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ALPINE ---- Celebrate the holiday season with the big cats and bears and get your shopping done at the same time on Saturday, Dec. 7, at Lions Tigers and Bears in Alpine! Guests can watch animal friends open their holiday presents during this fund-raising "Christmas Festival" at the exotic animal sanctuary. The family day includes vendors with unique merchandise, food, entertainment and Santa Claus.
"This is one of our two largest fund-raising events," said LTB employee Dawn Gibbs. "The other one is our 'Wild in the Country' in May." Nationally known for its work to rescue and help exotic animals, Lions Tigers and Bears is a grassroots, primarily volunteer organization that relies on donations, membership and local supporters to help feed, house and take care of the animals.
LTB founder and Executive Director Bobbi Brink created the no-kill, no-breed sanctuary to provide a safe place for unwanted exotic animals and to "allow the animals in our care to live out their lives with dignity in a caring and safe environment."
Support the rescued lions, tigers and bears as well as other animals by making reservations and buying tickets early. Rain or shine, the festival is from noon to 4 p.m. Enjoy live music, opportunity drawings, a silent auction and shop for artwork, crafts, wine and other distinctive gifts and watch the animals have fun sniffing out their "presents."
"We put meat in very healthy containers for them to find," Gibbs said. "There will also be undecorated Christmas trees for them. They'll nibble on them, they'll chew on them, they'll carry them around. It's all stimulation for the animals. It's something new in their enclosure." Christmas Festival member tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children 12 and under. Non-member tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for children 12 and under. VIP tickets include a "Feed a Cat" experience, a welcome drink and hors d'oeuvres. Adult member VIP tickets are $95 and adult non-member tickets are $110. Call (619) 659-8078 to make reservations or buy tickets online at www.lionstigersandbears.org.
ALPINE ---- Help preserve native plants in Alpine by replanting local watershed with the Back Country Land Trust on Saturday, Dec. 7! Since 2010 the BCLT, a member of the Alpine Mountain Empire Chamber of Commerce, has been cleaning up local creeks and streams that flow into the San Diego River. Now volunteers are needed from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday to help begin restoring 16 acres of native creekside habitat on Alpine Boulevard, between Tavern Road and the Casino Inn.
"We'll be planting willow, wild grape and 'mule fat' ---- a type of broom plant," said Jon Green, BCLT program and outreach director. "All of these plants are pretty hardy and fast growing."
People who don't want to climb down into the creek bed or can't get into it can scatter native plant seed mix at the roadside, Green said. Volunteers are encouraged to bring gloves and wear long pants and long sleeves. All plants and tools will be provided. "We'll have water, so just bring your enthusiasm," said Green. Meet at the Joan MacQueen Middle School parking at 2001 Tavern Road or check in along Alpine Boulevard behind Rite Aid pharmacy on Tavern Road at Alpine Boulevard. "We'll have a booth set up, so we'll be real visible," Green said. "Everybody's welcome." Those who want to help but can't actively participate in the replanting can make tax-deductible monetary donations to the Back Country Land Trust to provide native plants for the work.
Working with more than 30 different property owners, the land trust has cleared more than 100,000 square feet of flammable and invasive arundo plant and gotten rid of more than 9,000 pounds of trash from local waterways.
During a "Giving Tuesday" Native Plant Challenge held on Tuesday, Dec. 3, the Back Country Land Trust was matching donations of any amount made online or by phone to (619) 504-8181 or mailed by midnight. Each dollar received paid for two native plants for replanting. The BCLT is also recommending 2014 memberships as great gifts for the year-end holidays! Checks made out to BCLT can be mailed to P.O. Box 1148, Alpine, CA 91901. Contribute online at www.bclt.org. To learn more about preserving the local rural heritage, call (619) 504-8181.
ALPINE ---- Fresh produce, premium foods and other products are in abundance at the new Alpine Orchards Farmer's Market in Alpine! Tempting aromas, displays and good customer service have been drawing customers in to the family-owned store in Suite 120 of the Ayres Lodge Center at 1730 Alpine Blvd. Owner David Hallak said business has been doing "really well" since his Nov. 20 grand opening, when the Alpine Mountain Empire Chamber of Commerce turned out to welcome its newest member.
"We have your everyday needs here, everything you want," Hallak said, noting his prices are competitive with similar market chains. "We're a lot closer and more convenient." Chamber Ambassadors Roger Garay of On Line Bookkeeping & Tax Service: Sallie Brown, Mary Kay Cosmetics; Rowena Murray, Wells Fargo Bank; Darryl Bush, Keller Williams Realty, and Carol Morrison, Historical Society, celebrated the ribbon cutting with Chamber staff. "The store appears to have all the basics that you need, from produce to bread and dairy, and also some personal care items," Morrison said. "It's friendly, clean, well-organized. I would encourage everyone to stop by and see it." The market and Hallak received recognition certificates from the staff of Chamber member Congressman Duncan D. Hunter; State Senator Joel Anderson and Assemblyman Brian Jones. Local royalty also participated.
When it comes to healthy merchandise, the new store presents a full array. Alpine Orchards Farmer's Market sells organic produce; seafood; quality meat; bulk items such as oats, granola, trail mix, grains, and sprouts; fresh meat; Boar's Head deli products and cheeses; health food; Dudley's Bread and sweets; hot food and a variety of salads. "We have a lot of organic and gluten-free products," Hallak said. "We have premium dairy, quality fresh produce and products." An East San Diego County resident for 30 years, Hallak said he opened the Alpine store when he realized there wasn't anything like it in the rural foothills. "We'd love to get people's feedback," the businessman said. "We are a small independent supermarket. We appreciate the community's help." To find out more about everything Alpine Orchard Farmer's Market offers, call (619) 659-FOOD (3663) or visit www.alpineorchardsfarmersmarket.com. Like the store on facebook!
ALPINE ---- The owner/operator of two beauty-related businesses at the Viejas Outlet Center in Alpine already plans to start a third one! Tangerine Risberg just held the grand opening for her new Native Dreams Beauty Supply store last month, about a year after opening her original enterprise ---- Native Dreams Day Spa & Full Service Salon ---- at the center at 5001 Willows Road."I do want to start my franchise of nail salons," Risberg said Dec. 3 about her next project. "I want to change the nail industry as we know it. It's going to be amazing." The Native American from Taos, New Mexico, received plenty of support at her latest grand opening from Viejas officials, the Alpine Mountain Empire Chamber of Commerce, area elected representatives and local royalty. Chamber Ambassadors Ben Everhart of Comfort Keepers and Rowena Murray of Wells Fargo as well as Chamber staff participated at the ribbon cutting for Native Dreams Beauty Supply. It's next to Eddie Bauer at the west end of the shopping center. Staff from the offices of Congressman Duncan D. Hunter, a Chamber member, and State Senator Joel Anderson, presented recognition certificates to the owner. Native Dreams Beauty Supply sells a full range of beauty products, including Paul Mitchell. "It's been going really good," Risberg said. "The hot sellers are products for people who have curly hair and then the semi-permanent makeup lines." It's 20 percent off any full-priced item and up to 50 percent off selected items through December at the beauty supply store. Risberg also offers free makeup consultations at the store. "We spend about 15 minutes just helping people figure out what colors they should use and how to apply makeup," Risberg said. To learn more about beauty products for personal use or for gifts, call (619) 722-1268. The Native Dreams Day Spa & Full Service Salon website is www.nativedreamsalonspa.com.
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