By Barbara Zaragoza / South Bay Compass
With the horror of the San Bernadino events and PBS reporting that 355 mass shootings took place across the United States in 2015, the South Bay this week also faced its share of disturbing violence and mayhem:
- KPBS reported that meth seizures are up at the border since 2009. The drug is now being produced in Mexican “super labs,” staffed by university-educated chemists and supplied by manufacturers based in Asia. This trend is occurring during a time when less and less marijuana is being grown in Mexico due to its legalization in the U.S. The Imperial Beach Patch showed the terrible destruction meth can cause on a young adult.
- Borderland Beat reported of another drug-related shoot-out in the Santos Colonia of Tijuana.
- A 29-year-old transient man was apprehended after stabbing two of his relatives in their mobile home in Otay Mesa. The man had been accused of elder abuse against one of the victims prior to the homicide.
- A 45-year-old man was apprehended under suspicion of having attacked three people in the back with a knife in Chula Vista. One of the victims was believed to be a wheel-chair bound woman.
- Due to the rains, beach closures were in effect from the border to Imperial Beach as run off of human waste continued to run down the Tijuana River.
- Our South Bay councilmember, David Alvarez said that San Ysidro and the border region may be hardest hit by El Niño. Mayors and Councilmembers this week were seeking emergency funds before the disaster takes place. They already want a state of emergency declared.
- Mark Robak, a board member of the Otay Water District, laments his agency’s political defeat a few weeks ago before the San Diego City Council in a new op-ed piece. The Otay Water District led an unsuccessful campaign against the city’s rate increase for recycled water. The Otay Water District maintained that the city unfairly shifted costs from wealthy customers in the northern part of the county to not-so-wealthy customers in South County.
There Is Some Positive Local Community News
While violence seems to have beset our facebook feeds and media outlets, one-foot-in-front-of-the-other community members continue to impact their slice of the world through big visions and, perhaps considered small, but positive, peaceful and, above all, kind contributions:
- The Chula Vista Elementary School District received Gold Bell Awards, including in the visual & performing arts category and in the “Growing Healthy Children” initiative.
- “America’s Best” Grocery Store may be coming to the west side of Chula Vista. Owned by a German company with 10,000 companies around the world, the grocery store will tout prices 45% cheaper than traditional stores.
- Bike Lanes at the border have been an on-going desire by many health & environmental conscious community members. The Voice of San Diego reported this week than a binational bike lane may actually come to fruition. Tijuana Entrepreneur Miguel Marshall has teamed up with SANDAG for a study on how to create a bike lane at the San Ysidro border crossing.
- The sidewalk going from San Ysidro High School down into the San Ysidro neighborhood finally broke ground. Community members have been clamoring for the sidewalk ever since the school opened in 2004.
- National City is working on a percent-for-art proposal that will head to city council in early 2016. Cities, like San Diego, often have policies that require developers to set aside 2 percent of a public project’s construction costs for art. The proposal is quite controversial.
- Affordable housing is also coming to National City. The City Hall newsletter reports that “civic leaders and community groups joined Related California (Related) and Community HousingWorks to break ground on phase one of Paradise Creek, a two-phased affordable housing development totaling 201 homes on six acres of land in National City’s Westside neighborhood. The City of National City was recently awarded more than $9.2 million in redevelopment grants and loans.
- National City was also ranked #1 on the Regional Walk Scorecard from Circulate San Diego. City Hall said, “National City emerged as the top scoring city for several reasons. The city continues to vigorously add pedestrian-friendly infrastructure–especially near schools and civic buildings. The city comprehensively plans for improvements, and provides robust education to students and families on safe walkability.”
- And finally, Yelp reviews of the border? Yep. You won’t want to miss the salmon who crossed over the SYPOE.
Holiday Events & Good Cheer Upon Us
The South Bay has a large variety of wonderful events that bring our communities closer together:
- San Ysidro’s 1st Food Truck Festival will be held on Saturday December 5th from 1pm-5pm at La Bodeguita (4174 Beyer Blvd, San Ysidro).
- Chula Vista celebrates Holiday in the Village on Saturday, December 5 at Memorial Park from 12pm-4pm. There will be live holiday entertainment, pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus, hands-on activities for kids of all ages and more. This will be followed by the Starlight Parade at Third Avenue Village. The parade is a Chula Vista tradition that dates back to 1964.
- The Bill of Rights Schooner is having a meeting on December 12th that you won’t want to miss.
- The 8th Annual Christmas on Brick Row will take place on December 10th from 5pm-8pm between 9th Street and A Avenue in National City. This is a family-oriented event which includes face painting, crafts, community performances, live music and a special appearance from Santa Clause and the Ice Queen.
- The Lowriders will host their Toy & Dinner Giveaway on December 13th from 10am-3pm at 303 Highland Avenue (Foodland) in National City.