Chula Vista news & stories

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superintendent Ed Brand’s request for funds to employ a private investigation agency, to be used at his discretion, was withdrawn by staff at the September 24 board meeting.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Sweetwater Union High School District has withdrawn its application with National City for Alliant International University to be housed on the Adult Education Center campus.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 ...

Montgomery Adult School’s last Viva Vida conference?

Budget cuts will likely end career-oriented workshops

For the 11th year in a row, Montgomery Adult School, part of the Sweetwater Union High School District, held their annual Viva Vida conference on April 25. The conference is designed to give students exposure ...

Former San Ysidro schools chief Manuel Paul won’t speak

Pleads Fifth, avoids self-incrimination

In an April 17, 2013, deposition, former San Ysidro School District superintendent Manuel Paul pleaded the Fifth 43 times in less than an hour in a breach-of-contract lawsuit filed against the district by EcoBusiness Alliance/Manzana ...

New BMX track opens in Chula Vista

Most difficult in the U.S.?

This week a redesigned BMX track opened at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista. Tyler Brown, manager of the track since October 2012, developed the new look. A pro racer for the past ten ...

Chula Vistans discuss SANDAG’s rapid-transit plans

Cost, practicality, and bridge discussed

Chula Vista residents continue to seek alternatives to SANDAG’s plan to run a 21-mile rapid-transit bus line from the Otay border crossing down east Palomar Street and into downtown San Diego. At councilmember Pat Aguilar’s ...

Another Sweetwater board meeting mired in disagreement

Failure to elect oversight committee member

Sweetwater Union High School District board meetings often last five hours and are characterized by conflict. The April 9 meeting ended in a meltdown over the selection process used by the district to choose members ...

Sweetwater board votes to cut occupational programs

Students vow to continue protest

On April 9, the majority of the Sweetwater Union High School District board (John McCann, Arlie Ricasa, and Jim Cartmill) voted to cut the district’s Regional Occupation Program/Career Technical Education and adult-school programs. Funding for ...

Latest plans for ill-fated L Street land deal

Who can say no to soccer?

During public comment at the March Sweetwater Union High School board meeting, Jacqueline King, a resident of Chula Vista who has worked in real estate development for 36 years, addressed the trustees regarding the district’s ...

Canyon Community Church

Chula Vista’s Canyon Community Church reaches into the muck.

Gun grab

This year’s run on guns

The empty shelves inside the Chula Vista Gun Store (in mid-February) make it hard to tell the place sells guns at all. Last December, the amplification of the gun-control debate sent buyers rushing to this ...

Before the DA's investigation of Sweetwater school district...

Lawyers paid for with school funds

In November 2012, the San Diego Grand Jury began investigating corruption allegations that encompassed three South Bay school districts: Southwestern College, the San Ysidro School District, and the Sweetwater Union High School District. The investigation ...

Sweetwater school district board seeks to silence opposition

Superintendent Brand calls someone’s boss

Is there a concerted attempt by the Sweetwater Union High School District to silence or stifle criticism? That’s what many public speakers told the trustees during the March 11 board meeting. The meeting was prefaced ...

Sweetwater school district cuts program and teachers

Abstained vote becomes a “yes” vote

The March 11 Sweetwater Union High School District meeting opened with a presentation “On Civility,” which was delivered by one of the district’s attorneys, Dan Shinoff. While Shinoff discoursed on the Constitution, Frederick Douglass, the ...

Sweetwater Union High School District & Realty Co.

Should the troubled district change their name?

The Sweetwater school district owns several properties that it is trying to flip into condo/apartment developments. The properties, located in western Chula Vista, are on L Street, Third Avenue, Fifth Avenue (district headquarters), and Moss ...

Southwestern College trustee resigns in protest

“Another of many sad days”

The latest at Southwestern College is the sudden resignation of trustee William Stewart, who gave an exclusive interview to the student newspaper, the Sun, on March 1. He told news editor Thomas Baker that he ...

Southwestern faculty questions college’s education plan

Is inaccurate data guiding the way?

Members of Southwestern College's faculty are concerned that the college’s master education plan is based on inaccurate data that may inform the administration’s pink-slip plan or presage the closing of programs integral to student needs. ...

Chula Vista librarian Donna Golden retires

City won’t appoint a new one

Chula Vista Public Library’s photographic archive may languish following Donna Golden’s retirement on February 23. After 39 years of serving as a reference librarian and as the local history librarian since 2005, her position will ...

Southwestern College may trim faculty to reduce costs

Teachers’ group resolves to fight

The threat of pink slips has reared its head at Southwestern Community College District for the first time since l987. Only a few months ago, when voters passed Proposition 30, a tax to fund K-12 ...

Sweetwater school board to address campaign spending limits

Activist succeeds after warning of legal action

At the Sweetwater Union High School District board meeting in January, Maty Adato finally resorted to the “A” word — she told the trustees she had retained an attorney. Adato, a Sweetwater parent and one ...

Join our
newsletter list

Enter to win $25 at Broken Yolk Cafe

Each newsletter subscription
means another chance to win!

Close