… Californi’a Longest Drug Smuggling Tunnel Is Found In Otay Mesa, and a Portable Shower Program For San Diego’s Homeless
By Barbara Zaragoza
Mar Vista High School had not one, not two, but three reported incidents of sexual relations with underage females by a walk-on assistant football coach, an ROTC instructor and a tutor. Mar Vista ranks No. 5 out of 10 at greatschools.org and has only 37 percent of graduates who are eligible for UC/CSU. It’s also known as one of the schools in the Sweetwater Union High School District (SUHSD) with a larger attendance of low-income students.
Are these students–whose parents rely heavily on staff and the district to safeguard their children while they put in hours at one or even two jobs– especially vulnerable and therefore targeted by unseemly types?
Disturbingly, in the review comments section of great schools.org, an anonymous parent posted on Sept. 1, 2013, “Terrible school. Students date some of the teachers right after graduation.”
At Facebook’s Imperial Beach Neighborhood Watch comments abounded, particularly upset that it made the city and the school look bad. But one commentator also said, “Unfortunately it is the way at Mar Vista. I won’t name names but I can remember a female teacher that slept with at least four of my guy friends in the early 90’s.”
This week, district officials are reviewing policies and procedures in hopes of preventing it from happening again, according to the San Diego Union Tribune. South Bay Community Services provides tutors at various schools within the district and they insist on having a rigorous pre-employment process. Their spokeswoman said the allegations are not a reflection of the school or any of the programs. The Mar Vista High Principal agreed.
Fire Destroys Bonita Home and National City’s Skate Park Is Finally Here
- A family of five was left homeless when food burned on the stove and caused a fire. The fire spread and destroyed the house. (San Diego Union Tribune)
- On April 19th Ron Morrison told his Facebook friends, “It’s finally here, the Skatepark at Kimball Park will have a soft opening tomorrow (Wednesday the 20th) for the public. The official opening is being planned for June 10th, but it will be open to skaters starting tomorrow.” You can catch an eagle-eye view of it here.
Showers For Homeless, Lawsuit May Settle and Dogs Poisoned in Chula Vista
- A type of poison was placed in hot dogs and then tossed into a yard in Chula Vista. Three dogs began to eat the hot dogs and were poisoned to death. (Fox 5 News)
Drug Smuggling Border Tunnel, Pollution Monitors and a Binational Hospital
- California’s longest drug-smuggling tunnel was discovered this week in Otay Mesa. About a half-mile with lights, a ventilation system and an elevator, the tunnel started in a flop house next to the border wall in Tijuana and ended in a commercial dumpster at a storage property on the corner of Marconi & Enrico Fermi.
- A two-year air pollution study will begin in San Ysidro. Twelve monitors will go up in several places of the community to see how bad their air may be due to border traffic. Community members will decide where the monitors should be placed. Currently, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment has monitors in Chula Vista, but not further south. (Los Angeles Times) The study is being piloted by Casa Familiar, a non-profit organization located in San Ysidro who also worked with the County and other organizations in 2015 to have an air pollution monitor installed directly at the U.S.-Mexico border.
- Meanwhile, traffic congestion should ease for trucks at the Otay Mesa POE. On April 15th, CALTRANS and SANDAG gathered with Councilmember Todd Gloria, Director of International Relations of the State of Baja, Mariano Escobedo, and several others to celebrate: 1) The opening of SR-11 Phase 1, and 2) The upcoming groundbreaking of the SR-125 southbound connectors and progress on the northbound SR-125 connectors, which should be completed the end of this year. Road openings should address the significant truck traffic problem. (Otay Mesa Chamber of Commerce)
- SIMNSA plans to build the region’s first hospital aimed to meet the health care needs of the binational community along the U.S.-Mexico border. Scripps Health will provide consultative services to SIMNSA for the hospital’s planning, construction and operation, which SIMNSA will design, build and manage to achieve the standards of the Joint Commission International Accreditation (JCI). The hospital would be the first in Tijuana and one of only six in Mexico with the JCI designation. (Otay Mesa Chamber of Commerce)
- Mayor Mary Salas and Mayor Serge Dedina went to Mexico City for the 11th annual California-Mexico Trade Initiative. They met with top Mexican government officials to talk about border infrastructure, trade, investments and more. The San Diego and Tijuana mayors joined them as well as about 90 business leaders and government officials from San Diego and Baja California. (Times of San Diego)
New San Ysidro Pedestrian Crossing Will Be Delayed
After the delegation visited Mexico City, Paola Avila, vice president of international business affairs for the San Diego Region Chamber of Commerce, told KPBS that the Virginia Avenue PedWest crossing won’t open until at least August.
Back in March, the San Ysidro Chamber of Commerce reported that Mexico “may not fulfill its side of the new pedestrian crossing.” Mexican officials cited insufficient funding. The SY Chamber noted that the delays could result in losses of $2 million per month.
Clean Up Event and National Prescription Drug Take Back Day
- An “I Love San Ysidro” Clean up event is scheduled for Saturday, April 23 from 9am-12pm. Volunteers should meet at the Community Services Center at 663 East San Ysidro Blvd and carne asada will be served to all who help.
- The San Diego Police Department, Southern Division, is holding a “National Prescription Drug Take Back Day” on Saturday, April 30th from 10 am to 2pm. Bring back your unused or expired prescription medications to be disposed of, no questions asked. Drop off location is Kaiser Permanente, 4650 Palm Avenue, San Diego among several other locations.