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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Laser Road Surface Tester
A special van equipped with high-tech sensors will be rolling along Santee streets this month to assess the pavement condition of local streets.
The one-ton van is equipped with a front bumper extension containing lasers, cameras and GPS receivers.  While being driven at normal speeds, the van and its instruments continuously gather data about the road surface such as pavement roughness, rutting and cracking.
It will take about three weeks, from February 6 to 28, to compile data on the city’s 140 miles of local roads. Each local road will be surveyed at least once.
The van, known as a laser road surface tester, belongs to IMS Management Services, a consultant hired by the city to gather the detailed road data and draft a pavement management report. City engineers will use the information to develop a street maintenance plan and cost estimates to carry it out.
Questions about the project can be directed to Senior Civil Engineer Toby Espinola at tespinola@cityofsanteeca.gov or 619-258-4100 ext. 174.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Holiday Lighting Celebraton 2016

Monday, November 7, 2016

Santee’s annual Holiday Lighting Celebration is scheduled for Nov. 18 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at Santee Trolley Square Shopping Center.

“It’s the 14th year of the event and we’re still adding new attractions,”   said Bree Humphrey, special events supervisor with the Santee Community Services Dept.
In addition to a popular snow hill for kids to slide down with plastic saucer sleds, there will be a snowflake-making machine to delight children and parents alike.
“We’re transforming the mall into a winter wonderland,” said Humphrey.

There’s no admission charge.  Most of the attractions are free, including craft booths, an inflatable bounce house, train ride and petting zoo.  Horse-drawn trolley and wagon rides also are free for the first time this year.  There will also be a face painter, balloon twister and caricature artists to enhance the fun.
There will be booths to browse and tasty treats from local eateries, including free hot cocoa. Children can also confide their wish lists to Santa Claus, who will pose for studio-quality photos available for purchase.

At the amphitheater, the popular Bayou Brothers will provide live music with a holiday twist on the Cal Coast Credit Union Stage.
The tree-lighting ceremony, which begins at 6:15 p.m. will include a brief sparklers display.

Local merchants and community organizations use the event as an opportunity to reach out to the community.
“Santee’s Holiday Lighting is one of our very favorite events that we look forward to and are proud to be a part of every year,” said Rosanna Baluca, Santee branch manager for California Coast Credit Union.

“It’s a wonderful way for families to spend an evening enjoying the spirit of the holiday season and it truly offers something for every age,” she said. “For us at California Coast Credit Union,  it’s always such a fun-filled evening visiting with our friends and neighbors in East County and an opportunity to support this great community.”
Roughly 6,000 people attend the event and parking is limited. Walking, carpooling, or getting there by bicycle or the MTS trolley, is highly recommended.

The event is sponsored by Waste Management, City of Santee, California Coast Credit Union, KIMCO, Fireworks America, Rise City Church, and Daphne’s California Greek and Allegiance Heating & Air Conditioning.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Santee Fire Dept. Makes a Push for Tradition

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Most folks aren't aware that early hand-drawn fire apparatus - engines, ladder wagons and hose carts -  had to be pushed back into the station by hand.

The horse-drawn steam engines that followed could be backed up by the engineers, but it was difficult to align the steam connections on the engine with those in the station, so the horses were disconnected and the steamers were also often pushed back into the station by hand.


All of this backing in by hand became moot when motorized engines went into service. However, the fire service is deep into tradition and some fire engine crews make every effort to  pay homage to past and old-time members that had to push their engines into the station by hand. While doing this honors former and retired firefighters, it is also intended to display unity among the current generation. 

Last night, Santee firefighters honored this tradition by pushing our new red engine into the station for the first time. The new will be stationed at Fire Station 4 on Cottonwood Ave. All on-duty personnel, including our chief officers, were on hand to help push E4 into the station for the first time.

  A note from Fire Chief Richard Smith:
The new 2016 Pierce fire engine’s timely arrival is during the National Emergency Preparedness Month. Coupled with community education on wildfire and local disaster preparedness, the new engine is just one example of the City of Santee’s effort to maximize our service delivery to our community by utilizing the latest technology within our equipment.





Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Santee’s Landmark Antenna Farm on Braverman Drive Demolished

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

A demolition crew today took down six radio antenna towers off Braverman Drive that were erected decades ago when Santee hosted a cluster of locally popular radio stations.

 The 160-foot steel towers came down around 9 a.m. after crews loosened the guy wires and nudged them over with the arm of a large excavator. Workers said only two of the six towers were still operable and powered by electricity. They said the steel structures are destined to be taken to a recycling yard.

A cinder block building at the site that once functioned as a radio station for KSDO-1130 AM will also be razed this week.

The site is being cleared to make way for the 82-home Willow Ridge development being built by KB Homes.

KSDO is still broadcasting as a Spanish language Christian radio station that is based in Chula Vista.

In the 1980s, the station was owned by the Gannett news organization and filled the airwaves with its new and talk format. A website of San Diego radio history identifies Perry Allen, Whitney Allen, Scotty Brink, Jon St. John and Greg Tantum as some of the notable voices of KSDO during its news and talk heyday.  In 1986, KSDO news anchor Ernie Myers was the San Diego region’s top-rated AM morning radio show, beating out longtime rivals Hudson and Bauer on KFMB-AM.

Web posts say the property was purchased for $3.5 million by Strata Equity from Citicasters, a subsidiary of Clear Channel Communications, and resold to Watt for $10 million.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Mast Park Redevelopment Moving Forward

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The redevelopment of Mast Park is moving forward, which explains the presence recently of a survey crew at the park and the arrival next week of a soils testing rig. 

The park redo has been in the works for nearly five years.  In 2012, landscape architects from Schmidt Design Group produced a new park master plan that included the public’s input from two workshops. The City Council also reviewed and approved the plan.

The resulting conceptual design called for extensive renovations: more parking spaces, a new restroom and playground, two additional picnic shelters, better drainage and walking paths.

The plan also recommends  improving the popular off-leash dog park by creating separate areas for large and small dogs, building of a 1-mile loop path and new safety features such as security cameras.  

Much of the park’s surface would be reshaped with a network of manufactured creek beds, bioswales and a retention pond to curb pollution from urban runoff.  The dry creek beds would serve as play areas for children during dry weather but deter erosion during storm events.

 Although the park’s boundary encompasses 136 acres on both sides of the San Diego River, nearly 75 percent must remain as undeveloped habitat preserve. Thus, the master plan focuses on the 26-acre developed portion north of the river and east of Carlton Hills Boulevard.

Using data from the recent survey work, the city will probably redesign the disc golf course to lessen the impact on other park users.  Over the next year, environmental studies will be done to identify site constraints and lay the groundwork for a final construction design.

With additional input from local residents and the council, the conceptual plan will be honed into a final design in early 2017. Construction is expected to start in the fall of 2018, followed by completion in mid-2019. The city has budgeted $7.2 million for the project under its Capital Improvement Program. A $1.23 million grant from the San Diego River Conservancy will pay for improvements that benefit the environment.

Redoing a park is a methodical process, and rightly so, because the final product will have to meet the community’s needs for decades to come.  The city wants to continue the tradition of excellence.

Mast Park’s original master plan, which created the park you see today, won an Orchid Award in 1985 from the San Diego Architectural Foundation.  In 2011, the city won a Merit Award from the California Trails Conference Foundation for its construction of the half-mile-long Mast Park West Trail.

 Mast Park is a special place treasured by many.  It’s home to some of the largest stately oak and sycamore trees in the entire city, and it’s location along the banks of the San Diego River offers scenic beauty.  The new design is intended to hit the sweet spot between preserving the park’s natural beauty  while adding sculpted landscaping and  new places for discovery within a familiar setting.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Anti-mosquito Treatment Scheduled for June 1

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The County of San Diego Vector Control Program (VCP) will conduct its second aerial mosquito larvicide application of the 2016 mosquito season at large waterbodies known to breed mosquitoes in Santee and elsewhere in the county on Wednesday, June 1, 2016.

A helicopter will apply larvicide to reduce mosquito populations and reduce the risk of West Nile virus (WNV) transmission. The larvicide is made of naturally occurring bacteria which target mosquito larvae in the water and is not toxic to people, pets, fish or other insects. This reduces the number of mosquitoes that can spread diseases such as West Nile virus. VCP staff will be at the locations during the application to answer questions and monitor progress.

Additional larvicide applications will be conducted at three to four week intervals or as needed through the end of the mosquito season which is approximately October. Mosquito populations are monitored and tested for the presence of West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne diseases throughout the county.

Remember: the best protection against West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne illnesses is to prevent mosquito breeding and mosquito bites.

For more information on the aerial larvicide program, larvicides used, and WNV please visit the San Diego County West Nile virus home page: http://www.SDFightTheBite.com

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Potential Bus Driver Strike Could Halt MTS Paratransit Mini-bus Service

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Non-driving seniors, disabled persons and others who rely on min-bus paratransit services from MTS Access may need to find alternate forms of transportation beginning Wednesday due to a possible strike by bus drivers.
The drivers were scheduled to vote on a new labor contract today (May 24), but a work stoppage could result if the agreement is not approved.

First Transit, a firm that provides drivers for the Metropolitan Transit System (MTS),  said customers should call 888-517-9627 or 800-921-9664 for information on alternative transportation options.
The potential work stoppage by MTS Access drivers employed by First Transit will not affect MTS Trolley, Rapid and major bus routes.

For updated information, please visit the MTS website at www.sdmts.com.