – The Ayres Lodge Alpine is a friendly, well-maintained hotel with old West feel and modern appeal It’s located just off Interstate 8 at Tavern Road in Alpine, gateway to the Cuyamaca Mountains, Cleveland National Forest, local lakes and other backcountry adventure areas. Alpine is in San Diego's East County, within 30 to 45 minutes from downtown and coastal areas.

ALPINE SUMMER CONCERTS IN THE PARK SERIES JUNE 29-SEPT. 7

 

East County News Service

June 5, 2018 (Alpine) – Summer concerts at the Alpine Community Center Park return on select Friday nights starting at 6 p.m.  The park is located at 1830 Alpine Blvd. behind the library.

Presented by the Alpine Community Center and Alpine Library, the concerts provide live music for all ages.  Bring a picnic dinner or you can buy food from local vendors.

The summer concerts schedule is:

AT VINTAGE ALPINE, GUESTS SIPPED, SAVORED, AND RAISED $23,000 FOR CHILDREN’S CHARITIES

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 23, 2018 (Alpine) – Amid the beautiful garden settings at Summers Past Farms in Flinn Springs, hundreds of guests at Vintage Alpine savored the flavors of foods from around25 local restaurants, over 40 regional wineries and breweries – all to support Alpine Kiwanis Club’s charitable efforts for local children’s causes.

BARON’S MARKET KICKS OFF SUMMER WITH STOCKROOM SPEAKEASY MAY 30 IN ALPINE

 

Backroom Beer Pairing to feature imaginative brews from Temecula’s Aftershock Brewing; proceeds benefit animal rescue charities

East County News Service

May 17, 2018 (Alpine) - Summer calls for sipping on refreshing brews in great company. On May 30, you can do just that when Barons Market teams up with Temecula’s Aftershock Brewing to pair tasty beers with delectable dishes at each of its seven Southern California grocery stores for its summer-themed Backroom Beer Pairing. Often with sell-out crowds, Baron’s Backroom Beer Pairings transform Barons Market’s loading docks and stock rooms into food and local brew speakeasies.

ALPINE AND GROSSMONT AGREE TO END LITIGATION OVER HIGH SCHOOL

 

By Miriam Raftery

File photo: Students testified to GUHSD board on behalf of an Alpine High School, before board reversed its decision to build the school.

March 2, 2018 (Alpine) – In a joint press release, the Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD), Alpine Union High School District (AUSD) and Alpine Taxpayers for Bound Accountability (ATBA) announced a resolution to end the prolonged legal battle over the never-built Alpine High School.

The AUSD and ATBA have agreed not to appeal to the state Supreme Court, after an appeals court ruled on behalf of Grossmont that an enrollment requirement to build the school had not been met and that therefore, Grossmont is not obligated to build the school.  In exchange, the GUHSD has agreed not to seek recovery of its court costs from the Alpine district or the Alpine taxpayers group.

VIEJAS CELEBRATES GRAND OPENING OF THE WILLOWS HOTEL AND SPA

 

 

 

 

 

 

Backcountry hidden pleasures:   Our guide to unique lodging adventures in San Diego’s beautiful backcountry

By Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine

 

 

February 9, 2018 (Alpine) – At the grand opening last week of The Willows Hotel & Spa, an adults-only luxury high-rise  at the Viejas Casino & Resort in Alpine, located in San DIego's inland region, tribal chairman Robert Welch reflected told the crowd to "put on your sunglasses, because the future of Viejas has never looked brighter!”

The entire facility is reserved for adults only (families may stay at the original Viejas Hotel nearby). Each suite is sumptuously appointed and attention to architectural and design details are evident in craftsmanship throughout.

The Willows features a tower with 159 suites, a saltwater swimming pool, spa and salon facilities, restaurants, fitness center, and business center.

DOUBLE BLOW: COURT RULING ON BOND FUNDS AND STATE DECISION AGAINST UNIFICATION KNOCK DOWN HOPES FOR ALPINE HIGH SCHOOL

 

 

By Paul Kruze; Miriam Raftery also contributed to this report

Hear court audio

Read appellate decision

January 21, 2018 (Alpine) -- Just as students returned to school after winter break last week, lawyers for the Alpine Union School District (AUSD), Alpine Taxpayers for Bond Accountability and Grossmont Union High School District returned to court in front of a three-judge tribunal headed by Associate Justice Patricia D. Benke of the 4th District California Superior Court of Appeals.  

But a week later, the court panel upheld an earlier ruling by Judge Pressman against Alpine, agreeing that the GUHSD need not keep millions of dollars set aside for an Alpine High School that now may never be built, despite previous bond measures approved by voters that included funds for the school. Then on Friday, the State Board of Education denied Alpine's unification petition that would have enabled the AUSD to build the high school. The double losses may prove to be knock-out blows for the hard-fought effort to bring a high school to Alpine.

READER’S EDITORIAL: KEEP ALPINE’S SMALL TOWN CHARM

 

An open letter to County Planning and Development Services by Mary Harris

January 21, 2018 (Alpine) -- I don't want future development projects in Alpine to include designs that are not consistent with keeping the small town charm of Alpine. We have already seen many developments in Alpine that make our town resemble our nearest city, El Cajon. I do not want to see conformity in designs that lack character. Examples of this that we have already been forced to accept are the Albertson's shopping center.Albertson's design shows no attempt to fit in to our towns historic rural feel, but instead looks like a typical store one would see in El Cajon. No effort was made to include creative facades, water features, or shade bearing trees.

DEPUTY INJURED IN STRUGGLE WITH SUSPECT MISTAKEN FOR BURGLAR IN ALPINE

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 11, 2018 (Alpine) – Sheriff’s deputies responded to a report of a burglary alarm at the Alpine School District yesterday around 4 p.m.  After security the perimeter of the building, they contacted a person they believed to be a possible suspect.   The individual, Kelly Carpenter, 59, “became uncooperative and assaultive toward deputies,” according to Sergeant James Blanton.  A deputy was injured in the struggle and received treatment for minor injuries.

HEARINGS ON ALPINE HIGH SCHOOL AND UNIFICATION

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 9, 2018 (Alpine) – Two key hearings that could determine the future of students in Alpine are coming up: a court appeal and a State Board of Education hearing  January 19 at which the Board will consider a recommendation by the Department of Education to deny a unification petition, and a January 11 appeal of a lawsuit over funds to build the long promised Alpine High School.

WANT POWER DURING OUTAGES? LEARN HOW TO BUY A GENERATOR DEC. 20 AT THE ALPINE LIBRARY

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 15, 2017 (Alpine)—With SDG&E turning off power repeatedly during high winds, having an automatic standby generator can keep your lights on and keep critical systems such as well pumps, refrigerators, and computers operating during outages.  On Wednesday, December 20 at 5 p.m. , a presentation on generators will be held at the Alpine Library, 1752 Alpine Blvd. in Alpine.

Learn about the different types of generators such as propane vs. gas operated and features to consider such as a commercial-grade engine, non-corrosive enclosure and extended warranty. 

HOLIDAY SHOW AT VIEJAS

 
East County News Service
 
December 8, 2017 (Alpine) -- Each year, Viejas Outlets in Alpine lights up the night with a holiday spectacular show at the show court.  Guests can enjoy a dazzling display of dancing fountains, lasers, firefworks and a gentle cascade of winter snow, choreographed to holiday music.

ALPINE CHRISTMAS PARADE OF LIGHTS AND SNOW FESTIVAL DEC. 1

 

East County News Service

November 30, 2017 (Alpine) -- You’re invited to celebrate a  rural Christmas on Friday, Dec. 1, at the 22nd Annual Alpine Village Christmas Parade of Lights & Snow Festival in Alpine. A parade of glittering lighted entries begins at 6:30 p.m. on Alpine Boulevard, where shops are aglow with holiday lights.

The parade ends at the annual (free!) Snow Festival in the Alpine Creek Town Center complete with sledding on a hill with real snow There will also be children’s activities, entertainment, and a visit by Santa Claus, as well as vendors and food for purchase.

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