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The California State Parks opened the iron gates to Border Field State Park to the public Saturday and Sunday — the first time the park has been open for anything other than special events since last summer. State Parks hired a county park employee to man the fee booth beyond the iron gate, which will be open until 7pm every Saturday and Sunday.

"It's pretty amazing to get to see the far corner of the country," said John Steele of Houston, who drove his family in a rented car out to the beach.

Monument Mesa (left)

The commitment to opening the gates gives the public the opportunity to drive to Monument Mesa, at the south end of a sandy and empty mile-and-a-half stretch of beach between the Tijuana River mouth and the U.S. Mexico border.

The U.S. Border Patrol has a special detail of agents who come and open the gates to Friendship Park, on the mesa above the beach, between 10am and 2pm. They allow the public to go in the locked area between what they call the primary and secondary fences, where Dan Watman has planted an international friendship garden and cross-border religious services are held on Sundays.

Gate entrance

When mayor Bob Filner and fiancée Bronwyn Ingram came to services last month, it was the Border Patrol that unlocked the gates and led a caravan of people attending the Day of the Child celebration into the park. But until State Parks recently bowed to public pressure to open the gates, hundreds of people have either hiked the mile and a half to the mesa or have been confused and turned away by the locked gates.

On Sunday, more than a hundred cars came through the open gate at the edge of the park, and people from as close as Imperial Beach and as far away as Germany got to put their toes in the sand at the farthest southwest corner of the continental United States.

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Comments

FatCatSegat June 11, 2013 @ 8:08 a.m.

Is it just me? Or is Mayor Filner a great in your face mayor? I believe I've seen him all over the TV, taking care of business, pissing the fat cats off left and right and just plain upsetting the status quo. I'm pretty sure I've seen more of him since he's been in office than any other mayor we've had...ever! We all know what he's up to and I for one am most happy for what he's already accomplished. He's just getting started people. Whoop, whoop!

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Javajoe25 June 11, 2013 @ 8:56 a.m.

Could not agree with you more, Segat; the Mayor is everywhere and I for one, am loving it. He is like the Energizer Bunny, but better. He is pushing all the right buttons, pissing off the all the right people, and standing up in all the right places. What a refreshing change he brings to the office. And the truth is, he is right 99% of the time.

His stand on medical marijuana has got the blue bloods blowing smoke out their ears, but he is correct in both the letter of the law and the consensus of the people. His decision to hold back the tourist money was a shrewd and revealing decision. He let residents see what bs was going on behind closed doors and who was shaking down the City while milking the tourists. And the fact that he is taking no crap from the City Attorney is another big feather in his cap.

The thing about Mayor Filner, and what a lot of the big monkeys don't seem to realize is that he is someone who knows how to lead. He doesn't go into deep consultation with his lawyer before he says or does anything. He's spontaneous; he's real; he has great instincts when it comes to reading what the people want; and he has the cajones to do what he says he is going to do. I think the citizens of San Diego really lucked out in electing this mayor.

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