By Barbara Zaragoza
South Bay took a big blow in comprehensive news coverage and support this week when reporter Christine Huard was laid off from the San Diego Union Tribune.
Huard covered all of the South Bay school districts, often uncovering scandals such as the fact that San Ysidro has paid millions, but not yet received their solar panels from Manzana Energy — a company whose owner also owns La Prensa San Diego. She also covered school board irregularities, celebrated school successes and so much more. This has now, overnight, disappeared.
Huard is only one of two regular South Bay writers at the Union Tribune, Allison Sampite-Montecalvo being the other reporter who serves approximately 450,000 residents south of the I-54 to the border. The other reporters laid off with Huard apparently are going to be staff members who wrote about the Chargers in the sports section. This is yet another example of under-covered and sometimes outright ignored communities losing a key voice who skillfully and thoroughly took on tough assignments necessary to get to the truth. (San Diego Reader)
Immigration Enforcement Efforts: Share Your Story
Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement (CIVIC) reported via an email this week, “Trump’s escalation of immigration enforcement efforts has been spreading fear throughout our communities, but as CIVIC’s recent report on Immigration Detention in the Media shows, the media and the public are now paying closer attention to the suffering that we have been witnessing for years. It is more important now than ever to raise our voices together to expose and end the cruel immigration detention system once and for all.”
If you or someone you know would like to share your story, click here. CIVIC works to protect people’s names/identities/locations when desired, and can help people share their stories by connecting them with editors, reporters, and translators.
The Border Takes The Spotlight
Turns out, the wall will probably cost far more than Trump’s $12. Reuters published parts of an internal report by the Department of Homeland Security that estimated the cost at $21.6 billion. And who is going to pay for it? Probably the taxpayers.
Immigration raids around Los Angeles sparked fears in San Diego, home to 170,000 undocumented immigrants. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said the rumors were unfounded. Nevertheless, the ACLU re-tweeted six steps to take if ICE agents show up. (Times of San Diego)
Tiajuana-based photojournalist Omar Martínez comments the social conditions of Haitians at the border. (KCET — Artbound)
Protests have erupted throughout Mexico:
- About 20,000 protested Donald Trump in Mexico City demanding the US President respect both Mexico and immigrants.
- Protestors threw trash at the Palacio Municipal in Tijuana to protest that their garbage has not been picked up regularly since November.
- For the sixth weekend in a row the San Ysidro Port of Entry shut down due to protests in the spoke of Mexico’s gasoline prices. (San Diego Union Tribune)
A Few Facts About Trade With Mexico
The Otay Mesa Chamber of Commerce included the following in their newsletter:
As we wait for President Trump’s proposal related to US-Mexico trade, here are some important facts to keep in mind:
- Imports coming from Mexico contain 40% of U.S. content while imports coming from China have only 4% of U.S. content.
- Some companies significantly exceed these numbers like General Motors, whose Mexican imports contain 70% of U.S. content.
- 4.9 million jobs in the U.S. would be lost if US-Mexico trade is halted.
- 500,000 jobs in California are tied to cross-border trade.
The SD Chamber of Commerce agreed and focused on San Diego and Tijuana as one mega-region. (Times of San Diego)
- ArtPlace America has awarded the non-profit Casa Familiar $450,000 for transforming the historic 1924 church along Hall Avenue into a community center. They hope to have the space be used as a theater, Saturday community events, or even an additional gallery or arts workshop. (Voice of San Diego — Culture Report)
- A new San Ysidro Public Library is underway. Also built in 1924, a new 1.62 acre-lot will be transformed into a state-of-the-art facility. Designs will be unveiled today! (South Bay Compass)
- A chemical spill on 18th and National City Blvd. caused the NC police department to issue an evacuation alert. People were instructed to evacuate to the old gym at Sweetwater Union High School. Later in the day, the evacuation alert was lifted and the NCPD reported no one was injured. (National City Police Department)
- IB waters rates will rise and reporter Marty Graham was one of the few at the meeting that talked about the topic. She wrote: “On Thursday, customers learned that they will be going on an unusual ride: in 2018, water rates will decrease 2.7 percent; in 2019, they will rise 4.2 percent; and in 2020 they will increase by 3.6 percent, according to Cal Am director of external affairs Brian Barreto.” (San Diego Reader)
- IB scraped its plans for a hostel. Instead, a local beer brewer might set up in the space. An article reports, “Inexpensive places to stay are disappearing from the coast at an ever-accelerating rate — 25,000 inexpensive hotel rooms have been lost since 1989.” However, the Coastal Commission said hostel operators interviewed said the site was too far removed from public transit, airports, shopping and other attractions. (San Diego Reader) Booh!
- IB beach closures remain in effect due to potential exposure to sewage runoff from the Tijuana River. (Times of San Diego)
- Part of the Bayshore Bikeway along J & L streets had a 600 foot wall full of graffiti. It was the largest area with graffiti in the city — and it now has been removed. About 3,400 bicyclists and pedestrians use the path every week. (San Diego Union Tribune)
- St. Rose of Lima Church’s Sister Dolores Outreach Program provides a Fresh to Families program where families facing food insecurity receive fresh fruits and vegetables. (Chula Vista Star News)
- The City of Chula Visat is advising residents to prepare for this weekend storms. Last month the city experienced gas leads, downed trees and blocked roadways. The city declared a local emergency and estimated the costs of more than $1.2 million for cleanup and repair. For the upcoming storm, Chula Visat residents can get free sandbags at 1800 Maxwell Road. (San Diego Union Tribune)
And did you know? Fish tacos originated in Baja California.