Monthly Archives: June 2010

Santee Salutes July 4th, 2010

It’s time again for the annual Santee Salutes July 4th celebration at the Town Center Community Park West ball fields. Every year this is a major event with music, games, food, and, of course, fireworks. The festivities are sponsored by the City of Santee and Waste Management, Inc., and run from 3:30-9:30 pm. The celebration will include a Kids’ Fun Zone with inflatables and games and the City of Santee Mobile Recreation area with free activities and music by DJ Chubz. There will also be live music by the 80z All Stars, a perennial favorite in Santee.

The city cautions that parking in the area is limited, so to help alleviate traffic there will be off-site parking for cars at the Costco and Cameron Family YMCA parking lots and limited RV parking at the new Edgemoor Hospital on Park Center Drive just off Mast Blvd. There will be regular shuttle runs from each of these lots to Rio Seco School, next to the fields. There will also be traffic control in the area with resident-only travel on Bilteer Drive, Bilteer Court, San Remo Drive, Conejo Place, Magnolia Park Drive, Verde Vista Lane, Day Creek Trail, and Leavesly Trail. In addition, Cuyamaca Street will be closed to all traffic between 8:00 and 10:00 pm.

Enjoy a day filled with fun, and please remember to leave the fireworks to the experts.

Santee Salutes July 4th, 2009, included the presentation of colors by the U.S. Marine Corps.

The 80z All Stars rocked the event

For more on last year’s event, see Santee Salutes July 4th in a Big Way.

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San Diego’s Best in Santee

This year the annual San Diego’s Best poll by the San Diego Union-Tribune includes quite a number of locations in Santee. Some of these are Santee-only, and others have a location in the city. I would like to encourage you to vote for as many of these Santee nominees as you can. Let’s show the county how great Santee really is!

Best Campground: Padre Dam’s Santee Lakes

Best Country Club: Carlton Oaks CC & Santee Lakes Park and Campground (Okay, I’m not sure how Santee Lakes qualifies as a country club, but it’s on the list.)

Best Skate Park: Santee Skate Park

Best BBQ Restaurant: Smokin’ Joe’s BBQ

Best Breakfast: The Omelette Factory

Best Brunch: The Omelette Factory

Best Business Lunch: The Omelette Factory

Best Family Restaurant: The Omelette Factory

Best Chicken Wings: Oggi’s Pizza and Brewing Co.

Best Greek Restaurant: Daphne’s

Best Mexican Restaurant: Marietta’s

Best Pizza: Filippi’s

Best Sushi: Domo Sushi

Best Massage: Simply Spa

Best Medical Spa: RiverView MD Spa

Best Natural Stone & Tile Provider: RCP Block & Brick

Best Hair Salon: Sports Clips

Best Swap Meet: Santee Swap Meet

Be sure to vote for our hometown businesses and show everyone how great Santee is. Hurry, voting ends on June 27.

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New Sportsplex USA Opens in Santee

With all of the political and other news recently, this story got shuffled back in line, but that doesn’t make it any less important.  On Tuesday, June 1, a crowd gathered to celebrate the grand opening of the new Sportsplex USA facilities in the Town Center Community Park area between Rio Seco School and the Cameron Family YMCA.  On hand for the ceremony were members of the Santee City Council, Santee Chamber of Commerce, and Santee Parks and Recreation Committee (SPARC).  Other guests included developers, members of recreation teams, and several East County beauty queens.

Councilman Jack Dale acted as Master of Ceremonies for the official opening.  He was joined by fellow Councilmen Brian Jones and John Minto, Mayor Randy Voepel, City Manager Keith Till, Stacia de los Reyes from Assemblymember Joel Anderson’s office, and Bill Burghoff of Sportsplex USA.  At 15 acres, Town Center Community Park is the largest community park in Santee, and there is still more to come.  In addition to the softball and baseball fields there are enclosed soccer fields and a restaurant ready for use.  The final phase will include more soccer/multipurpose fields, a stage, and picnic pavilions.

During the opening ceremonies Councilmen Dale and Jones spoke about the importance of the facilities to the city, while Councilman Minto reminisced on his own days playing Little League baseball, telling the crowd, “One thing is true, we love our sports.”  Speaking for Assemblymember Anderson, Ms. de los Reyes presented a State Assembly proclamation to the City of Santee and Sportsplex USA in honor of the opening.  Sportsplex USA’s Burghoff spoke of the economic benefits of the facility, then with the help of facility Manager Eddie Vandiver, presented city officials with commemorative jerseys and softballs.  The ceremony concluded with the throwing out of the first pitch, or rather pitches, by the city leaders.

To give an idea of how popular the facility already is, there were 140 softball teams and 40 soccer teams signed up before the Grand Opening.  In addition every weekend is booked with games and tournaments through December.  There is a fee for the use of the facility, but this fee will allow Sportsplex USA to maintain the fields and other features without using city funds.  Additionally, sponsorship by several local businesses helped to cover costs of construction, saving more and allowing more to be done.  A big “Thank You” to Al’s Sports Shop, Hawthorn Machinery, L&L Hawaiian Barbecue, Pure Flo, and Sports Clips for stepping up to help make this all possible.

Throwing out the First Pitch

L-R: John Minto, Brian Jones, Keith Till, Jack Dale, Randy Voepel

Miss Santee Teen and Friends

Members of SPARC

Inside Town Center Community Park’s Restaurant


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Santee’s Successful Candidates

Tuesday, June 8, was a big day for two of Santee’s hard-working community members.  Probably the better known of the two is Brian Jones, Santee council member and Vice Mayor, who won the Republican nomination for 77th Assembly District to replace Joel Anderson who took the top spot for Republican candidate for 36th Senate District.  Another winner was Ronn Hall, local businessman (Ronn Hall Insurance – 2010 Small Business of the Year) and Chamber of Commerce Vice President, who took one of six spots on the 77th District Republican Central Committee.  Congratulations to both of Santee’s political victors.

Brian Jones, Republican Candidate for 77th Assembly, with 2010 Miss Santee and Miss Santee Teen


Ronn Hall, Republican Central Committee, 77th District

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CYT-East Presents ‘Snoopy’

Recently CYT-East County presented the musical “Snoopy” at Lakeside Middle School.  The play follows the “Peanuts” gang and the beloved beagle as they take on life’s difficult questions.  Several of the lead actors were from Santee, along with a number of supporting cast members.  This was the second production at the Lakeside school after several years performing at the East County Performing Arts Center (ECPAC) in El Cajon.  The program was forced to relocate after the El Cajon City Council closed the theater for renovations in December,  2009.

I have covered a few of the performances before, and am always amazed at the talent of these young actors.  It is always difficult to single out anyone in these casts, but two young ladies who stood out in this performance were Jenna Wille, who played Peppermint Patty, and Jesi Perry, who played Sally Brown.

Ms. Wille, who played one of Ariel’s sisters in the CYT-East production of “The Little Mermaid,” is perhaps as opposite to the tomboy character as possible, but she was totally convincing.  As the tough girl who has a not-so secret crush on Charlie Brown, she had the combination of attitude and curiosity that mark Patty.  The crowning scene was her conversation with Charlie Brown (played by Bobby Albright) which includes the song “Poor Sweet Baby.”  Rather than being all gushy and romantic in the song, which can easily happen, Ms. Wille battered her unwilling companion in a hilarious and true-to-character scene.

After playing minor and second-rank characters for many performances, Ms. Perry came into her own as the ditzy Sally Brown.  As director Kim Messina noted, people were coming up and asking “Where has she been?” after performances.  Ms. Perry not only captured the personality of Charlie Brown’s little sister, but she managed to carry a little girl voice through the show that added immensely to her portrayal.

This season is over for CYT, but the new season of shows and classes will start back up in September.  If  you have children ages 6-18 who would be interested in getting involved in theater, you can sign them up for classes at Lakeside Middle School or any of seven other locations around San Diego County.  Children from 8-18 can audition for any of the area shows if they are signed up for a class.  CYT is also available in several other locations around the country.  For more information, visit the CYT website.

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Candidate Rundowns for Santee

With the election tomorrow, this post is dedicated to short overviews of several candidates in the 36th State Senate race.  The information is from a candidate forum held last week at the Elks Lodge in El Cajon, sponsored by the San Diego East County Chambers of Commerce.  Attending the forum were Senate candidates Paul Clay (D), Greg Stephens (R), and Jeff Stone (R).  Senate candidate Joel Anderson (R) did send a representative, explaining that he was unable to attend due to his duties as Assembly Member, but the representative was not allowed to participate in the question-and-answer session because of objections by one of his opponents.  Assembly candidates Mark Hanson (D), Brian Jones (R), Christine Rubin (R), and Bill Wells (R) were also present, however I do not have time to include information on them.

During the forum there were a number of questions posed by those attending.  The first question was on how each candidate would deal with the current state budget crisis.  The second question dealt with the Sunrise Power Link and specifically the plan to run it through Alpine.  The third question was on AB32, the state’s Global Warming statute.  The fourth question covered candidate views on same-sex marriage.  Question five was about the Arizona immigration law and how they would deal with illegal immigration.  The sixth question was on improving public education in California.  Question seven was a combination of two audience questions and dealt with bringing new money and jobs to the state.  The eighth question was about the influence of public employee unions on the state.  The final question was on the idea of a part-time legislation.  Each of the candidate overviews will highlight some of the answers that were provided.

36th State Senate

Paul Clay (Democrat) is a teacher from Murietta and the only Democrat on the ballot.  Clay believes there is a need to reach common ground in politics and is concerned with school financing and school safety.  He opposes the idea of a part-time legislation and the idea of cutting legislature pay if a balanced budget is not passed, although he would consider cutting per-diem pay.  On Sunrise, he doesn’t think there is a need for a power line and that generators could be installed locally with little loss of efficiency.  Clay supports AB32 and considers it a job-creator, in contrast to the Republican candidates, and considers it similar to the call for catalytic converters on autos several decades ago.  On education he believes there is a great deal of waste in schools, and that the focus needs to be on smaller classrooms, Head Start, and making schools a safe, wholesome place for kids.

Greg Stephens (Republican) is a pastor from Poway in his first run for elected office.  He is a veteran of Desert Storm and was a first responder at the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City.  Stephens believes in the idea of a part-time legislature for both accountability and budget purposes, feeling that members currently spend too much time and money on their next election.  He also believes that the state has too many layers of regulations, which increases the size of the bureaucracy and stifles business growth, and feels that unions have helped to make the state less business-friendly.  Stephens opposes the Sunrise Power Link, feeling all of the testing needed has not been done, and also opposes AB32 because it will increase power rates.  As a pastor, and personally, he believes in the idea of marriage as “one man and one woman,” and would add “for a lifetime” if it were his choice.

Jeff Stone (Republican) is a county supervisor from Riverside County and a long-time pharmacist who got tired of watching the way government was run.  Stone is a strong supporter of the idea of penalizing the legislature for not passing a balanced budget on time, and supports a part-time legislature.  He also supports a strong move against illegal immigration, similar to Arizona’s law.  Stone would also like to see less government regulation and taxes, and less influence by the unions, in order to help return the state to a business-friendly status.  On education, he would like to take the state Education Code and “burn it,” as well as get rid of unfunded mandates that the state places on local districts.  He is proud of the fact that he has experience writing and passing legislation.

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Second Santee Street Fair Tops First by a Mile

The numbers are not all in yet, by any count the second annual Santee Street Fair surpassed the first by a wide margin – more booths, more performers, more food, and many more visitors.  Last year the Santee Chamber of Commerce was hoping for upwards of 10,000 people at the first Street Fair, and estimates for that one ran between 35,000 and 50,000.  This year they talked about passing that, but kept the predictions conservative at 35,000 plus.  To all appearances, it seemed to have beaten that number by early afternoon.

Crowds packed the 2010 Santee Street Fair all day

The focus this year was clearly on entertainment.  The Street Fair added a third stage, the Trolley Square Amphitheater, in order to expand the number of bands that could perform.  The new venue showcased Santee groups Blues 1-4-5 and Ramshackle, while the Main Stage featured Lindsey Spurlock, The Corvettes, Outta-Sync, and Rockola.  As it did last year, the Community Stage hosted a variety of community groups, including Santee Recreation dance classes, martial arts groups, and an amazing quartet of young students from a local music school.  Also, the Main Stage was moved to allow for more dancing room – which was needed, especially when The Corvettes and Rockola played.  In between acts, Master of Ceremonies Clint August, from Rock 105.3, kept the fun going with giveaways from vendors.  He also introduced Carlos Montoya, a WWII veteran and survivor of the Bataan Death March who was at the Street Fair for the second year.

WWII Veteran Carlos Montoya

Food was also a big draw, with more restaurant booths than last year, and barbecue and grilling were popular cooking styles.  Hunter Steakhouse returned with tri tip, chicken, and corn on the big grill, and Pinnacle Peak brought out its own fire pit with ribs, chicken, and killer buffalo burgers.  One of the newer restaurants in Santee, Smokin’ Joe’s Barbecue, brought over mounds of barbecued beef and pulled pork for sandwiches, along with samples of their trademark mild and spicy sauces.  For those looking for something simpler, SPARC, the Santee Parks and Recreation Committee, grilled up hot dogs.  And if you were not in the mood for something from the grill, there were plenty of other offerings, including pizza from Italia Ristorante, gyros, funnel cake, shaved ice, and much more.

Pinnacle Peak’s booth at the Street Fair

In addition to promoting the City of Santee, the Street Fair also served as a giant fundraiser for the Santee Food Bank.  Fairgoers were encouraged to bring canned and other non-perishable foods to donate to the cause.  In addition, Lloyd’s Collision and Repair had two activities people could choose from: a raffle for a $3000 automotive paint job or a photo with the Lloyd’s Girls and a ’57 Chevy.  All the money raised went to the Food Bank, along with any food donations dropped off at their booth by the Main Stage.

Robert Lloyd of Lloyd’s Collision and Repair and the Lloyd’s Girls

If you missed the Street Fair, not to worry.  Not only will there be a third annual event next year, but this year there will be the first ever Santee Car Show in October.  This will be held in the same location, along Riverview Drive, and will feature classic cars on display along with craft booths, food, and music.

Check out my story on the Street Fair on Santee Examiner, and see more photos on Facebook on the Recovering Teacher Services page.

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