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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

County to Drop Mosquito Control Pellets

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A county vector control helicopter on Wednesday, Aug. 28 will be dropping anti-mosquito pellets at various spots along the San Diego River including Santee.
It will be the eight mosquito pellet application so far this year, with a final drop scheduled for Sept. 18.
Local drop sites include Town Center, Carlton Oaks, Sycamore Creek and Lake Kumeyaay, as well as three locations in Lakeside.

The rice-sized pellets contain two types of bacteria that, while harmless to humans and wildlife, kill mosquito larvae before the insects can develop into biting adults.
The county Department of Environmental Health pays for the program to help control West Nile virus, which is spread to humans by mosquitoes that have fed on infected animals. The virus was detected in dead birds that were found earlier this month in Encinitas and El Cajon and in July in Carlsbad, Ramona and Lakeside.

Click here for more information on West Nile virus

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Traffic Tangles Along Magnolia & Mission Gorge

Thursday, August 22, 2013

We know, it’s been gnarly. Motorists recently have had to practice aloha  (patience and kindness) while driving in southeast Santee along Magnolia Avenue and near the Magnolia intersection with Mission Gorge Road/Woodside Avenue.

Magnolia Avenue looking north from Mission Gorge

The traffic cones and delays are the result of two different projects.  The repaving work along Magnolia is being done by a contractor for SDG&E, which is upgrading electrical capacity to accommodate the expansion of the Las Colinas Women’s Detention Facility. It should finish up tomorrow (Friday).

The new road excavation work on Magnolia south of Mission Gorge is the start of a city funded storm drain replacement project. This work will take place mostly at nighttime and continue through November.  Thank you for your patience.

Businesses and Apartments Can Keep Santee Green by Recycling

Recycling coordinator Ed Ruiz
Business owners and those who manage multi-family housing such as apartments have been required to participate in California’s mandatory commercial recycling program since July 2012.
To comply with state law, businesses that generate at least 4 cubic yards of solid waste per week and multi-family housing of five units or more must arrange for recycling services.
Businesses and multi-family housing complexes in Santee can comply by choosing any of the following options:
  • Arrange for the pickup of recyclable materials with Waste Management Inc., the city’s franchise trash hauler;
  • Arrange for the pickup of recyclable materials by a non-franchise hauler who must provide the service at no cost to the property owner;
  • Apply for an exemption at Santee City Hall and take responsibility for hauling your recyclable waste to a recycle center.
Owners of commercial businesses and managers of multi-family housing complexes may require their tenants to source separate their recyclable materials to aid in compliance with state law.
More information is available by contacting City of Santee Recycling Coordinator Ed Ruiz at (619) 258-4100 ext. 128.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Fixing Drains Before the Rains

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Project site on De Vos Drive
Storm drain upgrades are among the most under-appreciated improvements a city can undertake, but they make a huge difference when winter rains hit.
This week, a 6-member crew from Southwest Pipeline and Trenchless Corp.  of Torrance, CA began installing new linings inside old metal storm drains that have deteriorated.

Today,  workers were refurbishing a 30-inch storm drain that runs between homes on De Vos Drive near Carlton Oaks Elementary School.
Installation requires workers to place a sock-shaped felt lining inside the pipe. The special sock, which is fabricated at the firm’s headquarters, is pushed into place first with water and then with air. The sock is impregnated with an epoxy resin that is activated when steam is injected into the pipe. The resin hardens in two to three hours, creating a new lining inside the pipe.

The process is quick enough that workers can arrive in the morning and be gone before dinner time, sparing residents the inconvenience of  road closures and heavy equipment that would otherwise block traffic.  It also allows the city to rehabilitate storm drains without expensive and annoying excavation work, said company president Justin Duchaineau, who came to check on the project site.
Justin Duchaineau of Southwest Pipeline & Trenchless Corp.
On Thursday, the crew from Southwest Pipeline  will be fixing a 36-inch diameter metal storm drain beneath Carlton Oaks Drive. The company, which was awarded a $775,576 contract in April, will return in September to rehabilitate a 60-inch diameter storm drain.

This summer, the city awarded more than $2.4 million in construction contracts to fix deteriorated metal storm drains or replace those that are beyond repair. The goal is to upgrade obsolete portions of the city’s drainage system to avoid calamities such as pipe failures and sink holes.  Santee has 6.75 miles of corrugated metal pipes (CMPs)  that were installed before the city incorporated in 1980.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Accident Statistics Offer Insight on El Nopal-Mast Blvd. Issue

Thursday, August 15, 2013

El Nopal's sharp curves in Lakeside 
Critics claim that a traffic hazard has been created on El Nopal because the city of Santee has not completed a proposed connection of Mast Boulevard eastward into the unincorporated community of Lakeside.
This argument relies on the assumption that the cause of the accidents occurring on El Nopal will somehow disappear if and when the city and county pave the 1,000-foot gap of Mast Boulevard that exists today.

Critics refer to El Nopal as a “detour” route around the missing link of Mast Boulevard. In fact, El Nopal is a decades-old residential collector street that will remain in existence regardless of what happens with Mast Boulevard.

It should be noted that Lakeside’s portion of El Nopal has two sharp curves, which is where many of the accidents have occurred.
State accident statistics compiled over the last decade show that a majority of accidents on El Nopal were the result of speeding motorists.

From 2002 to 2012, there were 46 traffic accidents (including one fatality) along the county’s stretch of El Nopal between Los Ranchitos and Riverford roads where the “S” curves are located.  Less than 6 percent of those collisions were serious-injury accidents. The lone fatal accident occurred in 2004 and involved a motorcycle rider.
During the same 10-year period, there was one fatal accident and nine other vehicle collisions in Santee’s jurisdiction along El Nopal from Magnolia Avenue to Los Ranchitos Road.  The lone fatal accident occurred in 2005 and involved a motorcyclist who was under the influence of alcohol.

Here’s the breakdown of how the 46 accidents occurred over the past decade along the section of El Nopal containing the two sharp curves:
  • Traveling at unsafe speed -- 54.3 percent
  • Driving on wrong side of road – 19.6 percent
  • Driving under the influence  -- 13 percent
  • Improper turning – 8.7 percent
  • Right of way violations – 4.3 percent

Completing the gap on Mast Boulevard between Lakeside and Santee would cost the city of Santee $4.5 million. The county would have to spend $1.7 million to complete the Lakeside portion.
Even if the city completed the Mast Boulevard connection to the east, the sharp curves along Lakeside’s portion of El Nopal, which is governed by the county, would still remain.  The county’s transportation master plan envisions no future improvements for El Nopal, which is described as “a 2-lane road…sufficient to meet projected traffic volumes.”

Moreover, connecting Mast Boulevard through to Lakeside would increase traffic on the Santee side by an estimated 35 percent.  Completing this connection also would funnel truck traffic serving the industrial parks in Lakeside into Santee’s residential neighborhoods and past two high schools.

Completing Mast Boulevard would offer a convenient route for a few, but it will expose many Santee residents to higher traffic volumes and greater truck traffic.


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Live from Santee: Country Hunk Tony Suraci

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Catch a rising country heartthrob at this Thursday’s free concert at Santee’s premier live venue

Tony Suraci is a dynamic vocalist who can mimic the voices of country music’s greatest “outlaw” superstars, including Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash.
If they cloned Eddie Vedder with Kenny Chesney, the result would be Tony Suraci.

He’s been playing sold-out shows at the Belly Up and other local night clubs. And now he’s headed to Las Vegas for a career-changing gig at the Hotel M Resort.

But before he pursues fame and fortune in Sin City,  Suraci and his band of accomplished sidemen will play at 6:30 p.m. at the outdoor performance stage at Town Center Community Park, 550 Park Center Drive. It’s his first appearance in Santee, so he deserves a warm welcome.

Bios posted on the web say Tony has worked as both a musician and actor, including a role on Melrose Place. He’s also appeared on stage in comedy, drama and dance productions since the age of 9. He can play guitar and piano, but he also has something you can’t learn: charisma.
Click here to view a YouTube video of Suraci strutting his stuff.


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Bird of the Month for August – Snowy Egret

Thursday, August 1, 2013

A member of the heron family, the snowy egret  has a slim black bill and long black legs with yellow feet.   They are about two feet  long with wingspans of three feet. We found this one foraging for food in Woodglen Vista Creek near Mast Boulevard.

The cheek area in front of the eyes  is yellow but turns red during breeding season, when they regrow fancy plumes that give them a shaggy look. They range from the lower Great Lakes and southwestern U.S. to South America.

They can be found in fresh or saltwater habitats located inland or along the coastline in marshes, swamps, shorelines, mudflats and ponds. They eat fish, crustaceans, insects, frogs and small reptiles.