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.
February 1, 2012 (Alpine) –Fresh & Easy Neighborhood market, owned by British retail powerhouse Tesco, has announced plans to open an Alpine store at the site of the former Daniel’s Market. According to the San Diego Business Journal, Fresh & Easy has signed a 10-year lease to open a 22,015 square foot retail store in the Alpine Creek Town Center.
February 1, 2012 (Alpine)—Democratic, Republican and Libertarian candidates running against incumbent Congressman Duncan Hunter will be squaring off at a candidate forum on Saturday, February 4 at 1 p.m. in the Alpine Community Center, 1830 Alpine Blvd. in Alpine.
January 31, 2012 (Alpine) -- On Saturday, March 25, 2012 the communities of Alpine and Mt. Empire will host one of their traditions, the Miss Alpine, Miss Mt. Empire, and Miss East County Scholarship Pageants.
January 29,2012 (San Diego’s East County) – If you’re driving in East County, please be aware of the following hazardous situations:
- A medical helicopter is en route to 1840 Buckman Springs Road in Cameron Corners, where a rollover accident has resulted in major injuries. The accident involves a van that went off the roadway near a fire station. The accident was reported at 11:08 a.m.
- A bicyclist, 17, has been hit head-on by a vehicle on Japatul Road at Hidden Glen. CHP is closing the roadway, CHP reported at 10:47 a.m. The victim was reportedly conscious and breathing.
- High wind warnings have been issued for I-8 from Alpine to the County line and CHP advises the area is unsafe for high-profile vehicles. A wind warning has also been issued in the Julian/mountain areas.
- In Alpine, Arnold remains closed at South Grade due to repairs from a water main break.
By Miriam Raftery
January 21, 2012 (Alpine) – The Alpine Community Planning Group (ACPG) is holding a series of public hearings on proposed land use changes that could impact about four percent (3,000 acres) of all lands in the APCG planning area. The properties are among some 77,000 acres countywide of privately owned lands within Cleveland National Forest.
BROWN ACT VIOLATION ALLEGED BY ALPINE PLANNING GROUP MEMBER; CRITICS CALL FOR REMOVAL OR PROSECUTION
January 25, 2012: Updated to include comments by Terry Francke, General Counsel at Calaware, who concludes this was not a Brown Act violation and a response from the San Diego District Attorney declining to prosecute the matter.
By Miriam Raftery
January 21, 2012 (Alpine) – Alpine Community Planning Group member George Barnett appears to have violated the Brown Act when he expressed his views on an agenda item in an e-mail to members of the ACPG’s Public Facilities Subcommitee meeting, a top County official has concluded. In the e-mail, Barnett voiced strong views regarding a hand-out by the East Alpine Property Owner’s Alliance on proposed land-use changes, calling its conclusions “nuts” and “needlessly alarmist.”
January 14, 2012 (Alpine) – The Alpine Community Network reports that a reader has alerted the publication to a possible attempt to read ATM users' personal identification number (PIN) codes with binoculars outside a local market.
The suspicious individual was reported in Alpine and drove a red Cadillac, however if the activity was a scam operation it could possibly target people in other communities.
January 7, 2012 (Alpine) – A multi-vehicle pile-up shut down I-8 east near Dunbar Road this evening, but the roadway is now open, CHP reports. The accident results in injuries to seven people, who were transported to Grossmont Hospital.
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).
January 2, 2012 (Alpine)--The Alpine Fire Protection District has approved pension changes with the Alpine Fire Fighters Association. After months of negotiations, at a Board meeting on December 20, 2011 both sides agreed to a contract extension that makes changes to the pensions of current and future Firefighters employed with the District. All employees of the Alpine Fire District are members of the CalPERS retirement system.
December 20, 2011 (San Diego) -- Senior Volunteer Patrol (SVP) members are making sure the season is merry and bright for seniors who live alone. They will be delivering holiday baskets or hot meals this month to seniors enrolled in the Sheriff’s You Are Not Alone (YANA) program.
SDG&E SHIFTS HELICOPTER FLIGHTS AS EAGLE NESTING SEASON BEGINS; UTILITY SEEKS VARIANCE FROM STATE AND FEDERAL REGULATORS
Lakeside residents mourn loss of pristine views as towers dominate face of mountain listed as county scenic view corridor.
By Billy Ortiz and Miriam Raftery
December 2, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – December 1st marked the start of breeding season for Golden Eagles in San Diego’s East County. For SDG&E, that means the Sempra-owned utility company must provide a 4,000 foot no-fly buffer zone around Golden Eagle nesting sites.
The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that SDG&E has applied to federal and state regulators for a variance to extend flights by several days around eagle nests. But as of yesterday, flights near nesting sites remained halted or rerouted.
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.
The list of confirmed celebrities for the slot tournament include sports stars, TV news anchors and more:
November 18, 2011 (Alpine) – A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. today for Devon Sambhi, 16, and his father, Sunil Sambhi. The service will be held at the Alpine Community Center, 1830 Alpine Blvd., according to Tyler Smittle, general manager of the Ayres Lodge where Natalia Sambhi, mother and wife of the deceased, works.
November 17, 2011 (Alpine)—The San Diego Coroner's office has identified Patrick Strobel, 52 of El Cajon as the driver who was killed yesterday in Alpine.
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.
By Miriam Raftery
“How many more children are going to have to die before we get a high school in Alpine?” – Rose Urdahl, Alpine resident
Update November 11, 2011: Mother discharged from hospital
November 10, 2011 (Alpine) – A double tragedy has struck an Alpine family. This morning, Granite Hills High School student Devon Sambhi was ejected and killed in a roll-over accident. He would have been 17 on November 22. His mother, Natalia Sambhi, was air-lifted to a hospital. She was driving rolled off I-8 and landed on Old Highway 80 at Dunbar Lane. According to CHP, a tire problem may have caused the crash.
Now Sambhi's father, Sunil Sambhi, has died following a second accident close to the location where his son lost his life.
November 10, 2011 (Alpine) – A SIG Alert has been issued and Old Highway 80 is closed in both directions due to a fatality accident this morning just west of Dunbar Lane.
November 8, 2011 (Alpine) – Sue Roff, director of the Alpine Community Center, will once again be cooking up a Thanksgiving meal for seniors who are alone or can’t travel to be with family for the holidays. Volunteers will deliver the meals to home-bound seniors, along with gift bags filled with items donated by local merchants.
By Miriam Raftery
November 6, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) –“This is a historic time for East County,” Jo Marie Diamond, president and chief executive officer of the East Count Economic Development Council (ECEDC) told guests at last week’s “Sky’s the limit” bus tour of East County. Three busloads of business leaders rolled through our region's urban, suburban, and small town communities, learning some surprising facts along the way.
If you haven’t traveled through East County in a while, you may be surprised at the many recent changes.
COUNTY EXPANDS BAN ON SUNDAY HELICOPTER FLIGHTS, BUT RESIDENTS COMPLAIN NOISE CONTINUES AS SDG&E PUSHES FORWARD ON POWERLINK
By Miriam Raftery
November 6, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – On Friday, the County Department of Planning and Land Use announced a new amendment to noise variances granted to SDG&E for Sunrise Powerlink construction.
Due to residents' complaints, the County has banned Sunday flights over the Carveacre area, according to LeAnn Carmichael at DPLU. The County is also considering requests from other communities seeking broader bans on Sunday flights in the Alpine and Lakeside areas.
COUNTY AMENDS VARIANCE TO STOP SUNDAY HELICOPTER FLIGHTS ON POWERLINK FOR PORTIONS OF LAKESIDE AND ALPINE
Community meetings planned in Boulevard, Lakeside and Alpine
By Miriam Raftery
October 22, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) –After receiving 23 complaints about Sunday helicopter operations on Sunrise Powerlink construction, the County has amended its variance. The original variance allowed work Sundays through November, as well as on the Friday after Thanksgiving.
The amendment covers portions of two areas: Lakeside/El Monte and the Bell Bluff/Japatul area of Alpine.
October 19, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – Residents along the construction route for SDG&E’s Sunrise Powerlink Project have lodged noise complaints with the County. Now Supervisor Dianne Jacob has asked that the County revoke a waiver given that authorized SDG&E to fly on Sundays and a holiday weekend. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) also granted permission for the extended hours on federal BLM lands.
“It sounds like the Vietnam War zone out here,” bemoaned Lakeside resident Milt Cyphert, a veteran.
October 18, 2011 (San Diego) -- Want to find out firsthand how the Sheriff’s Department works? Hear how Sheriff’s Detectives and Deputies work with Crime Analysts to catch the bad guys? See the Sheriff’s K‐9 Unit in action. Learn about the split‐ second and life-‐or‐death decisions deputies make on the job every day.
“It shows the reflection of the people that are honoring the reflection of the service that their neighbors gave for this great country, exemplified by a beam of light from God,” observed Hinrichsen, a veteran whose own name is also on the wall.