… Three South Bay Mayors Endorse Tax Increase, and Shady History of Otay Mesa Power Plant Exposed
By Barbara Zaragoza
A fire at the U.S.-Mexico border near Portero and Tecate has been raging all week. Although not near San Diego and Tijuana yet, the fire has South Bay locals worried.
Some of the week’s updates included: Animal control officers work to rescue hundreds of animals, while residents remained under evacuation orders Monday and hikers were advised to stay off the Pacific Coast Trail.
As of Thursday, the border fire had destroyed 17 homes and threatened 200 more. The fire has burned 6,723 acres so far. (Times of San Diego)
By this morning, the border fire has been 45% contained and all evacuation orders have been lifted. (CBS 8)
South Bay Mayors Endorse SANDAG Sales Tax
Chula Vista Mayor Mary Salas, National City Mayor Ron Morrison and Imperial Beach Mayor Serge Dedina endorsed a November ballot measure that would increase the sales tax by half a cent. The revenue would provide funds for a new trolley line from the international border, up along Interstate 805 through Chula Vista and on to Kearny Mesa. (Times of San Diego) San Diego Mayor Kevin Falconer will vote against it, however. At the Chula Vista City Council meeting on Tuesday, June 21st, Mayor Salas acknowledged that based on polling, passage of the measure would be difficult.
Imperial Beach Sea Level Rise
Voice of San Diego reported that major swaths of Imperial Beach could be underwater or regularly flooded by 2100. Rising sea levels could eventually impact 30% of the city’s properties, 40% of its roads, and an elementary school.
The city has been developing into a tourist hot-spot with its Cohen Brothers Sea 180 Coastal Tavern restaurant & Pier South Resort, plus desirable beachfront property. To preserve both properties and the environment, the city has to consider how to deal with climate change that its future affects.
VOSD explains, “The city will need to decide whether to prioritize the economic benefits of tourism and beach recreation over maintaining the ecological value of beaches and preserving existing flora and fauna, versus simply protecting buildings and property along the coast.”
San Ysidro Property Owner Fights MTS
There’s a legal battle over a plot of land near the San Ysidro Port of Entry. The owners of the McDonald’s building, located next to the international border, have complained that Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) has been making lease agreements with bus companies that stifle competition. MTS also refuses to create a hospitable environment for public transportation users and won’t allow a back door to stay open for safer pedestrian movement. The Union-Tribune’s Greg Moran explains each side’s complaints.
National City Affordable Housing
Residents of National City were happy when construction started on 201 new low-income apartments, called Paradise Creek. However, they then found out low-income residents from outside National City would be able to get their names on the waiting list. Residents thought this was unfair and took their concerns to the City Council. Last week, the City Council adopted a policy giving local residents priority. Voice of San Diego reported on the issue.
The Shady History Behind Otay Mesa Power Plant
Other News Hits
- What could possibly become the largest desalination plant in the Western Hemisphere was in the news this week. The San Diego Union Tribune reports that Baja California’s state government has selected a bidder for the construction of the Rosarito Beach desal plant. Nuwater of Singapore and the French company Decrement will finalize the public-private partnership within 60 days.
- Crew are rebuilding the freeway overpass at East Palomar Street along Interstate 805 in Chula Vista. The bridge and Direct Access Ramp (DAR) are expected to open this summer.
- National City’s 4,700 square foot Aquatic Center opened this week. (San Diego Union Tribune)
- San Diego police are seeking the driver in an alleged hit-and-run crash Monday in San Ysidro that left a motorcyclist with a broken arm. (Imperial Beach Patch)
- U.S Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Otay Mesa cargo export facility on Thursday discovered 7,276 pounds of marijuana hidden inside of a metal tanker, worth almost $4 million. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection)
- Crossroads II alerted their newsletter readers: “Southwestern College Superintendent and President Melinda Nish is resigning from her position effective June 30, according to a statement released Friday by Nish and the college’s governing board.”
- With summer temperatures rising, check this list for Cool Zones.
- Finally, if you’re still searching for Fourth of July entertainment, the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista will have a fireworks display at 9 p.m. The fireworks are coming back this year after a long hiatus due to the city’s budget constraints. The OTC can accommodate 3,000 attendees.