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Friday, March 30, 2012

Santee City Council Votes to Oppose Quail Brush Power Plant Project

Friday, March 30, 2012

At its March 28 meeting, the Santee city council voted unanimously to oppose the proposed siting of the Quail Brush Genco LLC Generation Power Plant in a visually prominent location proximate to Santee’s western gateway.

Quail Brush Genco LLC has submitted an application to the California Energy Commission for the construction and operation of a 100-megawatt electrical generating power plant within the city of San Diego’s jurisdiction. The power plant is proposed to be located just outside the city of Santee’s jurisdiction on
a regionally and visually prominent hillside proximate to Santee’s western gateway and would include 11 exhaust stacks, each 100 feet in height, an 18-foot high radiator stack, a 22-foot high urea tank, a 20-foot high used oil tank, a 20-foot high new oil tank, a 30-foot high fire water tank, assorted exhaust vents and a two-story building housing a generator bank.

The city of Santee’s General Plan addresses the minimization of land use conflicts in adjacent areas, and seeks to protect vacant land in the East Elliot area along the city’s western boundary as part of a regional biological preserve system. The Community Enhancement Element of the General Plan strives to strengthen the gateways into the city by seeking to preserve the high quality scenic viewshed visible from the western entry along State Route 52.

The city council formally opposed the current proposed location and design of the Power Plant unless and until all effects of the proposal are fully disclosed, analyzed and mitigated with measures that reduce the effects to the level of insignificance in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act.

For additional information on the proposed project visit the city’s web site.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Stay Cool With Our New Mist-maker

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The sun is blazing hot and you’ve just finished your workout at Town Center Community Park.  Is there any relief in sight? The answer is yes.
Stand beneath the city’s newly installed mist-maker which also doubles as a drinking fountain that offers refreshment for both humans and dogs – from separate spigots, of course.

The city was able to purchase this fountain/mister thanks to a grant from Coca Cola’s 2011 Live Positively – America’s Favorite Park Campaign.  The $10,000 grant also paid for recreation equipment at the Santee Teen Center at the Lakes and Woodglen Vista Skate & BMX Park.

Coca Cola also participated in last summer’s Family Fest event marking the opening of the final phase of Town Center Community Park and to promote Santee as a healthy community.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Rainy Day Fun at SanTree Fest

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A hearty crowd of volunteers braved intermittent light wind and rain the morning of Saturday, March 17 to plant trees and create a simulated streambed at Town Center Community Park. It was a fitting way to celebrate California Arbor Week (March 12-18).

"We can’t thank the community and our sponsors enough for bringing their spirit and enthusiasm to brighten an otherwise rainy day," said Cherie Meek, the city’s Special Events Supervisor.  "Everyone pitched in to make this already stunning park and even more beautiful place."

Thirty-two decorative trees were planted, along with 40 shrubs that decorate the faux streambed in front of the City of Santee Aquatics Center/Cameron Family YMCA. Vendors provided hand outs and food samples to the crowd while scouts and community members enjoyed the green themed event in an array of rain gear, seldom worn in San Diego.

The event will ensure that Santee earns its Tree City USA designation from the Arbor Day Foundation for the 11th consecutive year.

In case you missed it, here’s a video slide show that recaps the event.

Come to the "Careers In" Career Fair Wednesday

There’s more than one way to become a rock star. It all starts with having a dream and connecting the dots to a future career.

You never know what small moment will trigger a student’s interest in something that will become their passion.

One way to stimulate interest in a career is to talk with professionals about their work life.

A career fair aimed at students from 5th through 12th grade has been scheduled for Wednesday, March 21 from to at Cajon Park Elementary School, 10300 N. Magnolia Ave.

Local businesses and experts will be present to explain what their careers can offer. Parents and kids are welcome to drop by. No RSVP or reservations are required.

It’s one of three events organized by Careers In, a local effort launched in partnership with the Santee Teen Center, Santee Chamber of Commerce and Santee Community Collaborative to get young people thinking about potential careers here in East County.

Chamber leaders figure that a well-trained and motivated local workforce is an asset for a city that wants to attract new businesses.

"The idea is to create a generation of people who are educated and prepared, which could attract companies to move here," said  John Olsen, Santee Chamber of Commerce Executive Director .

"We also hope that by introducing kids to different types of careers, they will carry that over to their studies and get fired up about school," he added.

Click HERE for more information.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Spring Cleaning at Forester Creek

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A crew of about a dozen workers, including Public Services Manager Bob Stein, (shown here), removed more than 15 cubic yards of trash and debris from Forester Creek Thursday.

Santee routinely cleans the concrete-lined channel to protect water quality in the San Diego River, which receives the flow from the tributary creek.

“We try to clean out the channel after every storm with city crews, volunteers and our contractors,” Stein said.

Most of the trash, which includes tons of plastics, is transported by rain into storm drains in the city of El Cajon and gets flushed downstream to Santee, Stein explained.

Santee’s stream cleaning effort is necessary to fulfill requirements of its state stormwater discharge permit, which is aimed at enforcing the federal Clean Water Act.

"To promote better water quality in the San Diego River, we regularly clear out drain pipes, clean drainage channels and hire a contractor to perform street sweeping," Stein said.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Girl Scouts Celebrate Centennial

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

More than 600 Girl Scouts from East County gathered at Santee’s Town Center Community Park Monday evening for the 100th Anniversary Sunset Celebration.

“The whole setting was just so beautiful,” said Mary Ann Angeles, a Girl Scout leader from Lakeside who served as emcee of the event. “We couldn’t have asked for a better day.”

The hour-long centennial event included a flag ceremony, reciting the Girl Scout promise, a friendship circle and a sing-a-long.

“It was like having a big camp fire without the camp fire,” Angeles said. “Everyone was singing. It was awesome. We had girls from kindergarten through high school."

Special guests included Jo Dee Catlin Jacob, chief executive officer of the Girl Scouts' San Diego-Imperial Council, and 80-year-old Girl Scout Virginia Mullen.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Mast Park Trail Wins Statewide Award

Friday, March 9, 2012

The California Trails Conference Foundation this week announced it will honor the city of Santee with a 2011 project construction Merit Award for the Mast Park West Trail.

Karen Beth Pearlman and her dog, Chloe, enjoy a
walk along the Mast Park West trail
Since its completion in the spring of 2011, the relatively easy trail with a decomposed granite surface has become a favorite of walkers, bicyclists and joggers. It makes for a pleasant stroll through a riverfront forest, called riparian habitat, that attracts many birds and other wildlife. The experience is further enhanced by benches, views of ponds, and nature interpretive signs.

The half-mile-long trail, which crosses 43.2-acre habitat reserve along the San Diego River, was constructed between October 2010 and April 2011. The city completed the project on schedule and under budget despite an unusually wet winter and restrictions on construction to accommodate the nesting season for the least Bell’s vireo, an endangered songbird.

The city constructed the trail with funds provided by a state River Parkways (Proposition 50) grant.

The trail is an important link in the city’s plan to complete a continuous path along the 4.5 miles of the San Diego River that bisect Santee. It is also part of a proposed 52-mile-long river trail and parkway that would connect the mountains to the sea.

The award will be presented to the city on April 19 at the 2012 California Trails and Greenway Conference in Woodland Hills.

The foundation, which is based in San Juan Capistrano, promotes the development of non-motorized trails in California.  It organizes an annual conference, the California Trails Day event, and awards grants to non-profit organizations.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Keep Pesticides and Fertilizers Out of Our River

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Many folks don't make the connection between the health of the San Diego River and the chemicals they apply to their lawns, gardens and landscaping.

The fact is, rain transports fertilizers and pesticides to the nearest creek or storm drain, and it ends up in the river where it can harm wildlife.

To protect the river's water quality, please do not fertilize your garden or landscaping within three days of a weather forecast predicting rain.  When applying pesticides, follow the manufacturer's directions and use only the amount your plants need.

Unused fertilizer cannot be tossed in the trash.  It must be taken to a household hazardous waste facility.  Call the Waste Management customer service department at (619) 596-5100 to set up an appointment.

Thank you for helping to protect our river.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Santee Hosts NCAA Softball Tournament

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Sportplex USA last weekend was home of the San Diego Classic, a women’s softball tournament that drew 11 NCAA college teams from throughout the U.S. to Santee.

Photo: courtesy of San Diego State University    
The University of San Diego captured the championship by going 5-0 during the tournament, which was hosted by San Diego State University.

“Well over 500 people a day came to the park to see the games,” said Sportsplex USA General Manager Eddie Vandiver.

Sportsplex USA Santee, which opened in June 2010, hosts regional and national tournaments nearly every weekend throughout the year, with nightly attendance ranging from 600 to 1,000 spectators and recreational athletes.

The 15-acre sports field complex, which is part of Santee’s Town Center Community Park, will host three other major tournaments this summer. They are:
  • U.S. Police and Fire Championships,  June 16-22
  • Triple Crown Sports 14 & under girls’ Fast Pitch World Series, July 16-21
  • Xtreme Diamond Sports Boys’ Baseball World Series, July 25-29 
Leagues are also offered for team and individual players of all skill levels. If you’re interested in booking a tournament or playing in a league at this ultra-modern sports complex, visit www.sportplexusa.com for additional information.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Employee Recognition Program Focuses on Values

Monday, March 5, 2012

If you work for the city of Santee, you don’t have to rescue somebody from a burning building to be recognized as an exemplary employee.

Under the city’s Values in Motion Program, excellence at the workplace can be an action large or small, sustained or short-lived.

“You don’t have to save the world,” said City of Santee Human Resources Director Jodene Dunphy.  “It’s not about what you did, it’s how you did it.”

Thus, a secretary can be acknowledged for helping a co-worker or a customer. A backhoe operator can get kudos for his gritty work during a winter storm. A firefighter can be honored for his ingenuity in fixing a broken flood light on a fire truck.

The program was created in 2004 to foster team building and reinforce core values that support the city’s mission to serve the public.

It works like this: Workers are nominated by their peers, not necessarily their supervisors. There’s no quota. Sometimes there’s only a few nominations. At other times, there’s a bunch. An employee committee meets monthly to review the nominations. Nominees are acknowledged at a meeting where the nominator recounts the story of what prompted them to appreciate the performance of their fellow employee. At the end of the year, all the nominations are reviewed and the finalists are selected. The award recipients, who are feted at a ceremony at City Hall, are awarded a diamond-shaped trophy. There are no bonuses or prizes. It’s purely about reinforcing the integrity that motivates workers to do their best.

“In an era when budget cuts have forced us to do more with less, recognizing workers for doing their jobs well reinforces the type of values and “can-do” work ethic we try to nurture here at City Hall, ” said City Manger Keith Till. “Shared values in pursuit of a common purpose bring people together and create a culture that makes us feel like we're more of a family than merely a workplace.”

Recipients of  Santee’s Values-in-Motion Awards for 2011, which were announced Feb. 28, are:
  • Administrative Secretary Debbie Daunis, Community Services Dept.
  • Equipment operator Mark Ethridge, Public Services Division
  • Development Services aide Evan Lee-Fook
  • Fire Capt. John Garlow
  • Fire Capt. Jim Huson
  • Fire Engineer Aaron Bagley
  • Fire Engineer Eddie Adame

Early Bird Price Alert for Santee Bluegrass Festival

A $5 discount - nearly 15 percent - is available on tickets for the third annual Santee Bluegrass Festival during the month of March.

Tickets during the early bird purchase period are $30; after that, the price rises to $35.

The festival, which is scheduled for Sept. 22, is an affordable evening of fun for adults that benefits the Santee Teen Center, park improvement projects, and the Recreation Scholarship Program, which provides financial assistance to qualifying Santee children, teens and seniors to take part in city recreation programs.

Admission includes food from local sponsoring restaurants and the opportunity to sample several varieties of wine and micro-brewed beers.

In addition, there will be live music by Box Canyon and The Tail Draggers, two talented bluegrass bands, and a spectacular lineup of silent auction items.

Tickets can be purchased online or in person at Santee City Hall, 10601 Magnolia Avenue, Building 6.  Need more information? Visit the city’s website or call the Special Events Hotline at (619) 258-4100 ext. 201.