Santee Stories

Snuffed in a Jiff

An incredible example of the sheriffs’ firefighting capability took place Friday afternoon, August 21, when a lightning strike ignited a wildfire on the hill just north of Magnolia Avenue. Within minutes after the fire was ...

Baklava

My friend Mike is turning 40 this month, and he has been making rumblings about baklava instead of birthday cake. “We used to have it as kids,” he recalled. “My aunt made it, and she’d ...

Friends Christian Fellowship

Friends Christian Fellowship meets in a Santee office park suite artfully converted into a cozy chapel. Several times a year, they set up outreaches across the 67 at Shadow Hills Park. “One time,” said Pastor ...

Found: Bombs

On Monday, March 23, law-enforcement officials at the Santee sheriff's station on Cuyamaca Street were forced to evacuate their building in response to a credible bomb threat. Shortly after 2 p.m., an unidentified man had ...

Bat News

On March 3, the phrase “look what the cat dragged in” took on a whole new meaning for one Santee resident, whose pet cat brought home a dead bat. The cat’s owner promptly contacted the ...

Trash Talking: Allied Seeks to Expand Sycamore Landfill

Allied Waste Services, the national waste hauler that operates the City of San Diego’s Sycamore Landfill off State Route 52 at Mast Boulevard near Santee, is ramping up its campaign to expand the facility. Neighbors ...

San Diego’s Secret Missile-Testing Sites

In 1955, Civil Defense was all the rage

A military-industrial mystery in Sycamore Canyon.

Pathways Community Church

A pretty country quilt lay across an old four-poster bed on the stage at Pathways Community Church. The bed had been there throughout the church’s “Sexual Revolution” series — in which “revolution” was defined as ...

Cop Breaks Speedo Limit

I got an invite to a party in Santee. I was told there'd be a band called Mudwolf playing in the back yard. I figured, hey, I love Steppenwolf...and Wolfmother. Odds are I'll like this ...

A Name Change for Santee?

In my neighborhood, each driveway is pretty much a snapshot of the next on Halloween. Snapping fires rise from washtubs turned firepits or new Target-purchased varieties. Smiling folks in sweatshirts stand or sit around the ...

The Right of Way Is the Wrong Place

Every election season, my father sinks a wire-framed campaign sign into the strip of grass between his sidewalk and the street. Every election season, an unseen enemy steals it. Dad replaces the sign. The enemy ...

Field of Screens

Drive-in theaters arose from swamps.

The first drive-in theater I snuck into in San Diego was also the first one built here, the Midway, on the northwest corner of Mission Bay Drive and Sports Arena Boulevard. It was December 1979, ...

Sweatin' in Santee

Hey, Matt: In the summer my thermometer in the open sun reads 110 to 120 degrees while the news reports 90 to 100. How do they get such low readings? Do they put their thermometers ...

The Green Fairy

My day got off to a bad start. As a volunteer for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, I was asked to help set up a play set for a child in Santee. I'm useless at things like ...

Sonrise Community Church, Santee

"People thought [my becoming a pastor] was bogus," said Pastor Stan Miller. "They said, 'He's lost his marbles' and 'He's flipped out.' It angered the media. They vilified me. Most of this came from my ...

Touted as "The best backyard in San Diego," Santee Lakes' recreational facilities just keep getting better.

A cool coastal breeze, worming its way up through Mission Gorge, ruffles the mirrorlike surfaces of the seven Santee Lakes, and sets cottonwood leaves aflutter. A damp, wholly agreeable odor permeates the wooded shorelines. Does ...

"If Moshing Begins, the Concert Ends Right There"

"If moshing begins, the concert ends right there," says Aliah Lieras, recreation program supervisor with the City of Santee. "If the bands aren't supportive of the rule, they won't be asked back. Our staff tech ...

Hike to the summit of Kwaay Paay peak in Mission Trails Regional Park.

The 1194-foot mountain dubbed "Kwaay Paay" in Mission Trails Regional Park managed to escape the flames that swept through nearly half of the park's area in October 2003. The welcome if spotty precipitation we've received ...

Best of 2003: Best Club To Kick Up Your Boots

Magnolia Mulvaney's 8861 North Magnolia Avenue, Santee 619-448-8550 It's the kind of bar where blondes are proud of their dark roots and men are proud of their too-tight jeans. There's a restaurant and banquet room, ...

Best of 2003: Best Place To Make A Motorcycle Handicapped-Accessible

Vortex Engineering 9201 Isaac Road, Santee www.vortexengineering.com 619-258-9660 "They also did the lift on my boat," says Lou-Lou, sportsman to the max. He's got two motorbikes now, a Honda VTR 996 "crotch rocket" and a ...

Best of 2003: Best Headstones

Clemens Granite Works 10527 Prospect Avenue, Santee 619-449-0670 Family-owned and operated since 1933, owner Frankie Clemens insists on only pure stone and marble (ordered from as nearby as Gopher Canyon and as far away as ...

Stroll along a silvery brook at Oak Canyon in Mission Trails Regional Park.

Oak Canyon, tucked into a relatively pristine corner of Mission Trails Regional Park just west of Santee, has come alive with a thin stream of gurgling water, owing to the recent decent (if not quite ...

Smokey Bandits

From July of 2000 to April 2001, a new kind of crime wave hit San Diego County. Boiled down to penal-code labeling -- 211 for armed robbery, 459 for burglary -- the crimes weren't anything ...

Best of 2001: Best Real-Life Rocket

San Diego Aerospace Museum Hangar 335 Kenney Street, Santee 619-258-1221 This Atlas Missile 2-E is East County's premier anachronism. Its flanks jut up 80 or 90 feet from the low-rise industrial buildings along Gillespie Field's ...

Best of 2001: Best Place To Sample That Old-Time Cosmology

Institute for Creation Research 10946 Woodside Avenue North, Santee 619-448-0900, ext. 6011 This free "museum of science and history" (open 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday) will "take you on a journey through time!" according ...

Best of 2001: Best Discount Store

GTM Discount General Store 7663 Broadway, Lemon Grove 619-460-2990 716 16th Street, Downtown 619-234-7122 8967 Carlton Hills Boulevard, Santee 619-499-4953 350 Cypress Lane, El Cajon 619-441-8183 Parking is sometimes at a premium in front of ...

Best of 2001: Best Decorative Rocks To Replace Your Lawn

RCP Block and Brick 8240 Broadway, Lemon Grove Other locations in Santee, Chula Vista, and Escondido 619-460-9101 Fred, of the 50-year-old RCP (It stands for "Revolutionized Concrete Products"), says dropping a 2-1/2-inch deep layer of ...

Best of 2001: Best Place To Find An Iowa Porker

The Valley House 10767 Woodside Avenue, Santee 619-562-7878 "Back in Iowa they call it 'pork tenderloin,' " explains Dave Hayes, Valley House's owner. "I called it the 'Iowa Porker,' because nobody here knew what 'Pork ...

Best of 2001: Best Rock Climbing

Santee Boulders Across Mast Boulevard from West Hills Park, Santee Park in the West Hills parking lot off Mast, a quarter mile north of Highway 52. Walk across the street and follow the beaten path ...

Climb Cowles Mountain by way of a more difficult approach from Santee.

Cowles Mountain, the centerpiece of Mission Trails Regional Park, stands 1591 feet above sea level, making it the highest point within San Diego's city limits. On a warm springtime day, hundreds of people -- maybe ...

Best of 2000: Best Place To Pop Off A Few Pistol Caps

Magnolia Indoor Range 8516 Magnolia Avenue, Suite 201, Santee (619) 596-4099 The facade of this shooting range looks like a strip-mall storefront. Once inside, however, after showing ID, being over 21, and signing their term ...

Best of 2000: Best Discount- Furniture Store

Cost Less Furniture 10720 Woodside Avenue, Santee (619) 258-8166 Located next to Yum Yum Donuts in a strip mall at the intersection of Woodside and Magnolia, Cost Less has genuinely cheap prices on genuinely decent ...

Don’t try to make out in the front or backseat of a ’78 Volvo, especially if you’re over 40.

“The drive-in still had light, but the light came from the projectors and the projectors didn’t seem to have any source of electricity. We were surrounded by a blackness so complete it was like being ...

The Lakeside River Irregulars

To get to Lisa Roger's house in the Eucalyptus Hills area of Lakeside, you have to drive past the sand-mining operations, tractor-repair yards, and prefab concrete outfits that line the San Diego River in this ...

Ride virgin pavement on this bicycle loop incorporating Highway 52 and the new Scripps Poway Parkway.

During the past five years, two new east-west highways have opened up for traffic in the Poway and Santee areas: the Tierrasanta-to-Santee leg of Highway 52 and Scripps Poway Parkway. Both roadways were designed to ...

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