… SUHSD Apologizes To Parents, and 4,400 Homes May Be Built Next To U.S.-Mexico Truck Crossing
By Barbara Zaragoza / SouthBay Compass
Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Wants To Help Nix Daylight Savings
Assemblywoman for the 80th Assembly District, Lorena Gonzalez, posted on her Facebook page that she will support AB2496 that proposes to establish a “United States Standard Pacific Time” within the state for the entire year.
The Assemblywoman wrote on her Facebook page on Saturday, March 12th: “Tonight, we will lose an hour of sleep. As a result, there will be an increase in traffic accidents and workplace injuries. Parents will struggle to get their kids out of bed, and students will be less alert. Time change is outdated, and needs to be changed. I’m happy to be co-authoring a bill with Assemblyman Kansen Chu to look at doing just that.”
Parents Advocate For Attendance Boundary Changes, SUHSD Apologizes
Last week I wrote about how the Sweetwater Union High School District (SUHSD) approved a change in attendance boundaries for the district in January. The change aimed to increase attendance at under enrolled schools and decrease attendance at impacted schools. Among other changes, these new attendance boundaries created an East-West line at the I-125. Now, students who live West of the I-125 are suppose to attend Bonita Vista Middle (BVM) and Bonita Vista High School (BVHS), instead of Eastlake Middle School (ELM) and Eastlake High School (EHS).
Many homeowners West of the I-125 protested this week. They said their elementary school students looked forward to attending ELM & EHS, and as homeowners, they paid Mello Roos for their children to attend there. They also said they were never informed of the change because their children still go to elementary school, so their voices were left unheard.
At a SUHSD school board meeting on Monday, a large number of parents turned out and made public comments to the board in protest. CBS8 reported.
On Tuesday, March 15th, several district officials met parents at Eastlake Elementary. According to Audra Lacey who posted on Nextdoor.com: “So several district officials came to Eastlake Elementary tonight to address the crowd. They began with an apology for not communicating well with parents and said they are not a “perfect district”. They acknowledged that many San Miguel Ranch parents were at last night’s board meeting and said they are going to plan to have the same meeting at Liberty Elementary around a week after spring break. They had us write questions on cards and they addressed them and took additional questions as they came up. Long story short, they told us in Eastlake Shores and Hills that if we live in a CFD/mello-roos area, then we will have priority consideration to transfer into ELM AND EHS with 99% certainty of getting in. They made this change today.”
San Ysidro PedWest Crossing Might Be Delayed
The General Services Administration (GSA) has been working to reconfigure the San Ysidro Port of Entry in three phases. The aim is to decrease wait times and congestion. Phase one was completed in December 2014 when the GSA expanded the number of northbound vehicle processing lanes. Phase two plans to open a new pedestrian crossing adjacent to the Las Americas Mall, set to open in June 2016, and largely thanks to the clamoring of San Ysidro community members. Phase three will realign Interstate 5.
At issue this week: the Virginia Avenue pedestrian crossing, known as El Chaparral on the Mexican side.
Executive Director of the San Ysidro Chamber of Commerce, Jason Wells, wrote in their newsletter this week:
“After 8 years of planning, we just heard that Mexico may not fulfill its side of the new pedestrian crossing at Virginia Ave, known as PedWest!
We heard from regional Mexican officials that due to the large number of northbound pedestrian crossers expected at El Chaparral (since Puerta Mexico northbound would be constricted to 6 lanes), there is not sufficient room at El Chaparral to accept southbound pedestrians – nor is there current funding to create space. We then learned that earlier in the same week, a Diplomatic Note was sent from MX to the US stating that there is not funding to create a northbound pedestrian crossing at El Chaparral. Between the two official statements, at this point in time, it appears no pedestrian crossing will be facilitated by Mexico at the time of the expected US, bidirectional opening in early June of this year.
Aside from this agreed-to and needed pedestrian infrastructure, this is additionally problematic because not opening PedWest in June would delay the reconstruction of the eastern pedestrian crossing (the current crossing). This delay would result in losses of >$2Million PER MONTH OF DELAY and put the entire project phase at risk.“
4,400 Potential Homes Next To U.S.-Mexico Truck Crossing
The Otay Mesa Chamber of Commerce is concerned about the potential of developing 4,400 homes in the industrial area of Otay Mesa, outlined in the Central Village Specific Plan. This week, Executive Director Alejandra Mier 7 Teran wrote a letter to Mayor Falconer and the City Council asking them for a traffic analysis, an air analysis, and an environmental analysis. She added that San Ysidro High School has faced many challenges from the lack of planning for adequate access routes for children.
Their newsletter said,
“The City is proposing more than 4,400 homes in the industrial area of Otay Mesa, along Cactus Road and Siempre Viva. The Chamber has made several requests to the City regarding this Central Village Specific Plan but the two critical ones are:
1) Require a separate transportation access is built before residents move in. Currently, the only access street to the proposed Village is Britannia, which is a major truck route and which will handle an additional 1,800 trucks, when the Otay Truck Route Phase IV is implemented.
2) Ensure, adequate buffers, preferably 1,000 ft., are included by the residential developer between the heavy industrial zone and the proposed village.“
And perhaps you noticed my article about auto wreckers located on The Brown Field Hill. Sure, wrecking, scraping and crushing cars is cool. But do you really want to live next door?
Desalination Plant in Rosarito Marred In Legal Problems
A Rosarito desalination plant would be of unprecedented scale, the largest in the Western Hemisphere, and would expand both Tijuana’s water supply and the Otay Water District’s supply. (OWD covers neighborhoods in Spring Valley, La Presa, Rancho San Diego, Jamul, eastern Chula Vista and eastern Otay Mesa.) General Manager Mark Watton is considering a presidential permit to build a cross-border pipline that could carry up to 50 million gallons per day from Mexico to California. Sandra Dibble at the Union Tribune, reports that the project could be stalled due to a lawsuit.
News Hits Of Community Interest
- Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez awarded several South Bay individuals the “Women of the Year” award in honor of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month at the Chula Vista Civic Center Library branch. Awardees included Ashley Nell Tipton for her “Project Runway” on Bravo, Executive Director of the Chula Vista Public Library Betty Waznis and Dr. Aurora Cudal-Rivera.
- The beetle infestation in the Tijuana River Valley has destroyed 140,000 trees, reports Marty Graham at the San Diego Reader.
- The Kitchenistas of National City are the focus of a documentary that screened at the San Diego Latino Film Festival. They address, among other issues, the obesity epidemic that often affects poor Latino communities.
- Vincent Farnsworth at the San Diego Reader reported that real estate moguls of Imperial Beach were “arraigned on March 8th and pleaded not guilty to multiple charges of embezzlement and grand theft, according to clerks at the San Diego County Criminal Records Department.”
- A new community newspaper, the IB Connection plans to come out with its first issue this month. It will be in competition with the Imperial Beach and South County Eagle & Times and the relatively new Dig Imperial Beach.
- Sudbury Properties will break ground on Breakwater Town Center in IB located on a piece of land at 9th Street and Palm Avenue that has been languishing for years, reports ABC Channel 10 News.
- Here’s a look at artist Malcolm Jones, creator of “Surfhenge” at Pier Plaza in IB.
- Susan Luzzaro did extensive investigative reporting on Chula Vista’s 48-bed jail that in January had 24 detainees, all of whom were Hispanic women. One young woman had a terminally ill mother and ended up getting caught crossing the border allegedy with methamphetamines. Chula Vista has the only city-run jail in the county and taxpayer dollars pay a hefty price to maintain it.
- Apparently, the owner of Albertson’s at San Miguel Ranch has been deliberately keeping the building closed, so that he can get more customers at his nearby Vons grocery store. Mom-and-pop tenants at San Miguel Ranch say the boarded up building is a blight that hurts their businesses. A Facebook group called “Revive Shops at San Miguel Ranch” continue to make calls to Chula Vista council members and the Albertson’s owner, asking for a tenant to be found. They also have a petition with 1,178 supporters.