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.
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.