… National School District May Have First Female Superintendent, and Imperial Beach Hosts Sand Castle Competition
By Barbara Zaragoza
The San Ysidro PedWest Crossing opens today, with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 11 a.m. Some in nearby Chula Vista, let alone cities much further north, may not think a new pedestrian border crossing has an impact on their community — but think again.
The San Ysidro Port of Entry (POE) is the largest land POE in the world, with more than 50 million people crossing each year. Mexico is our third largest trade partner and both San Diego and Tijuana are economically intertwined, whether people appreciate that fact or not.
As the data shows, more than 68% of the 1.6 million people living in Tijuana cross the border to shop. They spend at least $6 billion a year, or more than $1 of every $8 in retail sales. That means the Mexican population pours at least $480 million sales tax dollars into the economy every year — and that’s an extremely conservative estimate.
This number, however, is stifled due to America’s border security obsession, which fails to adequately respond to the needs of legal crossers. According to SANDAG, inadequate infrastructure at the POEs entry translate into an estimated loss of $7.2 billion in gross output and a loss of 62,000 jobs.
Let’s throw a hypothetical out here: What if the 2008 recession had more to do with border building between the U.S. and Mexico than the banking crisis? It just so happens that 2008 was the year when the Bush Administration’s behemoth secondary wall actually started going up and legal border traffic (people, goods and services) fell dramatically. Could economists in NYC and D.C. have been too far away to connect the dots of the significant economic impact?
Two San Diego Union Tribune articles this week took a look at the San Ysidro POE crossing:
- The North American Research Partnership ran an op-ed piece: New pedestrian border crossing marks new era
- Sandra Dibble wrote: Long waits a painful routine for many San Ysidro border commuters.
The new pedestrian crossing is also a huge victory for community activists in San Ysidro who pressured the federal government to fund the new crossing, located at the Las Americas Mall.
The Sand Castle Competition Is This Weekend
Imperial Beach’s famed Sun & Sea Festival begins Friday, July 15, and lasts through Saturday, July 16. For those who don’t know, this is the South Bay’s annual Sandcastle Competition. Visitors can vote for their favorite sand sculpture from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday. For more information, click here. There will be many more festivities during the two-day event. Check out the event schedule.
- Three homeless men were killed last week. Doug reported on a fourth victim this week. The police had apprehended an individual from Chula Vista and news reports spread the information. However, this week the individual was released for lack of evidence.
- In 2010 the San Diego Youth Symphony launched a pilot music program in two low-income Chula Vista elementary schools. The pilot program had so many benefits for the students, it provided a benchmark for similar programs throughout the county. Kinsee Moran had the story. (Voice of San Diego)
- Gateway Marketplace off Fourth Avenue and C Street in Chula Vista will open this summer or fall where the old Target used to be. Now, there will be a new Smart & Final, Party City, Hobby Lobby and restaurants. (San Diego Union Tribune)
- The Chula Vista Planning Commission approved a five-story condominium project at Third Avenue and K Street on June 22. This week, however, the Corridor Coalition filed an appeal, saying the project is inconsistent with the city’s General Plan, Urban Core Specific Plan and city code. (San Diego Union Tribune)
- Chula Vista City Council voted to put a half cent sales tax measure on the November 8th ballot.
- Check out some classic cars that were displayed at the Chula Vista Elk’s Club Car Show. (The Southwestern Sun)
- The Sweetwater Authority Water Board that serves National City, Bonita and portions of Chula Vista rescinded the Level 2 Drought Alert status. It’s now a Level 1 Drought Watch. (Chula Vista Star News)
- The National School District has named Leighangela Brady as a finalist for their Superintendent search. She would be the first woman to lead the district. (San Diego Union Tribune)
- LatinoLA! carried a story about the history of Old Town National City and the Matanzas (or slaughterhouses).
- A man standing at a bus stop on Palm Avenue and Beyer Way at about 1 a.m. was shot in the upper thigh. (San Diego Union Tribune)
- The OnStage Playhouse is showing The Buddy Holly Story. You can read the review here.
- Community Forum on the Homeless in Bonita: Thursday, July 28 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Bonita Library Community Room located at 4375 Bonita Rd., Bonita, CA 91902. Join Supervisor Greg Cox for an update on homelessness in the unincorporated town of Bonita. There will be a discussion with law enforcement and County officials.