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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.”

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Work Started on Upgrades to Town Center Parkway and Woodside Avenue

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A city contractor this week began work on improvements to sections of two streets located in key commercial corridors.
The segments being upgraded are 1)Town Center Parkway between Mission Gorge Road and Cuyamaca Street; and 2) Woodside Avenue between the State Route 67 offramp  and Magnolia Avenue.

The improvements include new pedestrian ramps, replacing the concrete curbs, gutters and sidewalks, asphalt patching and a new road surface.

The contractor will give advance notice to business owners when driveways replacements take place.  Asphalt work will be done at night to minimize impacts to businesses.
The work is expected to be completed Oct. 27.

Questions can be directed to Senior Civil Engineer Toby Espinola at (619) 258-4100 ext. 174 or email at tobyespinola@cityofsanteeca.gov

Monday, August 18, 2014

City to Host Meeting Tonight on Prospect Avenue Project

Monday, August 18, 2014

Santee city officials will host a public meeting tonight at 6 p.m. at the City Council Chambers to provide information to residents and business owners affected by the Prospect Avenue Corridor Enhancement Project.
The project, which is about 60 percent  finished, will now include grinding away and replacing the road surface.  Work will begin near Cuyamaca Street and continue east toward Magnolia Avenue. This work will require temporary closure of driveways to allow the roadway to be constructed.
Last Monday, the city notified property owners and tenants of the roadway construction work and of tonight’s public meeting.

To minimize the impact, Prospect Avenue will be reconstructed in increments. The city will give advance notice to business owners when their  particular driveways and frontage will be affected by the road work.
The $25 million project, which started in January and is expected to take a year to finish, calls for upgrading a mile-long section of  Prospect Avenue between Magnolia Avenue and Cuyamaca Street.
Improvements include adding sidewalks, curbs and gutters, along with attractive but water-wise landscaping. Overhead utility wires will be undergrounded and utility poles removed. New street lighting will be installed and storm drains will be upgraded. On-street parking and bicycle lanes will be provided on both sides of the street.
Questions or concerns can be directed to Senior Civil Engineer Toby Espinola at (619) 258-4100 ext. 174.