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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Santee Crime Rate is Falling

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Crime in the city of Santee is going in the right direction: Down.

Statistics compiled by the San Diego Association of Governments show that overall crime in the city has declined by 24 percent in the first six months of 2014 compared to the same period in 2013.
The statistics pertain to the FBI Crime Index, which includes homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft.

Santee’s crime rate in the first half of the year was 19.52 crimes per 1,000 population, ranking it eighth among the county’s 18 cities.  The city’s crime rate rose slightly between 2010 and 2013, but it has dropped back down to the 2010 level during the first half of this year.
The statistics show that among the four cities in East County, Santee has the lowest crime rate.

What’s behind the recent success?
Criminal analysts with the County Sheriff’s Department examine crime reports, arrest histories of suspects and listen to information from the public to come up with recommendations for deploying personnel and resources. It’s called Information-Led Policing or ILP.

“This intelligence allows us to create strategies to target people involved in crime,” said Sheriff’s Captain L. James Bovet of the Santee Station. “It allows us to deploy deputy sheriffs in the right locations, at the right times when crime is occurring, to disrupt criminals and arrest them. Every deputy sheriff that is deployed in Santee has a mission outline for the day to decrease crime.”
The department also checks on parolees and those on probation from criminal offenses to ensure they are following the conditions of their release from jail or prison. In addition, much effort is placed on tracking illegal drug activities, which are a catalyst for crimes ranging from domestic violence to theft.

“When deputies arrest a drug user or seller, we can disrupt other future crimes like burglaries and assaults from ever occurring,” Capt. Bovet said.
The department has also launched a program to train managers of apartments and condominiums how to prevent crime and increase their communication with law enforcement.

“We also rely heavily on community involvement in combating crime,” Capt. Bovet said.
The department has active Sheriff’s Senior Volunteer and Volunteer Mounted Patrol programs to supplement efforts by regular patrol deputies.  Capt. Bovet also holds quarterly community meetings to hear the concerns of residents and business owners.

More information on community meetings is available at www.sdsheriff.net  


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Prospect Avenue Update

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

There’s lots of activity and construction machinery on Prospect Avenue, as the street enhancement project completes its ninth month.
The mile-long project zone between Magnolia Avenue and Cuyamaca Street contains plenty of hazards for motorists and pedestrians, including open trenches and heavy machinery moving around.
The public should avoid contact with newly installed concrete driveways and sidewalks, as well as newly poured curbs and gutters.
Several open trenches are being dug to install electrical conduit that will allow overhead wires to be placed underground
Workers are also installing new water lines and moving fire hydrants and water meters.
There’s a new top layer of asphalt on the south side of Prospect Avenue between Cuyamaca Street and Ian Way.
Construction activity will continue from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Motorists should be aware of the 25 m.p.h. speed limit and enhanced traffic fines in the construction zone.
Questions about the project can be directed to Senior Civil Engineer Toby Espinola at (619) 258-4100 ext. 174

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

SD River Conservancy Improving Sycamore Creek

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A worker removes arundo

A waterway clogged with the wrong type of non-native vegetation is a recipe for flooding, elevated risk for wildfire and diminished habitat value for wildlife.

That’s why the San Diego River Conservancy is spending $208,000 over the next few months to remove invasive plants from Sycamore Creek in the city of Santee.

The project, which started this week, requires heavy labor to remove the unwanted vegetation from several hundred feet of the creek bordering the Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve.

“One of the main reasons we’re doing it is for flood alleviation,” said Conservancy Executive Officer Kevin McKernan.

Flooding triggered by record rainfall in the winter of 2010-11 overwhelmed a sewage station next to the creek, resulting in a spill of contaminated water into the San Diego River, he noted.

This April, a wildfire that began in the riverbed at Mast Park West was fueled in part by dense stands of non-native plants, including a bamboo-like plant called arundo donax, also known as giant reed.

This week, a small army of workers has been using chain saws and hand tools to remove the unwanted vegetation, including arundo, castor bean plants, pepper trees, and more than 90 mature non-native palm trees.
Oceanside-based ACS Habitat is doing the work

“We’ve notified homeowners whose back yards border Sycamore Creek of our activities, and so far we’ve had positive responses from many,” McKernan reported.

A second phase of the project to clear a portion of the creek north of Mast Boulevard is planned for the future.

The project calls for follow-up abatement actions over the next two to three years involving cutting and spraying the previously cut sites to ensure the invasive plants don’t return.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Beat the Heat at Santee’s Cool Zones

Monday, September 15, 2014

In response to the National Weather Service heat advisory, the city of Santee today set up cool rooms for residents without air conditioning.


A cool room at City Hall will operate from noon to 5 p.m.  Check in with Community Services in Building 6 or call 619) 258-4100 ext. 222.  A second cool room will be open from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. at San Diego Christian College, 200 Riverview Parkway across the street from Trolley Square Shopping Center.


Residents can also beat the heat by going to one of the “Cool Zones” set up by the County of San Diego.


The closest is at the Santee Library at  9225 Carlton Hills Blvd.


The library (619-448-1863) is open from 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. The county’s entire “Cool Zone” listing is here: http://www.sandiegocounty.gov/content/dam/sdc/hhsa/programs/ais/documents/coolzones.pdf


 Temperatures inland will be anywhere from 10 to 20 degrees above average through Tuesday with highs in the inland valleys reaching 104 degrees and desert areas 108.
To avoid heat-related problems, health officials recommend the following:

  • Stay in an air-conditioned area during the hottest hours of the day
  • Wear light, loose-fitting clothing
  • Drink plenty of water (avoid alcohol and sugary drinks) and don't wait until you are thirsty
  • Take cool showers
  • Never leave a child, elderly person, or pet unattended in a car
  • Avoid unnecessary hard work or activities outside during the hottest part of the day
  • Avoid unnecessary sun exposure and wear a wide-brim hat if you need to be in the sun
  • Avoid using the oven to cook

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Veterans, Volunteers Pitch In on Day of Service

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Nearly 50 volunteers, including military veterans, provided the muscle power and sweat today to help rebuild lodge pole fencing that was destroyed  by a wildfire in April at Santee's Mast Park West.

The San Diego River Park Foundation organized the service project as a local contribution to the Sept. 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance, which was observed by tens of thousands of volunteers nationwide.

Volunteers braved  93-degree heat and high humidity as they extracted charred fence posts from the ground and replaced them.  About 300 feet of fencing was destroyed or damaged in the wildfire. Despite the hard, gritty work, the volunteers had no trouble smiling for our camera.

About half of the volunteers were from The Mission Continues, a  nonprofit group that recruits active duty  and retired military veterans for community service projects.

“Our mission is to engage in the community and make a significant impact,” said Al Lejarde, a volunteer platoon leader with the group.

The volunteers from The Mission Continues included active duty sailors from the USS Boxer and residents of Veterans Village of San Diego, a nonprofit group that helps homeless veterans.

The wooden fencing at Mast Park West  helps protect sensitive wildlife habitat along the river just east of the Carlton Oaks Golf Course.