Santee/Lakeside

WELCOME, SANTEE & LAKESIDE RESIDENTS!


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TIPS FOR COPING WITH THANKSGIVING IF THE POWER GOES OUT

By Miriam Raftery

November 22, 2021 (San Diego) – With SDG&E warning over 28,000 customers in 38 communities of possible outages Thursday through Saturday due to high fire danger, how can you salvage Thanksgiving dinner plans with your family?  Here are a few ideas:

1. Cook your turkey and side dishes on Wednesday. You can serve sliced turkey and sides cold, or cook or reheat on a covered barbecue or camp stove on your patio outdoors, but keep a water bucket handy if you cook on any open flame.

2. Plan a picnic outside with side dishes that can be served cold. How about a yam potato salad instead of baked yams?  Or a balsamic green bean salad instead of green bean casserole?  Consider ditching traditional turkey for smoked salmon or a gourmet charcuterie board instead.


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SDG&E WARNS OF POWER SHUTOFFS OVER THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY DUE TO FIRE DANGER: OUTAGES COULD LAST DAYS

Update November 24, 2021:  SDG&E has widened its list of possible outage areas to include more than 53,000 customers. See the updated list of impacted communities here:  https://www.sdge.com/psps-dashboard

By Miriam Raftery

November 22, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) -- Before you stock up on turkey and other groceries for a feast, be aware that San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) is asking customers in 38 local communities to prepare for potential Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) over the Thanksgiving holiday.


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LANTERN CREST HONORS SENIORS DURING VETERANS DAY CEREMONY

East County News Service

November 15, 2021 (Santee) - Residents of Lantern Crest Senior Living gathered to honor retired men and women who served in the United States Armed Forces. During the ceremony, veterans who live in the Santee community were invited to bring personal military memorabilia to display and share. The retirees, who call themselves The Lantern Crest Veterans, also wore hats emblazoned with the group’s name.


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SANTEE DEDICATES NEW VETERANS MEMORIAL

Story and photos by Scott Lagace

November 14, 2021 (Santee) -- On November 11, 2021, on the 11th hour at the 11th minute, Santee Chamber of Commerce CEO Kristen Dare began a Veterans Day ceremony which attracted many veterans and East County patrons to celebrate the unveiling of a new Veteran’s Memorial and dedication of the Veterans Memorial Bridge over Santee Lakes on Mast Blvd.   


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SANTEE SHOOTS DOWN BIRD BEFORE SCOOTER COMPANY TAKES FLIGHT

By Mike Allen

November 9, 2021 (Santee) -- A few years ago, Santee and other cities in San Diego County were flooded by electric-bike businesses whose products were strewn about, creating sidewalk congestion and possible liability problems.  In response, Santee and other cities enacted restrictions to the new bikes and scooters, requiring the businesses to enter into clearly defined contracts.


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SURVEY FINDS MOST SANTEE RESIDENTS GIVE HIGH MARKS TO CITY’S QUALITY OF LIFE, BUT NOT ALL ARE HAPPY

Traffic, homeless and racism are top concerns

By Mike Allen

Photo:  Josh Williams, president of BW Research, answers question about the Santee survey on Nov. 2 in front of City Council members Rob McNelis, Dustin Trotter and Mayor John Minto. All five members were present.

November 8, 2021 (Santee) -- A survey commissioned by the city of Santee found that while the great majority of residents, 80 percent, feel the city’s quality of life is excellent or good, about a third said that quality is declining.


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SANTEE TO HONOR VETERANS NOV. 11 AT NEW MEMORIAL SITE

Story and photos by Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

November 6, 2021 (Santee) -- The City of Santee and the Santee Chamber of Commerce will hold a ceremony on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, from 11 a.m. to noon, to unveil the new Santee Veterans Memorial Bridge & Monument.  The color guard, speakers, and refreshments will be a part of the event that will honor veterans. 

The memorial is at the intersection of Mast Boulevard and Fanita Parkway on the southwest corner at the the east end of the Mast Boulevard Bridge.


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CLOSURES AT SR-67/MAGNOLIA AVENUE AND I-8 START SATURDAY: ALLOW EXTRA TRAVEL TIME FOR LANE CLOSURES AND DETOURS

Source: Caltrans

November 5, 2021(San Diego’s East County) --  Construction Maintenance crews will close a segment of westbound and eastbound Interstate 8 (I-8) near State Route 67 (SR-67)/Magnolia Avenue Saturday at 3-11 a.m. and Sunday through Tuesday from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. for bridge repair, according to Caltrans.

The Saturday closures include the westbound I-8 off-ramp to southbound SR-67/Magnolia Avenue, the northbound SR-67/Magnolia Avenue on-ramp to westbound I-8 and the Mollison Avenue on-ramp to westbound I-8.


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NURSE CHARGED IN SANTEE INMATE’S DEATH

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left: Elisa Serna, 24, died after hitting her head in a fall at Las Colinas in Santee, where she was denied drug withdrawal treatment

November 4, 2021 (Santee) – A nurse has been charged with involuntary manslaughter for the 2019 death of a 24-year-old inmate at the Las Colinas women’s jail in Santee. District Attorney Summer Stephan announced the charges against the nurse, Danalee Pascua, who could face up to four years in prison.


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SANTEE KICKS OFF HOLIDAY SEASON WITH TREE LIGHTING NOV. 19: EVENT INCLUDES CARRIAGE RIDES, SNOW SLEDDING AND SANTA

East County News Service

November 2, 2021 (Santee) -- The City of Santee’s annual Holiday Lighting Celebration returns this year, and will provide the community with the traditional elements they have come to expect when celebrating the holiday season. The event will take place Friday, November 19 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at Santee Trolley Square.


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GRAND OPENING OF "THE PLAZA" AT LANTERN CREST SENIOR LIVING IN SANTEE SETS NATIONAL MODEL FOR ELDER CARE

By Henri Migala and Miriam Raftery

October 31, 2021 (Santee) -- With the recent grand opening of "The Plaza," Lantern Crest Senior Living in Santee might have created a national model for how we provide care for our aging population. The senior living facility is complete with a theater, a '50s-style diner with soda fountain, bowling lanes custom-designed for seniors, on-site medical center and doctor, pharmacy, gym, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, dog park, community garden, an award-winning chef serving three restaurants and two bars, an elaborately appointed tea room, live music and entertainment venues and much more.


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CELEBRATION OF LIFE NOV. 7 FOR UPS DRIVER KILLED IN PLANE CRASH

East County News Service

October 29, 2021 (Santee) – A celebration of life for Steve Krueger, the UPS driver killed by a plane that crashed in Santee on October 11, will be held at Santee Town Center Community Park on Sunday, November 7.  The service will be held from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. fields 1 and 2.  The Santee Town Center Community Park is located at 550 Park Center Community Park, Santee.


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PASSAGES: OVER 150 TRUCKERS PAY FINAL RESPECTS TO DON FAIN, EAST COUNTY TRUCKING LEGEND WHO DIED OF COVID-19

East County News Service

 

October 26, 2021 (San Diego) -- Approximately 50 family members, friends and admirers of East County trucking legend Donald “Don” Fain stood atop the Santo Road bridge over State Route 52 on Saturday morning to watch a convoy of over 150 trucks pay their respects to the recently departed Fain, owner of Don Fain Trucking in Lakeside. Fain, 77, died on September 9, according to the East County Mortuary.


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LOCAL TRIBAL MEMBERS JOIN STAND AGAINST LITHIUM MINING IN ARIZONA AND SALTON SEA

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left: September 30 protest at Barona reservation in Lakeside

October 19, 2021 (Lakeside) –  Members of the Barona band of Mission Indians and other tribal nations have joined a fight aiming to stop the proposed Sandy Valley lithium mine in Arizona and proposed lithium mining at the Salton Sea in California that could adversely impact Native Americans.

Local activist Bobby Wallace led a local contingency of tribal members who traveled in late September to Arizona, where the Hualapai people are battling to stop the federal Bureau of Land Management from issuing permits for lithium mining that could threaten tribal water supplies.

Participants included tribal leaders and/or tribal council members from the Hualapai Nation and the Peach Springs tribe, as well as tribal youths and members of the Yavapai Apache People, Mohawk/Oneida tribe, Pueblo, Navajo, Zuni, and San Diego County tribal members from the Kumeyaay and Luiseno, as well as representatives of other activist groups.

Lithium is prized for use in cell phones, computers, batteries and other technology devices -- but at a high environmental price for those impacted by hard-rock and open-pit mining used to extract it.  Now tribal members are urging the federal government to prioritize metal and rare earth mineral recycling over issuance of new mining permits. The Environmental Protection Agency reports that metal mining accounts for 41 percent of toxic substances released and hard rock mines may have already contaminated 40% of watersheds in the West, the Arizona Republic reported on October 2.


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CANDLELIGHT VIGIL HELD IN SANTEE FOR PLANE CRASH VICTIMS

Story and photos by Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

Oct. 19, 2021 (Santee) A candlelight vigil was held late last week in Santee near the site of the October 11 plane crash that killed an on-duty UPS driver, Steve Krueger and the pilot, Dr. Sagata Das, of Yuma. The plane crash destroyed two homes.

The vigil had hundreds of attendees including neighbors, community members, dozens of UPS employees, and city officials. 

 Jeff Krueger, Steve’s brother, spoke during the vigil, “Steve would not want anyone to be upset about his passing." He passed along an anecdote to the residents who knew his brother from his UPS route. “Every Thursday we would meet at Lakeside’s Boll Weevil,” he said. “He would tell stories.  He loved working for all you (Santee) guys.” 


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GUHSD INSTRUCTOR TIFFANY JOKERST HONORED AS STATE TEACHER OF THE YEAR

West Hills High School math and aerospace engineering teacher wins California’s highest honor 

East County News Service

 

October 16, 2021 (El Cajon) - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced Friday that West Hills High School math teacher Tiffany Jokerst is one of five 2022 California Teachers of the Year.


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EAST COUNTY ADVANCED WATER PURIFICATION PROGRAM USES VIRTUAL REALITY VIDEO FOR OUTREACH

 

By Mike Allen

October 15, 2021 (Santee) -- The joint powers agency creating the East County Advanced Water Purification (AWP) Program is using a new virtual reality video to inform local citizens about the project as it moves toward construction.


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SANTEE COUNCILMEMBERS WEIGH WHETHER TO LEGALIZE AND STRICTLY REGULATE MARIJUANA BUSINESSES

Prospect of a pro-pot industry ballot measure leaves some members fuming

By Mike Allen

Photo:  Kathleen Lippett

October 14, 2021 (Santee) -- The Santee City Council held a third workshop Oct. 13 examining whether to allow cannabis businesses in their city, while making it clear they aren’t fond of the prospect


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FUNDRAISERS LAUNCHED FOR SANTEE COUPLES WHO LOST HOMES IN FIRE CAUSED BY PLANE CRASH

By Miriam Raftery

October 12, 2021 (Santee) – The Cessna plane that crashed into a Santee neighborhood yesterday, killing the pilot and a UPS driver, also ignited fires that destroyed two homes and left one couple hospitalized with serious burn injuries.

Two GoFundMe sites have been set up to help the injured couple, Phil and Maria Morris, and their neighbors, Cody and Courtney Campbell.


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CITY OF SANTEE ISSUES STATEMENT ON PLANE CRASH

East County News Service

Photo by Tom Abbott:  remnants of the Cessna that crashed into homes, killing the pilot and a UPS driver

October 12, 2021 (Santee) -- The City of Santee today issued a statement voicing sympathy for those impacted by yesterday’s plane crash, praising residents who helped save lives of neighbors, and providing updates on the situation.

Below is the statement in full:


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SANTEE PLANE CRASH VICTIMS IDENTIFIED AS PILOT AND UPS DRIVER

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left: Dr. Sugata Das, via Yuma Regional Medical Center, and Steve Krueger, UPS driver, via Facebook.

October 12, 2021 (Santee) – The pilot in yesterday’s deadly plane crash in Santee has been identified as Dr. Sugata Das, a cardiologist from Yuma Regional Medical Center.  The hospital’s chief medical officer, Dr. Bharat Magu, described Das as an “outstanding cardiologist and dedicated family man” who “leaves a lasting legacy.”


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TWO DEAD, OTHERS INJURED AFTER PLANE CRASHES INTO SANTEE NEIGHBORHOOD

By Tom and Nadin Abbott

October 11, 2021 (Santee) The call came in at approximately 12:15 p.m. to the Heartland Dispatch center. A small plane had gone down in a residential neighborhood of Santee, initally reported at 9915 N. Magnolia Ave . The plane, later identified as a Cessna 340 twin engine six-seater by the Federal Aviation Administration, crashed into at least one house that was destroyed by the impact, which was actually on the corner of Green Castle and Jeremy. Neighboring homes also suffered damage from the flames.

Two people were confirmed killed on scene and two transported to the hospital, according to Santee Assistant Chief Justin Matsushita. The injured were in the first house hit. Their condition is unknown, but they were conscious when transported.


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PLANE CRASHES NEAR SANTANA HIGH FOOTBALL FIELD, IGNITES HOMES IN SANTEE

 

Bystander recounts efforts to help rescue survivors from burning home

By Miriam Raftery and Rebecca Jefferis-Williamson

Nadin and Tom Abbott also contributed to this report.

Photo, left: Screenshot off video by ECM news partner 10 News

October 11, 2021 (Santee) – A plane has crashed near Santana High School close to the intersection of Greencastle and Jeremy, setting homes nearby on fire.

Two fatalities are confirmed and two others have been transported to a hospital with injuries. 

A temporary evacuation point has been set up at the Cameron Family YMCA at 10123 Riverwalk Drive, Santee, for families displaced by the crash.

Santana High tweeted that all students are safe and a secure campus order has been lifted.Students are being allowed to leave if they have no afternoon classes.

An ECM reporter witnessed body parts on roofs and scattered across the neighborhood, adding to the trauma facing residents.

Stephanie Diaz, another neighbor, says the crash occurred at 12:12. "It was just like in the movies," she said of the sound, adding that the whole house shook. 

David Witthoft said he used to work on military jets as a mechanic. He said he was in the house when "I heard the pilot go full throttle, and then I heard it hit the ground" with a loud boom. His house filled with smoke and the stench of burning debris, he added.

Numerous homes in the area suffered damage ranging from blown-out windows to cracked solar panels, in addition to two homes destroyed by fire.

Hillcreek Elementary also alerted parents/ guardians that they were "safe and sound."

San Diego Sheriff asks that the public avoid the area. A Hazmat team has been dispatched.

There are reports of a box truck also damaged by the crash.


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SANTEE CHAMBER HOSTS VETERANS APPRECIATION GOLF TOURNAMENT NOV. 12

East County News Service

October 9, 2021 (Santee) – You’re invited to join the Santee Chamber of Commerce at its third annual Veterans Appreciation Golf Tournament on November 12 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.at Carlton Oaks.


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PASSAGES: REX COLE, GOLF PRO AT LOCAL COURSES

East County News Service

October 5, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) – Rex A. Cole Sr., a PGA golf professional and instructor at several local golf courses, passed away on August 25. 


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LADIES AT THE LAKE: FALL MARKET OCT. 16 AT SANTEE LAKES

Source: Padre Dam Municipal Water District

October 4, 2021 (Santee) -- \ Ladies at the Lake Fall Market will be held on Saturday, October 16 at Santee Lakes from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Shoppers and craft fair goers throughout San Diego have been anticipating this upcoming event that celebrates women owned businesses. 


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HAUNTING HALLOWEEN HAPPENINGS IN LAKESIDE

By Miriam Raftery

October 1, 2021 (Lakeside) – Looking for some spooky thrills?  The Lakeside community has a trio of spooktacular Halloween events:  Trail of Terror at the Lakeside River Park, Spooky Camp-o-Ween at Lake Jennings, and Trick or Treat on Maine Avenue.  

 

Here are the haunting details:


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READER’s EDITORIAL: SANTEE CITY COUNCIL IS CONSIDERING LEGALIZING MARIJUANA: VOICE YOUR CONCERNS AT NEXT WORKSHOP OCTOBER 13

By Erik Wiese, President, Wiese & Associates

September 26, 2021 (Santee) -- The city Councilmembers and staff of Santee should be congratulated on their historical opposition to allowing cannabis dispensaries to open up in our city. For years, they have maintained the health and safety of our citizens as their primary concerns.


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SANTEE APPROVES 80 CONDOS ON PURE FLO SITE

By Mike Allen

Photo:  the old Pure Flo site. Seven of the 10 acres will be developed to 80 condos and called Laurel Heights.  The part fronting Mission Gorge, 3.3 acres, will likely be developed for housing, but owners haven’t signed any deal yet.

September 9, 2021 (Santee) -- Santee is doing its part to create much-needed, new housing.

Last month, the Santee City Council approved an 80-unit condominium project on a seven-acre parcel that makes up most of what’s called the Pure Flo Water site at 7739 Mission Gorge Road.


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