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Coffee with the Community at Alpine Sheriff’s Station – December 19, 2018

Coffee with the Community – Alpine: The Alpine Sheriff’s Station and California Highway Patrol are hosting a Coffee with the Community on Wednesday, December 19, 2018 from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. at the Alpine Sheriff’s Station located at 2751 Alpine Boulevard. Please join us to meet with Sheriff’s Deputies and CHP Officers in a casual setting allowing you to ask questions, voice concerns and get to know the men and women who patrol your neighborhood. We hope to see you there! Questions? Call Crime Prevention Specialist Holly Nicholson at (619) 659-2608.


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An Open Letter to Alpine About False Political Mailers – By Lou Russo

October 17, 2018 – Submitted by Lou Russo

Good morning all. I am in Norfolk, VA on business this week.  Back there in Alpine, your mailboxes are receiving the latest round of false slime political mailers about me in the election for Alpine School Board.  They began to appear in our mailboxes two elections ago and I knew they were coming this election, and what they would say.  The same person is responsible and as before, not a single one of the people running against me has stood up to condemn them.

To begin, let me state that the assertions on it are false, as have been the ones on the previous elections.  I am 66 years old and have NEVER been fired from ANY job.  I have never attacked ANY fire victim.  I have lost political races in the past but have NEVER lost a race for the Planning Group.

You may wonder why the same person keeps sending these out, election after election.  You will have to ask him (though I learned yesterday he won’t even admit to doing it).  In the end, he, and my opponents, believe a little bit of political power is worth the lies, worth having my family stared at the walk into Albertsons or Starbucks or anywhere else in Alpine and worth lying to Alpine.

The facts are simple, I can bring the change Alpine needs in our schools, while my opposition can only give you more of the same.  Their record is attached.  My ballot statements for both school board and planning group are attached.

Ask yourself if your schools are better off than they were four, or even two, years.  You know they are not.  You know if my opponents had anything positive, they would present it.  Their false slime flyers shows they don’t. Vote Russo!


The West Fire has taught us a lesson that I have known all along…

Development in Alpine must only be done with careful consideration for the fire threat in our area.  Emergency access is essential.  For years I have been the voice of reason on the Alpine Community Planning Group.  My primary concern is the safety of Alpine’s residents and protection of our homes, animals and possessions.  I have consistently stood up for intelligent, safe, development while protecting the private property rights of us all.  In addition, I am the only current planning group member to have worked with a group of residents for a park for all of Alpine, one that has shade, sports fields, picnic areas and a leash-free dog park.  Finally, I was the only current planning group member to have worked with parents to place the lighted crosswalk at Alpine Elementary and the traffic slowing signs at Joan McQueen Middle School.  A vote for me guarantees that you will be represented in planning decisions in our community.  I will not place any special interests above your interests.



AUSD was sued by San Diego Unified for putting Endeavor Charter School in San Diego Unified boundary.  AUSD lost and Endeavor was shut down with employees losing their jobs!

AUSD sued Dehesa School District over the Heights Charter in Alpine.  AUSD lost.  (Recently Dehesa renewed the agreement with the Heights.  AUSD threatened to sue again!)

AUSD sued Grossmont Union High School District over bond language.  AUSD lost.

AUSD applied to the State Board of Education to break away from Grossmont and have its own Unified District.  AUSD lost.

AUSD had to shut down the district office and move the district headquarters to JMMS….because the office was damaged by a storm and AUSD didn’t have the money to repair it.

AUSD had the buses fail inspections by CHP two times and was on the verge of failing a third time.  AUSD couldn’t afford to fix them and had to contract with Grossmont to run our transportation.  AUSD sold its buses for scrap.  Our children rode on them for two years while CHP said entire transportation department was unsatisfactory and the buses unsafe!

The principal and vice principal at JMMS were illegally changing grades.  When caught, the principal was allowed to resign and the vice principal was sent back to the classroom.  Neither had any adverse action filed with the State as required!

One of the Trustees’ wives was illegally promoted and had to be sent back to her old job.

Federal Department of Education Civil Rights Division in San Francisco currently investigating AUSD over bullying/racial bullying!

Essential staff positions are going unfilled.  In particular, JMMS missing both a vice principal and a librarian.  No vice principal means no one to handle discipline.  No librarian means that school certification at risk because a librarian is required by state certifying agency.

AUSD spent over $1 Million of YOUR taxes in legal fees for the lawsuits/illegal activities!

AUSD is rated as AVERAGE by Great Schools ranking website while Heights Charter and Los Coches Creeks Middle School are rated superior!

AUSD running out of money in October and has to borrow.

AUSD employees, from best principal to best teachers to Chief Business Officer leaving district.



*Please note that the Alpine Community network does not endorse ANY CANDIDATE. All candidates are welcome to submit information to be posted so the community of Alpine can be better informed.


Statement By GEORGE BARNETT: Seeking Re-Election to the Alpine Community Planning Group Board 2018

*Please note that the Alpine Community network does not endorse ANY CANDIDATE. All candidates are welcome to submit information to be posted so the community of Alpine can be better informed.

October 2018 – My name is George Barnett and I am seeking re-election to the Alpine Community Planning Group.  A resident since 1999, my wife, two of our sons and all of our grandkids live here.

My top priorities are:

One, involving townspeople in the Community Plan Update; a Supervisor Dianne Jacob supported effort to define the future nature of Alpine while preserving our rural, mountain village character.

Two, strongly supporting the rights of private property owners.

Three, seeking opportunities for more park land, and for supporting the improvement of our 20-year old middle school sports playing fields.

I am involved in numerous Community Activities:

Alpine High School Citizens Committee as a Member and former officer – working diligently for a local control Alpine High School.

Alpine Education Foundation:  Treasurer & Director – working with others raising funds for, and delivering enhanced S.T.E.A.M. education programs, to Alpine schools.

Back Country Land Trust:  Vice President & Director – conserving Open Space lands and operating Environmental Preserves (like Wright’s Field) for the public’s use and enjoyment.

Chairperson of the Public Action & Major Public Policy Subcommittee, Planning Group – reaching-out to Alpiners on major public policy land use planning issues.

Secretary & Member of the Parks & Recreation Subcommittee, Planning Group – reaching-out to Alpiners to improve & expand parkland.

I am endorsed by the ‘real’ Republican Party of San Diego and by many Alpine Parents & residents.


These are my Positions on Major Public Policy:

One, Support for Alpine’s Businesses.  The health of local businesses is vital.  It is a role of the Group to encourage and support infrastructure needed for local businesses to thrive.  To date, over $10 million in improvements to storm water drainage, curbs, sidewalks, pathways, and so on have been completed.  The Group has prioritized roadway needs, including better ways to protect our school children when walking to and from schools.

Two, Support for Alpine’s Schools.  Having our own Alpine high school is critical to Alpine land use planning and zoning.   Young families are not coming to Alpine because we have no high school.  Established Alpine families are leaving Alpine for the same reason.  There is every reason for families to move to Alpine, with its K-8 Destination School District of the East County; but for the lack of a high school.  A high school will have profound beneficial impact on Alpine.  It fulfills the town’s character.  And everything about a high school impacts the role of the Planning Group, whose planning for traffic circulation, roads-pathways-sidewalks, parkland, housing, electric power, water, sanitation, and environmental impacts is crucial.

Three, Support for the Environment.  The Planning Group serves a vital role in supporting the environment by reviewing and approving property development proposals.   It compels developers to ‘mitigate’ the detrimental impacts of their development projects on the town.  Developers contribute cold hard cash into two special accounts – one for community parkland and one for school district infrastructure and facilities.  And too, developers often contribute superb environmental open-space properties to the community for its use as passive parkland.

My campaign statements and detail s of my proposed direction for Alpine follows at the League of Women Voters’ “VotersEdge” :


George Barnett




Preserve Our Natural Beauty In Alpine – By Mary Harris

I have read that Back Country Land Trust wants to contribute drought resistant plants to the center of Alpine towards a beautification project. I really appreciate their contribution, but I have a bone to pick. Drought resistant plants don’t replace beautiful and even historic trees.Trees can be considered historic and are preserved as such in some areas. In Alpine, we have lost a lot of trees but not enough efforts are being made to replace them. Recent examples are the loss of the great hundred some year old oak at the community center park and the towering eucalyptus at the Town Hall. But there are many others.

It’s so easy to destroy compared to build. Along with trees, our planning group has given approval to the destruction of historic buildings in Alpine, throughout the years. I put the blame on the county as well, that signs off on these plans of destruction.Right now, as I am writing this I hear the sounds of heavy equipment leveling the property that I view out my kitchen window. I woke up to these sounds at 8 am the other morning, As I looked out my window, I witnessed the demolishment of what could have been a historically preserved house. It was on 3/4 of an acre sharing a boundary with Alpine Terrace Apartments on Olivewood Lane, just west of our post office.

Then to add insult to injury, I witnessed  more devastation as the magnificent oak came down to meet its death. Following was the death of a grand old palm and fruit bearing trees. Where does it end, I ask myself? I was sad. I was angry, and then resigned to having to accept yet another foolish decision on the part of the owner of the property, the buyer of the property,our planning group, and our county.

Money should not be the sole motive in these kinds of decisions. Thirteen townhomes are planned to be built on the near acre sized lot where the grand old house stood. Could the builder have designed a plan that could incorporate at least some of the trees? Could the owner have insisted that he would not sell unless some of the trees were allowed to remain? Could our planning group delay approval of the project until more community input was sought?

Could the county realize that this is not a wise plan in general because of the overcrowding of this area, the increased burden of traffic and parking, and maybe even take into consideration what the majority of Alpine people want instead of what the developers want? Along with that could they realize the poor planning that is persisting when we destroy not only beauty but habitat to our many birds and animals? And we all know how important trees are to climate cooling by providing shade and how they help clean our polluted air. I used to look out my window from my apartment and view the moon at night, and by day the trees and other plants. Now, if I stay here, I will be looking out at someone looking back at me from their window.I will view the new buildings walls and that’s it.

This is what I want to emphasize: someday, if we keep allowing this kind of thoughtless planning, we will want to move to somewhere that is like Alpine used to be. But someday, if this destruction of habitat continues on its haphazard course, there will be no away to move to.

It sickens me. It saddens me.It angers me. I talk to my apartment neighbors and they feel the same. Couldn’t we just have one little grassy area where we could take our kids to play, they ask? There won’t be any land to plant grass on! If you are rich and can buy like many on our planning group have been able to do, then yes, you can have grass. But the rest of us, sorry, you can’t. Parks used to be reserved for the privileged few. Thank God some dedicated people worked to change that decades ago, so that parks could be for all and not just the privileged

My plea to my neighbors is to get out and do something. Instead of limiting your voices to be heard only amongst yourselves, do something. Take action.get involved and be a part of the solution, even if you have to start small.


Mary Harris –



Working with the US Forest Service, the Greater Alpine Fire Safe Council recently finished cutting the Viejas Creek Fuelbreak and now has 1100 piles of brush ready for burning. CALFIRE will start these prescribed burns on Monday, April 16 and is expecting to complete them in approximately two weeks time. Don’t be alarmed when you see smoke plumes in the air east of Alpine during this period!

Beautiful Buggy Seeks Experienced Driver and Well-Mannered Horse for Alpine Parade



March 2018 – This lovingly restored 1906 Doctor’s Buggy has come of age and is ready to make a big showing in our little town. But, she is lonely and definitely in need of some exercise. After a total make-over in 2015, in the loving hands of the Alpine Historical Society, she has been in search of a talented driver and a well-trained horse that are comfortable in a crowd and willing to be her escort in the Alpine 4th of July Parade. If you might be the right driver or know someone who could be, please contact the Alpine Historical Society by email at or call 619-885-8063.

Alpine Community Planning Group (ACPG) Meeting (Preliminary Agenda) – March 22, 2018


Notice of Regular Meeting | Preliminary Agenda

Thursday, March 22, 2018 at 6:00pm

Alpine Community Center | 1830 Alpine Boulevard, Alpine, CA 91901

*View Agenda and list of Planning Group Members HERE: ACPG – March 22nd 2018 Preliminary Meeting Agenda


  1. Call to Order
  2. Invocation / Pledge of Allegiance
  3. Roll Call of Members
  4. Approval of Minutes / Correspondence / Announcements
    1. Approval of Minutes
      1. February 22, 2018
    2. Announcement of Vacancy on the ACPG for Seat #3. This is an opportunity for those interested in serving on the Alpine Community Planning Group to make a statement to the group about their credentials and desire to serve.  No recommendations will be made at this meeting.  The Group will make a recommendation at the April 26, 2018 meeting.
    3. ACPG Statement: The Alpine Community Planning Group was formed for the purpose of advising and assisting the Director of Planning, the Zoning Administrator, the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors in the preparation, amendment and implementation of community and sub-regional plans.  The Alpine Community Planning Group is an advisory body only.
  5. Open Discussion: Opportunity for members of the public to speak to the ACPG on any subject matter within the ACPG’s jurisdiction that is not on the posted agenda.
  6. Prioritization of this Meeting’s Agenda Items
  7. Organized / Special Presentations
    1. The ACPG Parks and Recreation Subcommittee will provide an update regarding the proposal to renovate the sports/playing fields at Joan MacQueen Middle School. The group may make a recommendation to the County to allocate Park Land Development Ordinance funds towards the project.  Presentation, Discussion & Action.
    2. The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) recently discussed the idea of charging higher utility rates for electric customers living in areas with higher risk of wild fires. The ACPG will discuss this proposal and draft a letter to the CPUC with the group’s recommendation.  Presentation, Discussion & Action.
    3. In January 2017, the ACPG provided written comments to the CPUC regarding a Draft Environmental Report for the Proposed Suncrest Dynamic Reactive Power Support Project. The proposed project is located approximately 3.75 miles southeast of the community of Alpine and approximately 1 mile east of the existing Suncrest substation. The Proposed Project includes a power facility and a 1-mile transmission line to the existing Suncrest substation.  Members of the community have requested the ACPG revisit this project and consider additional action.  Presentation, Discussion & Action.
    4. At the February 22, 2018 ACPG meeting the representatives from the County of San Diego reviewed with the group the concept of funding road improvements using Traffic Impact Fees (TIF). The group discussed a process for identifying potential projects that were eligible for TIF funding.  Group to review list of areas that are eligible for TIF funding.    Presentation, Discussion & Action.
    5. The ACPG will review a preliminary engineer report for potential improvements to the culvert crossing on Tavern Road at Alpine Creek Way. Presentation, Discussion & Action.
  8. Group Business:
    1. Subcommittee Chairs to submit list of subcommittee members for approval. Discussion & Action
  9. Consent Calendar
  10. Subcommittee Reports (including Alpine Design Review Board)
  11. Officer Reports
  12. Open Discussion 2 (if necessary)
  13. Request for Agenda Items for Upcoming Agendas
  14. Approval of Expenses / Expenditures
  15. Announcement of Meetings:
    1. Alpine Community Planning Group – April 26th, 2018
    2. ACPG Subcommittees – TBD
    3. Planning Commission – March 23rd & April 13th 2018
    4. Board of Supervisors – April 17th, 18th, 24th, & 25th 2018
  16. Adjournment of Meeting


Disclaimer Language


Public Disclosure

We strive to protect personally identifiable information by collecting only information necessary to deliver our services. All information that may be collected becomes public record that may be subject to inspection and copying by the public, unless an exemption in law exists. In the event of a conflict between this Privacy Notice and any County ordinance or other law governing the County’s disclosure of records, the County ordinance or other applicable law will control.


Access and Correction of Personal Information

You can review any personal information collected about you. You may recommend changes to your personal information you believe is in error by submitting a written request that credibly shows the error. If you believe that your personal information is being used for a purpose other than what was intended when submitted, you may contact us. In all cases, we will take reasonable steps to verify your identity before granting access or making corrections.

Travis Lyon | Chairman
Alpine Community Planning Group
P.O. Box 1419, Alpine, CA 91903-1419




What Is Worth Fighting For in Alpines Future? By Mary Harris

February 23, 2018

What Is Worth Fighting For? – Submitted By Mary Harris

We are like a ripe fruit ready to be picked. Developers are eyeing us like hungry wolves. I hear people saying that their voice doesn’t matter, that the big guys always get what they want. I feel the increased anxiety as the rents climb steadily higher but the paycheck does not. It’s like the glass is full and one more drop will cause it to overflow.

Throughout history, people have found the courage to stand up for what they know is right. As we become involved in our community, we pay more attention to what’s going on around us. Plans are in process which will alter our town’s identity forever. The County of San Diego is holding a series of meetings called The Alpine Community Plan Update. The next meeting should be in March, at the Alpine community center. Look for it to be announced in The Alpine Sun and on Alpine Community Network.

We have a group called the Alpine Community Planning Group (ACPG), that meets monthly (with some exceptions), whose mission is to represent us in any matters concerning land use, and communicate what we want to our county supervisor, Dianne Jacob. The ACPG is an advisory body. As such, It has no decision making power, but it is able to influence our decision makers. But in order to represent us, they must hear us. They need to find ways to connect with us, an area in which they fall short. We need to go to them, as we can’t expect them to reach out to us.

Imagine how development will impact our quality of life in twenty years. We can have input in regards to how much, where, and what it will look like. We value open space. We wanted safer areas to raise our kids and a relaxing environment in which to spend our retirement years. We wanted the beauty of nature and wildlife. Is it worth fighting for? Can we preserve open space, historic sites, plant diversity, areas of archaeologic importance and habitat for animal species?

When developers build a housing development they are required to put money or land into a fund for the community’s use, for parks and recreation. This fund is called the Parkland Dedication Ordinance (PLDO). Alpine currently has $950,000 in this fund. The ACPG can vote to prioritize the money in this fund, which they did recently. They voted to prioritize the fund for a concept they call a Sports Complex, which would be for the school’s use. If they are successful, our PLDO fund will be zeroed out. If developers achieve their goals of filling in open space with tract homes and businesses, then we should, at the very least, have a substantial park built here that we can be proud of for the use of the entire community.

Take a look around Alpine and note what you would miss if it were gone, and what you feel sad about that is already gone. The late 70’s gave rise to a development boom that resulted in urban blight. We are on the threshold of another boom.  Most of us want to see development thoughtfully designed to preserve open space and designed to fit in with the rural feel of our town. Low income housing should not be left out of the plan, as the rents are climbing steadily higher. Don’t just lie down. Fight for it.

Alpine Resident Urges Others to Attend Community Plan Update & Planning Group Meetings to MAKE A DIFFERENCE

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Submitted By Mary Harris – February 2018

The next meeting of the Alpine Community Plan Update is around the corner. Look for information that will be posted soon here on ACN. You can also read more about it HERE. People living in Alpine need to attend and let their county representatives know what is on their mind. Let your voices be heard loud and clear! Tell them what YOU want and what you don’t want….. Some say that in the next twenty years, Alpine’s population may double. Development is on the rise. What do you want to see preserved in Alpine? What do you value here enough to fight for?

I have many concerns for our little town of Alpine. What style of development would you approve of? Would you prefer as little development as possible, or would you like a Walmart between Starbucks and Viejas Casino?

I am personally clamoring for a park! Not just another pocket park located on school property where no dogs are allowed. Not a thimble sized park with no shade. Not a Sports Complex “park” at the middle school….and not a park where 50% of its area is designated for athletic fields. I want a substantial park, a park we can be proud of, as a community. A minimum of 15 acres, and hopefully much more! A park which has a good sized dog park located within its boundaries. A space with green grass and big shade trees, a water feature,where we can go and enjoy nature, and bring our children and families…a park where there will be no signs saying “No Dogs Allowed”.

What do YOU want to see in a park? “A Park 4 Alpine” invites you to take a SURVEY HERE and express your wishes. If developers get what THEY want, open space in Alpine may become scarce. One way to preserve green space and habitat for wildlife, plants, and people is to create an awesome park. If I could get whatever I wanted in a park, it would be as grand as Balboa Park in San Diego or as beautiful as the park in Portland, Oregon that rises high up over the city with a view of Mount Hood.

Naysayers here want to tell us to give up on ever getting a park. We have to go to the meetings that are discussing this and many other issues relevant to us in Alpine. We need to show up to the Alpine Community Plan Update meetings. They are scheduled as a series of six meetings, and we have three to four more to go….

Also, attend the Alpine Community Planning Group meetings…they meet monthly at the Community Center next to the library, on the fourth Thursday of most months at 6 pm. The meetings are announced in the Alpine Community Network and in the Alpine Sun. (The Next meeting is March 22, 2018) You can find the agenda for the monthly meetings printed in the same publications, both online and “hard copy”,  I have learned a lot about our community since I have been showing up. I have learned a lot about who sits at the table and represents us. We can make a difference.

If you want to find out when the next meeting is you can always type the words “Alpine Planning Group Meeting” in the search bar here on the Alpine Community Network Website, or look in the Community Calendar.  You can also subscribe to the Alpine Community Network EMAIL LIST and you will be emailed all the events happening in Alpine Weekly!

Mary Harris




Letter to the EDITOR: To All the Alpiners That Want an Alpine High School, “DO NOT BE DISCOURAGED”!

By George Barnett

To all you Alpiners that want an Alpine high school, “Do not be discouraged”! 26 of your friends and neighbors and children traveled to Sacramento last week (read story here) to present our case before the State Board of Education (SBE),  The SBE had much sympathy and support for Alpine having its own high school.  It also harshly admonished Grossmont, and told Grossmont it had to repair a breech of trust Grossmont caused with Alpine.

Much more important, the State Board of Education suggested two clear and viable alternate routes to an Alpine high school; both of which it would support.

More on that later…..But keep your chins up!  I believe we will have an Alpine high school sooner than one might think.


Submitted By George Barnett 619-659-0345