Santee

SANTEE OPENS MAST AND WOODGLEN VISTA PARKS, INCLUDING DOG PARKS

By Miriam Raftery

May 1, 2020 (Santee) – The city of Santee today announced the reopening of Mast Park and Woodglen Vista Park, with some limitations to prevent spread of COVID-19. (see below)  All other parks remain closed, however all trails and walking paths remain open.

The city asks everyone to follow the regulations below “so we can keep these parks open, and hopefully open more parks in the near future.”


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EAST COUNTY RESIDENTS AND BUSINESSES HUNKER DOWN TO WAIT OUT PANDEMIC: CITY LEADERS SHARE VIEWS ON REOPENING

By Emmet Pierce

Photo: Creative Commons via Bing

April 27, 2020 (San Diego’s East Count) -- Despite a growing desire to return to life as normal, East County residents and businesses are following the state’s COVID-19 social distancing guidelines, officials say.  But some mayors and local business leaders voice concerns over impacts on the business community from extended closures.


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COVID-19 CASES IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY RISE TO 3,141; HUNDREDS OF CASES IN EAST COUNTY

By Miriam Raftery

April 28, 2020 (San Diego) – Over the weekend, 98 new cases of COVID-19 were reported by the San Diego County Health and Human Services department. The jump follows the trend in several cities where rallies were held to end shutdowns. The Sheriff arrested several local protesters over the weekend for violating stay-home orders.

The disease has spread rapidly in East County, where El Cajon now has 181 cases, La Mesa 71, Santee 29, Lemon Grove 28, Lakeside 22, Ramona 14, Jamul 6, and Alpine 4.  The communities of Ranchita, Boulevard, Potrero, Julian and Pala each have 2 cases; Borrego Springs, Descanso, and Tecate each have at least 1 case. View an interactive map with the latest updates on local cases by community.


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SANTEE GETS STIMULUS FUNDS FROM CARES, CITY EYES LOOSENING OF CURRENT RESTRICTIONS

By Mike Allen

Photo: Clockwise L-R: John Minto, Laura Koval, Ronn Hall, Rob McNelis, Stephen Houlahan, and City Clerk Annette Ortiz

April 24, 2020 (Santee) -- Santee is getting $162,000 as part of the federal government’s $2 trillion stimulus package approved last month to help offset the devastation wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The aid comes from the $150 billion portion of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act aimed at helping the states, counties and cities in responding to the coronavirus. This is the same law that included one-time payments to most tax-paying Americans of $1,200 among a wide variety of economic relief programs intended to mitigate the upheaval caused by the pandemic.


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SANTEE HALTS EVICTIONS OF RESIDENTS, BUT NOT BUSINESSES, DUE TO CORONAVIRUS IN FIRST VIRTUAL MEETING

By Mike Allen

March 26, 2020 (Santee) -- Responding to a still-evolving global pandemic crisis, the Santee City Council has approved a 60-day temporary suspension on evictions of tenants in the city who prove their financial situation has been damaged by the coronavirus.

The Council approved a temporary moratorium on evictions at its March 25 meeting by a 4-1 vote, with Councilman Rob McNelis opposed. It was the first ever gathering that was done using teleconferencing technology allowing the five elected members and other staffers to “meet” from remote locations.


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SANTEE COLLECTS BETTER THAN EXPECTED TAXES, HAS $1.5 MILLION SURPLUS TO SPEND

By Mike Allen

Photo by Mike Allen: Left to Right: Councilman Rob McNelis, Councilman Stephen Houlahan, and Councilman Ronn Hall.

 

March 2, 2020 (Santee) -- As some East County cities grapple with dwindling revenue and even contemplate disincorporation, Santee appears to be improving its bottom line, thanks to better than expected revenue from property and sales taxes.

At its Feb. 26 meeting, the Santee City Council got an update on the city’s financial situation and discussed how it might best use a projected $1.5 million in surplus funds at the end of the current fiscal year in June.

The city usually adds most of any net profits from its operations to its reserves, but because the reserve balance now exceeds the prescribed target of 20 percent of the city’s operating budget by about $1.5 million, the council can allocate this money to other uses, said Tim McDermott, Santee’s finance director.


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HOULAHAN DECLARES CANDIDACY FOR SANTEE MAYOR

By Mike Allen

February 10, 2020 (Santee) -- Santee Councilman Stephen Houlahan wants a larger say in molding the city’s future and has declared his intention to run for mayor, opposing incumbent Mayor John Minto.

Houlahan says the main issue motivating him to throw his hat into the ring is the disturbing trend by a majority of his Council colleagues to consistently undermine Santee’s General Plan and approve higher density projects.


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MAST PARK OPENS AFTER YEARLONG RENOVATION

Story and photos by Mike Allen

The wait is over. After 13 months of reconstruction, Mast Park reopened Feb. 1 to hordes of Santee residents who were nearly universally happy about the results.

“I like it but I can’t wait until all the people are gone,” said Olga Buhler, a 24-year resident of Santee who frequents the park on daily walks. “I’ve been waiting, waiting, every day…They did a super job.”

“It looks beautiful,” said Michael Ranson, who lives nearby in the Santee Lakes neighborood. “This looks a lot more open, brighter, and safer. They did an amazing job.”


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PICKUP TRUCK PLUNGES DOWN EMBANKMENT, KILLING DRIVER FROM SANTEE

By Miriam Raftery

January 28, 2020 (El Cajon) – A Santee man is dead after the 2016 Dodge Ram pickup he was driving crashed down an embankment and struck a boulder last night around 8:46 p.m.

According to Officer Travis Garrow with the California Highway Patrol, the driver, 46, was traveling east on La Cresta Road in unincorporated El Cajon east of Forester Creek “at a high rate of speed” when he lost control and plunged off the side of the roadway.  The vehicle became airborne before overturning down an embankment and striking the boulder.


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SANTEE GETS ITS NEW BRAND AND LOGO

Council also votes to sell library parcel and change meeting schedule

By Mike Allen

December 17, 2019 (Santee) -- It’s simple, has the key elements that distinguish the city, and features some nice colors, advocates say. They indicate that the strapline---that’s the tag line that goes below the new logo--is catchy: Do More, Due East.

Santee’s brand, logo and ideas for how it can be used were unveiled last week in a presentation before a City Council that gave the effort mostly a thumbs up, although a majority weren’t gushing about the results of a nine-month process that will end up costing nearly $100,000, and thousands more when replacement cost are factored in.

The logo change ties in with the city's 40th anniversary coming up in 2020.


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HO HO! SANTA AND SNOW COME TO SANTEE LAKES DEC. 8

East County News Service

 

November 25, 2019 (Santee) - Santee Lakes invites you join Santa at the Lakes on Sunday, December 8th from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The festivities will feature a snow hill for sledding fun, carnival rides, inflatable jumps, crafts, food, character meets and greets and Santa Claus.  

 

Parking is $10 and tickets are $1 each with activities and rides ranging from 1-8 tickets.

Get more information at www.SanteeLakes.com

 


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PHOTO OF THE WEEK: ROCK STAR

East County News Service

October 30, 2019 (Santee) – Just in time for Halloween, someone dressed up boulders in Santee dubbed the “Santee Lady” by photographer Rebecca Jefferis-Williamson.


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SANTEE STILL WANTS COMMUNITY CHOICE ENERGY, BUT NOT WITH NORTH COUNTY ALLIANCE

By Mike Allen
 
October 28, 2019 (Santee) -- The Santee City Council voted for the second time to establish a community choice energy program, but put the brakes on joining a joint powers authority being formed with the cities of Carlsbad, Del Mar and Solana Beach.

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FANITA RANCH WOOS COUNCIL AND PUBLIC WITH PROMISES OF PUBLIC TRAILS, OPEN SPACE, A FARM, VINEYARD AND 3,000 HOUSES

By Mike Allen
 
Photo:  SR 125 heading northward toward Santee
 
October 28, 2019 (Santee) -- The developer of Fanita Ranch, the planned community of 2,949 houses in Santee’s northwest quadrant, are trying hard to convince Santee that its project will enhance the city rather than detract from it.
 
Last week, the development firm, HomeFed Corp., wooed councilmembers and the public with new details on the amount of open space and other features on the 2,600 acre site in the third public workshop during a Oct. 23 City Council meeting and public workshop.

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SANTEE FAMILY GROWS BIGGEST PUMPKIN IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY HISTORY

By Miriam Raftery

 

October 27, 2019 (Santee) – The Fredricks family of Santee has grown a whopper of a pumpkin, tipping the scales at 1,531 pounds.  The giant gourd is the largest ever grown in San Diego County, according to Sarah Fredricks. 

It took second place at the Pumpkin Competition weigh-off at the Irvine Railroad Park on September 21, however, missing the all-time Southern California record by just two pounds. (The largest in Southern California was grown by Chris Dunn and weighed in at 1,533 pounds. The biggest statewide was entered by Ruben Frias of Napa, who won with a 1,758 pound pumpkin.)

“I have grown giant pumpkins on and off since 2001,” says Jim Fredricks, who grew the giant gourd along with his wife, Sarah, and their boys, Andrew, 5, and Joshua, 8.


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CARLTON OAKS OWNERS PLAN RESORT WITH HOTEL, HOUSING AND MORE

By Mike Allen

October 22, 2019 (Santee) -- The owners of the Carlton Oaks Golf Course submitted plans to the city of Santee to build 285 residential units on the site and other new development to create an upscale tourist attraction. The golf course itself will be moved and revamped to accommodate the new facilities.


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SANTEE BALKS AT JOINING JPA FOR COMMUNITY CHOICE ENERGY; APPROVES NEW HOUSING PROJECT

By Mike Allen

Photo: Renewable  energy sources; Creative commons via N.A.

October 10, 2019 (Santee) -- Santee is having second thoughts about joining a joint powers authority with several North County cities to obtain more electrical power from renewable sources.

The proposed entity is a community choice aggregation program for the cities, giving them the ability to buy more power from sources such as solar and wind. Local utility San Diego Gas & Electric would continue to deliver and maintain transmission lines and billing operations, but the CCA would be responsible for buying all power.


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SANTEE COUNCIL APPROVES EXTENDED STAY HOTEL, GETS INITIAL RESULTS OF BRANDING EFFORT

By Mike Allen
 
September 21, 2019 (Santee) -- Santee’s City Council approved a 122-unit extended stay hotel just west of the intersection of SR 125 and SR 52 on Mission Gorge Road at its Sept. 18 meeting.
 
The Council also heard an initial report from its contracted expert to help create a brand for the city as it attempts to boost its tourism and attract new businesses.

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SANTEE GETTING ON BOARD THE CCA TRAIN WITH COASTAL CITIES

By Mike Allen

September 19, 2019 (Santee) -- Santee and Carlsbad would seem to be strange bedfellows, given their geographical locations and the latter being twice the size in population. But the cities are moving closer to joining forces to form a new entity to purchase more of their power from renewable sources starting in 2021.


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COYOTES KILL SECOND LEASHED DOG IN SANTEE

Photo courtesy ECM news partner 10 News

By Miriam Raftery

 

September 5, 2019 (Santee)  For the second time in recent weeks, coyotes  killed a leashed dog in Santee, Michelle Cimmarrusti told 10 News.


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MEAN MARY IN CONCERT SEPT. 21 IN SANTEE

By Miriam Raftery

August 28, 2019 (Santee) - International touring musician Mean Mary (James) will be performing in Santee on September 21 at 7 p.m. in the Summit UU Fellowship (8778 Cottonwood Ave.). Known internationally for her lightning-fast fingers and raw, unmistakable vocal sound (The Amplifier calls it “sexy, vulnerable and yet as powerful as any man’s.”), Mean Mary’s songs travel the genres of roots, bluegrass, blues, and folk rock—story songs, fast songs, sad songs, songs to make your feet tap.


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CHEERS TO 10 YEARS: SANTEE BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL CELEBRATES A DECADE OF FUNDRAISING

Source: City of Santee

 

August 26, 2019 (Santee) -- The City of Santee Parks & Recreation Committee’s annual Bluegrass Festival, a fundraiser for people, parks, and programs, is scheduled for Sept. 14 at Town Center Community Park. This year’s event marks a decade in existence for the festival.


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CALVARY CHAPEL SANTEE TO DEBUT NEW BUILDING THIS FALL

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson
 
August 26, 2019 (Santee) - Calvary Chapel Santee, located on Summit Avenue, will debut its new building in early fall. The new church, which will seat 350 in the main auditorium, is scheduled to host their dedication Oct. 13, 2019 barring any construction delays. 

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SAN DIEGO BLOOD BANK HOLDS THREE BLOOD DRIVES IN EAST COUNTY

East County News Service

Photo: Creative Commons by SA-NC via Bing

August 8, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – The San Diego Blood Bank is hosting blood drives in Rancho San Diego on August 24,  Santee on August 25, and El Cajon on August 27.   Scroll down for details.


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"ROADSHOW” SEPT. 28 AT OFF BROADWAY LIVE IN SANTEE TO BENEFIT HOMELESS KIDS AND TEENS

By Miriam Raftery

August 1, 2019 (Santee) – Off Broadway Live Theatre in Santee will present a live musical play, “Roadshow,” on Sunday Sept. 29 at 3 p.m.   The performance follows a roadshow as singers barnstorm across the country to win a record deal.


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SANTEE MULLS ALTERNATIVE WAY OF BUYING ENERGY

By Mike Allen

Photo: Howard Choy, EES Consulting

 

July 26, 2019 (Santee) -- Santee’s City Council took a more in-depth look this week at establishing a new entity that promises to provide energy at reduced rates while obtaining more of the power from renewable sources.


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COMPUTER CODING PROGRAM IS LAUNCHING IN SANTEE

East County News Service

July 18, 2019 (Santee) -- ThoughtSTEM, a San Diego county based computer coding school for students ages 5 to 17, is launching classes this summer in Santee at San Diego Christian College. These classes will run from July 22nd through August 9th, and will teach all interested students the fundamentals of how computer software is made. ThoughtSTEM builds their curriculum around showing students examples of video games they know, and then helping them create their own similar gaming experience.


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ROCK ‘N’ ROLL AND COUNTRY MUSIC GROUPS HEADLINE SANTEE’S CONCERT AT THE LAKES JULY 27

By Miriam Raftery

July 17, 2019 (Santee) - The July 27 Concert at the Lakes in Santee will feature a “whole lot of rock ‘n’ roll and a little bit of country,” according to organizers. This year’s lineup of the event at Santee Lakes will feature Shannon Rae & 100 Proof, Tom Petty and the Heartshakers and DSB.

The concert is open to those age 14 and up.  Lawn and table tickets are available at https://www.concertatthelakes.com/.


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FANITA RANCH POP-UP INTERNET ADS STRIVE TO DRUM UP SUPPORT FOR MASSIVE PROJECT

By Miriam Raftery

July 15, 2019 (Santee) – Fanita Ranch, the controversial master-planned development proposed in Santee, is seeking to drum up community support through pop-up ads targeting East County residents on the Internet.  This reporter had one of the ads pop up while paying an online solitaire game.

The ad claims that Fanita Ranch can “improve traffic” including adding westbound and eastbound lanes as well as a high-capacity onramp at Mast Blvd.  The ad clicks open to the website https://fanitaranch.com/improvingtraffic. But project opponents take issue with the advertising’s claims.  


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FREE FOOD AT CHICK-FIL-A THIS WEEK TO APP USERS

East County News Service

July 8, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – The 14 Chick-fil-A restaurants in San Diego County are offering a free entrée to guests who create or log-in to their Chick-fil-A One app on either Monday, July 8, or Tuesday, July 9.  After connecting to the app, guests will receive a free entrée from Wednesday, July 10 through Wednesday, July 31, not including Sundays when Chick-fil-A is closed.


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