By Barbara Zaragoza / South Bay Compass
Actor and director Sean Penn secretly interviewed drug lord Joaquin Guzman Loera (aka ‘El Chapo’) before his recent capture. Penn’s interview was published in Rolling Stone. El Chapo, having a value of perhaps $1 billion and boasting that he was one of the first to build underground smuggling tunnels …. here we go again, San Diego. One more story about the 1% of people who cross the fence with illegal services & goods.
How many Rolling Stone articles would it take to interview the 99% of people impeded from crossing the fence everyday with their legal goods & services–with items like avocados and flat screen televisions? How many stories could we read about law-abiding citizens impeded by too much security and costing our economy over $7 billion in losses per year?
I know. Those stories are just not sexy, so let’s keep on watching re-runs of Breaking Bad because we know in our fantasies we’d rather be running from the law–which in turn promotes bad stereotypes in government circles and then laws that stifle or harm our economy. And besides, Breaking Bad is so much more exciting than watching a documentary about a Mexican or American farmer, small business owner and craftsman who can’t make ends meet.
- Border building might be a cause of flooding in poor Tijuana neighborhoods this year.
- The San Diego Reader carried a story about how a few Pakistani and Afghan terrorists were crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.
- Deported Veteran, Hector Barajas, made it into the news with Bernie Sanders promising to help those who want to return to the United States.
- Turns out, the reputation of ICE employees was tarnished before a full investigation was complete. The U-T reported in October 2015 that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement employees recruited co-workers for sex parties. When the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) did an investigation, however, they found the allegations to be untrue.
- National City voted for no-grow laws on medical marijuana. That was after most North County cities did the same.
- National City local, Matt de la Pena, won the John Newbery Medal for literature. A writer of children’s books, he is known for depicting the grace and elegance of those who live “on the wrong side of the tracks.”
- A winning Powerball ticket was sold in Chula Vista. Hitting five of the six numbers was worth $638,146.
- The Union-Tribune recently ran an article about what’s in store for Chula Vista this year, including:
- an offer by the Chula Vista government to take over the Olympic Training Center,
- RIDA Development Company constructing a hotel and convention center at the Chula Vista Bayfront soon, and
- SANDAG building a Rapid Transit Bus route near the Otay border crossing that run through the new Millenia development in Otay Ranch.
- The Living Coast Discovery Center announced an enhancement project to its Turtle Lagoon exhibit. Valued at $300,000, it will provide endangered eastern Pacific green sea turtles with additional space to swim freely.
- A Centennial Flood exhibit will be on display at the Chula Vista Public Library. It opens– appropriately–at 5:05pm on January 27th–the day the Otay dam broke.
- The Play Coyote on a Fence will start its showing at the Chula Vista On Stage Playhouse on Thrusdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 8pm and on Sundays at 2pm.
- Yes, Imperial Beach is improving its image with some snazzy hotels, great restaurants and even mentions in the LA Times. However, as Vincent Farnsworth points out, that also means rents are skyrocketing and the average IB resident might have a hard time staying in the city.
- IB provides sewer service to the U.S. Navy for its Special Warfare Campus. So what? Coronado doesn’t like it, that’s what. And they’re suing IB, to the surprise of the Mayor.
- Iran detained U.S. Navy sailors whose patrol boats had apparently drifted into Iranian waters. They were Imperial Beach-based sailors.
- The California King Tides Project is asking members of the public to photograph extreme high tides along their local coastline to highlight how coastal homes, infrastructure, and ecological habitats may be affected by future sea level rise. The dates of the upcoming King Tide dates: Jan. 21st at 6:48am, Jan. 22nd at 7:30am, Jan. 23rd at 8:14am.
- Bayshore Bikeway construction continues, including in Imperial Beach. The hope is to create a more bicycle-friendly South Bay.
Otay Mesa & San Ysidro
- The SDPD, Souther Division, reported, “Detectives from the San Diego Police Department Southern Division arrested a 17 year old juvenile responsible for a series of assaults targeting women. The incidents were first reported mid-December and occurred in the Otay Mesa West and Ocean Crest communities. The last incident occurred on January 11, 2016. The suspect would approach women from behind and attempt to pull down their pants or lift their skirts as they were walking on the sidewalk or in front of a business. The San Diego Police Department is asking for anyone who may have been a victim or has witnessed an incident to please contact the San Diego Police Department at (619) 531-2000.”
- The city of San Diego accepted a $1.5 million donation from Lloyd and Caroline de Llamas to close the funding gap needed to upgrade the San Ysidro Branch Public Library. The donation from a former San Ysidro resident means the long wait for a new library might be over.
- Voice and San Diego reports that the San Ysidro non-profit Casa Familiar has created an after-school program zeroing in on creating STEAM opportunities for children in K-12.