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.
Update 5 p.m. - All fires are out and traffic is flowing as firefighters douse remaining hot spots.
August 30, 2011 (Alpine) 3:30 p.m. -- A Sig Alert has been issued for I-8 through Alpine, where several small brush fires along the freeway have been burning. According to Cal-Fire, three of the four blazes are now out and Cal Fire is making "good progress" on a fourth, Roxanne Provaznik at Cal Fire reports. A total of 10 acres has been burned.
By Miriam Raftery
August 27, 2011 (Alpine) – Blossom and Delilah, two bears rescued from a closed zoo in Oklahoma have arrived at their new home at Lions, Tigers & Bears in Alpine.
The animals were destined to be sold to a game ranch where they could be hunted and killed if not for the intervention of Bobbi Brink, owner of LTB, a rescue facility in Alpine.
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 10, 2011 (Alpine) – Robert Eugene Shy, 41, of Alpine, was driving his motorcycle eastbound on Interstate 8 west of Tavern Road August 9th at 9:18 p.m. when for unknown reasons he collided with the rear of a semi-truck.
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.
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.
Known as the "modern-day Nostradamus," Spivey claims to have forecast the 2004 Madrid train bombings, the Monica Lewinski scandal with President Bill Clinton, the Janet Jackson “wardrobe malfunction”, explosion of a TWA flight, and discovery of ancient life on Mars, among other predictions. He also claims the ability to communicate with those who have "passed over to the other side."
A ROARING GOOD TIME: EAST COUNTY CHAMBER MEMBERS GET UP CLOSE & PERSONAL WITH BIG CATS AT LIONS, TIGERS & BEARS
Story by Miriam Raftery; Photos by Mark and Miriam Raftery
August 2, 2011 (Alpine) -- "Oh, you're beautiful!" San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce President Scott Alevy exclaimed as his wife, Joanne, dished up a forkful of chicken. But he wasn't complimenting her cooking. Instead, Alevy was admiring Raja--a 500-pound Bengal tiger that Joanne was feeding after winning a drawing at Lions, Tigers & Bears (LTB) in Alpine.
The Chamber hosted a fundraiser to benefit the big cat rescue facility last weekend, donating 100% of proceeds to help this worthy cause while providing a memorable experience for Chamber members. View our video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFhE9h-O0Uw
July 30, 2011 (Alpine) – Exotic birds from around the world will flock to the Alpine Library on July 30th at 1 p.m. for a very special program. Be sure to bring your camera! Learn about different bird species, habitats and behaviors, then come and play with the birds at this free family event.
July 15, 2011 (East County) -- The Alpine and Mountain Empire Chamber of Commerce invites you to join your elected representatives for a lively evening discussing important hot topics on Monday, July 18. Bring your questions, enjoy appetizers and the opportunity to meet your friends and neighbors at this informative event, which is cosponsored by Viejas and San Diego Gas & Electric Company.
July 13, 2011 (Alpine) – Late Monday night, thieves stole over 1,500 linear feet of half-inch steel from the fence traversing the Wright's Field Preserve in Alpine, Alpine Community Network reports.
The theft has been reported to the Sheriff and constitutes grand theft due to the value. Now the Back Country Land Trust is asking public help to identify the thieves.
July 13, 2011 (San Diego) – Colby Shigley, 26, a Cal-Fire firefighter stationed at the Lyons Valley station in East County, has died of injuries sustained in an accident July 8th. Shigley was driving a 2000 Cadillac while visiting his terminally ill father in Munro Township, Michigan, when he struck trees and was killed.
Shigley, who lived in Alpine, leaves behind a wife, Justine, and their three children, Jaylynn, 4, Wyatt, 3, and Dylan, 8 months. A fund to help the family, the Firefighter Colby Shigley Memorial Fund, has been established at Navy Federal Credit Union in Santee.
Proposal that could halt Alpine high school construction will also be heard by board
July 11, 2011 (El Cajon) – The Boundary Committee for the Grossmont Union High School District has adopted recommendations for shifting high school boundaries throughout the distirct. The recommendations will be presented Thursday, to the GUHSD Boardat 6 p.m. in the East County Regional Education Center, 924 East Main Street in El Cajon.
Lines will be changing across East County. For example, on Mt. Helix many students now in the Grossmont High School district are proposed to shift to Monte Vista, a school with a far poorer academic record, to ease overcrowding at Grossmont. In Blossom Valley, proposed new lines would similarly shift some students to a poorer performing school, in Lakeside sparking protests from parents.
“The urgency is great and we require your help to meet this need in our community”—Alpine Food Bank
July 4, 2011 (Alpine)—The Alpine Food Bank reports a “significant increase” in need, according to a press release seeking donations of funds and food.
“Our economy over the last few years has been struggling, leaving many families barely scraping by to make ends meet. These people, who come from all walks of life and economic backgrounds, have one thing in common, the need to provide the basic necessity of food for their family,” says a statement issued by the Alpine Food Bank, a new partnership between Bethel Christian Assembly and the San Diego Food Bank to help those who are hungry in our backcountry areas.
June 28, 2011 (San Diego's East County) -- Communities across San Diego's inland regions will host a variety of events celebrating Independence Day on Monday, July 4th including festivals, parades, picnics, an ice cream social, Western-themed events, and of course, fireworks.
Below are highlights of celebrations planned in numerous East County and inland San Diego areas:
"...The ACPG bent rules with both the Powerlink and High School Ad Hoc subcommittees that cost our community dearly."
By Lou Russo, Alpine Planning Group Member
June 29, 2011 (Alpine)--I began my tenure as an Alpine Community Planning Group (ACPG) member in 2007. In 2009, I resigned my seat for employment reasons, which took me out-of-state. Thankfully, my employer brought me back to our lovely community.
When I left, it seemed our community was set to get a beautiful new full service high school and reasonable compensation/beautification for the Sunrise Powerlink project. I continued to hear that while I was gone.
Upon returning, I learned we are likely not getting a high school and all we are getting are sidewalks and parking spaces for the millions in lost business revenues along Alpine Blvd, not to mention the daily dirt, noise, wasted time and general inconvenience to those transiting our main street.
June 17, 2011 (Alpine) – For orchard owner Tim Scherer, this crime is the pits. Scherer, an East County resident in the Alpine area, informs ECM that a band of men cleared out all the apricots off a tree in his orchard several days ago.
“The owners of the Alpine brewery said it had happened to others in the area,” Scherer said. “Whoever it is has professional equipment, because they even got the fruit from high up in the tree.”
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.
June 11, 2011 (Alpine) Lions tigers and Bears is a big cat and exotic animal rescue service. It will be celebrating Father's Day with a Tacos and Beer celebration.
There will be a taco cart with a server on the premises making fresh tacos. The tacos and beer will be served from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Margaritas can be purchased for $6.00 each. During the event, feel free to roam the grounds to see all of the amazing animals.
June 9, 2011 (Alpine) - Alpine Community Network reports that an Alpine resident has informed ACN of a mountain lion siting in broad daylight. According to ACN director Angela Brookshire, ""I received an email this morning from an Alpine Resident who told me that on their way to work at Sycuan Casino at approximately 6:50 a.m. they spotted a Mountain Lion at the corner of Tavern Rd. and Dehesa Rd. in Alpine."
May 24, 2011 (Alpine) –Alpine Fire Protection District Fire Marshal Mary Tedesco advises that she received a phone call today from a resident who was called by a person claiming to be a representative from the Fireman’s Association—asking for a $500 donation.
“Firefighters DO NOT solicit for money,” Tedesco advised in a bulletin sent to the Alpine Community Network. “The only time we collect money is for the annual boot drive on the streets (in uniform) for the Burn Institute, and that takes place all over San Diego for just one day. Other than that.......NO PHONE CALLS OR ASKING FOR MONEY EVER!”
May 21, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – If you see smoke, don't panic! Heartland Fire is conducting controlled burns today in East County.
May 21, 2011 (Alpine) – The San Diego chapter of the Hells Angels, headquartered in EL Cajon, is celebrating its 45th anniversary this weekend. The group will hold a “South Run” event centered in Alpine May 20-22. Thousands of motorcyclists are expected to participate.
May 18, 2011 (Alpine) -- The FAA, US Marine Corp and local aviators have all approved flyovers to mark the dedication of the Veterans Wall of Honor, planned for May 30, 2011, at 1 p.m. on the grounds of the Alpine Community Center.
The ceremony is called "Mission Honored: Dream Achieved." It marks the dedication of the Wall of Honor, and unveil a tile with the name of Lt. John Flinn, our own Medal of Honor recipient whose name is the first to be placed on the Wall of Honor. Hundreds of other tiles will be mounted in honor of veterans who sacrificed to serve our country.
May 13, 2011 (Alpine) - East County Magazine editor Miriam Raftery will once again be a guest on Billie Jo Jannen's "TGIF" radio program tonight. Listen live on 107.9 FM from 6-7 p.m.
Hot topics will include fire victims asked to return payments from FEMA, mlitary discrimination against graduates of online schools, legislative news, Rep. Duncan Hunter's effort to save the Mt. Soledad cross, and an ECM investigation into "lion walks" that resulted in an attack on an East County resident.
May 11, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – Crime prevention specialist Paula Dickenson, USN retired, with the Sheriff’s substation in Alpine has issued a warning about hidden hazards of hookah lounges and bars.
Hookahs pose risks of hepatitis and tuberculosis transmission as well as hazards associated with tobacco and the chemicals that the tobacco contain.
Below is full text of information provided by the Sheriff’s office:
JUST WING IT: WIN FREE TICKETS TO THIS WEEKEND'S 14TH ANNUAL SAGE & SONGBIRDS FESTIVAL & GARDEN TOUR
Garden tours May 6-8, festival May 7-8
Win 2 free tickets! See below for how to enter drawing today to win!
May 6, 2011 (Alpine) – Viejas Outlet Center will host Alpine’s biggest festival, the 14th annual Sage & Songbirds Festival & Garden Tour on Saturday, May 7 and Sunday, May 8. The theme for this year's festival, which includes live butterfly releases, is "Just Wing It."
A tour of residential gardens with butterfly and songbird-friendly habitats will also be held from May 6-8, with proceeds benefiting CHIRP, a non-profit organization dedicated to preservation and enjoyment of birds, butterflies and other creatures through hands-on and interactive programs and gardens.
April 28, 2011 (Alpine)--Alpine Kiwanis invites the public to savor “good food and fine wines” at Vintage Alpine, the “wine experience in the country” set for May 1st from 1-4 p.m. at Summers Past Farms. Tickets are $50 before March 31, $60 after March 31, and $70 at the door. The event includes live music in a garden setting, a silent auction, and opportunities to meet wine and food specialists.
April 26, 2011 (Alpine) --“Mission Honored: A Dream Achieved” is the theme on May 30, 2011, when the Veterans Wall of Honor Committee hosts a community celebration to dedicate a wall of honor for local veterans.
April 23, 2011 (Alpine) --Supervisor Dianne Jacob invites you to a a “Coffee with Constituents” on Thursday, April 28 from 8:30-10:30 a.m. at the Alpine Woman’s Club, 2156 Alpine Blvd. in Alpine.