Chula Vista news & stories

All Things BBQ: Lil' Alex BBQ

A little bit about a new-ish Chula Vista barbecue joint and a lot about why there's no rushing barbecue.

Another entry in the barbecue-without-a-smoker category is Lil’ Alex BBQ (4020 Bonita Road, Chula Vista), a self-described “mesquite wood grill” where the meats get their smokiness from a smoky grill instead of the authentic barbecue ...

Gloria Allred files sexual harassment suit against Eyecandy Showgirls in Chula Vista

Celebrity lawyer will represent clients who felt pressured to buy nude lap dances from so-called "fatties."

Even as her sexual harassment lawsuit against ex-Mayor Bob Filner gropes its way through the courts, Gloria Allred is taking on a new challenge: suing hippy strippers for pushing their portly product on queasy customers ...

Sweetwater teachers may strike over district policies

Health-care plans, class sizes, trust at issue

Sweetwater teachers held demonstrations at the October and November school-board meetings. For over a month, many teachers have been “working-to-rule” (performing no unpaid jobs) and picketing before and after school. Outside the November 18 board ...

Sunny Donuts and the incoming Dunkin's

As America's favorite donut chain prepares to descend on San Diego, a local franchise preserves the past in perpetuity.

Dunkin’ Donuts’ imminent arrival in San Diego is understandably big news; perhaps even more so now that the company has officially returned to California with the opening of a store in Barstow! San Diego’s glut ...

Future Chula Vista sewer bills discussed at breakfast

Percentage increases may be hard to stomach for some

Chula Vista sewer bills were a surprisingly popular topic at city-council member Pat Aguilar’s Third Thursday breakfast. Over 25 people attended the November 21 gathering to listen to city engineering staff discuss two unpopular proposals: ...

Chula Vista school admin moves forward with Common Core Standards

Resistant parents say they are ignored and harassed

The Chula Vista Elementary School District had their first public hearing November 13 on how to deploy 4.6 million state dollars to implement “Common Core State Standards” and the “Smarter Balanced Assessments.” The rollout of ...

South Bay skaters hit the slope

"We scream 'car!’ if a car is coming."

In high school, Joshua Aguirre would gaze across the 805 freeway from Hilltop High’s campus at a steep incline that curved wide at the top, had a sharp turn near the bottom, and ended in ...

Sweetwater Athletics Hall of Fame scrutinized

How much spent? Who chose Ed Brand’s name for award?

Most people were expelled from the October 23 Sweetwater Union High School District board meeting. So, public comment allowed prior to specific agenda items was not so public. To several trustees and apparently superintendent Ed ...

South Bay schools defendants get day in court

Felonies dropped against former Southwestern superintendent Chopra

Readiness hearings for Southwestern College, Sweetwater Union High School District, and San Ysidro School District defendants were held October 29 in the South Bay courthouse. Defendants indicted in pay-to-play corruption cases had been ordered to ...

Memelas' Thai tacos disappoint

Confused Mexican-Thai fusion in Bonita hits all the wrong notes.

My imagination went bonkers over Memelas (3001 Bonita Road, Chula Vista). One look at the sign that said TACOS + THAI + ROCK was all it took. Visions of hypothetical molé drunken noodles and chicken ...

Cops kick out public from Sweetwater board meeting

Trustees retreat to back room upon realizing massive turnout

Only one month after Donna Frye, on behalf of Californians Aware, addressed the Sweetwater Union High School District board on potential Brown Act violations, the superintendent and trustees swept the meeting room clean of anyone ...

Donna Frye asks Sweetwater school board to make information available to the public

While she’s at the meeting, trustees allow an earlier public comment

Donna Frye attended the September 23 Sweetwater Union High School District board meeting to offer superintendent Ed Brand and the trustees some legal advice. Frye volunteers for an open-government, nonprofit organization called Californians Aware (CalAware). ...

South Bay mayoral candidate forum held in San Ysidro

Disregarded candidates invited; Faulconer and Fletcher no-shows

Forty-eight people sat in the audience as mayoral candidates answered questions about the South Bay on Wednesday, October 16, at San Ysidro High School. The gathering, hosted jointly by the San Ysidro Chamber of Commerce ...

Teachers for Sweetwater district face insurance cost hike

Ongoing negotiations to determine class sizes as well

The Sweetwater Union High School District has been plagued with problems but has managed to stave off labor unrest — until now. In an October 14 interview, Roberto Rodriguez, president of the Sweetwater Education Association, ...

Sweetwater school district's real estate deals gain momentum

But will sales of surplus property help the financial situation?

The Sweetwater Union High School District's financial picture looked grim at the September 23 board meeting. During the budget report, it was established that the district continues to spend and holds the minimum that the ...

Unreasonable search of Olympian High School students?

Alleged stolen wallet and “misidentified” suspects raise suspicions

Two young women were chatting as they walked around the track during P.E. at Olympian High School on Friday, September 13. It was third period and no doubt both 14-year-olds, were looking forward to the ...

SOS — Save Our Sealife — in Chula Vista

Discovery Center faces closure this month

The Living Coast Discovery Center, formerly known as the Chula Vista Nature Center, announced on October 1 that it will close its doors on October 28. A South Bay landmark, the center includes exhibits of ...

Mar Vista Middle School on the cheat?

L.A. Times reveals another blemish on Sweetwater Union High School District

Mar Vista Middle School, in the South Bay and part of the Sweetwater Union School District, was one of 27 California schools stripped of its scores on the state's Academic Performance Index over claims of ...

Sweetwater school board questions funds for investigators

Superintendent Brand’s request scrutinized. “Why is he so paranoid?”

Sweetwater Union High School District superintendent Ed Brand’s request for funds to employ a private investigation agency, to be used at his discretion, was withdrawn by staff at the September 24 board meeting. Brand argued ...

Logan Heights at OnStage Productions

It’s too bad they don’t give a Craig Noel Award for Audience of the Year. I sat in a sure nominee recently at OnStage. High school students packed the house. They hung on every word ...

Southwestern College Foundation's Nathan Fletcher connection

Lorena Gonzalez, Humberto Peraza, and Machiavelli?

The Southwestern College Foundation held its annual gala on September 21. The cost for a seat ran from $200 to $15,000. The keynote speaker for the event was Nathan Fletcher, candidate for mayor of San ...

Chula Vista parents protest switch to Common Core State Standards

They don’t “believe the hype”

When U.S. secretary of education Arne Duncan came to Chula Vista on September 13, the fanfare at Castle Park Middle School was spectacular. Oversized pictures of Duncan’s face were waved on sticks while students wearing ...

Anti-war protesters visit Juan Vargas’s Chula Vista office

Invited in for a sit-down

On this auspicious day, September 11, on the corner of Third and F Street in Chula Vista, six protesters chanted “No justice, no peace, U.S. out of the Middle East!” and “Money for jobs and ...

Clark Silva and his Rock Icons

Painting portraits of rock and roll stars comes naturally to this Chula Vista metalhead.

Clark Silva’s acrylic-on-panel Rock Icons attract people’s attention with their simple color palettes and minimal designs. Each portrait captures an important figure in rock history, especially Silva’s favorite genre: heavy metal. The artist laughs knowingly ...

Sweetwater school district backs off on Alliant International University plan

Public records detail student recruitment strategy

Sweetwater Union High School District has withdrawn its application with National City for Alliant International University to be housed on the Adult Education Center campus. Martin Reeder, principal planner for National City, confirmed in a ...

Chula Vista school hurries to get ready for Arne Duncan

We’re painting the roses red

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is paying Sweetwater Union High School District a visit. Duncan is on a Southwest bus tour and will be at Castle Park Middle School September 13. Why Castle Park Middle? ...

Nobody hurt at Southwestern College

Accidental shooting by police

On August 23 a Southwestern College campus police officer’s weapon went off accidentally. An anonymous source reported that two people were almost hit. The Southwestern daily crime log for that day reported that at 10:02 ...

Charles Page is always thinking.

Chula Vista artist has a mind that won't quit, and he just "wants to make you think."

Charles Page’s head is exploding with ideas. All the time. Whenever the Chula Vista artist opens his mouth, words fly out as he tries to explain whatever notion is running through his mind at the ...

Sweetwater underwriters reel in the big one — a grand jury indictment

South Bay's bond bombshell blows big time

Sweetwater Unified underwriters indicted over a billion dollars in back-room construction bond deals. San Diego DA's office calls it the largest public corruption case they've ever prosecuted.

National City Planning Commission prodded to decide on making space for Alliant Int'l University

“Why are they pushing this down our throats?”

Political pressure is building in National City to allow Alliant International University to take over some classrooms previously dedicated to National City Adult School. On August 5, the National City Planning Commission voted to table ...

Alliant University leaves Sweetwater school district property in National City…sets up at Southwestern College?

Trustee is not happy

Many are still perplexed by the vaunted opening of "Alliant International University at Sweetwater" in National City. A couple weeks ago (July 20), an Alliant sign was hung over an office door, and Alliant counselor ...

Living Coast Discovery Center Trail

This short hike and visitor center are perfect introductions to coastal birds and marsh habitat.

Sweetwater superintendent Ed Brand’s Alliant project hits snag

National City planners don’t approve location

One of Sweetwater Union High School District superintendent Ed Brand’s pet projects suffered a setback at the hands of National City planning commissioners on the night of August 5. Brand’s idea to establish Alliant International ...

After car crash, Sweetwater trustee McCann out of ICU

Other victim soon back to work

As has been widely reported, Sweetwater Union High School District trustee John McCann was in a serious accident on July 24. The two- car collision occurred in Chula Vista on Telegraph Canyon Road. The police ...

Baja is back

Hip and delicious. There’s no reason not to get in your car and go.

Tijuana is making a comeback, thanks to hipsters, hypesters, and people that never gave up on the border city.

Chula Vista to pay out big for illegal cell-phone tax

Claims deadline on July 31

The $8 million settlement of a class-action lawsuit between wireless phone users and the City of Chula Vista means thousands of residents are eligible for refunds — but valid claims must be filed by July ...

Chula Vista Public Library raises fees, suspends photo requests

Budget cuts and a retirement strain level of service

On July 1, the Chula Vista Public Library raised its fee for photo reproductions from its digitized photographic collection from $3 to $125. In June, photo reproductions were suspended until the implementation of the new ...

Week in review: Sweetwater Union High School District

Movement on Alliant partnership includes pizza party; no public records

Does Sweetwater Union High School District superintendent Ed Brand have something to hide regarding the memorandum of understanding between Alliant International University and the district? Why else would he have stonewalled public record requests to ...

Sweetwater runs afoul of state Public Records Act

Delay due to “graduations/promotions,” says superintendent Brand

Last week, Sacramento was besieged by emails and phone calls about the budget trailer bill that would have made the California Public Records Act “optional.” By June 20, the assembly, the house, and the governor ...

Sweetwater trustee reports stolen property to police

John McCann wanted his campaign sign back

The Sweetwater Union High School District’s June 18 meeting had unexpected guests: Kamaal Martin from state-assembly member Shirley Weber’s office, Vivian Moreno from San Diego city councilmember David Alvarez’s office, and Albert Velasquez, a field ...

Chula Vista police chief Bejarano to home in on crime spot

Shots fired, bottles broken, condoms left behind

On June 8, Justice/Overcoming Boundaries, a community-organizing group, hosted a neighborhood forum at St. Mark’s Church in Chula Vista. About 100 residents turned out to discuss neighborhood empowerment and participate in three breakout groups: transportation, ...

Sweetwater board candidate has his sign damaged

Witnesses implicate a cohort of superintendent Brand

The preseason campaign games are upon the Sweetwater Union High School District. As early as June 4, “John McCann for School Board” signs dotted the roads that led to graduation ceremonies. Not to be outdone, ...

Sweetwater scandal spotlight: trustee Jim Cartmill

Contractors paid $1400 to his nutritional supplement company

Two brothers, Hector and Loreto Romero, were local contractors for Sweetwater Union High School District. Their company was named HAR Construction. They had landed an $8.5 million contract with Southwest High School and a $6.5 ...

Sweetwater scandal: Ed Brand’s claims contradicted

Did he or didn’t he ask for $40,000?

On May 30, the U-T published the testimony of Sweetwater Union High School superintendent Ed Brand, given to the San Diego County Grand Jury late last year. In November–December 2012, the grand jury conducted secret ...

Safety of Sweetwater school district’s buses below par

Bus driver testifies before board of trustees

Lawrence Gilly, who has been driving school buses for the Sweetwater Union High School District for 21 years, felt compelled to stand before the board of trustees on May 13 and advise them of the ...

Sweetwater teachers await funding news

Career-opportunity training in peril

On Friday, May 17, teachers from Sweetwater’s Regional Occupation/Career Technical Education program attended a hearing in district offices in hopes of averting their fate — they are scheduled to lose their jobs in June. Last ...

Sweetwater school district board approves Alliant partnership

Trustee Jim Cartmill: "Tonight we are beginning the dance."

The Monday, May 13, meeting of the Sweetwater Union High School District was raucous…again. The potential agreement with Alliant University was one source of contention. Trustee Bertha Lopez said while she supported choices for students, ...

Chula Vista exhibit documents WWII Japanese internment

Prewar, they established “Celery Capital of the World”

A cot, a hand-hewn chest of drawers, and tight quarters for six men — this is the display that dominates the visual and conceptual space of the current exhibit in the Chula Vista Heritage Museum. ...

Sweetwater school district to team with Alliant University?

According to YouTube, they already have

Sweetwater Union High School District superintendent Ed Brand will be bringing another university plan to the board of trustees on May 13. In January of this year, the district made a controversial agreement with the ...

Sweetwater cheer coaches seek pay from district

Broken promises and runaround, they say

Revanna Gonzalez and Vanessa Gamez love what they do: on top of work, family, and attending college, they coach cheerleaders for the Sweetwater Union High School District…or, they used to. Revanna and Vanessa were former ...

Rescues in the surf zone

There are many ways to go about becoming a San Diego lifeguard.

Volkswagen Bugs, buses, and Corvairs welcome

San Diego Air Cooled motors to Chula Vista

The Volkswagen enthusiasts of San Diego Air Cooled have lined up at least 200 cars — Bugs, Karmann Ghias, and vans — for the First Annual Air Cooled Fiesta at Southwestern College on Sunday, May ...

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