Update: 3:40: Cal Fire has cancelled resources not yet at the scene; fires have totalled less than half an acre, per latest estimate. Two lanes of I-8 east have been reopened, CHP reports.
Update 3:25 p.m.: Multiple small fires are burning on both sides of Alpine Blvd., Cal Fire's Roxanne Provaznik reports. The fire is spreading slowly and there are no immediate threats to structures.
July 30, 2012 (Alpine) -- Alpine business owners have been invited to a meeting tonight, July 30 at 6 p.m. in the Alpine Community Center Oak Room, 1830 Alpine Blvd. in Alpine, to discuss possible litigation. A letter from the law firm of Thorsnes Bartolotta McGuire LLP in San Diego states that Alpine business owners "may have a claim against San Diego Gas & Electric Company for business losses resulting from construction of the Sunrise Powerlink.
The law firm will discuss a potential class action lawsuit and advise business owners on the legal time limits for filing legal action to pursue their rights.
Governor Brown to be present at event
July 25, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)—Opponents of Sunrise Powerlink and massive industrial energy projects proposed to tie into the line are encouraging the public to join a protest on Thursday, July 26 from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m.
While SDG&E's invited dignitaries including Governor Jerry Brown celebrate completion of the new Suncrest Substation just east of Alpine, protesters will gather outside at Interstate 8 and Japatul Valley Road just east of Alpine.
By Miriam Raftery
July 17, 2012 (Alpine)—The Alpine Community Planning Group is seeking new applicants to fill a vacancy for seat 14. All interested applicants are encouraged to come to the ACPG meeting on July 26 at 6 p.m. on the Alpine Community Center.
The Planning Group previously nominated Charles Kaderabek for the position. But APCG Chair Greg Fox told ECM tonight, “Mr. Kaderabek had contacted me and withdrew his name for consideration.”
ALPINE PLANNERS REOPEN NOMINATIONS FOR VACANCY; PARK LANDS AND ZONING DENSITY CHANGES ALSO ON AGENDA JULY 26
By Miriam Raftery
July 16, 2012 (Alpine) – The Alpine Community Planning Group meets on Thursday, July 26 at 6 p.m. in the Alpine Community Center, 1830 Alpine Boulevard.
The agenda includes an opportunity for planners to ask questions of community members interested in being recommended for appointment to fill a vacant seat. The planning group previously recommended Charles Kaderabek for the slot; however he withdrew his name after revelations of tax debts, lawsuits and a lapsed law license have surfaced.
July 6, 2012 – It’s been many years since rock star Bruce Springstein performed in San Diego. Now fans of “the Boss” can enjoy his music performed by Thunder Road, twice nominated as best tribute band in the San Diego Music Awards.
Best of all, this concert is free! Thunder Road takes stage at the Viejas Casino V-Lounge in Alpine this Friday, July 6 from 8 p.m to midnight.
Updated June 20, 2012 to include SDG&E's response
By Miriam Raftery
June 18, 2012 (Alpine) – A transformer fire broke out this afternoon at the site of the new Sunrise Powerlink, where the high voltage line had just been energized, Incident Page Network reports.
“I can confirm that two transformers are on fire,” said Lori Bledsoe, editor at The Alpine Sun. The transformers are taking power from the underground portion of the Powerlink and transferring the electricity into overhead lines, she added.
By Sierra Robinson
2506 Alpine Blvd, Alpine, CA 91901
June 12, 2012 (Alpine)- Janet’s Montana Cafe, a cozy little hideaway in Alpine, definitely shows the true meaning of western-style. The Old West theme was apparent the moment we walked in, greeted by a large bull moose head on the wall.
- Carlton Oaks land agreement will connect Mission Trails to River Trail (Santee Patch)
- Victim in fatal Alpine crash was to graduate from UCSD (UT San Diego)
- La Mesa Spring Valley School District faces negative bond rating (San Diego Reader)
- Giant SDG&E line sparks rural activism (UT San Diego)
- A closer look at executive pay at Sempra, Qualcomm and other companies (UT San Diego)
- The local newspaper makes national news- NYT criticizes UT San Diego for using newspaper as pulpit for business interests (Voice of San Diego)
- ‘Third strike’ and GMO foods labeling initiatives qualify ballot (Sacramento Bee)
- Sacramento leaders eye pension changes, sales tax (Sacramento Bee)
- Election officials: get used to uncounted ballots (Sacramento Bee)
- California likely to need to cut spending more (Reuters)
- California Highway Patrol Officers union agrees to monthly furlough (Sacramento Bee)
May 25, 2012 (Alpine)--Alpine Veterans Wall of Honor is planning a big Memorial Day celebration honoring our veterans Monday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Pilots Mike Meloche and John Hickman are heading up a group of pilots who will lead a flyover of refurbished WWII "trainer" planes during the ceremonies at noon. Festivities also include the Rhythm Jacks playing live rhythm and blues music for dancing. Kids can enjoy an inflatable jumping bounce house--plus savor an All American Meal Deal, along with cotton candy, snow cones and ice cream.
May 23, 2012 (Alpine) – Alpine voters will decide on the June ballot whether nearly $12 million in bond monies should be authorized to fund the Alpine Union School District. The District faces a half million dollars in annual budget cuts due to falling property tax revenues and anticipated cuts in state funding.
The average homeowner would pay an estimated $4 more per month if Prop H passes.
Backers seek local control of education funds that can’t be taken away by the state. Funds could be used to improve facilities for safety, energy efficiency, disabled access and to update classroom computers and technology, as well as attract and retain quality teachers.
May 21, 2012 (McCain Valley) – A rollover accident that occurred on I-8 west near McCain Valley Road this morning at 10:45 a.m. has claimed the life of a Campo man, 46.
The vehicle, a 2001 Chevrolet Silverado truck, was driven by Alexus Ramirez, 19, of Alpine. Although traveling 55-60 mph, within the speed limit, for unknown reasons she lost control of the vehicle. It traveled off the south shoulder down an embankment separating east and westbound lanes, rolling over several times before coming to rest on the driver’s side.
By Miriam Raftery
May 9, 2012 (Alpine) -- Looking for a wild time this weekend?
Lions Tigers & Bears, San Diego's only exotic animal rescue facility, will be holding its annual fundraiser May 12 from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. with a VIP reception from 1:00 to 2 p.m.
Festivities include silent and live auctions, ranch animal encounters, , food, live entertainment and visits with the big cats.
By Miriam Raftery
May 5, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – In March, ECM reported on military medic training at Covert Canyon in Alpine that reportedly includes maiming and shooting of live pigs. Now Change.org has launched a petition to stop use of live animals in military medical training.
“A new undercover investigation shows in graphic detail how more than 6,000 goats and pigs are intentionally maimed -- while they're still alive and many without adequate anesthesia--in military medical training exercises every year,” Change.org reports. “The Department of Defense says trainers slice open live animals and saw off their limbs in order to train medics in how to treat human injuries.” (Warning: Video footage from the investigation is disturbing: goats' legs are cut off with garden shears and goats moan in pain.) View video or sign the petition: http://www.change.org/petitions/us-military-stop-shooting-cutting-open-and-breaking-the-limbs-of-living-animals?utm_campaign=iWVzokHZYt&utm_medium=email&utm_source=action_alert
April 25, 2012 (Alpine) – The Center to Help Instill Respect & Preservation for Garden Wildlife, Inc. (CHIRP) is hosting the 15th Annual Alpine Sage & Songbirds Festival & Garden Tour May 4-6 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m at the Show Court at Viejas Outlets, 5000 Willows Road, Alpine. This year’s theme is Waterwise & Butterflies and the garden tour will include 6 bird and butterfly friendly gardens, a place of worship habitat garden and a raptor rehabilitation facility.
April 27, 2012 (Alpine) – The Southern Indian Health Council, Inc. will be holding its 6th annual Spring Gathering on April 28 at 4058 Willows Road, Alpine from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. The event is to raise public awareness for sexual assault, child abuse and supervised visitation.
Update: 10 News has additional information on this situation:
April 24, 2012 (Alpine) – Sergeant J. Passalacqua at the San Diego Sheriff’s Alpine station has sent the following report on a serious communications and security breach in our region that has shut down broadband across the U.S., including critical defense networks:
April 12, 2012 (Alpine) – The Alpine Chamber of Commerce is holding its “I Love a Clean Alpine” event on April 14 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The event begins at the Triangle, 2157 Alpine Blvd. with a free continental breakfast. Vests and bags will be distributed for cleaning up Alpine Blvd. and Wrights Field. At noon lunch will be provided.
BILLS FOR BILL: FUNDRAISER AT ALPINE TAVERN APRIL 2 TO HELP COVER MEDICALCOSTS FOR EDUCATION LEADER BILL WEAVER
By Miriam Raftery
March 19, 2012 (Alpine)—A spinal tumor and life-threatening infection have left Bill Weaver, a dedicated education leader and advocate for East County’s children, in need of community help. I ask our readers to join in efforts to help Bill, who requires continuing in-home care while recovering from a long hospital stay. There are two ways you can help.
On Monday, April 2 from 3-10 p.m., the Alpine Tavern & Grill at 2502 Alpine Blvd. in Alpine will host “Beers for Bill,” donating 20% of proceeds to help pay for Bill’s medical expenses.
Editor's note: A representative of Marc Halcon and Covert Canyon has objected to several points this story. We stand by our story with addtional clarifications and details. Read our full response here: http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/node/9220.
By Miriam Raftery
March 5, 2012 (Alpine) – A Channel 8 video reveals that pigs are being shot and wounded for use in live training exercises for military medics at Covert Canyon, a private facility in Alpine owned by Marc Halcon’s Covert Canyon LLC.
Now some Alpine residents are squealing over the latest in a string of operations conducted at the facility, some in defiance of county regulations and concerns of fire officials.
February 27, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – Accidents have been reported on both eastbound and westbound I-8 in Alpine near Willows Road due to ice on the highway this evening. Due to snowfall, chains are required on Sunrise Highway, in Julian, and on old highway 80 in Jacumba. Snow ploughs have not been able to keep pace with the snow fall, CHP reports.
Moderate to heavy snow is falling from Pine Valley to Crestwood, with lighter snow elsewhere and heavy rain in some mountain communities including Santa Ysabel.
$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.
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.
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.
FOREST CONSERVATION INITIATIVE LANDS IN ALPINE ON AGENDA AT JOINT HEARING OF TWO ALPINE COMMUNITY PLANNING GROUP SUBCOMMITTEES TURSDAY, FEB. 9
February 7, 2012 (Alpine)—Planning group members will hear public testimony and a presentation by the County Department of Planning and Land Use on a draft land use plan for former Forest Conservation Initiative lands in Alpine.
The changes could make it easier for some landowners to build on certain properties in the Alpine area.
By Miriam Raftery
February 3, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)—Last April, SDG&E said it removed a pilot for flying too close to eagle nests in El Monte Valley, after ECM documented the violation on video and sent it to state regulators. Now it’s happened again.SDG&E has admitted to at least three new incursions into no-fly zones around golden eagle nests in the Bell Bluff area near Alpine and in Thing Valley, near Mount Laguna.
The utility says it’s indefinitely suspended two pilots and is also holding two safety stand-downs. But some concerned residents fear that’s not enough to protect the eagles—and they want to see regulatory options increased.
February 2, 2012 (Alpine) – A Sig Alert has been issued due to an accident blocking the left lanes on I-8 east just west of Dunbar Lane. An overturned vehicle is on its roof. The Sig Alert was issued at 10:09 a.m. Traffic has reportedly been backed up to Tavern Road. CHP is in process of reopening one of the blocked lanes, CHP website indicates.