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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Chick-Fil-A Giveaway Attracts a Crowd

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The parking lot next to the new Chick-Fil-A eatery in Santee was transformed into a tent city today, as scores of people camped out for a chance to win a free meal  each week for a year
By 6 a.m. Wednesday, approximately 140 people had already lined up to get a number to qualify for the giveaway, which will be awarded to the first 100 people in line.  Because of the overwhelming response, a raffle was held to assign priority numbers to the first 100 contestants and 10 alternates.

To win, the contestants must stay on the premises until the grand opening Thursday at 6:30 a.m.

The contestants were in good spirits and appeared to be well prepared for the challenge as they set up tents, cots and other creature comforts to endure the overnight wait in line. One contestant said it was his 14th time competing for the weekly meal prize.

The Chick-Fil-A, which is at 9418 Mission Gorge Road,  will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Sign Up for Palm Springs Follies Trip

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Join us Wednesday, April 17th for our senior trip to the Palm Springs Follies, which has a new show built around music and dance from the ‘50s and early ‘60s.

This Broadway-caliber  show titled "Dance to the Music" features performers from ages 55 to 85.
Before the show we will enjoy a delicious lunch at Las Casuelas Mexican Restaurant. Lunch is included in the registration fee and consists of an appetizer, two-item combination plate, dessert, and a non-alcoholic beverage. If time allows before the show, we will tour the downtown area on foot. After the show, there will be time for a quick bite to eat before we return to Santee.

The Santee Park and Recreation Committee (SPARC) has allocated funds to cover a portion of the expense for this trip, allowing the registration fee to be reduced. Thank you SPARC.
The registration deadline is March 17th, but space is limited so register early to guarantee your spot on this fun-filled trip.

You can purchase tickets at the Community Services Department, Building 6, 10601 Magnolia Avenue in Santee.
For more information, call us at (619) 258-4100 ext. 222.

Date: Wednesday, April 17th, 2013
Departure Time: 8:00 AM
Return Time: 9:00 PM
Departure and Return Location: Santee City Hall, Bldg 8 Parking Lot.
10601 Magnolia Ave., Santee 92071
Cost: $85 - Santee Residents over 55
$100 – Non-residents over 55
$110 – Santee Residents under 55
$125 – Non-residents under 55

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Speed Feedback Signs: A Gentle Reminder

Thursday, February 14, 2013

In an effort to get motorists to change unsafe habits, the city of Santee today activated four radar speed feedback signs along Magnolia Avenue.
The devices measure the speed of approaching vehicles and flash that number to motorists as they pass by. They're intended to get motorists to slow down, which in turn can reduce the number and severity of traffic collisions.

Next week,  the city will activate two additional speed feedback signs along Mast Boulevard,  where a similar one has been in place for several  years near West Hills High School.
The feedback sign has four different displays based on the speed of the oncoming vehicle. They are:

1.        If you’re within the speed limit, the lighted sign remains blank.

2.        If you’re traveling less than five miles over the speed limit, the sign displays your speed.

3.        If you’re traveling between 5 and 10 miles per hour over the limit, the sign repeatedly flashes  your excessive speed. 

4.       If you’re traveling more than 10 miles over the speed limit, the sign flashes this message: “slow down.”
The cost to install the signs, which are solar powered, will be covered by a $91,000 grant from the federal Highway Safety Improvement Program.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Go Green on Valentine’s Day

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Why buy your loved one a flower bouquet when you can honor them with a tree, bench or picnic table that will stand for years at a city park?
Several tree sizes and species are available for donation starting at $100 for a 15-gallon tree, $200 for a 24-inch tree, and $700 for a 36-inch tree.

A picnic table can be donated for $1,000, and a park bench for $1,400.
All donated trees, tables and benches will be maintained by the city for the duration of their useful  life.

More information and application forms are available online (click here and scroll to bottom), or at the Santee Community Services Department, Building 6, 10601 Magnolia Avenue, Santee, CA 92071.

Questions via phone may be directed to Parks and Landscape Supervisor Annette Saul at (619) 258-4195 ext. 101.

Vehicle Burglary Suspects Arrested in Santee

A watchful Santee resident who called the San Diego Sheriff’s Department to report suspicious activity helped authorities arrest two suspects Feb. 11 on charges of vehicle burglary.
Patrol deputies who responded to the call about 7 a.m. in the 8600 block of Graves Avenue found a car with a broken window.  Neighbors who witnessed the crime reported seeing two men break into the car before fleeing in a green Ford Explorer.

While checking the surrounding area, deputies located the SUV identified by witnesses. After arresting the two men inside the vehicle, deputies recovered several items believed to have been stolen in a recent series of nine car burglaries.
The sheriff’s department is asking anyone whose car was burglarized recently  to contact the Santee Sheriff’s Station at (619) 956-4000 to assist them with the identification of the stolen property that was recovered.

The department is also encouraging residents to lock their cars and remove valuables prior to leaving their vehicles unattended.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Meet and Greet With Sheriff’s Dept.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Sheriff's Department Capt. Lisa Miller
Local residents are invited to meet key members of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department Santee Station at a meet-and-greet event on Wednesday, Feb. 27 from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the Kaffee Meister coffee shop at 9225 Carlton Hills Blvd. in Santee.
The station’s commanding officer, Capt. Lisa Miller, will deliver a brief welcome and introduce a half-dozen members of her staff, including  a traffic enforcement officer, a patrol deputy, a detective and a patrol lieutenant.

“There is really no set agenda,” Miller said. “It’s  really informal. It’s a way for us to open ourselves to the community.”
Based on similar events elsewhere in the county, Miller expects to hear from folks who have concerns related to law enforcement activity.

“If you have concerns that you don’t feel have been addressed, that’s what we’re here for,” she said.
Miller said it’s the first community meeting she has held since taking command of the Santee station last September.

Traffic and speeding problems are popular topics, but residents may also want to hear more information about a continuing series of vehicle burglaries in Santee. Residents of the Sky Ranch neighborhood have also expressed concerns about skateboarders going down the steep hill at high speeds.
The Santee sheriff’s station is the headquarters for approximately 100 Sheriff’s Department employees who provide law enforcement for the city of Santee as well as the communities of Alpine, Lakeside, and unincorporated portions of El Cajon.

Monday, February 11, 2013

If You Spray, You Will Pay

Monday, February 11, 2013

Graffiti vandals in Santee and elsewhere in San Diego County have been paying the price for defacing property.
Court-ordered restitution forcing taggers to repay local governments for graffiti removal has increased since police and public works crews began using the web-based Graffiti Tracker program three years ago.

“The message we’re sending to graffiti vandals couldn’t be clearer: We’ll catch you and you will pay,” said Bill Maertz, Santee’s director of community services.
Last year, a teenager who was a prolific tagger was arrested, convicted and ordered to repay the city of Santee more than $20,000 in restitution, Maertz said.

In 2011, Santee had 1,178 incidents of graffiti vandalism  that defaced a total of 12,214 square feet of surfaces that had to be restored by public works crews, according to a study by the San Diego Association of Governments.  Countywide, the average court-ordered restitution in 2011 was $2,344 per arrestee compared to an average of $1,592 the previous year.
Graffiti Tracker allows Santee’s public works crews to take pictures of graffiti using a special camera that records the exact location.  Before the photo is taken, a 2-by-2 foot white board is placed next to the graffiti to provide a scale to estimate its square footage. The information is uploaded to a central data base, where analysts identify the vandal’s  graphic signature and maintain a running tally of incidents. When a perpetrator is arrested, Graffiti Tracker allows police to compile a complete record of the offender’s activities and the cumulative costs for repairs.

“Graffiti Tracker in essence, allows us to do graffiti incident reports, which frees up our local sheriff’s deputies to perform higher priority services,” said Public Works Supervisor Sam Rensberry.
Santee’s city policy is to remove graffiti as quickly as possible, and always within 24 hours of being reported.

“The best deterrent is to knock it down right when it goes up,” said Rensberry. “That seems to discourage them.”
Residents can help the cause by reporting graffiti to the city’s hotline at (619) 258-4195 ext. 188 or online by clicking here.

Below is a YouTube video created by the county that explains Graffiti Tracker:

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Santee the First to Conserve Water While Keeping Streets Clean

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Santee will soon become the first city in San Diego County to use partially treated or reclaimed water for street sweeping rather than drinking water.
The switch to reclaimed water will save a small amount of money.  But more importantly, it will reduce the use of potable water by 60,000 gallons each year and add to our region’s water conservation efforts.
“Although the cost savings is minimal, switching to reclaimed water is a great idea because it conserves a valuable resource: drinking water,” said Kathy Valverde, who oversees the city’s Sustainability Program.  “It may seem like an obvious alternative, but we’ll actually be the first city in the region to accomplish this.”
The change was a collaborative effort between the City of Santee, CleanTECH San Diego and Padre Dam Municipal Water District.  It was also a change that took three years to accomplish because it required complicated approvals from the California Department of Public Health and the Regional Water Quality Control Board, a state agency that enforces the federal Clean Water Act.

Padre Dam is installing special filling stations at five locations throughout the city where street sweepers can fill up with reclaimed water.  The district will also provide required training for street sweeping crews on procedures to prevent reclaimed water from cross connecting with the potable water system.
While the city will be saving potable water as a result of the switch, the state approvals will also allow Padre Dam to save over 1 million gallons of drinking water annually, which are used to clean and maintain the sewer system.

Canon Pacific, which currently contracts with Santee for street sweeping, has been cooperating with the switch to reclaimed water and has agreed to retrofit its equipment.  The city will also require the use of reclaimed water for street sweeping in future contracts. 
“As a water conservation measure, I hope the switch will be one that other cities and water districts can model,” said Valverde.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Prevent Unwanted Kitty Litters

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Cat owners in Santee are eligible for free coupons that pay up to $100 in veterinary costs to have their feline spayed to avoid unwanted kittens.
"Norm" is a female cat from Santee who is spayed
The coupons are available during the month of February, while supplies last, at San Diego County animal shelters in Mission Valley, Bonita or Carlsbad.  (Click here for addresses.)

Residents can inquire about availability by calling the County Animal Services Department  at (619) 767-2675 from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
The county and six participating cities, including Santee, are offering the coupons to their residents as an incentive to reduce the number of unwanted kittens that typically end up at county animal shelters.

Many veterinarians in the county accept the $100 coupons. A list of vets who will do the procedure for an affordable price is available at the Animal Services website.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Bird of the Month: California Thrasher

Monday, February 4, 2013

The California thrasher is found in the hills with coastal sage scrub habitat  that surround the city of Santee. The thrasher’s most distinctive characteristic is its curved bill.

At 12 inches long, it’s one of the larger songbirds you’ll find in Southern California.  The thrasher is the  Mozart of the bird kingdom. In addition to its musical call, the thrasher has the ability to mimic sounds similar to what  mockingbirds do.  
The thrasher's diet includes beetles, spiders and other bugs, so they are great for pest control.

They rarely fly in the open, preferring instead to remain hidden in dense brush.

Stark Reminder Posted at Crash Site

A sign intended to prompt motorists to reflect on the consequences of drunk driving  was posted Jan. 31 where northbound State Route 125 ends at Mission Gorge Road in Santee.

The sign says: “Please don’t drink and drive.  In memory of Pamela Marabeas.”
Marabeas, a 53-year-old mother of two,  was killed at the intersection in September 2009 when her SUV was struck broadside by a pickup truck that ran through a red light at more than 80 miles per hour. The truck was driven by 17-year-old girl who was under the influence of drugs and alcohol.  She survived the crash, but was severely injured.

Marabeas’ relatives, who paid the $1,000 cost to erect the sign, are hoping it will serve as a reminder that driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol is a recipe for tragedy.

The Sheriff’s Department uses the crushed SUV involved in the fatal crash as a visual aid at driver safety classes aimed at teens.