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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Thursday, April 17, 2014




Fire Chief Richard Mattick
Richard Mattick, Santee’s newest fire chief, is a seasoned firefighter and administrator who said he has learned different things from the six chiefs who preceded him.
“I have pretty big shoes to fill,” said Mattick, whose promotion from deputy chief was effective April 16.  “We’ve had some outstanding fire chiefs come out of this department.”
First on Mattick’s agenda is implementing the department’s new management structure. The department, which has 56 employees, recently promoted three experienced captains to newly created battalion chief positions. They will oversee day-to-day operations at the city’s two fire stations and supervise three major functions: emergency medical services; city fleet and equipment; and training and fire prevention.
The promotions of those fire captains, and the pending retirement of another, will trigger the need to promote several fire engineers and/or firefighter paramedics to fill those vacancies. At the same time, the department is hiring three new firefighter paramedics.
“This is a huge impact on our department,” said Mattick, noting that the extensive reshuffling due to promotions and staff openings is unprecedented in  his 35 years with the department.
The staff changes also mean that some of the department’s  personnel will be reassigned to different shifts and different fire stations, Mattick said.
While he has plenty of work to keep him busy, Mattick said he’ll continue to enjoy riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle and “rock crawling” with his Jeep in the desert during his time off the job.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Free Workshops on Water-saving Landscaping

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


Learn how to replace your thirsty lawn with colorful, drought-tolerant plants  by attending a free, four-session series of classes being offered by the San Diego County Water Authority.
Participants must register at least three weeks before the first class and agree to replace a portion of their lawn. The deadline is April 18 for East County residents who wish to attend the workshops at Cuyamaca Community College in El Cajon.
The workshops also will be held in Clairemont at the SDG&E Innovation Center beginning April 30 and at the San Diego Botanic Garden in Encinitas beginning May 3.
To apply, go online at landscapemaker.watersmartsd.org; you can also email questions to landscapemakeover@sdcwa.org or phone (619) 289-8890.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Mark Your Calendar: Springtime Event at Santee Lakes

Thursday, March 27, 2014


Posing with a bunny at last year's EGGstravaganza
Bring your kids and baskets to the 11th Annual Spring EGGstravaganza at Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve on  Saturday, April 19 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The event features continuous egg hunts for children up to age 8.  Egg hunts are staged at two zones: one for small children and another for kids from ages 4 to 8. There will also be games, carnival rides, a pony ride, a petting zoo, inflatables, face painting and crafts.  Primo the DJ will entertain with music and games.

Parking is $5 per vehicle. Tickets for rides and activities will be sold for 50 cents each.  Egg hunt wrist bands are also 50 cents apiece.

Last year, more than 8,000 people attended the event, including 2,700 children who scrambled for treats at 40 egg hunts. EGGstravaganza is co-sponsored by the city of Santee and the Padre Dam Municipal Water District, which operates the 190-acre preserve.

The preserve is located at 9210 Fanita Parkway in Santee. Call the event hotline at (619) 258-4100 ext. 201 for more information.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Prospect Avenue Enhancement Update

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


April 25, 2014
Installation of storm drain pipes continues this week, while workers install curb inlets and catch basins (places for storm water to drain) on the south side of Prospect.
Contractors will continue digging trenches between Cottonwood and Magnolia avenues to install conduit that will allow overhead wires to be placed underground.

SDG&E crews are continuing with their work lowering natural gas laterals – connections from the main line to adjoining buildings – to accommodate the new storm drains.
A new retaining wall is taking shape near Magnolia Avenue.

Work days and hours will continue to be Monday through Saturday from 6 a.m. to 6  p.m.
Project manager Toby Espinola urges motorists to observe the 25 m.p.h. speed limit in the construction cone zone.  Espinola can be reached at (619) 258-4100 ext. 174.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Prospect Avenue Enhancement Update

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


video
The first two of seven structures slated for removal were demolished last week.
This week, the project passed the 50-day mark as workers began installing underground conduit that will replace unsightly overhead electrical wires. Work started near Cottonwood Avenue and will move east toward Magnolia Avenue.
Meanwhile,  SDG&E is moving natural gas lines to accommodate the new storm drain system. Work days and hours will be 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Motorists should heed the 25 m.p.h. speed limit within the “cone zone,” and remember that traffic fines are double inside construction zones.
Questions or concerns about the project can be directed to Senior Civil Engineer Toby Espinola at (619) 258-4100 ext. 174.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Bird of the Month: Western Tanager

Tuesday, March 11, 2014



 

This female tanager is more drab than her male counterpart, which has a bright red head and bright yellow underside. Tanagers, which spend the winter in Mexico, are migrating north this time of year. We found this one foraging for bugs and berries at Town Center Community Park.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

El Nopal: Speed is the Problem

Thursday, March 6, 2014


El Nopal curves in Lakeside
Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but not to their own version of the facts.
Fact One: A section of El Nopal  in unincorporated Lakeside near the boundary with Santee has two sharp curves that have contributed to a higher-than-average accident rate over the past decade.

Fact Two: An overwhelming majority of those accidents were caused by speeding motorists.

Fact Three:  Traffic models by SANDAG engineers show that vehicular traffic on El Nopal  in the county’s jurisdiction will increase over the next 25 years regardless of whether or not Mast Boulevard is extended from Santee into Lakeside.
Fact Four: Of the 46 traffic accidents occurring at the curves over the past decade, less than 6 percent involved serious injuries; 87 percent of these
mishaps were the result of unlawful driving actions such as speeding, driving on the wrong side of the road or driving under the influence.

Barring any improvements by the county to straighten the curves, the only thing that will make El Nopal safer is for motorists to slow down and observe the posted  20 m.p.h. speed limit through the curves.
The city of Santee cannot solve a safety problem on a road outside its jurisdiction where the leading cause of accidents is unsafe driving.

In February, the Santee City Council voted 4 to 1 to create a new pedestrian and bicycle trail rather than a paved connection into Lakeside at the eastern end of Mast Boulevard.
The proposed trail will enable Santee to become a more walkable and bicycle friendly community, a key goal embodied in a draft update of the city’s General Plan Circulation Element.  Children in the area will have a new, safer route to walk or bicycle to schools in Santee.

An added bonus is that the trail project will also improve a blighted corridor that has been used for illegal dumping.