… The Guardian Discovers Friendship Park, and It’s Voting Season, South Bay!
By Barbara Zaragoza / SouthBay Compass
Let Our Voices Be Heard: Vote!
For several weeks now I’ve been covering the attendance boundary issue for the Sweetwater Union High School District. The San Diego U-T described the problem this week, but here’s the larger issue: back in October and November, the district held several community meetings to discuss attendance boundaries and bond monies. Participation at these meetings was low. The district voted on attendance boundaries in January and only when community members started receiving letters that their children would have to go to a new school did discontent begin. Why?
To start, there’s a serious lack of news about the South Bay. We need more information. We need to know what’s going on, week-in and week-out. North of the Fence has been working hard to fill this need.
We also need to take that information and get involved. It’s an election year. Do we know who our representatives are? Do we know about the potential ballot measures that will affect our pocket books? Our schools? The value of our homes? Over the coming weeks, I’ll be covering these issues in detail.
Watch For Bond Measures, Chula Vista!
- Government and organizations must prime themselves now to get measures on this year’s November ballot. You may remember that residents are complaining about the lack of infrastructure in Chula Vista. The western part sees crumbling roads and schools. The eastern part sees too much housing, but not enough amenities like retail stores, public transportation and schools to accommodate the growth. In response, the city is considering either a half-cent sales tax on certain items or a $200 million bond measure, which would come from an increase in property taxes. (San Diego Reader)
- Southwestern College trustees approved the cost for a consultant to undertake a public opinion poll to ascertain if voters would support a new bond in November. U-T reporter Christine Huard writes, “With about $466 million worth of unfunded capital needs and Proposition R funds just about tapped out, the district is looking to borrow money to pay for a variety of projects.” Trustees want to finance $383 million in infrastructure projects. (San Diego Union Tribune)
- At their last board meeting, the Sweetwater Union High School District also considered a new general bond in addition to the already approved Prop BB–intended to manage repairs, overcrowding and safety–and Prop O–a $644 million general obligation bond that deals with updates to classrooms, technology and the like. At their last board meeting, trustees were told that if they want a bond for the November election, the district first must work on compiling a list of facility needs, a description of the bond measure, conducting a survey and getting community comment between April and June. (San Diego Union Tribune)
Chula Vista City Council Elections
Three candidates have been disqualified for Chula Vista City Council. Carmelita Larrabaster Vinson was disqualified as a candidate for District 3 because she did not gather the necessary minimum of 20 valid signatures of voters living in her district. Although Larrabaster Vinson submitted 30 signatures, only 11 were valid. Marcos Lopez, who wanted to run in District 4, was also disqualified because two of the 29 voters’ signatures submitted were not their actual signatures. (Chula Vista Star News)
The June ballot for Chula Vista will have four men running for District 4 only. That means, if you live in southeastern Chula Vista, you’ll want to vote for one of the following: Mike Diaz, Rudy Ramirez, Eduardo Reyes and Emanuel Soto.
Chula Vista, National City, Imperial Beach & Otay
- The Eastlake III HOA went to court asking for a temporary restraining order and injunction against ECHO, a group of HOA members. The HOA board and ECHO have been battling over election rules and holding new elections. The temporary restraining order was denied and the judge agreed to fast-track the case. They will meet in court for a final decision on the case on May 11th. Comments continued at Nextdoor throughout the week from both sides.
- The Superintendent of the National School District, Chris Oram, is stepping down and retiring. At fifty-nine, he has served the district in many capacities for 37 years. He led the school district to two Golden Bell awards and upgraded the district’s technology infrastructure, among other successes. His current salary is $205,000. (Chula Vista Star News)
- A driver crashed into a fire hydrant on Telegraph Canyon Road, sending a gush of water up into the air. (Imperial Beach Patch)
- For the second year in a row Imperial Beach has the lowest crime rate in San Diego County, beating out its neighbor Coronado. (Dig Imperial Beach)
- Another warning was issued about sewage-fouled runoff out of Baja California carried by the Tijuana River. The contamination drifted into the surf off Border Field State Park, prompting signs at the IB beach warning visitors to be careful of bathing in the ocean water. (Imperial Beach Patch)
- Otay Mesa Road has been in the spotlight for several years because the road was supposed to have been built with an accessible sidewalk immediately after the opening of San Ysidro High School. That never happened. The wait for a sidewalk has been about a decade. Only a few weeks ago, construction finally began, but this week a backhoe operator working on the construction project accidentally cut an underground pipe. This led to a gas leak. Police and firefighters had to shut down a stretch of the street and told residents to stay indoors. Fortunately, the problem was fixed within two and a half hours. (Imperial Beach Patch)
- The ACLU sent a letter to Customs and Border Protection asking the CBP to look into an incident in which a disabled transgender Mexican woman with post-traumatic stress disorder was allegedly denied food for more than 30 hours at the port of entry. The CBP says they are reviewing the incident. (KPBS)
- The family of a man who died at the San Ysidro border station in 2010 after being tasered by border patrol is now asking the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to look at the human rights record of U.S. border agents. The case continues to garner national attention. (Los Angeles Times)
- The Guardian discovered Friendship Park this week. The article was meant to show Republican front runner Donald Trump the human face of “building a wall.”
- Meanwhile, the National Border Patrol Council endorsed Donald Trump for President due to his pledge to triple the number if Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and to “build a wall.” (KPBS) Wait. Wasn’t a wall already built under the Clinton administration in 1994 made of military landing mat? And didn’t taxpayers poney up for a secondary wall built by the Bush administration in 2008? So this is really a “build a third wall” campaign, right? Just checking.
For Beer Lovers
Mark your calendars for more South Bay Rising. Third Avenue Village is hosting Chula Vista’s first craft beer and musical festival, Avenue Amps & Ales on Saturday, May 14 from 12pm to 6pm. The event will host over 20 local breweries and live bands around Memorial Park in Chula Vista. You’ll be able to try over 50 craft beers, including from the newest Th3re Punk Ales Brewing.
John Lawrence says
All those bond measures will cost a fortune in fees and interest paid to Wall Street banks. A public bank in San Diego County could bring all that interest home as well as the interest on the proposed new Chargers stadium ($1.15 billion in bonds). That would pay for a lot of infrastructure.
Interesting, John. My concern about all this bond & sales tax money is: will it be managed well?
John Lawrence says
Probably not, if the past is any indication. Please see my article detailing how the San Ysidro and Poway school districts got in over their heads:
Buy Now Pay Later: How San Diego School Districts Were Hoodwinked by Wall Street