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Friday, December 26, 2014

Santee Firefighters Make a Special Rescue

Friday, December 26, 2014

Jean Townsend (left) and Lora Morel

Every so often, a person’s entire world can change with just a tiny dose of kindness and compassion.

Such was the case recently when a group of Santee fire fighters decided they were in a position to help Jean Townsend, a severely disabled senior citizen who lives on a fixed income.

Townsend is unable to speak or walk because she suffers from an advanced case of cerebral palsy.  Ironically, before she became disabled, Townsend, who holds a master’s degree, worked for the Cerebral Palsy Foundation. So, as her illness advanced, she knew what to expect.

“Jean worked for the Cerebral Palsy Foundation for many years and was a key player in our community helping others in similar circumstances,” said Laura Morel, who works for a nonprofit  company that helps folks like Townsend who live in low-income apartments. “She has never asked for a thing –ever. So I asked on her behalf.”

Morel  didn’t know exactly who would be able to help. On a hunch, she approached Santee firefighters  because last year they had rescued Townsend after she had fallen in her kitchen and injured her head.

Sure enough, a few firemen remembered Townsend, who was unable to tell her rescuers what had happened and ended up being transported to a local emergency room.  It was later learned that Townsend, who cannot use a telephone, had to lay on the floor for several hours in a pool of blood until being discovered by her landlady.

After being approached by Morel, the Santee Firefighters Assn. decided they could again come to the rescue, but in a different way.

 Each year, the association holds a pancake breakfast to raise funds for the Make a Wish Foundation.  They used a portion of their pancake proceeds to buy Townsend an I-Pad  so she can type out messages and communicate with the outside world. They also bought her a special backpack so she can carry the device with her on her mobility scooter.

Morel is ecstatic that Townsend can now peck away at the I-Pad when she needs to communicate with people. But just to be safe, she also got her an emergency necklace that can get her help if she falls again.

“Santee firefighters do a lot more than fighting fires,” she said. “They do things for the community and are taking care of people in need.”

Lora Morel can be reached at: loramorel@yahoo.com

Prospect Avenue Enhancement Update for December

It’s been nearly a year since the city began its major makeover of a mile-long section of Prospect Avenue between Cuyamaca Street and Magnolia Avenue, and there’s still  a bustle of construction activity.

The latest milestone was the replacement of the traffic signal at Cottonwood Avenue.

Construction crews are continuing to install concrete curbs, gutters and sidewalks. They’re now making new pedestrian ramps at the intersection of Magnolia Avenue.

Next, construction will start on a center median in the middle section of the project near Gillespie Field.  The new median, which will be landscaped, will have a stamped concrete design pattern and pedestrian walkway lights.

In the next few weeks, new pavement will be installed on three side streets: Hacienda Drive, Fiona Way and Ian Way.  The city will notify the affected residents of the construction schedule.

Questions and concerns can be directed to Senior Civil Engineer Toby Espinola, 619-258-4100 ext. 174 or tobyespinola@cityofsanteeca.gov

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Holiday Closure of City Hall Counter Service

Thursday, December 18, 2014

For those of us at Santee City Hall, it has been a privilege to serve our residents, visitors and businesses during 2014.  

 Due to an anticipated decline in demand over the holidays, counter service at City Hall will not be available Friday, December 26 or Friday, Jan. 2.  This includes City Manager's office, Finance Dept.,  Fire Dept. administration, Clerk's office, Development Services and Community Services and Public Services.

City Hall will still be open and employees not on vacation will be at their posts to answer phones and emails. If you need to see a city employee on either of these Fridays, please call or email in advance to ensure they will be available.

Thanks, and happy holidays to all.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Go Green With Your Christmas Tree

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Do your part to divert green waste from the landfill by recycling your Christmas tree.
It’s easy. Waste Management will pick up trees during residents’ normally scheduled collection day beginning Friday, Dec. 26, 2014 through Friday, Jan. 9, 2015.
Residents with curbside collection can recycle their Christmas trees by placing the trees in their yard waste (green) 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 (gray or black) trash cart.
Santee residents without curbside collection, such those living in apartment complexes, can drop off trees from Dec. 26th through Jan. 9, 2014, at the Waste Management Recycle Center in El Cajon.  It’s located at 925 O’Connor Street, one block south of the West Bradley Avenue and Johnson Avenue intersection. There is no disposal fee. 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.


Monday, December 8, 2014

A Way to Finance Water, Energy Saving Home Improvements

Monday, December 8, 2014

Santee residents interested in making home improvements that reduce water use or save energy can now enroll in a program to pay for those upgrades though their property tax bill.
It’s called the HERO Property Assessed Clean Energy Program, and it provides homeowners with a quick and affordable financing method to make retrofits that lower their water and power bills.
HERO offers a variety of products ranging from solar power panel installations to energy-saving windows, doors, roofing and insulation. It also has more than 50 product lines, including water-efficient toilets, faucets and showerheads; drip irrigation systems; rainwater catchment systems; gray water systems; artificial turf and drought-tolerant landscaping.

Homeowners who use the program to hire certified contractors to make the retrofits can repay the assessment for those improvements over five, 10, 15 or 20 years via their tax bill. The interest is tax deductible.
The program is available to homeowners in nine other cities in San Diego County as well as residents of unincorporated communities.

More information about the HERO Financing Program is available at www.HEROProgram.com or by calling 855-437-6411.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Tips to Deter Holiday Package Theft

Thursday, December 4, 2014

It's the peak season for holiday deliveries, and package thieves are on the prowl.

Here’s some tips for preventing theft of your holiday packages:

·         Choose a shipping option so you can sign for delivery.

·         Request friends and relatives sending you a package to do the same and ask for a tracking number.

·          Keep an eye on the package's delivery status. Sign up for email or text alerts.

·         Ship the package to another location such as your office if you won't be home to receive it.

·          Leave special instructions on where to deliver packages (behind bushes, side or back patio).

·         Choose delivery pickup.

·          Insure your packages.

·         Watch for strangers approaching your neighbor’s front door where packages have been left.

To report suspicious activity or vehicles, call the San Diego County Sheriff's Department at (858) 565‐5200. If your package is stolen, report the theft to the Sheriff's Department and the business where your order originated.

Monday, December 1, 2014

1st Phase Done on Street Improvement Project

Monday, December 1, 2014

A neighborhood north of State Route 52 that has had to endure bumpy cracked pavement and chronic flooding will be high and dry this winter.

City contractors have substantially completed the first phase of improvements along Railroad and Buena Vista Avenues. The project called for installing underground storm drain pipes, resurfacing asphalt pavement, and in some sections of the project area, widening the street.  New curbs, gutters and sidewalks also were installed within certain portion of the project site.

The project footprint includes Railroad Avenue, Buena Vista Avenue, and four adjacent cul de sac streets:  Summercrest Lane, Summertree Lane, Lind Vern Court, and  Buena Valley Drive.

So far, the city has spent about $2.4 million on the improvements. New asphalt pavement has been installed on Buena Vista Avenue from Buena Vista Drive west to Cuyamaca Street, and on Railroad Avenue from Mission Gorge Road south to Buena Vista Avenue.

A second phase of the project, which is expected to cost $1.5 million, involves connecting the new city storm drains to Caltrans’ drainage system along the freeway, and repaving portions of Buena Vista and Railroad avenues. Other improvements in with the second phase include new curbs, gutters and sidewalks. It should be completed by the fall of 2015.

The much-needed public improvements will not only increase traffic and pedestrian safety, but also will make the entire neighborhood more attractive and enhance property values.

The city was able to pay for the improvements under a financing plan that combines developer fees with federal Community Development Block Grant funding.