Monthly Archives: June 2009

Cool “Cats” Heat Up Summer Concert Series

The Cat-illacs at Santee Trolley Center

Thursday night, June 25, the music was hot and the “Cats” were cool as the Cat-illacs brought their rockin’ show to the Santee Summer Concert Series.  This is another of the favorite groups to play the Trolley Square amphitheater, and the place was full.  The band specializes in music of the 50s and 60s, but their repertoire ranges from the 40s (Nat “King” Cole) to the 90s (Santana) and includes Classic rock, blues, soul, and ballads.

The Cat-illacs - Sketch, Harley, Rocco, and Gator

The Cat-illacs have been entertaining folks since 1983, playing for everything from community concerts to corporate events to politicians.  Bassist/vocalist and original Cat-illac Harley (aka Steve Loftis) is joined on stage by early band addition Rocco (Michael Stone) on guitar and vocals, vocalist/keyboardist/sax man Sketch (Thom Van Ourkerk), and lead guitar/vocalist Gator (Mark Siers).  The four combine for some great harmony and kickin’ music.  One of my favorites of the evening was their take on Santana’s “Smooth,” with Gator doing an excellent job of channeling the master himself.

Barona and Santee Booths

If you come to any of the concerts this summer, take some time out to stop by the Barona Resort and Casino booth and thank them for helping to sponsor the series.  While you’re there you can spin their wheel and put your name in for a drawing for a night at the resort.  The City of Santee also has a booth, and you can get information on future concerts and other events and activities.  This week Daphne’s Greek Cafe also had a table with giveaways.

The Cat-illacs









Miss Santee, Sierra Billock, and Miss Santee Teen, Nicole Ehlke, with a few of the Cat-illacs’ younger fans

Miss Santee and Miss Santee Teen

Rockin’ to the Cat-illacs

Rockin' to the Cat-illacs 1


Rockin' to the Cat-illacs 3


Rockin' to the Cat-illacs 4






 Next week (July 2) there will be no concert as the city prepares for the big Santee Salutes July 4th at the Town Center Community Park.  The following week, July 9, Southbound Jonny (San Diego’s Most Wanted Country Band) brings its “Ass Kickin Country” to the Trolly Center.  See Y’all There!


Filed under Community, Entertainment

Return to Domo – Sushi, That Is

 Domo Sushi

For Fathers Day this year my youngest daughter and I went to Domo Sushi for dinner.  I had been promising to take her there for several months, so this was a perfect time.  I wrote about Domo’s take out about a year ago, and had promised myself that I would come back to have the full experience – and it is a great experience.

Making Sushi Magic

Your experience begins as soon as you sit down.  We decided to sit at the sushi bar so we could watch the itamae make his magic. Our server brought us each a lovely little plate with a selection of thinly sliced ginger, lightly pickled cucumber slices, and a dollop of wasabi.  There was also a small bowl for soy sauce that my daughter liked so much she wanted to know where they got them (we forgot to ask once the food arrived).

Side Plate

The most difficult part of eating at Domo Sushi is deciding just what to try.  We finally decided to share a Sushi Sampler (with albacore, kani kama, mackerel, salmon, tamago, white fish, 4 pieces of California roll, and 4 pieces of spicy tuna roll) and a two-piece order of unagi.  It was great fun eating sushi with my daughter, because even at 11 years old she has become fairly well versed in many areas of world cuisine, including sushi.  (I can either thank or blame Food Network for this.)  She was able to explain several elements of our meal, and I noticed the itamae smiling in approval.

Sushi Itamae

First of all, if you have never tried unagi, do yourself a favor and have some next time you get the chance.  What is unagi, you ask?  It is freshwater eel that is traditionally grilled and eaten during the summer to provide extra stamina.  The unagi at Domo Sushi is served over rice with a delicious, slightly sweet sauce and tied on with seaweed.  The rolls were very good – the spicy tuna rolls had a nice kick to them and the California rolls were way above the usual.  We split the rest of the sushi so I didn’t get to taste all of them, but we both enjoyed them.  My favorite of the ones I tried was the salmon.

Sushi Sampler and Unagi

At the end of our meal the itamae presented us with a beautiful fruit plate that consisted of two slices of peach, two cherries, and an orange cut into a beach scene with a wave and umbrella.  It was a tasty and refreshing end to a great meal.

Fruit Plate

Domo Sushi is located at 9625 Mission Gorge Rd., Suite D – right next to the Vons.  They are open for lunch and dinner, with a short closed time in between.  If you like sushi, do yourself a favor and stop in – frequently.

Dinner at Domo Sushi


Filed under On Food Patrol

On Food Patrol – Frubble

Frubble Open Mic Night

Yes, we’re back on Food Patrol, and this time we’re dropping in at Frubble, the new restaurant/community center in the Pathways Church center at Mast Blvd. and Carton Hills Blvd.  I’ve stopped in several times for their signature offering, the frubble, but recently I finally had a chance to try some of their food offerings as well.  There are a few items I still want to try, but what I have tried is definitely worth having again.

Strawberry Frubble

Strawberry Frubble

One of their specialties is a wrap, with a choice of turkey, ham, barbecue ham, beef, and vegetarian.  I had the turkey wrap and the barbecue ham wrap, and my favorite of the two is the ham.  The balsamic vinegar dressing they use really sets off the tang of the barbecue.  It also gives a nice kick to the turkey wrap.  The wrap comes with an order of freshly cooked, crispy potato chips – some of the best chips I’ve had in a long time.

Barbecue Ham Wrap and Chips

Barbecue Ham Wrap and Chips

Frubble is always trying new items to find just what its patrons like best.  The last time I was there I got to taste a new rice bowl they are working on.  As it was I did find it a bit heavy, but Vicki and I talked about some ways to pep it up, such as including some onion and/or bell pepper.  I talked to her a couple days later and she had tried it with the bell pepper and that worked.  I want to check it out again and see how it is coming.  Another tasty-sounding item they are working on is a teriyaki burger or chicken sandwich.

Check them out and see what they have cooking now.



Filed under Business, On Food Patrol

2009 Golf Classic Raises Funds for Santee Schools

Carlton Oaks Country Club

On Wednesday, June 24, Carlton Oaks Country Club was the site of the 6th Annual Golf Classic to support the Santee School District Foundation.  Some 100 golfers signed up to play and raise money to help support technology and the arts in Santee Schools.  In addition to the players, some three dozen companies and organizations signed on to sponsor the event.  All money raised from entry fees, sponsorships, raffles, and the silent auction go toward a $40,000 pledge the Foundation has made to help the School District reach its technology goals.

Golf Classic Sponsors

This year’s turnout was slightly lower than last year’s, due in part to a combination of the economy and multiple local tournaments in May.  But the lower numbers didn’t mean any less fun and enthusiasm among players, Foundation members, and other volunteers.  An extra “atta-boy” goes to Thomas Hootman, of Simply Spa, who stepped in to cover for Chamber Executive Director Warren Savage, who had to attend the Las Colinas hearing downtown that same morning.  Simply Spa also provided chair massages for golfers who had perhaps strained an oblique teeing off on the 18th hole.

Simply Spa Chair Massage

Another sponsor, North Island Credit Union, provided carne asada tacos to help keep players going until the big dinner.  They were also popular with the volunteers.

North Island Credit Union Taco Stand

None of this could have happened without the efforts of the Santee School District Foundation.  A hearty congratulations to the Foundation and its volunteers.

Santee School District Foundation Members (L-R) Rachael Folsom, Linda Vail, Betty Vega, Lisa McColl, Laura Spencer, Ted Hooks

Santee School District Foundation Members

A Great Day for Golf

Golf Weather

Fun on the Links

Fun On the Links

Trophies and Awards

Annual Golf Classic Trophies and Awards

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Filed under Business, Chamber Activities, Community, Schools

Update – Las Colinas Expansion

Well, the County Board of Supervisors has voted 4-1 to expand Las Colinas – this in spite of overwhelming opposition from the City of Santee, the Chamber of Commerce, business owners, and citizens.  From information I’ve been able to gather, it appears there was little real consideration of alternatives by the Board – their minds were made up some time ago.  But Santee did its best, including putting together an information campaign and an online opposition.  Several Santee leaders spoke against the proposal at the Board meeting, but to no avail.

Afterward, Fox 5 interviewed Chamber Executive Director, Warren Savage, and Thomas Hootman, owner of Simply Spa.  You can see that interview here.

Warren Savage and Thomas Hootman being interviewed for Fox 5 News

Warren Savage on Fox 5 NewsThomas Hootman on Fox 5 News

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Filed under Chamber Activities, Community

Friendly Grounds Fundraiser

Friendly Grounds Coffeehouse

Last Saturday, June 20, Friendly Grounds Coffehouse held a fundraiser pancake breakfast to support Santee Santas.  For $5 you could have pancakes with syrup, sausage, and coffee, milk, or juice.  The Santee Fire Department, another major supporter of the Santas, put in an appearance as well (although they had to leave before I got there).  The event raised around $200, which will be put toward helping needy Santee families during the holiday season.  The plan is to work toward making this a monthly event and continue the support for the Santee Santas throughout the year.

Santee Santas, Volunteers, Friends, and Friendly Grounds

Volunteers and Friends

The easiest way to cook a lot of sausages

Sausage Production Line

Enjoying a fun pancake breakfast

Pancake Breakfast

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Filed under Business, Community

2009 Golf Classic – Last Chance to Sign Up

Golf Classic

2009 Golf Classic

The last opportunity for you to sign up and play at the 6th Annual Golf Classic for the Santee School District Foundation is coming soon.  The big event kicks off (or, rather tees off) at 11:00 am tomorrow and lasts all day.  The Golf Classic is one way the Foundation raises money to help provide technology and money for arts programs at the Santee Schools.

For more details, check out my previous post “Teeing Off for Kids.”

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Filed under Community, Schools

Lindsay Spurlock Country

Summer Concert - Lindsay Spurlock

Thursday night, June 18, Lindsay Spurlock brought her Rockin’ Country Tribute show to Santee Trolley Square as part of the Summer Concert Series.  Miss Spurlock was the 2006 KSON Lakeside Idol winner and has released several songs online.  Her concert was a combination of her own songs and hits from Country artists such as Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.  She was backed up by a talented group of musicians who tossed in several songs on their own as well.

Lindsay and the Band

Lindsay Spurlock has a strong voice and a great stage presence.  She is very personable and keeps the audience entertained during and between songs.  Her own song styles run from modern Country to honky tonk to ballad, and she does justice to all and more.  This is a young woman we will be hearing about for some time.

Lindsay Spurlock

Although the crowd was a little smaller than the week before, they still had a good time.

Summer Concert - Lindsay Spurlock

Members of “The Band”

The Band

Concert Sponsors Barona Resort and Casino and City of Santee


Lindsay Spurlock

Lindsay Spurlock

Next week the Summer Concert Series will feature prennial favorites, the Cat-illacs with music from the 50s through the 90s.  To see who else will be playing, check the Summer Concert Series Schedule.


Filed under Community, Entertainment

Santee Chamber’s June After-5 Mixer

Santee Chamber of Commerce June After-5 Mixer

Thursday, June 18, was the Santee Chamber of Commerce’s monthly After-5 Mixer.  This time the hosts were the folks at RiverView MD Spa, located in the new business center just north of the Santee Trolley Center.  By now, everyone should know what the mixer is and why it’s important for business owners to pop in and network.  But just in case you haven’t read a previous Mixer review, this is where ideas start, collaborations get off the ground, and information is shared.  Plus, it’s a lot of fun to meet with other people who have similar goals and challenges.

Great Refreshments

As always, the Mixer included some good eats – this time provided in part by Olive Garden.  The event finished off with the raffle drawing – winners were Greg Hagen of Smoothie King (passes on the Bahia Belle), Dan O’Brien of O’Brien Insurance (a Kids Fun Pack from Santee Lakes), Erica Bozic-O’Brien of RiverView MD Spa (In-N-Out Goodie Pack), Richelle Lopez of Extra Space Storage (free night at the new Rodeway Inn), and Ronn Hall of Ronn Hall Insurance (50/50 Drawing).  The Membership Drawing business was the Original Roadhouse Grill, but since they were not present the prize rolls over to next month.  By the way, when a business is pulled for the Membership Drawing, but is not present, they are pulled out of the drawing until someone comes to a Mixer and puts it back in the box.  Another good reason to come every time.

(L-R) Ronn Hall, Richelle Lopez, Erica Bozic-O’Brien, Dan O’Brien, and Greg Hagen

Raffle Winners

From RiverView MD Spa: (L-R) Shirin Dorin (Dental Director), Nancy Assouline (COO), Kelly Buffo (Massage Therapy), Erica Bozic-O’Brien (Esthetician) – not shown: Tracie Cook (Nurse Specialist)

RiverView MD Spa Team

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Filed under Business, Chamber Activities

GECCA Networking Trade Show

GECCA Networking Trade Show

On Wednesday, June 16, the Greater East County Chambers of Commerce Alliance (GECCA) held a networking trade show in the Student Center at Cuyamaca College.  This event brings together businesspeople from around East County and elsewhere to share information, network, and possibly make connections to improve the bottom line.  Although there did not seem to be as many Santee businesses represented as at previous events, the evening was still successful.

The trade show took up one large room on the second floor of the Center, as well as one balcony/walkway.  Participating groups included businesses, community groups, political representatives, and more.  Check out some photos from the event.

Cuyamaca College’s Student Center was the site of the GECCA Networking Trade Show

Cuyamaca College Student Center

Santee Chamber Executive Director Warren Savage was one of many attending

Warren Savage

Express Blinds and Friends

Express Blinds and Friends

Out on the Balcony


East County Magazine is an Online News and Information Source

East County Magazine

Lions, Tigers & Bears was there to promote their big Wine Tasting fundraiser

Lions, Tigers & Bears

Ellen Malin, from State Senator Dennis Hollingsworth’s office, and Rorick Luepton, from Assemblymember Joel Anderson’s office

Ellen Malin and Rorick Luepton

Dharlene Fahl, Motivational Speaker,  and Sharon Courmousis of Sacred Rocks Reserve 

Dharlene Fahl & Sharon Courmousis

Bill Devereaux and Ellen Lochet of Sacred Rocks Reserve

Bill Devereaux & Ellen Lochet

The Historic California Highway 80 Corporation was on hand to share information

Historic Route 80

One more look at GECCA 2009

GECCA 2009

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