Monthly Archives: December 2008

Miss Santee and Miss Santee Teen 2009

With the old year quickly leaving and the new fast approaching, I wanted to post a message I received regarding the 2009 Miss Santee/Santee Teen Pageant coming in March.  The young women who represent the city at ribbon cuttings, business openings, and other functions are very bright and talented, and they have bright futures ahead of them.  This message about the scholarship fund and comes from the Pageant director.

Dear Local Business,


For the past 40 years the Miss Santee Pageant has been a prominent program in our community.  The young women of our city have served as youth ambassadors and have volunteered countless hours of their time serving our wonderful city.  This pageant has been a tradition in our city since the 1960’s and is a well-established mentoring program for young women in our community. 


On March 6, 2009 the City of Santee will host the 2009 Miss Santee and Miss Santee Teen Pageants. This year the pageant will be held at the Sonrise Community Center in Santee , CA at 6:00pm. Our organization relies on support of our community to produce our show every year. Our goal this year is to provide a scholarship for both Miss Santee and Miss Santee Teen.


Here’s how you can help!  We are seeking 20 local businesses that can donate $25.00 towards the Miss Santee Scholarship fund.  This will ensure a $250.00 scholarship for both Miss Santee and Miss Santee Teen.  We feel that a small donation from our local businesses can make a huge impact on the lives of these young women who do so much for our community.  Each business will be listed in our souvenir program book as a scholarship provider.  In addition, we will send you two complimentary tickets to the 2009 Miss Santee Pageant. 


If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.  Our sponsorship form is located on the reverse side of this letter for you to fill out and send in.  Checks can be made payable to the Santee Chamber of Commerce.


We look forward to continuing our role as city ambassadors.

Thank you in advance,
Alexandra Stathoulis Kuty
Miss Santee Pageant Director
I hope some business owners out there, or even some just plain local folks, will be able to help put together a good scholarship fund for the young women who represent Santee.

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The “Light House”

The Light House

As we close in quickly on Christmas, I wanted to share with you some pictures of another impressive holiday decoration location.  This home on Lake Country Dr. is often called simply the “Light House” – for obvious reasons.  It’s easy to find; take Lake Country Dr. north from Mast Blvd. and watch for the glow.  And if you’re especially good, you might get Santa to take you on a ride in his sleigh, complete with reindeer.  Oh, and when you stop, consider tossing a couple coins in the donation box to help them keep this running bright every year.

It’s a Holiday Light Overload

Holiday Light Overload

A Nativity Scene dominates one part of the front yard

Nativity Scene

 In case of snow, call for the dogsled


 Santa loads up for another tour of the neighborhood

Santa Loads His Sleigh

Prepare for takeoff

Prepare for Takeoff

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Last Chance for “Traditions”

Traditions Carolers

The time is growing short.  As I write this, there are only two more performances of Traditions of Christmas left – tonight (Monday, December 22) at 7:00 pm and tomorrow (Tuesday, December 23) at 2:00 pm at the East County Performing Arts Center (ECPAC) in El Cajon.  Be sure to get there early so you can listen to the carolers during the half hour prior to curtain.  If you plan to go on Tuesday, arrive extra early because the parking can be very difficult, because ECPAC is in the same complex as the Est County Regional Center.

If you want a dose of Holiday Spirit and Christmas Magic, be sure to get to one of these last two performances.

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The Reason for the Season

Pathways Living Nativity

If you are looking for something to help you get into the true spirit of the season, you might want to check out the Live Nativity presented by Pathways Community Church.  The presentation continues on Sunday night (December 21) and runs from 6-9 pm.  You can drive through, but I recommend getting out and walking.  It’s very short, and you can get up close with a camel, donkey, or several sheep.  It also allows you to chat with some of the people – all volunteers – who are portraying the various figures from the Nativity story.

The Nativity starts off with the Wise Men, accompanied by Samson, a very friendly young camel.  If you walk you can pet Samson and give him a little alfalfa snack.  The Wise Men will point the way to your next stop.

The Wise Men

Next up are the shepherds watching their sheep (and a couple goats) who are being visited by an angel.  The angel announces the birth of a Savior in Bethlehem and tells them he can be found lying in a manger.


In between the scenes are huge scripture readings that help take you from point to point.  The final point is the manger scene, with Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus all portrayed by volunteers (yes, even the baby is a volunteer).

The Manger

After you go through the Live Nativity you can stop by the church itself for some music and refreshments.  But you need to hurry, since it only runs one more night – Sunday, December 21, from 6-9 pm.  Pathways Community Church is located on the northeast corner of Mast Blvd. and Carlton Hills Blvd.

Mary, Joseph, and Jesus

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What Goes Up…

What a difference a day makes.  On Wednesday, December 17, I went down to where Riverford Rd. crosses over the San Diego River.  I realize that isn’t technically Santee, but it was the best spot to take some pictures of the river after all the rain we have had.  Then I stopped there again on Thursday, December 18, and talk about a difference.  Much of the water had passed downstream and the river was back to its regular channel, although much higher than usual.  So, here are some pictures showing the “before and after” of the flooding.

Before 1



After 1




Before 2




After 1




Before 3





After 3



Before 4





After 4







If the latest weather reports are on target, we should see another repeat of these scenes this coming week.  But this time we may see more runoff and flooding, so be careful out there.

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Watch for High Water

Forester Creek

That, my dear readers, is a picture of the normally dry – or barely a trickle – Forester Creek where it passes under Mission Gorge Rd.  This is what happens when we get some real rain – over 3″ this week alone, according to weather reports.  I wish I had a picture from before the rains to compare, but I’m sure many of you have seen it while driving through town.  I thought it was quite impressive, and a testimony to the work that was done on restoring the channel.  If you remember what it looked like before the project, you can imagine what a mess this would have been without the work.  For those who don’t remember, it was choked with all sorts of non-native vegitation, including masses of the arunda reed, which has been a real problem in several local waterways.  With so much blocking the channel, this water would have been up over roads, into yards and parking lots, and just basically causing a real mess.

Forester Creek under Mission Gorge Road

This is also a reminder to stay away from these areas for the next several days as the water drains from surrounding hillsides, all the way from El Cajon and east to here.  This water is moving very fast, and anyone who has ever tried walking through a heavy stream knows how much power there is.  I saw several large clumps of reeds and bushes that had been uprooted and swept away.  Don’t let something like that happen to you.

Here are a few more pictures of Forester Creek at Mission Gorge Rd.

Forester Creek as it flows north under Mission Gorge Road

Flowing under Mission Gorge Rd.

Forester Creek north of Mission Gorge Rd.

Forester Creek north of Mission Gorge Rd.

Flooded Access Road from Mission Gorge Rd.

Flooded Access Road

Construction of Bridge over Forester Creek – Delayed

Bridge Construction Delayed

A bit later I will be posting some pictures of the San Diego River as well.

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Cajon Park – New Building Open

Cajon Park School - New Building

The winds blew and rain fell, but nothing could dampen the excitement at Cajon Park School today.  At last the new building is open and students and teachers alike are taking part of the day to explore their new home.  I had an opportunity to scout it out on my own, and wanted to share some pictures of views you haven’t seen yet.  But first, a few details about the new building.  As you might notice in some of the pictures, all of the work is not yet complete.  There is still the landscaping to finish, as well as a few odds and ends inside.  However, enough work is done for the classes to move in – a week before originally scheduled, I might add.  Also, the last I heard the job was at or slightly under budget.  Having been involved in construction projects before, that is big to be under budget and early.  Years ago I was teaching at a school that was in the process of rebuilding – that project ended up going several months beyond when it was scheduled to be finished, opening up just the week before school started.  So I have to give a tip of the hat to Barnhart, Inc. for the great work done.

The main entrance to the new building

Main Entrance

Interior View – Upstairs

Interior - Upstairs

Ramp to the Main Campus

Ramp to Main Campus

The Front of the Building from the Parking Lot

View from Parking Lot

Some Last-Minute Work

Last-Minute Work

View from the Second Floor

View from Second Floor

There will be an official ribbon cutting ceremony in the spring when work has been completed on the upgrades to the Library/Media center and the last of the current buildings.  This will probably be one of the last updates on the Cajon Park Construction until then.

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Lights, Camera…Christmas!

SANTEE: December, 2008.  SDG&E has reported a huge spike in electricity usage for the 92071 zip code.  Reports indicate that the spike seems to be centered in a neighborhood located just north of Santana High School.  Further information indicates high voltage merriment with sparks of joy and good cheer.  More details to follow…

Starlight Circle

Yes, it’s true – there is a big increase in electricity use, as well as merriment, joy, and holiday cheer in that little neighborhood known this time of year as Starlight Circle.  Most of the year this is just another family-oriented neighborhood, made up of W and E Glendon Circle along with Nubbin Ct. and Tomel Ct., but at the crack of December it transforms into a visual feast of lights and decorations.  Now is the time to swing through, before the heaviest holiday traffic begins.  You can drive around the circle, but better yet, find a place to park and walk.  It is a short stroll, and you can linger in front of favorites like Scooby-Doo and Friends, Garfield, the Nutcracker, and many others.  Plus you can partake in the myriad goodies available, like hot cocoa, warm spiced cider, cookies, and more.  And you don’t have to worry about someone behind you getting antsy and honking a horn or flashing high beams at you.

You can access Starlight Circle via Tomel Ct. off N. Magnolia Ave., or Josie Jo Ln. off El Nopal.

And now, a little preview of the show…

Disney Christmas


Snow-family Noel


Polar Bear Christmas


Penguin Christmas



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Traditions of Christmas – Don’t Miss It!

Last night my daughter and I helped out with concessions at opening night for “Traditions of Christmas” at the East County Performing Arts Center (ECPAC).  Although we spent pre-performance and intermission serving goodies, we did get to slip in and watch most of the show, and we had a wonderful time.  This is an immensely entertaining annual production by Christian Community Theater, featuring singing, dancing, and a live Nativity Pageant complete with real animals.  If you are in the mood for some Christmas cheer, need to get into the holiday mood, or just enjoy a good musical production, you have to get over to see it.  For more information…

CCT – Traditions of Christmas

Traditions of Christmas – Facebook

East County Performing Arts Center

If I am able to get any pictures before a performance, I will post them.

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Cajon Park – Almost Ready

Cajon Park - New Building

The new building at Cajon Park is almost ready for students.  This week the students brought all of their class books home, and over the weekend the teachers will be moving their classroom “stuff” over.  This will nearly complete the first major phase of construction at Cajon Park and the Santee School District.  The series of projects was funded by a proposition (Prop R from November, 2006), with the official groundbreaking ceremony last April (click here for my earlier post).  At Cajon Park, this included refurbishing and modernizing existing classrooms and constructing a new 18-classroom building for grades 5-8.

Having taught in the district many years ago, as well as at other schools around the county, I know how much the junior high teachers are looking forward to having dedicated classrooms.  This goes double for Cajon Park, where the 7th and 8th grade classes have been in portable classrooms for years (I’ve taught in those, also).  Over the next few months they will be completing work on the upgrade of one last existing classroom building and the Library/Media Center.  A ribbon-cutting ceremony is planned for sometime in the spring.

You can find information on the modernization at the Santee School District Modernization website.

Check out the most recent photo in the series on the Cajon Park Construction page.

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