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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Recycle your Christmas Tree

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Help divert green waste from the landfill by recycling your Christmas tree at the end of the season:  Trees will be picked up for recycling the first two weeks following Christmas through Jan. 10, 2014.

Residents with curbside collection can recycle their Christmas trees by placing the trees in their yard waste bins on their regular pick-up day. Trees must be cut into 4-ft sections and must fit into yard waste container. Ornaments, tinsel and tree stands must be removed before being recycling.

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

Santee residents without curbside collection such as apartment complexes can drop off trees, from Dec. 26th through Jan. 10, 2014, at the Waste Management Recycle Center in El Cajon, located at 925 O’Connor Street, one block south of the West Bradley Avenue and Johnson Avenue intersection. The recycling center will be open 7:00am to 7:00pm Monday through Friday, and 7:00am to 12:00pm on Saturday.

For more information contact Ed Ruiz, at (619) 258-4100 ext. 128.



Thursday, December 19, 2013

Comment Period Opens on Walmart Expansion Project

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The city of Santee today issued a Draft Environmental Impact Report on the proposed expansion of the Town Center Walmart store and started the clock on a 45-day review and comment period.
Walmart has applied to increase the size of its store at 170 Town Center Parkway from 131,220 square feet to 180,339 square feet to offer a larger selection of groceries. The store would also expand its operation to 24 hours.
Walmart plans to create a new parking area on a 5.26-acre parcel south of the store.  This change in the parking lot configuration and other measures to minimize the effect of the project are identified in the environmental report.
The public has until 5 p.m. Monday, Feb. 3 to comment on the document.  Copies are available for review at the Development Services Department at Santee City Hall, 10601 Magnolia Avenue, Building 4, on the City’s website at www.cityofsantee.ca.gov, and at the Santee County Library, 9225 Carlton Hills Blvd.
Written comments should be directed to Associate Planner Travis Cleveland, 10601 Magnolia Avenue, Santee, CA, 92071; or via email at tcleveland@cityofsanteeca.gov.  He can be reached at (619) 258-4100 ext. 160 for more information.
The proposed expansion project will be reviewed by City Council at a future public hearing, at which time the public may also submit comments.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Santee’s New Clean Water Manager

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Ensuring the city of Santee complies with the Clean Water Act requires a person with multiple talents and the ability to switch hats when needed.
Newly hired Stormwater Program Manager Cecilia Tipton said she’s comfortable with the various roles she must play to keep the city in good standing with state water-quality regulators.

Cities are encouraged to increase the public’s awareness about the vital role individuals play in preventing water-borne pollutants from harming the watersheds that drains into the San Diego River.   In her role as teacher, Tipton has a strategy for making her message relevant.
“Tying our message to specific community interests (such as fishing at nearby reservoirs and the San Diego River) is important,” she said. “That way, you can get user buy-in; then it becomes important to them.”

Making the connection between clean water and recreational fishing would be easy if everyone realized how cumulative acts such as littering or dumping soapy water into the storm drain can adversely impact water quality.

“The typical person doesn’t stop to think about the different layers of how our water system works,” she said.
Beyond public education, Tipton also is required to be a local water-quality cop. If she sees a construction site without proper erosion controls, she must stop construction or take other measures to enforce the state’s strict rules on preventing sediment transport.

The section of the river in Santee is currently listed by the state as “impaired” due to excess sediment.

“With all the new development that’s going on in Santee, that’s one of our biggest priorities,” she said. “We’re definitely paying a lot of attention to that.”
In San Diego County, the state regulates stormwater under a regional permit that requires all 18 cities and the county to coordinate and standardize their local regulations. This requires Tipton to be a collaborator.

She developed these skills while she was employed for 8.5 years with the county’s Watershed Protection Program.  She was hired by the county after graduating from San Diego State University with a specialized Bachelor’s degree in geology, environmental politics and technical writing.
This May, the stormwater manager job became more demanding and complex when the state adopted new regulations requiring cities to increase inspections in residential neighborhoods.

“Before we would respond to residential complaints (about illegal dumping, etc.), but now we have to actually develop and implement a residential compliance program,” she said.
Tipton, whose first day on the job was Dec. 9, said her first weeks have been a flurry of activity.

“The days go by fast, that’s for sure,” she said. “It’s been go, go, go.”

Editor's note: Tipton is a Santee resident

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Keeping Them Honest with Sky Watch

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The sheriff’s department Sky Watch tower was recently moved to Santee Trolley Square to help deter car burglaries, purse snatching and other crimes during the holiday shopping season. The tower is equipped with an ultra-high-resolution camera that can record faces, license plate numbers and even a nametag on a shirt. Deputies don’t have to be in the tower; they can remotely connect to the surveillance equipment and radio observations to patrol vehicles. The tower is one of the tools used during Operation Holiday Watch, a special enforcement and crime prevention effort that runs from Thanksgiving to Jan. 2.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Bird of the Month: California Quail

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

We’ve seen this bird along the hillside trails above Santee City Hall. The California quail happens to be the state bird.
They have a distinct curving crest or plume, made of six feathers, that droops forward: black in males and brown for females; the flanks are brown with white streaks.

Here’s what Wikipedia says about them: The California Quail is a highly sociable bird that often gathers in small flocks known as "coveys". One of their daily communal activities is a dust bath. A group of quail will select an area where the ground has been newly turned or is soft, and using their underbellies, will burrow downward into the soil some one to two inches.They then wriggle about in the indentations they have created, flapping their wings and ruffling their feathers, causing dust to rise in the air. They seem to prefer sunny places in which to create these dust baths.