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DEVICE AT VIEJAS OUTLET CENTER FOUND HARMLESS

 

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.

SDG&E SUSPENDS PILOTS AFTER THREE NEW ENCROACHMENTS OF EAGLE NESTS

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.

SIG ALERT: I-8 EAST NEAR ALPINE

 

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.

RETAIL GIANT FRESH & EASY TO OPEN STORE IN ALPINE AT SITE OF FORMER DANIEL’S MARKET


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.

CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATES FORUM FEB. 4 IN ALPINE


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. 

MISS ALPINE, MT EMPIRE AND SAN DIEGO EAST COUNTY PAGEANTS MARCH 25: CONTESTANTS WANTED


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.

The organizers are seeking young women ages 6-24 to participate in the pageants that have been a mentoring program for them. The pageants are produced by the Associated Pageants of Alpine/Mt. Empire and focus on community service. There is no swimsuit competition, and no entry fee to participate, only a sponsorship fee.

MULTIPLE ALERTS: ACCIDENTS, CLOSURES & WIND HAZARDS

 

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.

ALPINE WEIGHS LAND USE CHANGES THAT MAY IMPACT 3,000 ACRES ON PRIVATE LANDS WITHIN NATIONAL FOREST

 

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.” 

POSSIBLE SCAM INVOLVING ATM CUSTOMERS IN EAST COUNTY

 

 

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. 

7 HOSPITALIZED AFTER MULTI-CAR CRASH IN ALPINE


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.

FREE “START SMART” DRIVER TRAINING FOR TEENS & PARENTS JAN. 12 IN ALPINE

 

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).

ALPINE FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT APPROVES PENSION CHANGES FOR ITS FIREFIGHTERS

 
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.

 

SHERIFF’S YOU ARE NOT ALONE PROGRAM BRIGHTENS HOLIDAYS FOR SENIORS


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.
 
The program ensures daily telephone calls and a weekly visit from a Senior Volunteer Patrol team year‐ round. If no one picks up the phone during the daily calls, a welfare  check  is  also  conducted. This  is a  FREE  service  for disabled people and seniors who live by themselves within the jurisdiction of the Sheriff’s Department. To enroll, please call (858) 565‐5200.

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.

STARS VIE TO RAISE MONEY FOR CHARITY AT VIEJAS CELEBRITY SLOT TOURNAMENT MONDAY NOV. 28

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: 

MEMORIAL SERVICE FRIDAY FOR FATHER, SON KILLED IN ALPINE CRASHES: FUND ESTABLISHED FOR FAMILY


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.

EL CAJON MAN IDENTIFIED AS DRIVER KILLED IN ALPINE AFTER HITTING SEMI-TRUCK


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.

COOL! ICE SHOW NOV. 11, OUTDOOR ICE RINK OPEN FOR HOLIDAY SEASON AT VIEJAS OUTLET CENTER

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.

DRIVER KILLED IN HEAD-ON COLLISION WAS FATHER OF ALPINE TEEN KILLED SAME DAY

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.

FATALITY ACCIDENT: I-80 CLOSED IN ALPINE


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.

FREE THANKSGIVING MEALS DELIVERED TO SENIORS IN ALPINE NOV. 24


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.

THE SKY’S THE LIMIT: ON THE ROAD WITH THE EAST COUNTY BUS TOUR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

JULIAN ACTIVIST MAKES THIRD RUN FOR CONGRESS

 
Oct. 31, 2011 (San Diego's East County)  – Local community activist Connie Frankowiak will once again make a run for Congressman Duncan Hunter’s (R-Alpine) seat in the United States Congress in 2012. In June, she will face off against fellow Democrat David Secor, Tea Party activist Terri Linnell, and Congressman Hunter in the new “top two” open primary. As the name states, only the top two vote getters will move on to the general election in November.

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.

SUPERVISOR JACOB SEEKS SHUT-DOWN OF SUNDAY POWERLINK FLIGHTS DUE TO RESIDENTS’ COMPLAINTS


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.

SHERIFF’S CITIZEN’S ACADEMY OCT. 25 IN ALPINE

 

 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.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: AN ILLUMINATING IMAGE HONORING ALPINE’S VETERANS


 
 
 
October 17, 2011 (Alpine) – Rod Hinrichsen snapped this inspiring image at the Alpine Wall of Honor last weekend, when 33 new names of local veterans were added to the monument.

“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. 
 
 
 
 
 
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