NEW EXHIBITION SHOWCASES MUSICAL TRADITIONS AND TALENTS ON THE BARONA INDIAN RESERVATION; OPENS NOVEMBER 19
November 16, 2011 (Lakeside)--On November 19, the Barona Cultural Center & Museum will open “Rock of Ages: Contemporary Music Traditions on the Barona Reservation” -- an exhibition that will showcase today’s native culture of singer-songwriters, rock bands, country-western players and other popular music, reservation-style.
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.
The season kicks off with a lighting of the Viejas holiday tree at 6 p.m. on Friday, November 11, followed by a free Extravaganza on Ice Show with professional skaters--plus a visit from Santa Claus.
November 5, 2011 (Alpine) -- Viejas Outlets is proud to announce the official opening of Brooks Brothers Factory Store. The 7,200 square foot store is the 9th in California and offers a full range of Brooks Brothers fine clothing and accessories for men and women.
ECM Special Report
By Miriam Raftery
Photos by Pam Wilmers, Video by Billy Ortiz
Updated October 21, 2011
October 20, 2011 (Lakeside) – Construction of an access road needed for completion of the Sunrise Powerlink in Lakeside’s El Monte Valley has been halted due to discovery of a “possible Indian site” found during road-grading activities, a property owner informed ECM yesterday.
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.
By Miriam Raftery
September 19, 2011 (Alpine) – “Tribal gaming has provided the resources to end generations of poverty,” Viejas tribal chairman Anthony Pico said at Viejas Casino’s 20th anniversary party. Gaming has also enabled the tribe to attain self-reliance and donate to many local charities.
It’s also enriched some lucky players through the years. Since opening its doors in 1991, Viejas Casino has given away $2 billion. The most recent lucky winner? Maria Teresa Magpantay Dull of San Diego, who was elated to win a 2012 Corvette valued at $35,000 at Saturday night’s celebration. View a video of the winining moment.
By Miriam Raftery
September 15, 2011 (El Cajon) – “No surface is unchanged,” Michael Tabor, director of marketing at Sycuan Casino, said in a preview tour of the $27 million remodel. Tabor has dubbed the project “Casino Reimagined.” The entire building was gutted one section at a time, remaining open for business 24-hours a day throughout construction while a top-flight design team created the architectural metamorphosis.
On September 24 and 25, Sycuan will host a grand reopening celebration. The public is invited to the event, which will include $75,000 in cash and prize giveaways.
September 14, 2011 (Alpine)—It took a tribe—and some extra teamwork in the kitchen—to serve up 4,000 free meals at the Viejas Casino’s Harvest Buffet in Alpine yesterday. The event was all part of Viejas’ 20th anniversary celebration, as tribal leaders decided to give back to a community that has helped support their thriving business ventures.
“It wasn’t easy,” Steve Robbins, Viejas executive chef/director of food and beverages said of the logistics involved. “I’ve got a culinary team of about 60 people here.”
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.
September 7, 2011 (El Cajon) – Helping keep tribal traditions alive, the annual pow-wow on the Sycuan Reservation this weekend will offer $125,000 in prize money for winning competitors. Top prizes will be awarded in the drum/singing contest, including an $8,000 first prize. Men and women, children, teens and adults will vie for additional prizes including bird dancing and bird singing. Each dance has its own special significant with traditional apparel, from buckskin to jingle dresses.
September 4, 2011 (Lakeside) -- The White Tail and New Moon families, members of a southern Cheyenne tribe, have traveled all the way from Oklahoma to Lakeside to participate in the Barona Pow-Wow. The three day event, which concludes today, draws tribal participants from across North America.
September 2, 2011 (Lakeside)--Tribal dancers from across the United States will compete for $60,000 in prize money at the Barona Poway. The pow-wow will be held Friday, September 2 through Sunday, September 4 at the Barona Baseball Field on the Barona Indian Reservation in Lakeside.
This event, which also features Native American crafts, jewelry and food vendors, is free and open to the public.
By Chuck Taylor, the Alpine Sun
August 30, 2011 (Alpine)--Anthony Pico, Viejas Tribal Chairman announced plans yesterday for a new 150 room hotel to be erected adjoining the Casino. Although the final design has not been approved, an architectural rendering of the proposed hotel was presented to the media and business owners during a press conference at the Dream Catcher Lounge.
Swinerton Construction has been awarded the project and they have pledged to use local employees on the job. Construction and expansion is expected to add about 450 jobs and when the hotel is completed it will be staffed by around 45 employees.
Guests to be treated to free meal at Harvest Buffet, $100,000 Bingo celebration and a Corvette giveaway
August 22, 2011 (Alpine) –Viejas Casino is celebrating its 20th anniversary with special events and promotions during September--including a drawing for a 2012 Corvette. On September 13, Viejas Casino says “thank you” to its guests and supporters with a free meal at the award-winning Harvest Buffet.
August 8, 2011 (Dehesa)--In August 2008, nearly 400 Dehesa Valley residents filed protests with the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) opposing Sycuan Casino's application for a liquor license. Over the past three years, community members have monitored traffic, crime and the overall impact of 400,000 casino patrons per month.
Now, like most neighbors, Sycuan and Dehesa Valley residents have put differences aside and found common ground in their hopes for a safe and thriving Dehesa Valley community. Residents have agreed to withdraw their protest of the liquor license application and Sycuan has agreed to fund traffic safety improvements in the community. An ABC hearing to resolve the matter that was scheduled for yesterday has been cancelled.
LIVE & UP CLOSE CONCERT SERIES TO FEATURE SURVIVOR, MONTY PYTHON'S SPAMALOT, MIDTOWN MEN & MORE
August 4, 2011 (El Cajon) – This fall, Sycuan Casino will welcome famous bands, musicians and Broadway actors to its intimate Live & Up Close concert venue. Performances start August 6 with '60s favorites Herman's Hermits and conclude November 22 with Monty Python's SPAMALOT.
July 12, 2011 (Sacramento) – The stakes are high.
SB 40, the Gambling Control Act introduced by Senator Lou Correa of Orange County, seeks to legalize intrastate Internet poker while cracking down on illegal online poker operations. Supporters say the bill would created a new source of revenues and jobs in California to ease budget deficits and high unemployment. But opponents contend it would undermine Indian tribal gaming operations and hurt tribal economic development.
July 8, 2011 (Alpine) -- Come enjoy the performers at the Viejas Outlet Centers Live Music in the Park on Saturday and Sunday nights in July. The acts range from jazz to country, to flamenco and more. The list of performances is below; for more on acts performing, check our calendar.
VIEJAS FIREFIGHTERS TRAVEL FROM ALPINE, CALIFORNIA TO ALPINE, ARIZONA--HELPING TO BATTLE HUGE WILDFIRE
By Miriam Raftery
June 12, 2011 (Alpine, Arizona) -- Four firefighters from the Viejas Tribal Fire Department in Alpine, California, are now in Alpine, Arizona, where they are helping to battle the Wallow Fire. The second largest wildfire in Arizona’s history, the Wallow Fire has charred over 443,989 acres, injured seven people, destroyed 29 homes and threatened thousands more.
“The Viejas fire crew is driving a Brush Engine, designed for fighting wildfires in rugged, remote areas,” said Robert Scheid, Viejas public relations director. “It has 4-wheel drive, holds 280 gallons of water and carries 1,200 feet of hose.”The Viejas fire crew includes two firefighters, one engineer and one Captain. They arrived June 7 in eastern Arizona, joining over 4,311 firefighters and other personnel now fighting the Wallow Fire, which has spread into New Mexico.
Viejas Fire Chief Don Butz has provided ECM with photos of his dedicated crew on the fire lines.
Photos by Sami Roy Photography
June 11, 2011 (El Cajon) – Paipa’s Buffet restaurant has reopened in a new location within the Syucan Casino. The restaurant, which is entirely smoke-free, has been renovated with a new kitchen, seating for 320 people, more specialty food stations and new design elements.
Executive Chef Paul Schwab is complementing visual upgrades by incorporated new menu items including brick oven pizza, a fresh pasta station, grilled steaks, freshly made tortillas,and an expansive new dessert bar.
June 11, 2011 (Mesa Verde) -- La Cuna de Aztlan Sacred Sites Protection Circle and the Colorado River Environmental Warriors invite the public to join in a protest June 18 that tribal members hope will help stop destruction of sacred Native American sites by approved desert solar power projects in California. Native Americans have raised concerns about numerous desert solar farms planned in the state, including a project in Imperial County that would bring power to San Diego. The June 18 protest is slated for Blythe, however, where construction is underway and ancient geoglyphs are reportedly being destroyed.
Top casino designers tapped to make over East County casino
June 9, 2011 (El Cajon)- Renovations are under way at Sycuan Casino http://www.sycuan.com/ . With a full design overhaul in process, the casino is scheduled to have every inch of the interior revamped by fall. The casino remains open to the public as Sycuan's design and architecture teams work in phases to renovate the casino gaming areas, create an all new non-smoking buffet, open a new sports bar & grill restaurant and install a one-of-a-kind specialty lighting fixture in the main lobby.
$5,000 Award Will Give Middle School Students Access to Laptop Computers
May 17, 2011 – Middle school students at Ramona Lutheran School are set to benefit from a $5,000 education grant awarded today by the Barona Band of Mission Indians. Assemblyman Brian Jones (R-Santee) joined Principal Donna Myers in accepting the grant that was presented to the school by Edwin “Thorpe” Romero, Chairman of the Barona Band of Mission Indians.
“Today’s teaching and learning process is being transformed by technology,” said Chairman Romero. “Barona is pleased to award this grant that will provide middle school students at Ramona Lutheran with access to computers. Our hope is to enrich their educational experience and help prepare them for high school.”
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.
April 14, 2011 (San Diego)--The San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) is working with San Diego American Indian Health Center (SDAIHC) to notify patients who were possibly exposed to tuberculosis (TB) at SDAIHC’s downtown location. The period of exposure was from Oct. 1, 2010 to April 1, 2011.
Trek draws national attention to impact of diet on diabetes
By Jeremy Los
Photos courtesy of the Viejas band of Kumeyaay Indians
February 15, 2011- Members of East County Native American tribes were among hundreds of people who took to the streets of La Jolla Shores yesterday morning to kick-off “Longest Walk III, Reversing Diabetes 2011,” a charitable walk from San Diego to Washington D.C.”
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.
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.
Deal gives players more ways to win in MEGA Millions plus Viejas to have 22,000 winners in February Lottery promotions; winnings help benefit public schools
By Miriam Raftery
January 31, 2011 – For the first time ever, the California State Lottery is teaming up with a casino to provide more winning opportunities for both Lottery players and Viejas Casino guests.
“We believe this agreement is the first of its kind in the nation between a state lottery and a casino,” Robert Scheid, public relations director at Viejas Casino & Outlets, announced at a press conference today in the Viejas Dreamcatcher Lounge.
“This partnership takes winning to a whole new level,” said California Lottery Spokesman Bill Ainsworth. “Viejas Casino is one of the best known names in gaming and entertainment in Southern California and we are proud and excited to partner with them.”