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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Santee Honored at Tree City USA

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Planting trees at 2013 SanTree Fest
The city of Santee has been named a 2013 Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation in honor of its commitment to effective urban forest management.  This is the 12th year Santee has earned the national designation.

The city achieved Tree City USA recognition by meeting the program’s four requirements: a tree board department, a tree-care ordinance, an annual community forestry budget of at least $2 per capita an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.

A representative from the California Department of Forestry and Fire will recognize this honor at future city council meeting.

The Tree City USA program is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters.
More information about Tree City USA can be found atwww.arborday.org/TreeCityUSA

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Santee Teen Center Turns 13

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Santee Teen Center is now a teenager.
Some current members of the Santee Teen Center

Thirteen years ago, the city opened its first teen center at a former retail space in a shopping center in central Santee. Five years later, in 2006, it moved to a cottage-sized building at the Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve.
Although the move put the teen center in a less accessible area of town, the city partnered with the Santee School District to provide affordable after-school transportation for students in grades 6 to 8.

“Santee Lakes is an excellent location for our teen center because of the access to nature and outdoor recreation opportunities” said Recreation Supervisor Aliah Brozowski, who oversees the city’s programs for teens and seniors. “Having our teen center located at Santee Lakes allows us to provide recreation programs to our teens in a pleasant, safe and well-maintained park setting.”
The city’s cooperative relationship with Padre Dam Municipal Water District, which operates the Recreation Preserve, proved invaluable in early 2012 when the teen center was threatened by closure due to budget cuts.

Padre Dam’s board of directors agreed to lower the district’s rent for the teen center building to $1 per month, saving the city more than $12,000 annually.  The action spared the teen center from being closed, and a valuable community resource was preserved.
The teen center follows the classic model of an after-school drop in recreation program. But it’s more than a place to play ping pong or toss a Frisbee. It’s also an incubator where young people can mature and learn leadership skills under the Junior Leader program.

Some current staff members began coming to the center as middle school students, then graduated from Junior Leader training before returning as part-time aides in their college years. Teen center staffers must pass a background check, are first aid and CPR certified and receive special training for working with adolescents and teens.
“Our staff members are passionate and dedicated young adults who take their role as mentors very seriously,” Brozowski said. “They are the most important amenity the center has to offer.”

“The center uses a low staff-to-participant ratio to ensure safety and personal connections with each teen,” she said.
Activities at the center are geared toward students from grades 6 to 9.  A typical after-school session includes homework time, an indoor activity, such as a pool tournament, and an outdoor activity, such as bicycling or fishing.  Teens are encouraged to help plan and implement the daily activities, ensuring their engagement and interest in the programming.   

When the opportunity arises, high school students are recruited as volunteers to help younger students with their homework and to serve as a role model while they navigate the teenage experience. The city would like to entice more high school volunteers to fill the “junior staff” positions.
“We’re trying to recruit 11th and 12th graders to be tutors and mentors,” said Brozowski.  “It’s one component where we have room for growth, and it would add a lot to our program.”

Editor’s Note: Annual membership is $41 for Santee residents and $55 for non-residents, or $5 per day. Parents can register online or at Santee City Hall.  Financial aid is available. After-school transportation also is available during the school year for Santee School District  students in grades 6 to 8 for $46 per month or $15 per week.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

San Diego River Trail, Walker Preserve fact sheet

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Caution Needed on Prospect Avenue

Watch for the “cone zone” on Prospect Avenue, and remember to slow down.

The speed limit has been temporarily lowered to 25 mph where construction is underway to accommodate a pavement and utility improvement project between Cuyamaca Street and Magnolia Avenue.  Large lighted signs have been put into place to alert motorists that they are entering a construction zone, where fines for traffic violations are doubled.

Traffic currently is being routed around construction zones on the north side of the street near Tumbleweed Terrace and Siesta Lane.  Beginning Saturday, Feb. 22, the cones will be moved and traffic will be diverted away from construction activity on the south side of Prospect.

Questions or feedback about the work can be directed to Senior Civil Engineer Toby Espinola at (619) 258-4100 ext. 174.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Controlled Burns Scheduled Feb. 16 and 17 at Miramar

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Firefighters from Marine Corps Air Station Miramar will conduct controlled burns Sunday and Monday (Feb. 16 and 17) at the eastern end of the base near the sheriff’s department training center.

Smoke is expected to be visible to freeway motorists traveling on State Route 52, State Route 163 and Interstate 15. The burns will occur between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. both days.

The prescribed burns, which are intended to reduce the risk of wildfire, are subject to cancellation depending on weather and air quality conditions.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Reward Offered in Santee Copper Thefts

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Access covers damaged in copper thefts
San Diego County Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for a recent series of copper wire thefts in Santee.
Since December 2013, about 4,000 feet of copper wiring has been stolen. The wire has been pulled from electrical boxes servicing street lights, walkway lighting and irrigation systems. The thefts have been concentrated in the Mission Creek and Town Center areas of Santee.

To get to the wire, the perpetrators have broken cement covers and other access points at electrical service boxes in the ground and at the base of light poles.  The cost to repair the damage has exceeded $60,000.

Anyone with information about the thefts is urged to call the Sheriff’s Department
 at (619) 956-4000 or the Crime Stoppers' anonymous tip line at (888) 580-8477. Anonymous email and text messages can be sent via www.sdcrimestoppers.com

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Bird of the Month: Acorn Woodpecker

Thursday, February 6, 2014

acorn woodpecker

Acorn woodpeckers are described as having a clown face because of their red head patch and large eyes. They are gregarious and not especially shy around people, which makes them fun to watch and photograph. These birds are obsessive about gathering and storing acorns,  which they do by drilling numerous holes into a tree trunk to create a “granary tree.” We found this one drilling into an oak tree at Santee Lakes.