Spring Valley – land of contrasts

Dictionary Hill, mobile homes, Deering Banjos, Mt. Helix trail, the new North Park, Noah Homes, horseback riding, Cali Comfort BBQ, whiskey distillers

Mike Curphy pours whiskey in his namesake distillery
  • Mike Curphy pours whiskey in his namesake distillery
  • Dictionary Hill in Spring Valley got its name from encyclopedia salesman

  • One of the oddest things about the Dictionary Hill area, also known as La Presa, is the way the streets were laid out on the original subdivision maps. Usually, roads on a mountain or hill will be drawn around the knobby terrain, and street maps will have those characteristic curves. Dictionary Hill's are laid out in a grid that makes the area look as flat as the San Joaquin Valley.
  • By Matthew Alice, Dec. 17, 1987

Danny Palm: "I was panic-stricken; I froze.... I felt pressure...in my face, heat in my face. I was hyperventilating."

Danny Palm: "I was panic-stricken; I froze.... I felt pressure...in my face, heat in my face. I was hyperventilating."

  • Bullets for the Bully

  • Later this year, Danny Palm, a 60-year-old retired Navy commander and a man described by friends, neighbors, and family as a gentle, honorable man, will return home to his Dictionary Hill neighborhood in Spring Valley after eight and a half years in prison. His crime: killing the neighborhood bully on November 28, 1995.
  • By Ernie Grimm, May 20, 2004
  • Faith Cougar

  • I live in a mobile-home park in Spring Valley, so it’s a neighborhood inside a neighborhood. We are bounded by Jamacha Boulevard and the reservoir on the south side and a housing development on the north and east sides. After my house was sold, the divorce settled, and the lawyers paid off, I wanted a place to call my own. My older sister worried about the stigma: “You’re going to raise your daughters in a trailer park?”
  • By Lisa E. Overton, April 25, 2011
  • Long-Awaited Jamacha Boulevard Completion Angers Residents

  • What county officials describe as a "greatly improved" road construction project has some residents of a Spring Valley mobile home park angry and complaining. "They care more for the birds and skunks than about how the noise and air pollution affects hundreds of people," said park manager Frank DiCroce. He referred to a plywood noise wall at the east end of the project that the county erected to meet U.S. Fish and Wildlife permit requirements.
  • By Lisa E. Overton, July 27, 2012
  • Walk narrow, curving byways to the top of East County's Mount Helix

  • or a comprehensive five-mile walking tour (or running tour, if you have the stamina) of the mountain, try following the route arrowed on the map, beginning at Eucalyptus Park in Spring Valley. This, or one of its many possible variants, is a favorite early-morning run of mine. Car traffic on the narrow byways twisting across Mount Helix is generally sparse.
  • By Jerry Schad, Sept. 16, 2004
  • Spring Valley is the new North Park

  • About three months ago, the bar donned a large sign reading “The Bancroft” next to Fannie’s old marquee, which now entreats — perhaps tongue-in-cheek — “I assure you we are open.” And then a strange thing happened. They started booking awesome punk and hardcore bands, and, almost overnight, the place went from a shady Spring Valley shootout saloon to a destination dive for Uptown live-music lovers.
  • By Chad Deal, Aug. 21, 2013



  • Noah Homes, an upside to Down syndrome

  • They know each other from Lakeside Nursery, where they both work. There’s an opening in Richard’s house, and Tim fits the profile. He’s been invited to the dance, and next weekend, he’ll come for what’s called a respite weekend, where he’ll stay a couple of days to see if he’s a good fit for the opening, and to see if Noah Homes is a good fit for him.
  • By Elizabeth Salaam, April 2, 2014 .
  • Best Strip Mall For Bachelors

  • Intersection of Spring Street and Broadway, Spring Valley. Let's say you're a single male in the Chevy Chase, an unremarkable enough apartment complex, except for its location next to a strip mall apparently designed for the single young male. If you're feeling flush, start your day at IHOP: buttermilk pancakes $4.29 (short stack $3.29), plus $1.99 for bacon or pork sausage; $1.29 for a never-empty pot of coffee.
  • Dec. 30, 2000
  • Best horsing around

  • Sanford Bright Valley Farms. Located about 15 minutes west of downtown, several well-maintained grassy pastures are available for rides, most including corrals where you can prep and pamper your four-legged friends. Professional trainers have access to five track rings where horses can be put through show pony paces, including a 650-foot lighted ring with sand footing.
  • Dec. 27, 2001
  • America's Own Instrument

  • Bridges will discuss the history and construction of banjos on behalf of the Deering Banjo Company for Banjo Day at the Spring Valley Library. The banjo-making company, located in Spring Valley, was founded by Greg and Janet Deering in 1975.
  • By Barbarella Fokos, May 28, 2008
  • Taking up the challenge at Cali Comfort BBQ

  • Looking at it now, you may have to squint a little to envision the Spring Valley home that Bulgarian-farm-boy-cum-doctor Luben Walchef bought in 1972 and converted into a family restaurant about ten years later. The eatery went through a handful of owners before Luben’s grandson, Shawn Walchef, and friend Corey Robinson took over in 2008.
  • By Chad Deal, April 11, 2013
  • The water of life flows in Spring Valley

  • Curphy credits an innocuous run-in with law enforcement for scaring him straight. Several years back, a San Diego Police Department cruiser rear-ended his car. As all the police officers in the vicinity gathered at the scene to collectively needle their colleague for the accident, Curphy stood by, fearing the damaged trunk of his car might pop open, revealing bottles of his unsanctioned whiskey within.
  • By Ian Anderson, Nov. 20, 2018

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