Chula Vista news & stories

Breaking news and stories about Chula Vista, California. For event listings, blog entries, photos, and places to go in Chula Vista, visit the Chula Vista neighborhood page.

Positive evolutionary trajectory

United States University gets good report from accreditor

Chula Vista's United States University, which remains on its accreditor's probation until next year, has received a positive report from a team that visited the campus in May. The for-profit university, which specializes in nursing ...

Excessive force in his history

Border Patrol agent who shot Alvarado had blemished past

Valeria Alvarado, the 32-year-old woman killed by a Border Patrol agent on September 28, 2012, had every right to try to get away from the man who killed her, her lawyer declared last month in ...

McCann's plan a sham?

Chula Vista council candidate proposes hiatus on tolls for SR-125

South Bay campaigning has been getting down and dirty recently, but John McCann, a Sweetwater Union High School trustee who is running for Chula Vista City Council, has chosen another route to the seat, chumming ...

Sweetwater's new safety school

GETTING OUT IN FRONT OF THE STORY, CHULA VISTA — "Let's clear something up at the outset," said District Superintendent Harry Mudd at the outset of his press conference. "We are all about keeping kids ...

I experienced the calling myself

Plumbing the mysteries of God at Chula Vista Presbyterian

Membership: 280 Pastor: Robert Davis Age: 50 Born: Dunellen, New Jersey Formation: Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA; Robert H. McKinney School of Law, Indiana University-Indianapolis; Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena Years Ordained: 13 San Diego Reader: What ...

Sweetwater board candidate stumps on civility

If he wins, Jim Cartmill will take the dais as a probationer

Campaigns usually don’t get ugly until election day nears, but disgraced Sweetwater former trustee Jim Cartmill, has already come out mud-slinging — against community advocates. Cartmill is running for seat 3 in the Sweetwater Union ...

Progress in pizza

Ed picks up something round, brown, and with a pepperoni crown.

She looks up. “Anything else? Honestly, whatever you want.”

These are the monsters, Mayor Cox

Fire safety, traffic hazards, lack of parking, overcrowded schools in Chula Vista

High-density housing developments and master-plan changes often provoke a fuss from residents — but opposition usually evaporates once a city makes a decision. Opponents to the Lake Pointe development in eastern Chula Vista, however, don’t ...

Real or gringo way?

Ed floats in to Johnny’s Deli; his torta isn’t so lucky.

Just as well you get a plastic knife and fork. It is a mess — a hot mess at that.

Busy week at Sweetwater school district

Gandara released, consultant relationship dissolved…L Street property?

On September 5, the U-T reported that former Sweetwater Union High School District superintendent Jesus Gandara was released from jail on August 26. Gandara was sentenced to seven months in the county jail on June ...

Sweetwater cash cow improperly milked

District trustees vote to divert funds earmarked for students

Several years ago, the Reader published an article on cell-phone towers, safety concerns, and the Sweetwater Union High School District. This old story has a new twist. When the story was published three years ago, ...

Pimp hand strong in Chula

Lincoln Club members, their candidates and cozy South Bay relationships

The San Diego Lincoln Club, which defines itself as a pro-business political action group, has endorsed two Chula Vista candidates for the November general election: Jerry Rindone for mayor and John McCann for city council. ...

Sweetwater trails plan slowed by Duncan Hunter

Drafts created before the agency began talking to hikers, equestrians, and hunters

Congressman Duncan Hunter has jumped into the fray between U.S. Fish & Wildlife and the people who frequent the Sweetwater Park area: he has told the agency that its plan, which will potentially shut down ...

Working parents should live in Chula Vista

South Bay city comes in 12th in the nation; San Diego, 56th

NerdWallet, an organization that keeps statistics on metropolitan areas, says that Chula Vista is the 12th best city in the nation in which working parents can raise children. The study was done in conjunction with ...

New blood for Sweetwater district?

Board candidates attend meeting, declare opposition to real estate deals

Sweetwater Union High School District called an unscheduled meeting August 13 to review its “asset utilization plan” for selling district-owned property and purchasing a new administrative building. The district has three properties that it is ...

Olympic committee to palm off training center?

Chula Vista residents leery of cost and potential uptick in traffic

Several years ago, Forbes magazine panned Chula Vista as one of the most boring cities in the country. The city has few attractions to lure tourists or entertain residents — and now faces the possibility ...

Sweetwater district’s mellow ruse

Schools deteriorate while the board arranges to pay for a new HQ

The district hopes to turn a profit on three pieces of property it owns by making them “shovel ready” for high-density residential developments. One property, located on Third Avenue, was put on the market; July ...

Democracy costs, even in Chula Vista

Mayor Cox and council's Bensoussan told to not second-guess the electorate

In 2012, voters in Chula Vista overwhelmingly passed Proposition B, a proposition that amended the city charter. At an August 5 council meeting, mayor Cheryl Cox, supported by councilmember Pamela Bensoussan, proposed putting a portion ...

33% of the profit? No problem — hey!

Sweetwater district’s real-estate deal with E2ManageTech? Juicy

New information obtained by the Reader confirms critics’ worst fears about the Sweetwater real estate deals. E2ManageTech, hired by the district to make several pieces of Chula Vista shovel-ready for high-density housing has reiterated to ...

Sweetwater land deals — the beef goes on

“Who decided to build town homes on this property and why?”

Remember Sweetwater Union High School District’s dalliance with the Christian University -- Grand Canyon, in January 2013? Remember when the district made a bid to take over part of the National City Adult Education Center ...

Sophisticated water sports

No drought at Pirate Reef, Lazy River, or in the FlowBarrel

Last week, I stopped by the new waterfront park at 1600 Pacific Highway with the kids and had a picnic by the enormous fountain and its “interactive” water arches. My little ones got drenched and ...

Only better than Newark and Laredo

Chula Vista among lowest-ranked recreation cities

San Diego County has the weather for recreation but not the amenities. That's the inevitable conclusion of a study by WalletHub, a group that gathers statistics and ranks metro areas. WalletHub rated cities on on ...

Cartmill for Sweetwater board — get real

Former trustee who pleaded guilty to run for same seat

On April 24, former Sweetwater trustee Jim Cartmill pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor. Cartmill had accepted gifts over the limits set by the Fair Political Practice Commission from contractors doing business with the district. As ...

We don’t want the stinkin’ charter expansion

Castle Park Middle School parents and teachers resist trustees’ push

Diane Ince, a Castle Park Middle teacher, spent her summer trying to raise the awareness of interim Sweetwater trustees regarding the expansion Stephen Hawking charter school. Ince attended the May 28 board meeting, a meeting ...

In-progress brewery count up to 48

Seven new brewery projects pop up in two weeks' time

When I catch wind of a new brewery project, I feel a jolt of electricity shoot through me. I realize this speaks to the near-obsessive depth of my craft beer enthusiasm, but it is what ...

Who’s minding the jewels?

Meanwhile, behind the scenes of the Sweetwater property sell-off

Sweetwater Union High School District is selling off the family jewels — the district property — but where is the transparency? And is former superintendent Ed Brand still the prime mover on property deals? Sweetwater ...

Ed Brand’s time at Sweetwater is over

“We want what’s best for kids and the community and staff and…”

The Sweetwater Union High School District came out of closed session on June 30 with two stunning reports. First: Superintendent Ed Brand has been place on administrative leave as of the end of the day ...

Education, a dead-end business

Sweetwater district busies itself with real-estate deals

Plans are in motion to replace the Sweetwater Union High School District office and corporate yard in western Chula Vista with 135 townhouse units called the Cove. The district has three pieces of property they ...

Gandara to go on 60-day lobster fast

Former Sweetwater superintendent “earned the right to go to prison.”

The Sweetwater Union High School District corruption case crescendoed in the South Bay courthouse on June 27. Former Sweetwater superintendent Jesus Gandara was led out of the courtroom in handcuffs. He was sentenced to 220 ...

The piper must be paid

Corruption cleanup of South Bay schools continues

The corruption cases from three South Bay school districts — Sweetwater Union High School, Southwestern College, and San Ysidro Elementary — are wrapping up. On June 20, Greg Sandoval, former Sweetwater trustee and former Southwestern ...

Don’t trample the streetscape, Santa

Chula Vista plans the next Starlight Parade…probably around revamped Third Avenue

The Starlight Parade may be returning to western Chula Vista. For many years, thousands of families lined the sidewalks of Third Avenue waiting for Santa Claus to arrive; however, when economic times got tough, the ...

Droplets on the window

A surprise romantic evening at Romesco in Bonita

“When I woke up this morning, I never thought I’d be enjoying live accordion music with my dinner tonight,” David said. “Droplets running down a window,” I said, taking his hand. That’s something we say ...

You're gonna die

Chula Vista library to host "Death Café"

"Death Café" may sound like Goth night at a local dive bar, but it's an open event being sponsored by the City of Chula Vista to facilitate a public discussion about death and dying. Presented ...

New Sweetwater boardmembers pitch in to money pit

Exit from L Street property quagmire not so simple

When the Sweetwater Union High School District held its May 28 meeting, three County Board of Education trustees were sworn in to fill seats vacated by indicted Sweetwater trustees. A fourth county trustee, Lyn Neylon, ...

South Bay politiscape on election day

Rindone’s rich, Bensoussan gets big-boy help, McCann cries foul

Chula Vista’s election primary has been low-key. Most candidates have compiled modest campaign contributions and campaign mailers have been, for the most part, innocuous. One factor in the minor-key campaigning is that a candidate can ...

It’s worth dipping into

Down at the Chula Vista Marina, Ed continues on his big mussel jag.

"’ll meet you at the Galley,” says Joe into his cell phone. This was during one of the heat waves. He lives way east of El Cajon, so I knew he was pitching for the ...

John McCann for Chula Vista City Council? No, thanks

Law-enforcement committee opposes Sweetwater trustee's bid for seat

Whether it was during his time on the Chula Vista City Council or during his current residency as school-board trustee for the Sweetwater Union High School District, John McCann's list of political opponents has grown. ...

Sweetwater chaos reaches Judge España’s court

District argues that Cartmill and Lopez should be suspended from board

Sweetwater Union High School District board meetings have often been chaotic and indecisive. But did anyone ever imagine this chaos would be replicated in a South Bay courthouse? On April 24, when Sweetwater trustees Jim ...

“John McCann and Ed Brand should resign”

Reaction to Chula Vista City Council candidate’s press release

Sweetwater Union High School District trustee John McCann, who is running for Chula Vista City Council seat 1 in the June election, got an entire press release printed in the San Diego Rostra on May ...

No teachers’ union, no political agendas…

Chula Vista Elementary School District launches charter school

A new high-school charter is opening under the umbrella of Chula Vista Elementary School District. The high school will be housed on the small, for-profit United States University campus on Bayfront Boulevard. Bayfront High School, ...

Not a steak, but not a bad burger

Out of the way joint dishes it cheap and tasty

Walking into Cali Steak Burger Bar forced me into a little semantic introspection. What makes a burger a "steak burger"? For that matter, what distinguishes steak from other cuts of beef? And if you make ...

Corruption cut from Sweetwater schools?

Superintendent Ed Brand's contract up for automatic renewal

Will superintendent Ed Brand be the last cheese standing on the Sweetwater dais? Former trustee Arlie Ricasa resigned from the Sweetwater board in December 2013, shortly before pleading guilty to a misdemeanor in relation to ...

Guilty Trustees (is not, unfortunately, a band name)

Sweetwater district's Jim Cartmill and Bertha Lopez take misdemeanor raps

The San Diego district attorney’s investigation into South Bay corruption involving Southwestern College, Sweetwater Union High School, and San Ysidro school districts is essentially over. Sweetwater Union High School trustees Jim Cartmill and Bertha Lopez ...

Hey, Chula Vista Elementary School District, test this

Parent invokes Constitution to opt out student from Local Measures testing

Earlier this year, parents from several Chula Vista Elementary School District campuses submitted forms to opt their children out of all tests other than those devised by classroom teachers. Parents outlined their opposition to testing ...

Standardized tests shunned by South Bay parents

“My son had been experiencing headaches”

One night last year, Gretel Rodriguez was playing the word game Hangman with her son who attends HedenKamp Elementary in the Chula Vista Elementary School District. He chose an unusual word. When Rodriguez asked him ...

School officials Gandara and Sandoval plead guilty

But what about the sentences?

Two major players in the South Bay corruption case, former Sweetwater superintendent Jesus Gandara and former Sweetwater trustee Gregorio Sandoval, both plead guilty to a conspiracy felony and a misdemeanor in a Chula Vista courthouse ...

Ed talks out of school

Sweetwater High teachers complain of class size, move one step closer to strike

The imminent strike action of teachers, librarians, and nurses in the Sweetwater Union High School district has gone one step forward and two steps back. On March 27 Superintendent Ed Brand called a press conference ...

Savoie Eatery hits Otay Ranch

An unexpected bid for fine dining supremacy from a Mexican seafood dynasty

Coming from the group behind the Karina’s Mexican Seafood restaurants, Eastlake’s new Savoie Eatery is...interesting, to say the least. Savoie has prime real estate in the Otay Ranch Town Center mall, which puts it in ...

Rankled by Sweetwater district meeting cancellation

Teachers, public, and a trustee espouse importance of dialogue before strike

A Sweetwater Union High School District board meeting was scheduled for March 17. The trustees were to consider several contentious issues: the annual evaluation of superintendent Ed Brand (which is months overdue); negotiations with the ...

Sweetwater trustees to vote on property sale

But the land is already listed for sale?

On March 17, Sweetwater trustees will vote on whether or not to sell district property deemed "surplus." The property, located at 435 Third Avenue in Chula Vista, was originally purchased for new district headquarters; proceeds ...

Sweetwater district teachers vote on strike

Healthcare cost, salary, class size, classroom safety at issue

Sweetwater Union High School District teachers will be taking a strike vote March 13–14. The vote, according to Roberto Rodriguez, president of Sweetwater Education Association, is to authorize the association’s board of directors to go ...

Community garden springs up in Chula Vista

“It's about people…. The kids don’t even know where their food comes from.”

Scrawny saplings are in the ground in rows — apple, peach, avocado, tangerine — and a gardener says you may be able to pick fruit from these trees two years from now. Landscaping tools are ...

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