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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.