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Monday, October 6, 2014

Santee Named in Top 10 Best Cities for Families

Monday, October 6, 2014

A financial website has ranked Santee as the 10th best city in Southern California for raising a family.

The ranking is based on a study that considered the quality of schools, residents’ education levels, number of households with children 18 and younger, commute times to work and housing costs. The study considered cities with a population exceeding 25,000.

Cities with the highest percentage of adults with a high school diploma or better received higher rankings because that is a leading indicator of a higher quality of life, according to the study.

The top 10 cities named in the study were: 1. Poway 2. Manhattan Beach 3. South Pasadena 4. Lake Forest 5 Moorpark 6. Rancho Santa Margarita 7 Rancho Palos Verdes 8. Cypress 9. Walnut 10. Santee

The website article explaining the study is attached below:

Study: Best Cities to Raise a Family in Southern California

Read more about Kids and Money

Southern California has the winning combo of superior schools, diversity, and safe neighborhoods for young families. Read on to find the 10 best cities to raise a family in Southern California
In our evaluation of the best cities to raise a family in Southern California, the largest cities didn’t crack the top 10, making way for smaller cities where you can actually get to know your neighbors, find a relatively decent commute and affordable housing (the standards are way different here than in other parts of the country). Pack up your family's things and start searching for your forever home, because you’re headed to SoCal.

Study Methodology

There are many cities in Southern California but for the purposes of our study, we've only included those with a population of 25,000 or more. To find the top 10 cities for our rankings, we looked at these five factors:
  1. Education
  2. Commute Time
  3. Household Type
  4. Residency
  5. Housing Costs

Southern California is home to some of the best schools in the state as well as several renowned universities, including USC and UCLA. If you're looking for an area where there's a strong emphasis on education, our rankings reflect the cities with the highest percentage of adults who earned a high school diploma or better. Generally, the more educated a city's residents are, the more it adds to the overall quality of life.
Los Angeles is notorious for traffic congestion. We know that you value your time so we chose only those cities with the best average commute for our list.
All kinds of people come to Southern California but families tend to gravitate toward certain cities. Moving is always tough but settling down in an area where there are lots of other families can make the transition easier for everyone. We considered the percentage of family households with children under 18 to pinpoint those areas with the largest kid population.
Countless people move in and out of California each year, especially around bigger cities like Los Angeles and San Diego. Getting to know the people in your neighborhood can be difficult if people are constantly moving in and out. Our study takes into account the percentage of residents still living in the same home they were a year ago to find those areas with the lowest turnover rate.
Southern California's housing market is exceptionally diverse and home prices vary widely from one city to another. We narrowed the field for our study based partly on the percentage of income residents spend on housing in each city.

10 Best Cities to Raise a Family in Southern California

10. Santee Share "Santee #10 - Study: Best Cities to Raise a Family in Southern California" on Facebook Tweet " on TwitterSantee #10 - Study: Best Cities to Raise a Family in Southern California"

  • High School Graduate or Higher: 90.6%
  • Commute Time: 23.9 minutes
  • Households With Children Under 18: 35.6%
  • Residing in Same Home: 87.8%
  • Income Spent on Housing: 27.4%

Finding a quiet country setting in the midst of Southern California's hustle and bustle may seem impossible but Santee manages to pull it off. Just over 55,000 people live in this still growing city located less than 20 miles from San Diego. With plenty of green spaces, it's perfect for getting back to nature. If you're concerned about education, Santee's School District comes highly rated, earning local, station and national recognition for academic achievement.
Did You Know: Early settler George A. Cowles was responsible for introducing several new tree species to the area, including the magnolia and pomegranate.

9. Walnut Share "Walnut #9 - Study: Best Cities to Raise a Family in Southern California" on Facebook Tweet " on TwitterWalnut #9 - Study: Best Cities to Raise a Family in Southern California"

  • High School Graduate or Higher: 92.4%
  • Commute Time: 35.4 minutes
  • Households With Children Under 18: 39.8%
  • Residing in Same Home: 92.7%
  • Income Spent on Housing: 26.2%

Peace and quiet are among the top reasons why families choose to move to Walnut, and this charming little community offers a healthy portion of both. Nearly 40% of Walnut's family households include children and almost 93% of residents have been in the same home for at least a year, which is a sign of how stable the area is. The city's proximity to Los Angeles means home prices are on the higher end of the scale, but it's offset by the fact that residents earn a median income of over $102,000.
Did You Know: Walnut was originally called Rancho de Nogales (Ranch of the Walnut Trees).

8. Cypress Share "Cypress #8 - Study: Best Cities to Raise a Family in Southern California" on Facebook Tweet " on TwitterCypress #8 - Study: Best Cities to Raise a Family in Southern California"

  • High School Graduate or Higher: 91.9%
  • Commute Time: 28.5 minutes
  • Households With Children Under 18: 35.4%
  • Residing in Same Home: 89.4%
  • Income Spent on Housing: 25.6%

Over the years, Cypress has had many names, including Waterville and Dairy City, but today it's best known as a safe and welcoming environment for families. Nearly 50,000 people live here and the wealth of job opportunities continues to attract new residents. The average commute takes less than 30 minutes, although if you work in L.A. you'll need to give yourself more time. Residents spend a quarter of their pay on housing and even though the market's heating up, there are still deals to be found.
Did You Know: Cypress is less than five miles from Knott's Berry Farm, one of SoCal's most frequented family attractions.

7. Rancho Palos Verdes Share "Rancho Palos Verdes #7 - Study: Best Cities to Raise a Family in Southern California" on Facebook Tweet " on TwitterRancho Palos Verdes #7 - Study: Best Cities to Raise a Family in Southern California"

  • High School Graduate or Higher: 98.1%
  • Commute Time: 31.8 minutes
  • Households With Children Under 18: 32.7%
  • Residing in Same Home: 90%
  • Income Spent on Housing: 24.5%

Rancho Palos Verdes is the perfect spot for people who crave beachfront access and stunning views. This well-heeled community is home to more than 42,000 residents who come to enjoy the cool coastal breezes and soak up the Southern California sun. The local neighborhoods are extremely safe and feature gorgeous homes, many of which are valued at more than $1 million. Top-rated golf courses and the Terranea Resort bring in a lot of tourist traffic but it doesn't detract from the city's serene beauty.
Did You Know: The Palos Verdes Nature Preserve is the largest of its kind in the region.

6. Rancho Santa Margarita Share "Rancho Santa Margarita #6 - Study: Best Cities to Raise a Family in Southern California" on Facebook Tweet " on TwitterRancho Santa Margarita #6 - Study: Best Cities to Raise a Family in Southern California"

  • High School Graduate or Higher: 95.1%
  • Commute Time: 28.2 minutes
  • Households With Children Under 18: 44.4%
  • Residing in Same Home: 88.3%
  • Income Spent on Housing: 28.3%

Rancho Santa Margarita sits nearly halfway between Los Angeles and San Diego, close to Mission Viejo. There are almost 50,000 people who call the city home, including an overwhelming number of families with children. The city is primarily composed of planned residential neighborhoods, although there are plenty of places to work, shop and dine. Compared to some of our other cities, the amount you'll pay for housing is higher but you'll also earn more, since the median income exceeds $102,000.
Did You Know: If you're out and about, you may catch a glimpse of some of the Real Housewives of Orange County, who film parts of the show here.

5. Moorpark Share "Moorpark #5 - Study: Best Cities to Raise a Family in Southern California" on Facebook Tweet " on TwitterMoorpark #5 - Study: Best Cities to Raise a Family in Southern California"

  • High School Graduate or Higher: 88.9%
  • Commute Time: 26.8 minutes
  • Households With Children Under 18: 41.6%
  • Residing in Same Home: 90.6%
  • Income Spent on Housing: 27.1%

If safety is at the top of your list when choosing a new city, Moorpark is just what you're looking for. The city, which has the lowest overall crime rate in Ventura County, also ranks well nationally compared to similarly sized areas. The schools here get an A+ for academics, and they offer extracurricular activities to fit just about every interest. There are a myriad of family-centric events held throughout the year, including the Country Days and the Apricot Festival. You're also close to the Happy Camp Canyon Park, which is ideal for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding.
Did You Know: From 1961 until 1993, Moorpark was home to Egg City, the largest egg farm in the world.

4. Lake Forest Share "Lake Forest #4 - Study: Best Cities to Raise a Family in Southern California" on Facebook Tweet " on TwitterLake Forest #4 - Study: Best Cities to Raise a Family in Southern California"

  • High School Graduate or Higher: 92.6%
  • Commute Time: 25.7 minutes
  • Households With Children Under 18: 36.8%
  • Residing in Same Home: 89.1%
  • Income Spent on Housing: 26.6%

Lake Forest is just down the road from Rancho Santa Margarita, but it scored a higher spot in our rankings based on the average commute and housing costs. The local housing market features an eclectic mix of upscale homes, sprawling ranches and luxury apartments, so you're sure to find something that fits your budget. If you're looking to have some weekend fun with the kids, the Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park and Limestone Canyon Regional Parks are both close by.
Did You Know: The main campus of Pastor Rick Warren's Saddleback Church is located in Lake Forest and averages nearly 20,000 attendees each week.

3. South Pasadena Share "South Pasadena #3 - Study: Best Cities to Raise a Family in Southern California" on Facebook Tweet " on TwitterSouth Pasadena #3 - Study: Best Cities to Raise a Family in Southern California"

  • High School Graduate or Higher: 96.9%
  • Commute Time: 27.9 minutes
  • Households With Children Under 18: 34.7%
  • Residing in Same Home: 86.4%
  • Income Spent on Housing: 22%

Once part of the much larger metropolitan area of Pasadena, South Pasadena is a modern city with a small town attitude. Although it's less than 10 miles from downtown Los Angeles, it truly is a world apart when it comes to safety, education and the general atmosphere. South Pasadena's fashionable neighborhoods are popular among the A-list crowd, but families won't have any trouble finding an affordable place to settle down.
Did You Know: South Pasadena is known for being the oldest self-builder of floats for the Tournament of Roses Parade.

2. Manhattan Beach Share "Manhattan Beach #2 - Study: Best Cities to Raise a Family in Southern California" on Facebook Tweet " on TwitterManhattan Beach #2 - Study: Best Cities to Raise a Family in Southern California"

  • High School Graduate or Higher: 98.1%
  • Commute Time: 27.5 minutes
  • Households With Children Under 18: 31.7%
  • Residing in Same Home: 88.6%
  • Income Spent on Housing: 23.2%

Manhattan Beach is number two on our list and the most affluent city in our study overall. Residents are very well educated, earning a median income of nearly $135,000, and home prices are among the highest in the region. The Manhattan Beach Unified School District ranks third overall in the state and there are several private and public schools serving the community. The average commute is pretty decent, and you're not far from Los Angeles, Santa Monica and Malibu.
Did You Know: Manhattan Beach is a popular filming location for movies and TV, making it great spot for celebrity star-gazing.

1. Poway Share "Poway #1 - Study: Best Cities to Raise a Family in Southern California" on Facebook Tweet " on TwitterPoway #1 - Study: Best Cities to Raise a Family in Southern California"

  • High School Graduate or Higher: 93.7%
  • Commute Time: 23.9 minutes
  • Households With Children Under 18: 38.4%
  • Residing in Same Home: 87.9%
  • Income Spent on Housing: 26.3%

While many of the cities on our list are located around the Los Angeles area, you have to head back towards San Diego to find our number one pick. Poway is just a little further north of Santee and its central location makes it convenient for exploring the beaches along the cost or hiking the trails of the Cleveland National Forest. You won't have to worry about making a slow crawl through traffic on the drive to work and while homes are more expensive, living here won't put you in the poorhouse.
Did You Know: Poway is called "The City in the Country" in honor of its rural roots.

With a combined population of nearly 5 million, Los Angeles and San Diego overshadow the 10 cities on our list in size. But, based on the criteria we used for our rankings, they don't quite measure up. While there's no denying the popularity of SoCal's largest cities, we think that as far as families go, the places we've profiled are a much better fit.

Top 10 Cities for Families in Southern California Share "Top 10 Cities for Families in Southern California" on Facebook Tweet " on TwitterTop 10 Cities for Families in Southern California"

RankCity% High School Graduate or HigherAverage Commute TimeHousehold with ChildrenResiding in Same House Last YearIncome Spent on Housing
2Manhattan Beach98.1%27.531.7%88.6%23.2%
3South Pasadena96.9%27.934.7%86.4%22%
4Lake Forest92.6%25.736.8%89.1%26.6%
6Rancho Santa Margarita95.1%28.244.4%88.3%28.3%
7Rancho Palos Verdes98.1%31.832.7%90.0%24.5%

Top 3 Small Cities for Families in Southern California Share "Top 3 Small Cities for Families in Southern California" on Facebook Tweet " on TwitterTop 3 Small Cities for Families in Southern California"

RankCity% High School Graduate or HigherAverage Commute TimeHousehold with ChildrenResiding in Same House Last YearIncome Spent on Housing
1San Marino96.2%25.337.7%90.4%24.7%
2La Cañada Flintridge97.3%27.743.1%94.8%27.4%
3El Segundo96.3%21.528.9%87.0%22.3%

Editor's Note: The minimum population requirement to be considered in this study was 25,000. San Marino, La Cañada Flintridge, and El Segundo fell below our study's official population requirement.

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Follow @CreditDonkey or write to Rebecca Lake at rebecca@creditdonkey.com
Rebecca Lake is a journalist at CreditDonkey, a credit card comparison and financial education website. Our data-driven analysis has been recognized by major news outlets across the country and has helped consumers make savvy financial and lifestyle decisions. (read more)Updated September 21, 2014

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Santee Crime Rate is Falling

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Crime in the city of Santee is going in the right direction: Down.

Statistics compiled by the San Diego Association of Governments show that overall crime in the city has declined by 24 percent in the first six months of 2014 compared to the same period in 2013.
The statistics pertain to the FBI Crime Index, which includes homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft.

Santee’s crime rate in the first half of the year was 19.52 crimes per 1,000 population, ranking it eighth among the county’s 18 cities.  The city’s crime rate rose slightly between 2010 and 2013, but it has dropped back down to the 2010 level during the first half of this year.
The statistics show that among the four cities in East County, Santee has the lowest crime rate.

What’s behind the recent success?
Criminal analysts with the County Sheriff’s Department examine crime reports, arrest histories of suspects and listen to information from the public to come up with recommendations for deploying personnel and resources. It’s called Information-Led Policing or ILP.

“This intelligence allows us to create strategies to target people involved in crime,” said Sheriff’s Captain L. James Bovet of the Santee Station. “It allows us to deploy deputy sheriffs in the right locations, at the right times when crime is occurring, to disrupt criminals and arrest them. Every deputy sheriff that is deployed in Santee has a mission outline for the day to decrease crime.”
The department also checks on parolees and those on probation from criminal offenses to ensure they are following the conditions of their release from jail or prison. In addition, much effort is placed on tracking illegal drug activities, which are a catalyst for crimes ranging from domestic violence to theft.

“When deputies arrest a drug user or seller, we can disrupt other future crimes like burglaries and assaults from ever occurring,” Capt. Bovet said.
The department has also launched a program to train managers of apartments and condominiums how to prevent crime and increase their communication with law enforcement.

“We also rely heavily on community involvement in combating crime,” Capt. Bovet said.
The department has active Sheriff’s Senior Volunteer and Volunteer Mounted Patrol programs to supplement efforts by regular patrol deputies.  Capt. Bovet also holds quarterly community meetings to hear the concerns of residents and business owners.

More information on community meetings is available at www.sdsheriff.net  


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Prospect Avenue Update

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

There’s lots of activity and construction machinery on Prospect Avenue, as the street enhancement project completes its ninth month.
The mile-long project zone between Magnolia Avenue and Cuyamaca Street contains plenty of hazards for motorists and pedestrians, including open trenches and heavy machinery moving around.
The public should avoid contact with newly installed concrete driveways and sidewalks, as well as newly poured curbs and gutters.
Several open trenches are being dug to install electrical conduit that will allow overhead wires to be placed underground
Workers are also installing new water lines and moving fire hydrants and water meters.
There’s a new top layer of asphalt on the south side of Prospect Avenue between Cuyamaca Street and Ian Way.
Construction activity will continue from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Motorists should be aware of the 25 m.p.h. speed limit and enhanced traffic fines in the construction zone.
Questions about the project can be directed to Senior Civil Engineer Toby Espinola at (619) 258-4100 ext. 174

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

SD River Conservancy Improving Sycamore Creek

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A worker removes arundo

A waterway clogged with the wrong type of non-native vegetation is a recipe for flooding, elevated risk for wildfire and diminished habitat value for wildlife.

That’s why the San Diego River Conservancy is spending $208,000 over the next few months to remove invasive plants from Sycamore Creek in the city of Santee.

The project, which started this week, requires heavy labor to remove the unwanted vegetation from several hundred feet of the creek bordering the Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve.

“One of the main reasons we’re doing it is for flood alleviation,” said Conservancy Executive Officer Kevin McKernan.

Flooding triggered by record rainfall in the winter of 2010-11 overwhelmed a sewage station next to the creek, resulting in a spill of contaminated water into the San Diego River, he noted.

This April, a wildfire that began in the riverbed at Mast Park West was fueled in part by dense stands of non-native plants, including a bamboo-like plant called arundo donax, also known as giant reed.

This week, a small army of workers has been using chain saws and hand tools to remove the unwanted vegetation, including arundo, castor bean plants, pepper trees, and more than 90 mature non-native palm trees.
Oceanside-based ACS Habitat is doing the work

“We’ve notified homeowners whose back yards border Sycamore Creek of our activities, and so far we’ve had positive responses from many,” McKernan reported.

A second phase of the project to clear a portion of the creek north of Mast Boulevard is planned for the future.

The project calls for follow-up abatement actions over the next two to three years involving cutting and spraying the previously cut sites to ensure the invasive plants don’t return.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Beat the Heat at Santee’s Cool Zones

Monday, September 15, 2014

In response to the National Weather Service heat advisory, the city of Santee today set up cool rooms for residents without air conditioning.


A cool room at City Hall will operate from noon to 5 p.m.  Check in with Community Services in Building 6 or call 619) 258-4100 ext. 222.  A second cool room will be open from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. at San Diego Christian College, 200 Riverview Parkway across the street from Trolley Square Shopping Center.


Residents can also beat the heat by going to one of the “Cool Zones” set up by the County of San Diego.


The closest is at the Santee Library at  9225 Carlton Hills Blvd.


The library (619-448-1863) is open from 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. The county’s entire “Cool Zone” listing is here: http://www.sandiegocounty.gov/content/dam/sdc/hhsa/programs/ais/documents/coolzones.pdf


 Temperatures inland will be anywhere from 10 to 20 degrees above average through Tuesday with highs in the inland valleys reaching 104 degrees and desert areas 108.
To avoid heat-related problems, health officials recommend the following:

  • Stay in an air-conditioned area during the hottest hours of the day
  • Wear light, loose-fitting clothing
  • Drink plenty of water (avoid alcohol and sugary drinks) and don't wait until you are thirsty
  • Take cool showers
  • Never leave a child, elderly person, or pet unattended in a car
  • Avoid unnecessary hard work or activities outside during the hottest part of the day
  • Avoid unnecessary sun exposure and wear a wide-brim hat if you need to be in the sun
  • Avoid using the oven to cook

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Veterans, Volunteers Pitch In on Day of Service

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Nearly 50 volunteers, including military veterans, provided the muscle power and sweat today to help rebuild lodge pole fencing that was destroyed  by a wildfire in April at Santee's Mast Park West.

The San Diego River Park Foundation organized the service project as a local contribution to the Sept. 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance, which was observed by tens of thousands of volunteers nationwide.

Volunteers braved  93-degree heat and high humidity as they extracted charred fence posts from the ground and replaced them.  About 300 feet of fencing was destroyed or damaged in the wildfire. Despite the hard, gritty work, the volunteers had no trouble smiling for our camera.

About half of the volunteers were from The Mission Continues, a  nonprofit group that recruits active duty  and retired military veterans for community service projects.

“Our mission is to engage in the community and make a significant impact,” said Al Lejarde, a volunteer platoon leader with the group.

The volunteers from The Mission Continues included active duty sailors from the USS Boxer and residents of Veterans Village of San Diego, a nonprofit group that helps homeless veterans.

The wooden fencing at Mast Park West  helps protect sensitive wildlife habitat along the river just east of the Carlton Oaks Golf Course.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Pickleball Coming to Santee

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Gather your wits, a paddle, and a Wiffle ball.  It’s time for some pickleball.
This fast-growing sport, which has been catching on with retirees, may soon be playable at Big Rock Park in the city of Santee.

The city is proposing to restripe one of its two tennis courts at Big Rock to accommodate four pickleball courts, which can be spread over a single tennis court. The newly striped “multi-use” court, which would still be available for tennis, would be reserved during certain blocks of time for pickleballers.
The public is invited to comment on the plan by emailing Recreation Services Manager Susan Richardson at srichardson@cityofsanteeca.gov by Sept. 3, or by attending the Sept. 4 meeting of the Santee Park and Recreation Committee (SPARC).  The committee meets at 6:30 p.m. at Building 8A at the Civic Center Complex, 10601 Magnolia Avenue.

The idea to introduce pickelball to Santee was initially brought to the Park and Recreation Committee in June by Mike Blaksley, a 62-year-old retiree from La Mesa.
“Pickleball’s time has come and we need your help and guidance to make this happen,” he told the committee. Pickleball courts, both indoors and outdoors, exist at several parks countywide including Lakeside, La Mesa, Pacific Beach, Coronado, Escondido and Poway.

Blaksley said it’s unfortunate there are so few pickleball courts in East County because the region has the perfect demographics ---an abundance of active seniors – who would enjoy trying the sport of they knew it was available.
“I think East County could become a central place for people to play pickleball,” he said.
The sport is attractive to active seniors because players rely more on quickness and strategy rather than the speed and agility that is required to play tennis, he said.

“There’s 8,000 Baby Boomers retiring across the U.S. every day, and this is a great sport for them to pick up,” he said.
And many have. In the past three years, membership in the U.S. Pickleball Association has doubled to 200,000.

Games are usually played as doubles on a badminton-sized court that is about one-third the size of a traditional tennis court.  Players use wood or composite paddles to hit a light plastic Whiffleball across a 36-inch lightweight net. Games are fast –moving and generally last from 10 to 20 minutes, which allows players to rotate onto a court without excessive waiting.

“It’s a great, active cardio sport. It’s not risk-free in terms of injuries but it’s a lot easier on your joints,” Blaksley said. “It’s a great social environment and it’s also an affordable sport for young and old to play.”

Blaksley said he’s only been playing for about a year, but he’s found it invigorating to the point of being addicting.

“It’s a game a sheer strategy and ball placement,” he said. “It’s just a heckuva lot of fun.”