Monthly Archives: April 2009

Marketplace at Santee – Official Grand Opening

This Saturday, May 2, will be the official Grand Opening of The Marketplace at Santee, the new center on Mission Gorge Rd. across from Lowe’s and Kohl’s.  In addition to the normal ribbon cutting ceremony, there will be the dedication of Art in Santee Tile Project, a series of hand-painted tiles created through the school district Art Attacks program.  The ceremony begins at 10:00 am with the ribbon cutting and dedication, followed by center store specials from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm.

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The Prince is Having a Ball – and So Will You!

The Prince is Giving a Ball

Beginning this weekend, Christian Youth Theater (CYT) East presents one of Rogers & Hammerstein’s beloved musicals, “Cinderella.”  Now this is not the Disney version with talking mice (although there are mice), but the version that featured Julie Andrews in the title role when it first appeared on television in 1957.  The show features some great songs, including “The Prince is Giving a Ball,” “Impossible/It’s Possible,” “A Lovely Night,” and “Do I Love You Because You’re Beautiful?”

Meagan Flint as Cinderella

CYT has its own version of Julie Andrews in the person of the multi-talented Meagan Flint, who most recently played the part of Ida, the mother duck in “Honk!,” and last season portrayed The White Witch in “Narnia” and Jasmine in “Aladdin.”  This will be Meagan’s final performance with CYT, as she turns 18 and “graduates” from the youth program, and it promises to be one of her best.  Other “Honk!” actors returning include Sean Cabuchola (Ugly – now playing Lionel, the Steward), Patrick Gates (Drake/Bullfrog – now The King), Sara Wright (Henrietta – now The Queen), and Ashley Melton (Maureen – now Stepsister Portia)

The show opens Friday night at 7:00 pm, and continues Saturday at 7:00 pm and Sunday at 2:00 pm.  The following weekend peformances are the same times, plus Saturday at 2:00 pm.  CYT is having a special deal on May 10, Mothers Day – all mothers get in FREE.  For more information check out the CYT website.

These pictures are from the second dress rehearsal, thus the mix of costume and street clothes.

The Prince (Michael Sanchez) and Cinderella (Meagan Flint) “bump” into each other in the market

The Prince and Cinderella meet

The Prince and Lionel (Sean Cabuchola) discuss the upcoming ball

The Prince and Lionel Discuss the Ball

The Stepmother (Brittany Hopkins) and Stepsisters Portia (Ashley Melton) and Joy (Jenna Wille) mock Cinderella’s wish to go to the ball

Stepmother and Stepsisters

Cinderella is comforted by her mouse friends (Joanne Barber, Jennie Melton, Sammi Fortin, and Emma Riley)

Cinderella and the Mice

Cinderella and her Fairy Godmother (Kat Brown) discuss the “Impossible” as the mice listen

Cinderella and the Fairy Godmother

The Queen (Sara Wright), King (Patrick Gates), and Lionel (in back) listen to the Prince lament the girl who ran away

Prince, Queen, King

Don’t miss this delightful production.


Filed under Community, Entertainment

More Health News

Catching up on my messages, I realized that we have not one, but two health-related events this week.  In addition to, and coming before, the Compassionate Care Seminar is Simply Spa’s Health and Wellness Expo on Thursday, April 30.  The Expo runs from 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm, and brings together experts in acupuncture, chiropractics, and fitness and nutrition.  This is a great opportunity to learn more about how your body works (or maybe doesn’t work), and what you can do to improve it.  I can personally recommend their chiropractics expert, Dr. Kenneth Greenberg, who has been my personal chiropracter for many years now, and I’m sure the others are as qualified as he is.  Best of all, this Expo (and Open House) is FREE.

The Expo will be at Simply Spa, at 278 Town Center Parkway, Suite 101, near the Ross Store.  For more information about the Expo, you can check out the Simply Spa Blog post.

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Compassionate Care Seminar

This coming Saturday, May 2, Dr. Yang’s Family Care Clinic is hosting a health care seminar on compassionate care.  The seminar, entitled “How to Give & Receive Compassionate Care,” will be held at Sonrise Community Church on N. Magnolia Ave. from 8:50 am to 1:00 pm.  Topics to be covered include Visiting the Sick, Difficult Questions, End of Life Decisions, Caring for Elderly Loved Ones, and many more.  In addition, the seminar has been approved for 4 CEUs by the BRN of California.

Registration is $30, which includes a Continental breakfast and seminar handouts.  You can send a check made out to Dr. Yang’s Family Clinic to DYFC, 10201 Mission Gorge Rd., Suite A, Santee, CA 92071.  If you want to pay by credit card, you can call Debbie at 619-596-4963.  If you want to register at the door, it will be by cash or check only – no credit cards – starting at 8:30 am.  For more information about the seminar, you can e-mail me at and I will send you a copy of the flyer, or you can e-mail the Santee Chamber of Commerce at and see if they have it on file.

To learn more about your host, check out Dr. Yang’s Family Clinic website.


Filed under Community, Health

On Food Patrol – The Omelette Factory

The Omlette Factory

The Omelette Factory is one of those restaurants that knows what it does well and sticks with it.  Open for breakfast and lunch only, they focus on doing the best meals possible.  I’ve eaten here several times, and every time I had great food and lots of it.  I especially enjoy the omelettes – which makes perfect sense.The Omlette Factory - Exterior

The Omlette Factory - InteriorThe family-owned restaurant, which has been around since 1994, is located on Mission Gorge Rd., on the west side of Santee.  The interior is very much a family cafe style, with plenty of room for diners.  Although it was fairly empty the last time I was there, I have seen long lines and waits at busy times.

South Baja Omlette

This last time there I had the South Baja Omelette, which is simply loaded with jalepenos and cheese, with avocado and sour cream on top.  The hash browns were not as crisp as I like them, but few restaurants do them as crispy as I like.  And then there was the huge blueberry muffin, as good as I’ve had anywhere else.  My daughter was with me and she had the Californian, another tasty choice for avocado lovers.  I have not had their lunch yet, since I usually go there for breakfast/brunch, but I plan to try it some time – probably their Factory Burger, which sounds like a full meal on its own.  If you’re looking for good food and good value, this is a good choice to make.  Their meals are generous, and the most expensive meal is still under $10 (under $15 if you include a drink, taxes, and tip).  And babies love their muffins – just ask my granddaughter.

Babies Love Muffins

Check out The Omelette Factory website for full menu and weekly specials.


Filed under On Food Patrol

Santee Street Fair – Update

Santee Street Fair

The time is nearing for the first Santee Street Fair on May 30.  In case you didn’t realize it, the Street Fair replaces the old Business and Craft Fair that used to be held at the Wal-Mart parking lot in early June.  So, if you were thinking of waiting for that, you’ll be waiting a long time for nothing.

If you own a business and want to take part in the Street Fair, right now you have less than a month to get in your application for space.  If you don’t take part, you could be missing a great opportunity to showcase what you do.  There will be food, games, rides, a beer garden, and lots of people wandering around looking at all the booths – will you have one?

For more information, or to get an application…

Santee Chamber of Commerce

Santee Street Fair Flyer

Vendor Application

Online Application

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Happy April Pools Day

By the time you read this post, it will probably be Saturday, April 25 – April Pools Day at the Cameron Family YMCA in Santee.  If you have driven westbound on Mission Gorge Rd. lately, you have probably seen the banner promoting this event hanging over the street near the Post Office.  Here is the low-down on what is happening, in case you want to check it out.

The event starts at 11:00 am and runs until 2:00 pm, at the YMCA at 10123 Riverwalk Drive, just east of Rio Seco School.  There will be CPR demonstrations throughout the event, a free swim from noon to 2:00, and individual CPR training on adult, child, and infant mannequins.  There will also be water rescue demonstrations during the event.  This is a great way to get prepared for the summer swim season.  For more information you can call the Cameron Family YMCA at 619-449-9622.

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Santee’s New Farmer’s Market

Santee Farmer's Market

On April 8, Santee joined the growing ranks of communities holding farmer’s markets when the Santee Certified Farmer’s Market kicked off.  The market is held every Wednesday from 3:00 to 7:00 in what was once the drop off driveway for the old Santee School.  My daughter, granddaughter, and I checked out the market this week, and we were very happy with what we found.

Market Booths

Of course, there were tables full of delicious-looking fruits and vegetables from several local growers: oranges, tangerines, strawberries, cherries, beans, squash, broccoli, and much more.  There were also tables of nuts, a vendor with some great olives, a “boutique” meat company, and other great foods.  So, since we all know how many words a good picture is worth, I will simply let these do the talking.

Valdivia Farms in Carlsbad had quite a selection of fruits and vegetables

Valdivia Farms

Valdivia Farms Vegetables

This grower had a nice selection of citrus, including blood oranges

Citrus Overload

This guy might be a beast, but his strawberries were real beauties

Beautiful Strawberries

His vegetables looked good, too

Beautiful Vegetables

More great looking veggies

More Vegetables

Onions, onions, and more onions…and garlic, and potatoes, and…

Onions and More

Strawberries, anyone?  How about some asparagus?

Asparagus and Strawberries

Petrou Foods with olives, olive oil, and more

Petrou Foods

The men of Knight Salumi Company – and some mighty fine salami

Knight Salumi Co

This part of the market was for everything from Italian ice to fresh fish

Farmer's Market

I will certainly be going back again.  Maybe I’ll see you there.  In the meantime, the site Socalocavore had a short blurb on the market, including a list of vendors and some links.

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Filed under Business, Community, On Food Patrol


San Diego River Park Foundation

Saturday, April 11, was the San Diego River Park Foundation’s RiverBlitz – an effort to identify and map problems along the river for later clean up/removal.  The Foundation held one in the Mission Valley section of the river in October of 2008, and through that effort over 24,000 pounds of trash was cleaned out, several invasive plants were removed, and a corroded storm drain was identified and repaired.  This time the focus was on Santee’s section of the river, with several groups splitting the effort.

RiverBlitz Volunteers

Nearly two dozen eager volunteers gathered at Mast Park on a cloudy day, perfect weather for tramping around along the river.  After some required paperwork and guidelines from Blitz leader Shannon Quigley, Field Operations Associate for the San Diego River Park Foundation, we broke up into smaller groups and headed out to our areas.  My group, which included Gary Strawn,  our team leader, Paul Hormick, Eric Jones, and yours truly, was assigned to the south side of the river between Cuyamaca St. and Cottonwood Ave.  After dropping off two of our cars at the softball fields by Rio Seco School, we headed over to an off-street parking area near RCP Block and Brick.  Once there we doled out team assignments – Gary and Eric took lists, Paul took the global positioner, and I took the camera (naturally).  The goal was to identify, locate on GPS, and photograph accumulations of trash, transient camps, and invasive vegetation.  This last can be surprising, since many of what we think of as normal San Diego vegetation is actually non-native, invasive, and harmful to the river environment.

At our starting point we came across our first stand of invasive vegetation – a large grove of eucalyptus.  Even though the eucalyptus is ubiquitous in San Diego County, it is an import from Australia and poses a fire danger, as we saw recently in its homeland and back in 2003 when the Cedar Fire reached Scripps Ranch.  Here Eric, Paul, and Gary (l-r)plot and measure the grove.

Mapping a Eucalyptus Grove

Another problem tree is the tamarisk, or salt cedar.  This invasive not only crowds out local trees because of its rapid reproduction rate, it draws more water and can degrade the soil with its saline excretions.  One area we christened “Tamarisk Flats” because of the enormous number of these trees.  A third tree, or group of trees, is the palm.  Again, a tree we see all around, but not one native to the San Diego River ecosystem.  The most commonly found species are the Mexican fan palm and the Canary Island palm – both of which are very difficult to remove once established.  Other major problem plants are arundo reed and pampas grass, which we did find but I did not photograph with my camera.  Here you can see the rest of the team checking an area with tamarisk and palm trees.

Tamarisk and Palm

Believe it or not, these delicate flowers belong to the invasive tamarisk

Tamarisk Flowers

Trash is a constant problem along the river, whether from casual littering, illegal dumping, or transient camps.  There were some areas that were almost pristine, while other areas just yards away looked like something you would find at the Sycamore Canyon Landfill.  Part of this problem can be solved just by people taking responsibility for their own garbage, but the majority will have to be cleaned out by groups such as the Foundation and the Conservation Corps.  We came across just about everything you could imagine, from bottles and cans to concrete and wire, to broken furniture.  Here is a sample of the trash we came across.

Miscellaneous Trash

Abandoned Transient Camp

Yes, that is a most likely a bathtub that has been dumped in the water.

Dumped Bathtub

This picturesque scene is much more sinister than you would think.  The trees at left of center are tamarisk, and you can see palms in the distance.  There are also some eucalyptus that are harder to pick out, but they are there.  Grove of Invasives

But the real shock comes when you go down into the grove and look around at what was at one time – and could become again – a transient encampment.

Abandoned Transient Camp Area

Transient Encampment

But there is hope – here is an area where native vegetation has been planted in an effort to repair some of the damage that has been done over the years.


You can find traces of local wildlife, such as these raccoon tracks.

Raccoon Tracks

And it is still possible to find a quiet spot to drop your fishing line.  I hear the bluegill and crappie hit well and the bass are starting to pick up.

Fishing on the River

If you are interested in getting involved with the protection and rehabilitation of the San Diego River, you can check out the following groups:

San Diego River Park Foundation (Go to the “Resources” section for many more links)

Project Clean Water

Lakeside’s River Park Conservancy


Filed under Community, Nature

Sonic Wait Update

Today when I went to Sonic for a late lunch it only took 20 minutes from the time I pulled in the line to the time I was giving my order.  Of course this was just before 2:00, so many people were at work and school.  But it does bode well for those of us who have had to deal with hour-long waits.  I still expect evening and weekend times to be long at least until the Vista location opens this summer.

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