By Barbara Zaragoza
A Few Points About Our Political Representatives
- Many of our political representatives took their oath of office this week: Irene Lopez, a new trustee for the San Ysidro School District; Kevin Pike and Nick Segura as trustees for the Sweetwater High School District; Roberto Alcantar and Griselda Delgado as trustees of the Southwestern Community College board.
- For residents of South San Diego, your Councilmember David Alvarez experienced a disappointment. He was not voted in as the City Council’s new President, although many had hoped for this outcome. Alvarez made this statement.
- State Senator Ben Hueso introduced a bill that would fund legal representation for noncitizens facing deportation. 68% of noncitizens held in detention facilities do not have legal representation. What’s more, people detained who receive lawyers are more than five times as likely to succeed in challenging their deportation. The San Diego Union Tribune reports.
- The SD County Board of Supervisors, which includes our representative Greg Cox, took the first step to approve a $19,000 salary increase, which would also raise their pensions. The raise will be considered again on a second reading on Jan. 10. The San Diego Union Tribune provides extensive details.
Campground for the Tijuana River Valley?
San Diego County Parks and Recreation might be looking to establish a campground in the Tijuana River Valley Regional Park. The San Diego Reader reported, “In December 2013, Supervisor Greg Cox surprised everyone… by announcing his plan to put a campground in the valley, with his preferred site in Border Field State Park.”
The article goes on to explain that Cox is partly driven by a mandate from the California Coastal Commission (on which he serves) and its more than $10 million stash of developer fees that are supposed to be creating affordable lodging on the coast.
The river valley folks who attended a meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 14, were less enthusiastic. So too was San Diego Border Patrol back in October 2015 whose sector chief penned a letter stating, “Over 3,200 of [the 5,300 arrests in the Imperial Beach sector] occurred within the immediate vicinity of the proposed campsites.”
Should officials Drop the State of Emergency in the TRV?
“Flows of untreated sewage in the Tijuana River Valley have all but ceased, with the exception of occasional flows due to shutdowns or breaks in the Mexican sewerage system,” a San Diego Reader article explains. As a consequence, officials want to get rid of the State of Emergency that has been declared every year since 1993.
However, David Alvarez asked the city to continue to declare a state of emergency. So did Mark West, the newly elected IB councilmember so said county Health Department statistics show the Tijuana River mouth at Border Field State Park was closed more than 200 days because of contamination. Read more of the details here.
- Editor of The Star News made an assessment of our three city council members: Mary Salas, Steve Padilla and John McCann. The three sat on the council together between 2002-2004. He explained that Chula Vista has many challenges that hopefully they can address: the export of the bulk of its workforce to cities outside its boundaries, terrible commuter traffic, the lack of infrastructure maintenance of our streets, and 12% of Chula Vista’s residents (estimated at 265,757) living in poverty.
- Kindred Murillo was selected as Southwestern Community College’s next superintendent. The community college serves about 20,000 students. Murillo served Lake Tahoe Community College since July 2011. The Star News has more.
- The Chula Vista Police Department held a ceremony to appreciate the 35-year career of retiring Chief David Bejarano. (ABC 10 News)
- Captain Roxana Kennedy was selected as the 24th Chief of Police for Chula Vista. She is the first ever female Chief of Police for the city. For more information about Captain Kennedy, click here.
- The CV City Council voted Dec. 6 to approve an expenditure plan for the recently passed sales tax increase, known as Proposition P. The measure is expected to generate more than $160 million over 10 years. (San Diego Union Tribune)
Embarcadero Brewing Company will become the third craft beer business in National City. The City Council gave its approval on December 6th. Machete Beer House was the first. Novo Brazil Brewing Company also plans to open its second establishment (the first exists in Eastlake). (San Diego Union Tribune)
Anita Brinkley, an aide to Councilwoman Mona Rios, filed a complaint against mayoral aide Josie Flores Clark. The city of National City has hired outside legal counsel to investigate the harassment complaint. Brinkley says Flores Clark “yelled and screamed” at Brinkley saying she needed to get out of the front row seat she was sitting in and demanded she go sit in the back. The Chula Vista Star News provides the details.
The lot on 10th Street and Iris Avenue in Imperial Beach has become a park with six sculptures and a mural. 4Walls International and IB Arts Bureau have worked to make the park a reality. (Imperial Beach Eagle & Times)
- Otay Mesa pedestrian border crossers often use Route 950 to get to the San Diego Trolley. Now, the Metropolitan Transit System decided to expand the express bus service after seeing ridership almost double during the past year. (San Diego Union Tribune)
- Donovan Prison is located in Otay Mesa and this week, there was prison news. The Times of San Diego reported that three detainees were hospitalized Sunday from a fight that broke out among about 20 men.
- Sandra Dibble at the San Diego Union Tribune reports on two more tunnels found at the SD-Tijuana border.
- San Diego’s Roman Catholic Bishop, Robert McElroy participated in La Posada Sin Fronteras at Friendship Park in Border Field State Park last weekend. He remarked, “We know the grace of God stands especially with our immigrant communities here in the United States and Mexico,” he said. “For Christ himself, who was an immigrant and refugee, speaks to us about the love which exists for God in the hearts of those who suffer greatly, in the marginalized and dispossessed.” The Times of San Diego has more of the Bishop’s words as well as pictures of the event.
- Artist Ana Teresa Fernandez is painting the border fence blue so it matches the sky and from certain perspectives seems to disappear.
- And finally — Tijuana boasts a speakeasy that is becoming a cocktail vanguard. San Diego Magazine gives us the skinny.