Santee/Lakeside

WELCOME, SANTEE & LAKESIDE RESIDENTS!


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FIRES BROKE OUT IN SANTEE ON CINCO DE MAYO

Photos and story by Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

(Pictured Santee Fire Department's Deputy Fire Chief Justin Matsushita) 

May 5, 2021 (Santee) Two fires broke out in Santee today, the afternoon of Cinco de Mayo. Santee Fire Department’s  Deputy Fire Chief Justin Matsushita (photo), interviewed near the corners of Meadow Way and Riverview Parkway near the San Diego River, said his department got a call on the riverbed fire at 1:10 p.m. and had the fire extinguished in 45 minutes.


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SANTEE GETS ITS OWN TV CHANNEL, ANNOUNCES SUMMER EVENTS AND GRAPPLES WITH NEW STATE ORGANICS RECYCLING LAW

By Mike Allen
 
All photos from concerts in 2019
 
May 3, 2021 (Santee) -- Santee is creating its own television station, one that will provide viewers with round-the-clock content on all things Santee related.  The Council also voted to boost the city’s budget by up to $25,000 at its most recent City Council meeting.

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FIDO DAY AT SANTEE DOG PARKS MAY 15 FEATURES ARFS AND CRAFTS

By Miriam Raftery

April 30, 2021 (Santee) – The city of Santee invites you to bring your furry friend and enjoy Fido Day at Santee Dog Parks on Saturday, May 15 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. for “arfs and crafts” as well as a Paw-caso paw print art and doggie spray tattoos.


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ISSA ADVOCATES FOR CALIFORNIA ROADWAY IMPROVEMENTS IN 2021 SURFACE TRANSPORTATION PACKAGE

Congressman seeks funds for highways 52 in Santee, 78 at I-5, and 11 at Otay crossing

East County News Service

April 28, 2021 (Washington D.C.). — Yesterday, Congressman Darrell Issa announced CA-50’s Member Designated Projects submissions to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) for deliberation in the 2021 surface transportation reauthorization legislation.


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GUNMAN SHOOTS MOTORIST ON SANTEE FREEWAY

East County News Service

April 26, 2021 (Santee) – A man driving on State Route 125 north near the Mission Gorge Road exist was shot in the neck by an occupant in a black SUV shortly before 8 a.m.


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SANTEE DIVERSITY PROGRAM GETS OFF TO ROCKY START WITH CLAIMS OF HYPOCRISY

By Mike Allen
 
April 22, 2021 (Santee) -- Spurred by negative press resulting from two ugly incidents involving racist maskers inside local grocery stores and later, violent clashes at demonstrations following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the city of Santee set out to deal with its image as a less than welcoming place for minorities.

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COME CATCH A WHOPPER: CATFISH SEASON OPENS APRIL 17 AT SANTEE LAKES

By Miriam Raftery

April 11, 2021 (Santee) – Get your rods and reels ready.  Santee Lakes invites you to drop a line at its Catfish Season Opener, when the lakes will be stocked with 2,000 pounds of catfish.


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SANTEE HOLDS VIRTUAL DISTRICT 4 TOWN HALL ON WED. APRIL 7

East County News Service

Photo: Councilman Dustin Trotter

April 6, 2021 (Santee) – Santee Councilman Dustin Trotter and Mayor Minto will host a special District 4 town hall meeting on Wednesday, April 7 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. The meeting will be held virtually.  


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LAKESIDE RALLIES TO SAVE JACARANDA TREES FROM DESTRUCTION BY COUNTY

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left by Billy Ortiz: historian Betty McMillan stands beneath the shade of a jacaranda tree, one of 22 she is fighting to save.

Updated with quotes from the County library director.

April 5, 2021 (Lakeside) – On April 9, San Diego County is slated to cut down nearly two dozen jacaranda trees to make way for a new county library—trees that the county claims are growing in a utility easement.  But Lakeside’s historian Betty McMillan disputes that claim – and is fighting to save the trees, which hold special significance as part of a “mile of trees” planted in Lakeside -- trees planted to replace an earlier canopy of trees felled by bulldozers.


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WEED OUT HATE DAY EVENT IN SANTEE ON APRIL 3

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

Photo courtesy of Setche Kwamu-Nana 

April 1, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) -- This Saturday, April 3,diversity expert and musician Setche Kwamu-Nana is organizing a Weed Out Hate event to be held at Santee’s West Hills Park from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

“In light of the rising violence, hate crimes, and polarization in our communities, though I’m not a conservative, I have been reaching out to conservatives in East County, where I used to live, to understand them and build bridges so we all can find common ground and make better choices for our communities,” said Kwamu-Nana, MBA-HRM, CDP, a diversity, inclusion, equity trainer and consultant via email. 


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Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

SANTEE COUNCIL SETS PRIORITIES TO REAP REVENUES, INCLUDING POSSIBLE LEGALIZATION OF CANNABIS BUSINESSES

 
By Mike Allen
 
March 30, 2021 (Santee) - While other East County cities such as La Mesa and Lemon Grove tap into taxes that legalized marijuana shops generate, Santee has staunchly kept these enterprises illegal.
 
But that could change. At its most recent meeting, the Santee City Council announced a list of 11 priorities it wants to address in the next two years. At No. 11 was one to “consider economic development and regulatory options for cannabis businesses in the city, with a funding ordinance for the November 2022 election.”

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SANTEE COUNCIL GETS UPDATE ON PADRE DAM’S BIG PROJECT

By Mike Allen
 
March 27, 2021 (Santee) -- Padre Dam Water District wants to keep everyone in the loop about its massive sewage reclamation project, especially the city where the project is located -- Santee.

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PADRE DAM BOARD VOTES TO RETURN MONEY TO CUSTOMERS

Refund Received from San Diego County Water Authority will help offset future rate

East County News Service

Image: CC by SA-NC

 

March 18, 2021 (Santee) – Padre Dam Municipal Water District’s Board of Directors has unanimously approved using the recently received $1,157,552 rebate from the San Diego County Water Authority (CWA) to offset the District’s next pass-through rate increase from the CWA. This action will result in a direct benefit to customers by the reduction or potential elimination of a water pass through rate hike in 2022. 

CWA’s Board of Directors announced a plan on February 25, 2021 to distribute a $44.4 million rebate received from Metropolitan Water District (MWD), to its 24 member agencies. Padre Dam’s portion of the rebate is $1,157,552. 


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BIRD TALK: CINNAMON TEAL AT SANTEE LAKES

By Greg Dunne                                           

March 14, 2021 (Santee) - The ducks are out at Santee Lakes. Santee Lakes is a great place to do some bird watching, get a walk in, or of course do some fishing. And, if you are birding, maybe get a chance to see a Cinnamon Teal.

Of all the lakes out in the East County, I think the one with the largest population of ducks is Santee Lakes--from the Mallards, Northern Shoveler and Wood Ducks, to the American Wigeon. Plus you are guaranteed to always find the American Coots hanging out with the ducks. Santee Lakes is one of my favorite places to bird watch because of the wide diversity of species ranging from Osprey and Peregrine Falcons to Snowy Egrets and Great Blue Herons, Belted Kingfishers as well as Western Kingbirds. An estimate of over 200 species can be seen in a calendar year at Santee Lakes.


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HOMELESS COUNT SHOWS HIGHER NUMBERS IN SANTEE

By Mike Allen

Photo via San Diego River Park Foundation, via Facebook

March 12, 2021 (Santee) -- The number of homeless people camping in and around Santee increased over the past year, according to a recent report given to the city.

At this week’s meeting of the Santee Community Oriented Policing committee, a representative from the San Diego River Park Foundation presented the results of a point-in-time count conducted last month.

The count, done over a week in February, focused on the San Diego River and adjacent areas and included the city of Santee.  It did not include direct contact with people because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, said Jennifer Frey, program manager for the SDRPF.


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FIRE PITS AVAILABLE FOR RENT At LAKE JENNINGS

By Miriam Raftery
 
March 10, 2021 (Lakeside) – What could be cozier than a lakeside fire on a springtime evening?  Grab your marshmallows and chocolate for S’mores, roast hot dogs or get your best campfire stories ready – now you can rent a fire pit at Lake Jennings in Lakeside.

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VICTIMS’ FAMILIES AND FRIENDS RECALL SANTANA HIGH SHOOTING AT 20TH ANNIVERSARY CANDLELIGHT VIGIL

By Henri Migala and Rebecca Jefferis Williamson
 
Photos by Henri Migala
 
March 9, 2021 (Santee) – A solemn community vigil, attended by about 100 community members including current and former students, was held on the campus of Santana High School in Santee on March 5th to mark the 20th anniversary of a tragic day.
 
Twenty years ago, on March 5, 2001, 15-year-old Charles Andrew “Andy” Williams Jr., killed two students and wounded 13 others with his father’s Arminius HW-7 22-caliber revolver, on the campus of Santana High School.

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SUPERVISOR VOTE ON FINAL APPROVAL TO RESTORE, IMPROVE EL MONTE RIVER VALLEY LAND IN LAKESIDE

East County News Service

March 6, 2021 (Lakeside) -- San Diego County’s Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Wednesday to set aside $6.44 million to restore and improve roughly 98 acres of newly acquired open space, trails and recreational facilities in Lakeside’ scenic El Monte River Valley. The board hailed the action as a “great” project for the region.

The Board previously voted Feb. 10 to spend $3.2 million to buy the property that includes important coastal sage scrub, riparian scrub and riparian forest habitats, open space and already existing equestrian and youth sports playing fields. That action came after a petition signed by thousands and a march with hundreds of residents and Kumeyaay Native Americans urged support of the acquisition.

Board members envision the land as the home for future trail connections to other County parks, and recreational facilities for the public to enjoy in addition to the open space. The land is located nearby the County’s existing Cactus County and Louis A. Stelzer parks, and its future $18 million Lakeside Equestrian Park.


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TIN FISH RESTAURANT TO OPEN AT SANTEE LAKES

By Mike Allen
 
March 5, 2021 (Santee) -- About a year ago, Ed Kim was looking forward to St. Patrick’s Day, stocking up on supplies for his Tin Fish Restaurant at the end of the Imperial Beach Pier, anticipating a much busier day than usual.

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HELIX WATER DISTRICT LAUNCHES 2021 LAKE JENNINGS SPRING PHOTO CONTEST

Source: Helix Water District

March 4, 2021 (Lakeside) -- Helix Water District has launched its 10th annual Lake Jennings Spring Photo Contest to share the beauty of its reservoir with the local community. The contest is open to photos taken at Lake Jennings between March 1 and May 31, 2021.


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SOCIALLY DISTANCED SELFIES WITH THE EASTER BUNNY IN SANTEE MARCH 26

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson
 
(Image courtesy of City of Santee) 

March 2, 2021 (Santee) – The City of Santee will be offering socially distanced selfies with the Easter bunny on March 26 and reservations are required.

Family selfies, or children-only selfies, are offered as well as an at-home egg hunt kits for kids are included. The eggs will offer candy and other prizes and are $1.00 per kit, per child.

The event will be held March 26 from 5:00-7:00 p.m. at Santee Trolley Square Stage located at 9868 Mission Gorge Road.

Donations from Denny’s, Epic Wings, Rubio’s, Chick-fil-A, McDonalds, and Chili’s will be added to the at-home egg hunt kits.


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SANTEE FIRE DEPARTMENT NEW ISO RATING IS NOW IN EFFECT AND COULD LOWER YOUR INSURANCE RATES

Source:  City of Santee

March 2, 2021 (Santee) - The City of Santee announced that after a thorough Insurance Services Office (ISO) evaluation, the Santee Fire Department has achieved a Class 1 Public Protection Classification rating, which is the highest level of recognition available from the Insurance Services Office.

The top rating places Santee amongst the ranks of only 38 fire departments in California and 393 departments nationwide that have earned the distinction. The new rating officially went into effect March 1, 2021.

Home and business owners are encouraged to contact their insurance providers after March 1st to see how the Class 1 rating affects their respective insurance rates.


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SANTEE DELAYS RESPONSE ON COUNTY NEEDLE EXCHANGE PROGRAM, AMENDS CURRENT FISCAL YEAR BUDGET UPWARDS

By Mike Allen

 

Photo: needle exchange; CC by SA-NC

 

February 28, 2021 (Santee) -- Santee wants San Diego County to conduct comprehensive research about its recently resumed needle exchange program before the Santee City Council weighs in on supporting or opposing the formerly banned program.


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GEICO OPENS OFFICE IN SANTEE TO SERVE EAST COUNTY CUSTOMERS

East County News Service

February 28, 2021 (Santee) -- GEICO has opened a new local office at 70 Town Center Parkway, Suite B in Santee, California. Justin Hall will lead a team of licensed agents at the new location. 


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SANTEE SENIORS GET HELP MAKING APPOINTMENTS FOR COVID VACCINATIONS

By Mike Allen
February 20, 2021 (Santee) - The city of Santee is helping seniors who are having difficulty scheduling appointments for COVID-19 vaccinations, creating a program aimed at bridging the digital divide.

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CHURCHES ADAPT FOR ASH WEDNESDAY DURING THE PANDEMIC

Story and photos by Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

Feb. 17, 2021 (San Diego's East County) – Some churches adapted their practices during Ash Wednesday during this time of COVID19 and during the whole course of the pandemic.

The Christian period of Lent was ushered in on Ash Wednesday, today, that witnesses the smudging of ashes on the forehead in a symbol of mortality and penance.

Santee United Methodist Church provided a COVID19 safe Ash Wednesday by offering a drive-thru event. Two times, early morning, and late afternoon were offered to the congregation.

Individuals stayed in their cars and were masked. Pastor Jaime Pangman, and his assistant, were socially distanced and masked.


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SANTEE COUNCIL CONDEMNATION OF FLETCHER OVER RECALL REMARKS DRAWS REBUKES

By Miriam Raftery
 
February 12, 2021 (Santee) – The Santee City Council voted 4-0, with one abstention, to condemn Nathan Fletcher, chair of the County Board of Supervisors, for “divisive language”  referring to backers of efforts to recall Governor Gavin Newsom.  

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NEW ACTIVE BUSINESSES LAUNCH IN SANTEE DESPITE PANDEMIC

By Mike Allen

(Photo at left courtesy of Pedego Electric Bikes)

February 11, 2021 (Santee) -- With bicycle sales, particularly electric models, soaring in recent years, Greg Carter is certainly glad he’s starting his latest business venture, Pedego Electric Bikes, at an opportune time.

But what he’s even more excited about is turning people on to the joys of riding e-bikes.

“I wasn’t looking to get into this business. It sort of found me,” says the tall, former Santee resident who now calls Blossom Valley home.

Last year, Carter and his wife, Stephanie, were in the market for some electric bikes, did their research, and decided to buy a couple of Pedegos from a San Diego dealer. Their experience was similar to what other owners of e-bikes have: the more they ride, the more they want to ride, and tell others it’s a great form of exercise.


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DEMOCRACY IN ACTION: SUPERVISORS VOTE TO HONOR COMMITMENT TO COMMUNITY BY PURCHASING 98 ACRES IN EL MONTE VALLEY, LAKESIDE

By Henri Migala

Miriam Raftery also contributed to this report.

Photo, left: Billy Ortiz and Bobby Wallace, co-organizers of efforts to preserve El Monte Valley

February 11, 2021 (Lakeside) – Thanks to widespread community engagement, San Diego County Supervisors yesterday voted unanimously to purchase 98 acres in El Monte Valley from Helix Water District for $2.92 million, preserving the land for public use.

The action came after the board received a petition with over 2,000 signatures and heard unanimous public testimony in support of the purchase. In addition, some 200 residents and tribal members held a march through the valley calling for the land to be protected.

Supervisor Joel Anderson, East County’s newly elected representative whose district includes Lakeside, initially voiced concerns over the cost and disrepair of facilities on the site. But after the majority of the board voiced support for the acquisition initiated by former Supervisor Dianne Jacob, Anderson ultimately not only voted for the land purchase, but also pushed his colleagues to support additional funds to restore dilapidated ball fields and other facilities on the site.


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