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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

City Planning for New River Trail Segment

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The trail will be on the north side of the SD River

The city of Santee is moving forward on plans to develop another portion of the San Diego River Trail.
The newest segment will be a 1.3-mile-long path along the newly named Walker Preserve, a 107-acre parcel located between Magnolia Avenue and the city’s eastern border with Lakeside.

The property recently was acquired with grants obtained by the San Diego River Conservancy and transferred to  the city of Santee in December.
Before opening it for public use, the city wants to build a parking lot, along with a trail head, information kiosk and trash receptacles. A rest room is also being considered.

Fencing and signage must be installed to protect wildlife habitat and keep the public from wandering off the trail.  The proposed 14-foot-wide trail will meander along the alignment of the unpaved haul road previously used for a sand mining operation.
With fencing or other design featueres, the trail will be segregated from the western portion of the property, which is leased by RCP Block & Brick for storage of aggregate material.

“We need to develop this trail in a way that preserves habitat for endangered species and makes the experience enjoyable for the public,”  said Community Services Director Bill Maertz.
One of the reasons the site was purchased is to preserve habitat along the river that supports three endangered bird species.

The trail has been included in the city’s long-term capital improvement program, but the project will probably take a year or longer to complete.
"We thank the public for their patience while we gather funding and design a plan to develop this trail the right way,” Maertz said. “We want to ensure the public can safely use the trail and that sensitive habitat for endangered species is protected.”

Friday, December 21, 2012

Stuff Your Stockings With Recreation!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Looking for last minute stocking stuffers? Why not give the gift of recreation to yourself or your family? Registration is open for the city of Santee winter recreation programs and now through December 25, the normal online transaction fee will be waived, just in time for your last minute gift giving.

In addition to no online transaction fees, special online discounts are available for select winter classes including: Adult Belly Dancing, Adult Golf, Teen Chefs Cooking, Creepy Crawlers Art, Early Education (including Tiny Tykes, Playtime Pals and Kindergartners in Training), Youth Tennis, Youth Self-Defense and Fitness, along with specific Dance N Cheer and Pop Stars Music Theater classes. Check out the online guide to view all of the programs offered. Most classes begin the week of January 14.
Sale valid for online purchases made from 12:01 a.m. December 21 through 11:59 p.m. December 25, 2012 only.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Need Sandbags to Combat Flooding?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

It's wet out there and there's more rain in the forecast.

Free sandbags are available to Santee residents and businesses at the city of Santee Public Services  Operations Center at 9534 Via Zapador.

A limited number of gravel bags are available at Fire Station No. 4 at 8950 Cottonwood Ave.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Take Our Survey on City Housing Needs

Monday, December 17, 2012

What types of housing are needed to ensure Santee can continue to meet the needs of people with all levels of income? If you have an opinion, let us know.
City planners need your input to help them draft an update of the Housing Element of the Santee General Plan.

It will only take a minute of your time.
It’s easy. Just click here to take a short survey on housing types, programs to promote affordable housing, and segments of the population that may need housing assistance.  Your response will help the city plan for a variety of housing for everyone.

Recycle your Christmas Tree

Help divert green waste from the landfill by recycling your Christmas tree.

Waste Management Inc. will pick up natural trees placed in your curbside green waste cart the first two regular trash collection days that fall between Dec. 26  and Jan. 7.

Residents with curbside collection can recycle their Christmas trees by:

A.   Removing ornaments, tinsel and tree stands; and

B.   Cutting them into 4-foot sections and placing them into their green waste carts on their regular pick-up day.

Flocked trees cannot be recycled, but will be collected if they are cut into 4-foot sections and placed into the regular trash cart.

Residents of apartment complexes or others without curbside trash service can drop off their trees from Dec. 26th through Jan. 7th, 2013, at the Waste Management Recycle Center in El Cajon.

The recycle center is at 925 O’Connor Street, one block south of the West Bradley Avenue and Johnson Avenue intersection.  It will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 7 a.m. to noon on Saturday.

For more information contact Ed Ruiz at the city of Santee Community Services Department, (619) 258-4100 ext. 128

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Santee Dedicates Walker Family Preserve

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The city of Santee and the San Diego River Conservancy honored members of the Walker family at a ceremony Dec. 11 to dedicate a portion of the family’s former estate as the Walker Preserve.
The River Conservancy spearheaded the purchase of the 107-acre property, which has been given to the city of Santee to fill a crucial gap in the San Diego River Trail.

Santee envisions developing a multi-use trail with interpretive signs and other public amenities along the riverfront parcel, which stretches from Magnolia Avenue to the city’s eastern boundary near the Lakeside Baseball Park.
The riverfront parcel was purchased for its appraised market value of $2,140,000 with grants from the State Coastal Conservancy, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,  and the State Wildlife Conservation Board. The property was targeted for conservation by the federal Fish and Wildlife Service because it contains high-quality habitat that supports at least three federally-protected bird species: the Southwestern willow flycatcher, the California gnatcatcher, and the least Bell’s vireo.

The property was part of a 350-acre dairy farm the Walker family established on the south side of the river when the family arrived in Santee in 1926. The family played a prominent role in Santee’s early history, and the dairy remained in operation until 1971.
Walker family members attending the ceremony, which marked the property’s transition from private to public ownership, included: (from left)  Bill Hanlon, Marla Walker Nichols, Dan Walker, Darby Walker, Rick Walker, Sam Walker  and  (front row) Donald Mortimer Walker Jr.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Early Education Class Ends Year With Visit From Santa

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Click on pic to enlarge 
The end-of-year party for children enrolled in the city of Santee’s Playtime Pals Class included a surprise visit from Santa today at Woodglen Vista Park.

The kids chatted with Mr. Claus and described what gifts they are hoping to receive.
Now is the time for parents to enroll their children from ages 2 to 4 in one of the city’s three early education classes, which begin the week of Jan. 14.

The classes include Playtime Pals, Kindergarteners in Training and Tiny Tykes, all of which include hands-on learning and opportunities to learn how to interact with other children.
Information about these classes and an online enrollment form can be found on the city’s website by clicking here.

Monday, December 3, 2012

December’s Bird of the Month

Monday, December 3, 2012

The bird of the month for December is the great egret. We found this one spearing minnows in the shallows at the Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve.
(click on photo to enlarge)
Santee is a birder’s paradise because of the variety of habitats found here. Raptors, flycatchers and many types of songbirds can be seen in the riparian zone along the San Diego River.
We recently spotted a kingfisher along the river, but it was skittish and wouldn’t sit still for a photograph.

The chaparral and coastal sage scrub habitat common to the hills surrounding Santee are home to native species such as the California gnatcatcher, scrub jay, and the state bird, the California quail.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Santee Hosts Major Girls' Soccer Tournament

Friday, November 30, 2012

Some of the country’s top young female soccer players will be showing their skills for college recruiters this weekend  at Town Center Community Park.
The “College Showcase”  tournament features hundreds of girls from ages 14 to 17 who play for teams from the West Coast Futbol Club, a professionally run youth soccer program based in Orange County.

The games are being scouted by coaches from dozens of NCAA Division I colleges, including Stanford, Harvard, University of Michigan, Notre Dame  and University of Florida.   
The West Coast Futbol Club has 45 competitive youth boys and girls teams playing in the Southern California Developmental Soccer League, which is aimed at grooming players to compete at the college and professional levels.

The College Showcase games, which started Thursday and will continue through Dec. 1, are being played at Town Center Community Park as well as Balboa Stadium, UCSD and the Arco Olympic Training Center.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Santee to Have Skywatch, Special Holiday Patrols

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Sheriff's Department "Skywatch" apparatus
Sheriff's deputies in patrol cars, on bicycles and peering from above in the portable "Skywatch" tower will be trying to put a lid on crime in Santee over the holidays.
The Community Oriented Policing  and Problem Solving (COPS) unit will initiate a high-visibility patrol today (Nov. 27) at the Santee trolley station. 

The first of three special bicycle patrols will begin Thursday, Nov. 29 and return on Dec. 20 and Dec. 27.
The same crime-fighting unit will be patrolling the Santee Swap Meet the first two weekends in December.

The department will deploy its highly visible Skywatch surveillance unit on Dec. 5 at the El Cajon Walmart at 13487 Camino Canada. 
The Skywatch unit, which looks like a guard tower mounted on a cherry picker, is designed to deter would-be thieves from burglarizing vehicles or snatching packages from unaware shoppers.

The bullet-proof  tower is equipped with a high-resolution surveillance camera that can capture video of  suspicious persons prowling cars in shopping center parking lots. The camera can zoom in on vehicle license plates and, using night-vision technology, can also detect weapons and other suspicious items hidden in bags or pockets.
Skywatch will be in Santee on Dec. 12 at Trolley Square, 9884 Mission Gorge Road, and again on Dec. 21 at the Santee Walmart, 170 Town Center Parkway.

Deputies from the Santee station will also conduct DUI saturation patrols on Friday and Saturday nights throughout the holidays at various locations. Special sweeps are also planned to target minors attempting to buy alcohol and those in violation of curfew laws.
Click here to read crime prevention tips posted on the Sheriff’s Department website.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Black Friday Deal on Santee Winter Rec Classes

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Registration is now open for the city of Santee winter recreation programs and to kick off the holiday weekend, the normal transaction fee will be waived for those who sign up online from Black Friday, Nov. 23 through Cyber Monday, Nov. 26.
In addition, the city is offering special online discounts for selected winter classes including: Adult Belly Dancing, Spiral Fit Yoga, Adult Golf, Teen Chefs-Cooking, Creepy Crawlers Art, Early Education including Tiny Tykes, Playtime Pals, Kindergartners in Training, Youth Tennis, and specific Dance N Cheer and Pop Stars Music Theater classes.
Santee’s Recreation Division offers classes that appeal to everyone from moms to toddlers to senior citizens.

Busy moms who want a little alone time can enjoy a workout at the new Zumba aerobic dance class, or get some down time doing Pilates or yoga.
For kids, a full lineup of enrichment classes is offered, such as Introduction to Music, karate, and homework clinics.

We’ve also designed a variety of courses that appeal to adolescents and teens, including a Friday night guitar jam for ages 10 to  17, cooking classes for ages 11 to 15, and driver education for ages 14 to 18.
Most classes begin the week of Jan. 14.

You can register online now by clicking here or click on the “REC” logo at www.ci.santee.ca.us or in person at Santee City Hall, Building 6, 10601 Magnolia Avenue starting November 26. For more information call (619) 258-4100 ext. 222.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Urban Corps Removing Invasive Plant from River

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Crews from the San Diego Urban Corps have been working over the past month to remove a non-native invasive plant called water primrose from the San Diego River.
Although the yellow flowers and green leaves of the water primrose (Ludwigia hexapetala) seem harmless, this native of South America grows in thick mats that slow the river’s flow, reduce the water’s dissolved oxygen level and raise the water temperature. The vine-like plant also provides excellent habitat for mosquito larvae.

The Urban Corps crew, which has focused on removing water primrose along the Mission Creek/Mast Park section of the river, will be working through early December.
Urban Corps is a locally based nonprofit organization that provides a high school education and job training to at-risk youth and disadvantaged young adults from ages 18 to 25.

The primrose removal will hopefully result in fewer mosquitoes buzzing the neighborhoods along the river next summer.
The project was made possible by a grant of nearly $50,000 from the County Department of Environmental Health, Vector Control Division.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Job Hunters Flood Santee Civic Center

Thursday, November 15, 2012

More than 500 people turned up today at the Santee Civic Center meeting room complex to apply for jobs at the soon-to-open In-N-Out Burger restaurant at 9412 Mission Gorge Road.
Crystal Gomez and Andrew Trosper greeted job hunters
Officials of the Irvine-based restaurant chain said approximately 1,700 people had applied online, but they are still required to show up for an interview to be considered for employment.

Interviews at the company’s hiring fair will resume Friday, Nov. 16 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Civic Center meeting rooms are at 10601 Magnolia Avenue in Santee.

Starting pay  is $10 per hour and both full-time and part-time employees are eligible for health insurance and other benefits.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Videos Offer Advice on Internet Predators

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Photo Illustration
The city of Santee has posted two videos on its YouTube channel that offer advice on keeping children safe from internet predators.  One video is tailored for parents, while the other is directed at teens.
The videos include compelling first-person testimony from a teen who was kidnapped and tortured by a man who wooed her on the Internet. They also provide common sense advice for kids and parents on using caution while on the Internet.

“Please talk to your kids before a child predator does,” San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore says in the video.
You can access the parent video by clicking here.

You can access the teen video by clicking  here.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Santee's Bird of the Month

Monday, November 5, 2012

Western blue bird
November’s  Bird of the Month is a western blue bird taken at Town Center Community Park. (click on pic to enlarge)

Santee is a exceptional place for birding because of the variety of habitats found here. Raptors, flycatchers and songbirds of many varieties can be seen in the riparian zone along the San Diego River.

The chaparral and coastal sage scrub habitat common to the hills surrounding Santee are home to native species such as the California gnatcatcher, scrub jay, and the state bird, the California quail.

Many species of migratory ducks, including colorful wood ducks, can be found at the 180-acre Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve.

If you have tack-sharp photo of a bird taken in the city of Santee, email it to the Community Services Department at trodgers@ci.santee.ca.us and we'll post the best pic at the end of the month along with your name in the Santee Review, our online newsletter.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Woodglen Vista Dog Park to Close for Maintenance

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The 1-acre off-leash dog area at Woodglen Vista Park will close for six weeks on Nov. 7 to allow public service workers to aerate the turf and re-seed the area with winter grass. It will reopen on Dec. 19.
During the closure, pet owners who enjoy off-leash activity will be able use the Woodglen Vista Park baseball field or the fenced dog park at Mast Park. Dog park hours at both locations are dawn to dusk.

“As any dog owner knows, dogs are tough on grass,” said Community Service Director Bill Maertz. “ But that beautiful green lawn is what makes this park so special. So we’re going to close it for maintenance to keep it that way.”

The Woodglen Vista Dog Park, which was previously closed for maintenance in June, is one of the rare off-leash dog parks in the county with a turf surface.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Changes Made to Make Magnolia Avenue Safer

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The mystery behind a high number of traffic accidents along Magnolia Avenue at State Routes 52 and 67 may have been solved by the sheriff’s department traffic division in Santee.
A few months ago, traffic analysts looking at accident statistics discovered what looked like a cluster of collisions in the same general location. They dug a little deeper.

They learned that approximately 20 traffic collisions had occurred since March 2011. More than half of the accidents involved drivers who had run through red traffic lights.  The second leading cause was unsafe speed. The trend was true for both northbound and southbound traffic. The accident zone contained two sets of traffic lights located within a few hundred yards of each other.
Several of the drivers involved in the collisions claimed they had been fooled by the double sets of traffic signals. The dual signals are necessary for motorist to  access the freeway onramps. In other words, the drivers were looking at the green traffic light off in the distance and not seeing the red light right in front of them.

The sheriff’s department discussed the problem with Santee’s traffic engineers, who in turn consulted with Caltrans, which owns and maintains the traffic signals in question. Recently, hoods were installed over one set of traffic lights, making the nearest signals more obvious to drivers, said Traffic Sgt. Scott Hill.
“It’s a lot better now,” he said. “Now you don’t see both sets of lights at the same time.”

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Volunteers Score Touchdown in Santee

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Pep talk by Chargers' Edwin Baker
Community volunteers and local law enforcement officers yesterday proved once again that kids are a top priority in the city of Santee.
Nearly 100 local kids participated in the Junior Chargers Training Camp, an opportunity to learn the basics of football and to hear words of wisdom from athletes who have made it to the professional ranks.

More than 20 local law enforcement officers, including several from the Santee Sheriff’s Station, volunteered as assistant coaches. Head coach was Sgt. Tom Miller of the San Diego Police Department.
The free event, which was held at Town Center Community Park, is aimed at teaching youngsters the connection between fitness and a healthy lifestyle and the path to success in whatever occupation they pursue.

Edwin Baker, a rookie running back for the San Diego Chargers, fielded questions and talked to the kids about eating healthy and staying fit. He was assisted by Santana High School football players J.T. Allen and Anthony Diaz, who led the group calisthenics.
The kids, who ranged in age from 7 to 14, also received a free T-shirt and refreshments.

The special camp was sponsored by the Police Athletic League's Sports Training Academics and Recreation Program (STAR/PAL), a nonprofit dedicated to teaching kids positive values and to build bridges between youth and law enforcement.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Pick Up After Your Pooches, Please

Monday, October 22, 2012

The clean water team at Santee City Hall has received complaints about pet owners who have been neglecting to pick up after their dogs.
Problem areas include Mesa Road, Via Christina, Riverwalk Drive, Park Center Drive, and along Cuyamaca Street from Mast Boulevard to Chaparral Drive.
Pet waste is not only unsightly, it contains fecal bacteria that during rain storms is carried into creeks and other drainages that flow to the San Diego River. Fecal bacteria can harm wildlife and is the leading cause of beach contamination.
The city has 27 pet waste bag dispenser stations located at city parks, right-of-ways and landscape maintenance districts. Please use them to protect our waterways from pollution. Thanks!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Statewide Earthquake Drill Thursday, Oct. 18

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Santee residents are expected to join thousands of Californians who will participate in a statewide earthquake preparedness drill known as the Great California Shake Out on Thursday, Oct. 18.

The drill is scheduled to begin at exactly 10:18 a.m.
It’s a great way to learn how to survive and recover from to survive and recover from a major temblor.
The city of Santee, which has been an official participant for the last three years, is registered again this year. 
More information is available on the following web sites:

Monday, October 15, 2012

Santee Offers Self-defense Course for Young Women

Monday, October 15, 2012

The "Just Yell Fire'' class is scheduled for Tuesday and Thursday, Nov. 13 and 15, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Santee Teen Center at Santee Lakes. Register at http://bit.ly/Ouipl0.

Here’s a story about how instructor Carla Slater Kettrick got involved:
In July 2009, a Mission Valley woman was ambushed in her garage in by an intruder with a knife.

What happened next was better than you might guess.

Rather than surrender, the petite woman fought back, broke free and was able to get passersby to help.

The assailant, who was later linked to six other attacks against  women, was chased down and captured.

That real-life crime drama struck a chord with Carla Slater Kettrick, an El Cajon mother of three daughters.

“I began thinking it wouldn’t be a bad idea to learn these (self-defense) skills myself and pass them on to my girls,” she said.

Her quest led to an Oregon-based nonprofit group called Just Yell Fire that teaches young women self-defense techniques aimed at eluding would-be attackers and kidnappers.

Carla attended a day-long training sponsored by Just Yell Fire and studied the curriculum to become an instructor. She also began training at martial arts academy in street fighting techniques.

For the past 2.5 years, Carla has shared her knowledge as a certified Just Yell Fire trainer at classes  offered through the city of Santee’s Recreation Services Division, which offers the course throughout the year. She’s also given seminars on self-defense to church groups and local Girl Scout troops.

Her  course is tailored for young women from the ages of 11 to 17 who are becoming more independent and spending more time with their peers and away from the watchful eyes of their parents.

Every young woman who attends her class receives a postcard that summarizes the Just Yell Fire lessons into five basic word/concepts: decide; deter, disrupt, disengage and debrief.

She can boil it down even more succinctly.

“We want girls to believe there is an option, that they can fight back,” she said. “It’s getting away (from an attacker) that’s the goal.”

She teaches a variety of self-defense techniques aimed at breaking free from an attacker, including kicking, jabbing the eyes, slapping the ears.

“We teach them something they can easily remember,” she said.  “We practice things such as eye jabs that will cause the attacker some pain or to flinch, anything that will allow the girl to get away.”

Videos are available on the Web for students to refresh their skills.

Literature published by Just Yell Fire says that women under the age of 20 are more vulnerable to sexual assault than the rest of the female population. Fourty-four percent of sexual attacks are perpetrated against women 18 years or younger.

One parent who enrolled her adolescent daughter in the course said, “My daughter learned so much about self defense, which is a difficult subject for parents to teach.”

Carla says the self-defense skills she teaches are especially helpful to girls who spend more time at home alone because they are from single-parent families.

“Parents want the piece of mind knowing that their girls will know what they need to do to be safe,” she said.

The next Just Yell Fire seminar is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Oct. 26 at Carlton Oaks School. Another session is scheduled for 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Nov. 13 and 15 at Santee City Hall, Building 7.

Parents interested in enrolling their daughters can contact the Santee Community Services Department at (619) 258-4100 ext. 222 or Carla Slater Kettrick at carlaslater@cox.net

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Arrests Made in Car Burglaries

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Sheriff’s deputies in Santee on Monday arrested three men on theft charges who may be responsible for a series of car burglaries that have occurred  over the past month.
The string of car burglaries, which were concentrated in the city’s northwest quadrant,  prompted the department to assign extra sheriff’s patrols that apparently paid off.

Several of the burglarized cars were unlocked, allowing thieves to easily grab visible items such as I-Pods, GPS devices and cell phones, said Detective Sgt. Tom Poulin.
“People are making themselves victims by leaving their car doors open,” Poulin said.

The arrests of the three suspects on Oct. 8 occurred after a patrol officer at 3 a.m. spotted two of the men hiding behind a car and a third suspect inside the vehicle, which wasparked on Halberns Street, he said.
A search of the suspects and the vehicle turned up several backpacks,  small electronics, methamphetamine paraphernalia , hypodermic needles and a stolen gas card. The suspects include a 30-year-old El Cajon resident and two men from Santee,  ages 25 and 23.

Although investigators expect that the arrests will quell the series of thefts,  they are urging residents to remove valuables, lock the doors of their vehicles, and if possible, park in a well-lit area.  Any valuable items left inside a parked car should be hidden from view.
“If (a thief) sees anything they like, they will get inside that car, one way or another,”  Poulin said.

Investigators have identified one victim but are certain there are several others.  Anyone who believes they had items stolen from their car should contact Det. Massey at (619) 956-4057.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Santee’s Garden Party

Monday, October 8, 2012

Volunteers from Kyocera America
Volunteers from Kyocera America and Rio Seco Elementary School pitched in Saturday, Oct. 6 to create a California native plant garden along the Mast Park West Nature Trail. The work party was supervised by the city's Parks and Landscape Supervisor Annette Saul.

Check out (click here) this video essay of the project on YouTube.

The half-mile nature trail is a key link in the San Diego River Park Trail, which envisions parkways and trails for 52 miles from  the river’s  headwaters near Julian to the Pacific Ocean.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A Great Way to Honor Someone

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Rick Duval and his son, Logan, spent some quality time together at Santee’s Big Rock Park, where they relaxed on a memorial bench donated by a local resident.
You, too, can honor a friend, relative or favorite organization by donating a bench, picnic table or tree in their name at one of Santee’s city parks.

Rick and Logan Duval
Benches and tables must conform to a standard design chosen by the city, but donors can pick from from a variety of tree species.
Park benches can be donated for $1,400. Picnic tables are $1,000. For each bench or picnic table donated, the city will install a 5-by-10-inch memorial plaque carrying the name of the person or organization being commemorated.

Trees are $100 for a 15-gallon size, $200 for a 24-inch box and $700 for a 36-inch box. Each donated tree is recognized with a brass leaf etched with the honoree’s name that is placed on a commemorative tree plaque at City Hall.
The donation covers the cost of acquisition and installation.

All donated trees, tables and benches will be maintained by the city of Santee for the duration of their useful life.
In addition to acknowledging someone you wish to remember, your contribution will support recreational opportunities and enhance Santee’s parks.

Applications can be obtained at the Community Services Department at City Hall, 10601 Magnolia Avenue, Santee, CA 92071.
You can also download the application from the city’s website.  

Monday, October 1, 2012

Santee's Bird of the Month

Monday, October 1, 2012

October's Bird of the Month is a mourning dove perched on the lodgepole fence at Town Center Community Park.

Santee is a exceptional place for birding  because of the variety of habitats found here. Raptors, flycatchers and songbirds of many varieties can be seen in the riparian zone along the San Diego River.

The chaparral and coastal sage scrub habitat common to the hills surrounding Santee are home to native species such as the California gnatcatcher, scrub jay, and the state bird, the California quail.

Many species of migratory ducks, including colorful wood ducks, can be found at the 180-acre Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve.

If you have sharp photo of a bird taken in the city of Santee, email it to the Community Services Department at trodgers@ci.santee.ca.us and we'll post the best pic at the end of the month along with your name in the Santee Review, our online newsletter.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Santee’s New Top Sheriff is Home Grown

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Santee’s new top law enforcement officer is pleased to be back on her home turf.
“I’ve grown up here my entire life,” said Sheriff’s Capt. Lisa Miller, a graduate of El Capitan High School who went on to earn a master’s degree in 1992.
She launched her law enforcement career while in high school as a cadet with the El Cajon Police Dept. explorer program.
Capt. Lisa Miller
Miller took over command of the Sheriff’s Dept. Santee Station on Sept. 7 , succeeding Capt. Ed Musgrove as the city’s de facto police chief.  The Santee station is the headquarters for 75 sheriff’s deputies who cover Santee, Lakeside and unincorporated areas of El Cajon.
Miller has worked for the sheriff’s department for 28 years and was previously stationed in Santee when she was a patrol sergeant.
While Santee’s reputation as a low-crime area is well deserved, the city has its share of burglaries and drug-related crimes, she said. Deputies, including officers on bicycles, also keep tabs on homeless encampments that spring up in the riparian zone along the San Diego River.
With three high schools in her jurisdiction, Miller intends to continue the department’s emphasis on juvenile intervention programs. One of the more popular of these is Start Smart, a seminar aimed at keeping young drivers from making fatal mistakes involving alcohol or texting while driving.
“The idea behind the intervention programs is to get juveniles straightened out before they get into the (criminal justice) system, ”said Miller, who is married and the mother of a teenage son.
Another priority is the ongoing public education program that focuses on the “social host” law that imposes criminal penalties on parents and other adults who are held responsible for providing alcohol to minors.
Modern crime fighting involves extensive use of analytics.
Using data from crime reports, local crime analysts create maps illustrating where clusters of burglaries and other crimes  are occurring.  The maps, which are updated every 45 days, are used by patrol deputies to focus on trouble spots, she said.
“We’re doing more crime fighting with intelligence and forecasting where (crimes) may occur,” she said.
Keeping the lines of communication open with the community are of utmost importance, she said.
“One of my strongest attributes is working with the community,” she said. “I’m approachable and open. I can’t solve all the problems, but together we can work on them.”  


Get Rid of Unwanted Prescription Drugs

You can safely dispose of unwanted or expired prescription drugs by taking them to a designated disposal site this Saturday,  Sept. 29 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
It’s being done as part of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency’s  5th Annual National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.
For Santee residents, the disposal site will be at Walgreen’s Drug Store, 10512 Mission Gorge Road.

A full list of the drop-off sites is available here. The disposal sites cannot accept needles or sharps.  The service is free and those disposing of pills will not be required to identify themselves, according to a press release from the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.
This is the preferable way to get rid of old prescription drugs, which, if flushed down the toilet, can contaminate wastewater and pose a threat to the environment.  It’s also advisable to get rid of unused prescription drugs to prevent them from being found or stolen by someone who shouldn’t be taking the medication.
If you can’t make the event this Saturday, you can always drop off your unwanted prescriptions at any San Diego County Sheriff’s Department station or substation during regular business hours from Monday through Friday.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Buzz Kill: Aerial Mosquito Abatement This Weds

Monday, September 24, 2012

A helicopter working for County Vector Control will be disbursing a granular mosquito larvicide this Wednesday, Sept. 26 at various wetlands in the county, including the San Diego River in Santee.
The larvicide contains bacteria which, while harmless to humans and wildlife, prevents mosquito larvae from reaching adulthood. The granules, which are about one-eighth of an inch long, “will not generate a fog, mist or cloud,” county officials said in a press release.

The larvicide drop is the seventh so far this year. The aerial drops are aimed at preventing the spread of the West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne diseases.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Santee Makes Appearance at Conference

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Clock Tower at Santee Trolley Square
The city of Santee is touting its assets this week at the International Council of Shopping Centers Western Division Conference, which concludes tomorrow at the San Diego Convention Center.
The city’s economic development expert, Pam White, has been staffing the city’s booth (Booth No. 424) and promoting Santee’s ability to sustain retail outlets.

The city has already attracted such major retailers as Target, Costco, Home Depot and Lowes.
Santee’s relatively high median household income, easy freeway access and low sales tax rate has helped to attract new businesses such as BevMo!, Phil’s BBQ, Chick-fil-A.

Businesses that desire more information about what Santee can offer should contact Ms. White at pwhite@ci.santee.ca.us or at  (619) 258-4100 ext. 223.

Sustainability Effort Brings Savings to Santee

An in-house sustainability project launched three years ago by the city of Santee has saved taxpayers an estimated $200,000 annually by increasing energy efficiency and implementing other sustainable business practices.
“We view sustainability as a way to invest in improvements that will have long term benefits for Santee taxpayers and the environment through reduced energy and water use” said Kathy Valverde, who manages the project.

Using grant monies, the city was able to replace 1,783 street lights with energy efficient light fixtures and cut energy costs by 30 percent, resulting in savings of $110,000 and 900,000 kilowatt-hours each year.  In addition to annual savings, San Diego Gas & Electric awarded the City almost $73,000 in energy efficiency rebates for installing the new lights.

Moving from outdoors to indoors, the city upgraded 1,600 office lights with more energy efficient ones and installed motion-sensor devices to further reduce power usage when offices are unoccupied. The result was energy savings of 97,000 kilowatt hours per year at a cost savings of 25 percent or $19,000 annually. The project was fully funded by grants and rebates.

Additional savings were achieved last summer by switching to more economical utility rates available from SDG&E for outdoor lighting at several parks, playing fields and tennis courts. The lower power rates are expected to save the city 50 percent, or more than $60,000 annually.  The city anticipates saving another $10,000 to $30,000 this year as a result of switching to the lower rate for outdoor lighting at Town Center Community Park.
The road to sustainability doesn’t stop with increased energy efficiency.

Santee is currently exploring the use of recycled water for street sweeping to conserve more costly potable water. If the proposal is approved by state regulators, Santee will be one of the first cities in the region to implement such a program. The city also installed power-generating solar panels to provide electricity at the Sportsplex USA restaurant at Town Center Community Park.
Valverde said the city is currently looking at additional opportunities to conserve energy through lighting upgrades. She’s also working on programs to help residents and businesses cut costs through sustainability and energy efficiency.  Check the city’s website at www.ci.santee.ca.us and click on the sustainability project logo to learn more.

Bluegrass Festival Certain to Sell Out

The 3rd annual Santee Bluegrass Festival will be held this Saturday, Sept. 22. Don’t wait until the last minute to get your tickets because without a doubt, this event will sell out.

Tickets can be purchased in advance for $35 until 1 p.m. Friday, Sept. 21 at Santee City Hall, Building 6, 10601 Magnolia Avenue.

The final lot --approximately 100 tickets -- will be available at the gate for $40 beginning at 4:30 p.m.  A limited number of designated driver tickets will also be available for $25 at the door. Once the final few tickets are sold, you’ll be out of luck.

The event will take place from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Town Center Community Park East, 550 Park Center Drive (behind the Cameron Family YMCA/City of Santee Aquatics Center) and will feature live music from two renowned bluegrass bands along with 16 varieties of wine, 13 micro-breweries and 29 food vendors to sample. There will be 88 silent auction items, ranging from beach-cruiser bicycles to a Taylor guitar.
For a list of participating vendors, parking information and frequently asked questions visit http://www.ci.santee.ca.us/?page=8&recordid=1694&returnURL=%2findex.aspx.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Santee Turns San Diego River into a Classroom

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Santee city staffers pitched in today as guest teachers for a group of Rio Seco Elementary School 4th graders that made a science-oriented field trip along the San Diego River at Mast Park.
Two City Hall workers teamed up with Shannon Quigley of the San Diego River Park Foundation and Rio Seco 4th grade teacher Heather Glanz to offer facts and insights into the river’s ecology.

The students, in turn, took detailed notes that will come in handy for writing stories about their field trip. At one point, a duck unexpectedly blurted out a loud quack that interrupted the lesson, causing the children to bellow with laughter.

City Arborist Annette Saul and Shannon Quigley
“The students really enjoyed the opportunity to step out of the classroom and step into nature, where they could do hands-on learning activities,” said City Arborist Annette Saul, who shared teaching duties with Stormwater Program Manager Helen Davies.
“The kids were engaged and excited about what they were learning, “ Ms. Saul noted. “They also got the chance to observe the ducks and other wildlife along the river.”

Escorted by a half-dozen volunteer parent chaperones, nearly 30 pupils walked about a quarter-mile from their school to the bridge at Mast Park that spans the river adjacent to the Mission Creek community.
Ms. Davies gave a lesson on how trash and pollutants carried by storm drains end up in the river and affect the water quality and wildlife.

“You can be a protector of the river just by being careful,” she said.
She explained how everyone can help safeguard the river by preventing trash, dirt, oil or household waste from getting into storm drain inlets and curb cuts. Storm drains are underground pipes that transport rain or excess irrigation water from city streets.

In her lesson, Ms. Saul focused on the effects that non-native invasive plant , such as the vine-like primrose, have on the river’s ecosystem.  These thick-growing vines crowd out native vegetation, slowing down the river’s flow. The stagnant water becomes a breeding ground for mosquitoes and allows algae to bloom, depleting the dissolved oxygen level and making it difficult for fish and other aquatic creatures to survive.
Santee Stormwater Program Manager Helen Davies
Ms. Saul also showed students a tube-like device underneath the bridge that serves as a kind of trap that biologists use to detect the presence of non-native invasive mussel species.

Using water samples gathered from the river and testing kits, Ms. Quigley showed the students how to measure key water-quality indicators such as acidity or PH, dissolved oxygen and turbidity or cloudiness caused by sediment.  The water testing was being done in conjunction with World Water Monitoring Day, she said, a global event to raise awareness about clean water.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Santee Supports Coastal Cleanup Day

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Grab your gumption, a bucket and a pair of gloves.
Volunteers of all ages are needed to help clean up the San Diego River in the city of Santee during Coastal Cleanup Day, from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Sept. 15.

Volunteers during last year's Coastal Cleanup Day
For the fifth consecutive year in Santee, volunteers will fan out along the river and pick up any trash or debris they can find.
“We also try to have some fun,” said Shannon Quigley-Raymond, who oversees the cleanup . “There are contests to see who can collect the most cigarette butts, and who can find the most unusual item.”

Some folks stay for an hour, while others stay for the duration of the event, she said. There’s no minimum time requirement.

At noon, everyone gathers to celebrate their achievement.  It’s a great way to meet other people who care about the environment and clean water. More than 90 people have signed up so far.

In recent years, volunteers have plucked from the riverbed such oddities as a “Finding Nemo” pillow and a plastic toy bow-and-arrow, she said.

"A lot of it is litter that was blown off the street or washed down storm drains during the rainy season," she said.

The search for trash is not entirely random. Debris piles created by transients or illegal dumping, which were identified earlier this year and mapped by volunteers for the San Diego River Park Foundation, also will be targeted by cleanup crews.
Kids who participate will get to toss balls containing wildflower seeds, which in the spring will produce native lupines and poppies along the river.

Volunteers in Santee will gather at Town Center Community Park East near Cuyamaca Street and River Park Drive just south of the ball fields

Please register in advance by clicking here so organizers can bring the right amount of supplies.
Please wear closed toed shoes and sun protection (sunscreen, hat, etc.)

Note: All participants are required to sign a liability waiver; persons under age of 18 require the signature of a parent or guardian to participate.

Hottest Ticket in Town: Santee Bluegrass Festival

Cherie and Bree with silent auction baskets
Word is spreading that the Santee Bluegrass Festival is one community fund-raising event you don’t want to miss.
Aside from live music from two renowned bluegrass bands, attendees will have their choice of 16 varieties of wine, 13 micro-breweries and 29 food vendors.  There will be 88 silent auction items, ranging from beach-cruiser bicycles to airline tickets.

Those who purchase designated driver tickets for $25 at the door will receive an engraved water bottle donated by Az U Wish.  Three local cab companies will also have drivers available beginning at 9 p.m. at the main parking lot.  Standard rates of $2.80 plus $3 per mile will apply.

Online ticket sales for the event will end at midnight on Monday, Sept. 17.
After that, tickets can be purchased for $35 per person at Santee City Hall, 10601 Magnolia Ave., Building 6, up to 1 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 21.

Tickets may be available at the door for $40 each, but the event is rapidly nearing capacity.
“Everything about the event is bigger and better this year, ” said Cherie Meek, the city’s special events supervisor.  “We’re expecting more than 700 people to turn out, have a fun time and help raise funds to support park improvement projects and the Santee Teen Center.”

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Search & Rescue Squad Trains at Mast Park

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Mary Ann and Tom Bennett with Cody
What looked like a massive search and rescue operation this morning at Mast Park was actually a training exercise involving some 20 volunteers, nine rescue dogs, several uniformed deputies and a mobile command unit from the San Diego Sheriff’s Department.
The training allows the rescue volunteers and dog handlers to sharpen their skills and to qualify as expert witnesses for court cases, said Sgt. Don Parker, the team’s supervisor.

In one of the exercises, the specially trained dogs were given the scent from a pair of jogging shorts and were sent across the park to find the person. The dogs included beagles, bloodhounds, golden retrievers and border collies.

Three deputies and a rescue dog from Riverside County also participated. Observing it all as students were four members of the Polk County, Iowa Sheriff’s Department, who intend to create their own rescue team when they return home.

“We’re trying to show the Iowa folks how a real search and rescue operation will occur from top to bottom,” Parker said.
Among the cadre of orange-shirted rescue volunteers were Mary Ann Bennett, a part-time office aide at the Santee City Clerk’s Office, and her husband, Tom, a retired sheriff’s department captain, and their rescue dog-in-training, Cody.

The all-volunteer Sheriff’s Search & Rescue team includes some 190 people who perform wilderness and urban rescues and search for missing persons. Teams are available 24 hours a day to respond to local, state and federal agency requests.

To learn more, you can visit the team’s website at http://bit.ly/leuaZr

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Enroll Now for Fall Rec Classes

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Have a yen for yoga? Want to get your Kung fu on? Or how about having your kids learn basic engineering with Legos?
These classes and more are now open for enrollment though the city of Santee’s Community Services Department. There’s something of interest for every age group. Click here for the class listings.
New this fall is an after-school  enrichment program featuring classes in music, art, dance and more.  City sponsored classes will be offered at eight local elementary schools in partnership with the Santee School District Out of School Time Program.  Classes vary based on school location. Students in Project SAFE or YALE Preschool may register in enrichment classes, but only at the school where they are enrolled.
For more information, click on the Santee REC icon at www.ci.santee.ca.us or visit us at Santee City Hall, Building 6, 10601 Magnolia Ave., or give us a call at (619) 258-4100 ext. 222

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Santee Street Repair Update

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Carlton Hills Boulevard (North of Bridge)

All storm drain and asphalt patching work has been completed.  Minor concrete repairs are being performed this week.  The final asphalt overlay is scheduled to be completed from September 17-21, with the final striping to be completed the following week.

Carlton Hills Boulevard (South of Bridge)

Asphalt patching south of the bridge to Mission Gorge Road has been completed south of the bridge.  The final asphalt overlay will be completed in early 2013.

Mission Gorge Road

All work has been completed on Mission Gorge Road.

If you have any questions, please contact the project engineer, Toby Espinola, P.E., at (619) 258-4100 ext. 174