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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Did You Know? State Law Bans Smoking at Playgrounds

Thursday, May 31, 2012

The city of Santee this week posted signs advising the public to refrain from smoking at public playgrounds where children could be exposed to second-hand smoke.
A state law enacted in 2002 prohibits smoking as well as dumping butts in playgrounds or tot lots.
The law makes it an infraction -- with a fine of $100 -- to smoke a cigarette, cigar, pipe or other tobacco-related product within the boundaries of a playground or a sandbox.

Smokers also risk a $100 fine if they toss a cigarette or cigar butt in a playground.

 California Heath and Safety Code Section 104495 prohibits smoking within 25 feet of a playground, which is defined as:

"any park or recreational area specifically designed to be used by children that has play equipment installed, or any similar facility located on public or private school grounds, or on city, county, or state park grounds."
The no-smoking signs at Santee parks were furnished at no cost by the county. Funds to help with the installation were donated by Santee Solutions, a local advocacy group that supports a smoke-free and drug-free community.

Walking Tall on National Trails Day

What better way to acknowledge National Trails Day than by grabbing a walking stick and joining a free naturalist-led hike along the San Diego River in Santee this Saturday, June 2.

The hike, which is an easy 3-mile round trip, will start at 9 a.m. at the historic Edgemoor polo barn at 9113 Magnolia Ave and finish around noon.  Children and dogs are welcome to participate. The hike leader will identify local flora and fauna and explain existing and future San Diego River trail connections.

The event is sponsored by the San Diego River Park Foundation and Friends of Santee’s River Park.

National Trails Day was started in 1993 to encourage the development of walking trails. The impetus came from a 1987 report by a presidential commission recommending designated trail access within fifteen minutes walking distance from every American residence.

To double-check information about Saturday’s hike, you can call (619) 297-7380 or check the foundation’s website by clicking here.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Register Now for Free Kids’ Fishing Derby

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Every child remembers the thrill of reeling in their first fish, no matter how large or small. And quite often, they don’t forget their second, third, or even their 100th.

Make this lasting memory possible by registering your child for the annual Santee Firefighters’ Fishing Derby scheduled for June 23 at Santee Lakes No. 3 and 4. Act quickly, because the deadline for registration is June 20.

Children up to age 17 are eligible and must be accompanied by an adult. Kids receive free admission to Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve, lunch and one raffle ticket.

Up to 100  fishing rods will be available to rent at no cost from the Lakeside Optimist Club, and free bait will be provided by Lakeside Bait & Tackle.
Adults can buy lunch for $3 and purchase additional raffle tickets for $2 each.

You can register here at the Santee Firefighters Assn. website

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Public Meeting on Prospect Avenue Corridor Enhancement

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The city of Santee is hosting an informational meeting to update the public on the Prospect Avenue Corridor Enhancement Project from to on Thursday, June 7.

The meeting, which will be held at Prospect Avenue Elementary School, will allow the public a chance to view maps and other informational materials about the project. City staff and project consultants will be on hand to explain the project and answer questions.

“This is an opportunity for residents and business owners to learn about this exciting effort to improve the appearance, safety and mobility of this key east-west corridor along Santee’s southern boundary,” said Carl Schmitz, a principal civil engineer and project manager.

The $25 million project, which is currently in the design phase, calls for upgrading a mile-long section of  Prospect Avenue between Magnolia Avenue and Cuyamaca Street.

Proposed 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 to eliminate flooding. On-street parking and bicycle lanes will be provided on both sides of the street. Traffic signals will be upgraded and a dual left-turn lane will be added.

“These comprehensive enhancements will not only improve the appearance, they will also make travel safer for pedestrians, bicyclists and vehicular traffic,” Schmitz said.

Construction is expected to start in late 2013 or early 2014, and will take approximately a year to complete.

The project is funded by revenue from the city’s redevelopment tax area, which was recently eliminated by the state.

The city is hoping the extensive facelift of Prospect Avenue will attract firms seeking to relocate their corporate headquarters and foster the redevelopment of job-creating businesses and industrial parks.

Prospect Avenue offers premier access to air and ground transportation. It is ideally situated at the confluence of three major freeways and is adjacent to Gillespie Field, the county’s largest general aviation airport.

Contact: Carl Schmitz at (619) 258-4100 ext. 175 or cschmitz@ci.santee.ca.us

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Santee Street Repair Update

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Carlton Hills Boulevard

Watch for traffic cones and lane closures along Carlton Hills Boulevard
beginning May 29.

City contractors will be replacing corrugated metal storm drains at 5 locations along Carlton Hills Boulevard, starting at the northern terminus and working south towards Mission Gorge Road.
Storm drain construction will occur from to Monday through Friday, is expected to last about 2 ½ months.

Once the storm drain is completed, look for updates concerning asphalt patching and a final asphalt overlay for Carlton Hills Boulevard.

Mission Gorge Road

An asphalt overlay project along Mission Gorge
Road between Cottonwood Avenue and Civic Center Drive
is scheduled to start the week of June 18.

To minimize any inconvenience to motorists, the work will take place overnight between and

Project manager Toby Espinola can answer questions at (619) 258-4100 ext. 174

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Can We Brag? Our Summer Camps Rock!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Give your kids a memorable summer by enrolling them in a safe and affordable recreation camp offered by the city of Santee Community Services Department.
“We’re able to offer a quality summer recreation program because our staff is well-trained and motivated. In fact, they’re phenomenal” said camp supervisor Anne Morrison.

The city offers a variety of programs tailored to fit different age groups and interests.
Traditional day camp for children entering grades 1 through 5 features a  weekly scheduled that includes a field trip, a swim day and a day of outdoor activities at Santee Lakes.

X-Factor day camp is for tweens and teens entering grades 6 through 9. The weekly schedule includes a field trip, a swim day, table game tournaments and outdoor activities such as fishing or bike riding. Campers have a say in selecting activities, allowing them freedom of choice while still being guided and supervised by staff. To promote personal growth, X-Factor campers who exhibit responsible behavior can earn special privileges.

Santee also has a renowned Jr. Camp Leader program for youth entering grades 8 through 12. It includes a week-long training where participants learn how to supervise and mentor younger campers. This program is ideal for young people looking for an opportunity to gain work experience, leadership training and professional development.

Our Daily Deals offered during early summer from June 27 to July 6 allow parents and kids the option to pick and choose which days fit into the family’s schedule. Multi-family member discounts are also available for Santee Day Camp and X-Factor Camp.

Our specialty enrichment camps run the gamut from woodshop to skateboarding to performing arts. Some athletic camps offer those interested in team sports an opportunity to reach the next level of skills and fitness under the guidance of local high school coaches. We also offer sports camps aimed at introducing children to a new sport while teaching teamwork and sportsmanship.

Working parents can take advantage of our new extended hours’ program for specialty camp participants.  For a nominal extra fee, youngsters can participate in supervised activities until evening pick-up time.

Probably the best reason to enroll your kids in our summer programs is because they’re flat-out fun.

“The goal of our summer programs is to give kids a truly memorable experience,” said Morrison. “We’ll send them home tired – guaranteed."

For more information give us a call at 619-258-4100 ext. 222

There are five ways to sign up for summer camp:
  • Register online at www.ci.santee.ca.us
  • Download the application form and mail it to City of Santee, 10601 Magnolia Ave., Building 6 Santee, CA 92071
  • Fax your registration to us at (619) 258-4189 with credit card info
  • Deposit your registration in a sealed envelop at our 24-hour drop box at Community Services Building 6 at 10601 Magnolia Ave.
  • Register at our City Hall office during regular business hours Monday through Friday

Monday, May 21, 2012

Free Fitness Class for Seniors

Monday, May 21, 2012

The price is right for this 30-minute low-impact fitness class led by fitness instructor Sandy Swenson.

Swinging in Santee at Seniors' Club
Swenson teaches exercise routines that seniors can practice at home on their own. Classes vary from week to week, but typically include muscle toning, stretching, chair exercises and walking. Last week, participants warmed up by playing on the swing sets at Woodglen Vista Park.

Aside from improving your fitness, the class offers a chance to hang out with active seniors 55 and older and make new friends.

You don’t have to sign up or mess around with any paperwork. Just show up on Wednesdays wherever the Santee Senior Club is meeting that week. Check for locations online at the city’s website or call Community Services at 619-258-4100.

Bring a floor mat and wear comfortable shoes and clothing.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Go 2 Bat for Santee Teen Center

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Help support the Santee Teen Center by playing in the 1st Annual Go To Bat for Rec Softball Tournament scheduled for June 2 at Sportsplex USA.

Proceeds will help support the operation of the Santee Teen Center at the Lakes.

Teams must pre-register by May 28. Registration forms are available online here.

Two divisions, co-ed and men’s, will compete for bragging rights and prizes.
Door prizes will be awarded throughout the day. The tournament begins at

Each team must have a minimum of 10 players who are at least 18 years of age. Co-ed teams must have a ratio of 7 males to 3 females. Games will be played three-pitch style and each team is guaranteed to play at least three games.

Registration fees are $275 per team. Players must also pay the $2.50 entry fee at Sportsplex, but admission includes a beverage token.

For more information contact Aliah Brozowski at (619) 258-4100 ext. 120 or at abrozowski@ci.santee.ca.us

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Save $$$ at Pet Clinic this Sunday

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Low-cost rabies vaccinations, dog licensing and microchip identification implants will be offered at a special clinic Sunday, May 20 from to at Woodglen Vista Park in Santee.

Rabies vaccinations for dogs four months or older, and cats three months or older, are available for $6.00.

Dog lover Kevin Fiske with "Rambo"

Microchip identification devices are available for $20 to dogs, cats and rabbits. Dog owners need to present proof their pet is licensed.

All late fees will be waived with the purchase of a new dog license. A 1-year dog license is $14 if the animal is spayed or neutered, $30 if not.  Cats are not required to be licensed.

Participants can also pick up coupons to neuter male dogs, cats and rabbits for $25 and coupons to spay female dogs, cats and rabbits for $50.

Educational information on pet waste management and doggie bag dispensers will also be provided.

Dogs must be on a leash, and cats and rabbits are required to be in a carrier.

More information about the County Department of Animal Services is available at www.sddac.com

Keeping the River Clean: Consider Compost

Little known fact: Yard waste such as cut grass that ends up in your local storm drain can adversely affect water quality in the San Diego River and other local waterways.

As it decomposes, rotting yard waste releases nutrients that promote the growth of algae, which can lower the river's dissolved oxygen level. It can also promote bacteria growth. The result is a triple-whammy of low dissolved oxygen, high nutrients and elevated  bacteria levels that can cause problems for fish and other creatures in the river. Also, these stagnant conditions make the river less attractive for recreational use.
Residents can prevent yard waste from reaching waterways  by adding leaves and clippings to a compost pile or placing it in a curbside yard waste recycling container.

You can make a backyard compost pile by mixing grass clippings with leaves. Compost can return nutrients to the soil and help conserve water. Click here to watch a video on how to make your own compost.

This message is brought to you by the clean water team at Santee City Hall.

Monday, May 14, 2012

City Erases Traffic Bottleneck

Monday, May 14, 2012

The annoying rush-hour traffic back-ups on southbound Cuyamaca
Street at the eastbound onramp to State Route 52 have been eliminated.
Former traffic headache is fixed
The problem? The lone left-turn lane couldn’t handle the heavy traffic volume during peak commuter hours. Motorists trying to access the freeway onramp were often forced to wait through two or even three cycles of the turn-signal light. 

Advisory for the additional lane
Earlier this month, the striping was redone to add a second left-turn lane. Ta-da. Problem fixed. “The new striping has improved traffic significantly and virtually eliminated congestion,” reports principal traffic engineer Minjie Mei.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Get Connected with Summer Programs at Rec Connect

Thursday, May 10, 2012

With summer right around the corner, this is the time of year parents start looking at options for summer programs to keep the kids active and engaged. 
Santee Day Camp offers a summer of
fun, friends and adventure

The City of Santee Summer Recreation Activity and Camp Guide is coming soon. In addition to traditional Santee Summer Day Camp (grades 1-5) and X-Factor Camp (grades 6-9), new camps offered will include Soccer Shots, Jump Rope, Woodshop Wizards and Play-Well Sports Bots along with other sport, enrichment and performing art camps. New extended hours will also be offered for many of the specialty camps.

To learn more about recreation programs and camps offered through the City of Santee this summer visit one of two upcoming Rec Connect open houses. See table top displays from contracted specialty camps, watch fun program demonstrations, ask questions, meet the staff and register for recreation programs and camps. Receive $5 off each week of Santee Day Camp or X-Factor Day Camp that you register for at a Rec Connect (not valid with multi-family discount).

The free Rec Connect open houses will be held on Friday, May 18 and June 22 from 5:00 to 6:30 pm at Santee City Hall, 10601 Magnolia Avenue, Building 7.

Can’t make either date? Staff will be happy to answer any questions you have about camps or programs, or give you a tour of our camp operations. Feel free to give us a call at (619) 258-4100 ext. 222 or visit www.ci.santee.ca.us.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Buzz Kill: Mosquito Abatement Chopper to Visit Santee

Monday, May 7, 2012

The county’s Vector Control helicopter will be hovering over Santee on Wednesday, May 9 to deposit an anti-mosquito larvicide in vegetation surrounding ponds in the San Diego River and at Sycamore Creek.
The small pellets to be dropped contain two types of bacteria that target mosquito larvae, preventing them from maturing into biting adult insects.
County officials said the VectoMax larvicide affects only mosquito larvae and is harmless to humans, wildlife and vegetation.
Aerial applications of the larvicide are done about ever four weeks between May and September at more than 40 locations countywide with stagnant or slow-moving water favored by mosquitoes.
The county’s “Fight the Bite” campaign is aimed at reducing the risk to humans of mosquito-borne illnesses.You can read more about the program at the Department of Environmental Health website.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Fang Factor: Rattlers Get Active as Weather Heats Up

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The “Rattlesnake Xing” signs posted at Santee City Hall are no joke. City Hall workers have learned to be alert and look down when walking outdoors, especially during spring when rattlesnakes emerge from hibernation.

From spring through summer, rattlesnakes occasionally wander down from the boulder-covered hills that surround City Hall in search of prey or a quiet place to sun themselves.

The pregnant female red diamond rattlesnake in this photo was captured May 2 near the Development Services building at City Hall by Nathan Hutcherson of Reptile Removal Services of Lemon Grove. The snake, which was not harmed, was relocated to a more remote area.
Photo by Nathan Edwards

“This was one of the larger ones I’ve seen, and I’ve seen a lot of them,” said Hutcherson, 31, who grew up in Oklahoma and at age 9 was taught by his father how to handle snakes.

When he was hired last year,  Hutcherson conducted four inspections at City Hall and found and removed two red diamond rattlesnakes.

Responding to snake sightings can be challenging, he said, because many times the reptiles are on the move when they encounter humans.

“I’ve spent up to four hours on a call searching,” he said.

Santee residents are advised to call 911 if they find a rattle snake on their property. The Santee Fire Department has staff members who are adept at capturing venomous snakes, and they will remove the reptile.

To learn more about rattlesnake safety, read this website article about the San Diego County Department of Animal Control.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Closeout Sale on Open Space T-shirts

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Show your support for the boulder-strewn  hills, San Diego River trail and open spaces that define the city of Santee. Now is your chance to get a limited-edition T-shirt or sweat shirt bearing the logo of Santee R.O.C.S. (Recreation Open Space Conservation System.).
Community Services' Kathryn Rottenberg is a ROCS fan

The system creates a balance between development and the natural environment. It includes city parks, open space, trails, the San Diego River Park, and wildlife habitat.

The T-shirts, which features an image of the burrowing owl native to East County, are available for $10. Sweat shirts are $20. Limited sizes available. They can be purchased at the Community Services Office, Building 6, at Santee City Hall, 10601 Magnolia Avenue, 92071.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Got Trash? Get Your Free Landfill Pass

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Have a pile of junk that won’t fit into your trash can?

Don't forget that Santee residents are eligible for two free passes per year to dispose of bulky items, concrete, or up to one ton of other forms of solid waste at the Sycamore Landfill.

Free disposal passes can be obtained at the landfill entrance at 8514 Mast Blvd. from to Monday through Friday. To obtain passes, Santee residents must show
a valid driver’s license and a residential water or electric bill.

Passes are valid for up to one year from the date of issuance. Recyclable materials can be disposed of at the recycle facility at the landfill entrance.

For more information visit the city web site or contact Community Services at (619) 258-4100 ext. 128.

Santee Named “Playful City USA” Community

4-year-old Joey Andrew of Santee tries out the slide
Today’s children spend less time playing outside than any previous generation, but Santee earned recognition today from national non-profit KaBOOM! as a 2012 Playful City USA community because of efforts made to prioritize play opportunities for children.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, play is critical to healthy brain development because it allows children to use their creativity while simultaneously developing imagination, dexterity and physical, cognitive and emotional strength. Yet today’s children spend less time playing outside than any previous generation in part because only 1-in-5 live within walking distance of a park or playground. The resulting play deficit is having consequences for kids physically, socially and academically.

Santee is among 213 communities in 41 states that received the Playful City USA designation since the program began six years ago in partnership with the Humana Foundation.  The designation is given to communities that demonstrate a commitment to physical activity by developing local action plans to increase the quantity and quality of opportunities for children to play through community partnerships, as well as recreational facilities that promote exercise and fitness. Santee was acknowledged for partnering with local school districts to provide joint use playing fields for youth sports activities and leagues.

The recognition also means Santee is qualified to apply for grants to help pay for park improvements, playground equipment and recreation programs. The grants are offered through Let’s Play, a partnership led by the Dr Pepper Snapple Group.

A primary goal of the Playful City USA program is to encourage cities and towns to share ideas, concepts and programs to increase play opportunities for children. Other local cities sharing the 2012 designation are Chula Vista, La Mesa, and Encinitas. For a complete list of winners or additional information visit http://www.playfulcityusa.org/.