/*added another slider news box below here*/

Thursday, January 30, 2014

County Sells Parcels Next to Town Center Community Park

Thursday, January 30, 2014

San Diego County this week sold at auction two vacant parcels comprising 33.28 acres on the north side of the San Diego River next to Town Center Community Park. 
The winning bidder was San Diego businessman Conrad Prebys, president of Progress Construction and Management based in Point Loma. He submitted two bids totaling $36 million for the properties, which are zoned for multi-family residential. The auction was held Jan. 28 during the regular meeting of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors.

Prebys is a philanthropist who has given millions to various institutions including the San Diego Zoo, UCSD,  the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and  Scripps Health.  In 2004, he donated $1 million toward the construction of the Santee Boys and Girls Club.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Volunteers Needed for Park Watch Program

Thursday, January 23, 2014

People posting on online forums have triggered a debate over how the homeless may be affecting the public’s perception of the safety of Santee’s municipal parks. You can help the cause by volunteering for Santee’s new Park Watch Program.  Sign up to patrol the city's riverfront parks and report on trash, graffiti or vandalism. Learn more about Santee’s portion of the San Diego River Trail by attending a special event Saturday, Jan. 25 from 9 a.m. to noon at Mast Park, 9125 Carlton Hills Blvd. For more info on Park Watch, contact Shelsea Ochoa at shelsea@sandiegoriver.org or call 619-297-7380

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Bird of the Month: Cooper’s Hawk

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Cooper's hawk
Cooper’s hawks tend to fly low to the ground when pursuing their prey.  They’ve been known to  linger near  residential bird feeders, ambushing unsuspecting smaller birds. When in flight, their wing motion is a distinctive flap-flap-glide pattern. They are common residents of the riparian habitat along the San Diego River in Santee. We frequently see them in the Mission Creek neighborhood and at Mast Park.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Help Us Solve Copper Wire Thefts

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

City officials today asked for the public’s help in solving a spate of copper wire thefts over the past month in the Town Center and Mission Creek areas of Santee.
Since mid-December, thieves have struck at 13 locations, including Town Center Community Park and Mast Park.  The thefts have resulted in non-functioning lights  on walkways, parks and street lights.

The replacement costs and repairs will cost the city approximately $48,000.
The city is attempting to retrofit the electrical boxes to make them less vulnerable to thieves, but the repairs will require time and patience from the public.  

Anyone with information about the thefts, or if you see something suspicious, contact Det. Carl Miller at the Santee Sheriff’s Station at (619) 956-4037.

Santee’s New Top Cop

Capt. James Bovet
James Bovet, Santee’s newest chief law enforcement officer, said he hopes to reduce the city’s crime rate by focusing on criminals involved with the sale and use of illegal drugs.
“Right now, countywide, we are battling a huge heroin addiction problem,” said Bovet, a San Diego County Sheriff’s Department captain who took over as Santee’s de facto police chief on Dec. 27.

Experience has shown that drug addicts can trigger spikes in property crime, including burglaries of homes, retail stores and vehicles, he said. One reason Santee is prone to crimes involving theft is because the city has a wealth of retail outlets.

While the rate of violent crime is dropping in Santee, property theft is trending upward

“We don’t want the trend to continue,” said Bovet, who over the course of his 25-year career with the sheriff’s department once served as a narcotics detective at the Santee Station. “We’ll do some things to combat narcotics trafficking and use.”
Bovet also prefers to attack crime through information-led policing, which involves identifying  crime patterns through deep statistical analysis of crime statistics and their geographic distribution.

“We analyze all that information into a product that identifies and prioritizes our crime fighting mission each month,” he said. “By doing this, we are able make an educated guess about who, what, when, where and why crime is occurring.”
He described his overall approach to crime fighting as “enforcement, disruption and prevention.”

Bovet said the traditional strong support from Santee residents is crucial.
“When people have a gut instinct that something is wrong, they are almost always right,” he said.  “Citizens are a big part of solving crime because we can’t be everywhere all the time.”

Bovet said he likes the department’s current approach to traffic enforcement and he will continue the emphasis on discouraging drunken driving through DUI checkpoints and saturation patrols.
The city’s recent acceptance of formerly private streets within the Sky Ranch community poses some new challenges because the steep roads are a temptation to speeders and skate boarders.

Bovet said he’ll continue the tradition of community meetings to talk one-on-one with local residents to stay in tune with their concerns.
“I’d like to stay in this job for a long time,” he said.