Imperial Beach Stories

Imperial Beach real estate office raided

Agents go after the Schaumburgs' data as part of investigation

Sheriff's deputies and San Diego police officers raided the office of One Source Realty in Imperial Beach on the morning of December 21st. The raid added to the recent troubles of well-known local property managers ...

While I.B. is still I.B.

Chewing the fat (and mussels and chicken) with Ken

“Name’s Ken,” says the guy on the right. “As in ‘Ken, still looking for Barbie.’"

IB Street Tacos

“You should try it. They’re the real thing. ’Specially the battered shrimp. Or the octopus.”

The sign looks new: IB Street Tacos. Now Open. It’s been slung up on a banner above the street frontage. Always suspicious when a place says it has “street tacos.” Means it’s actually middle class, ...

Paved alleys for Imperial Beach

"I'm ecstatic. It looked like south of the border."

Imperial Beach residents celebrated the completion of an alley-paving project at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on December 9. About 40 residents and government officials attended the nighttime ceremony in an alley off 12th Street and Ebony ...

Wagon Man hit the final trail

Imperial Beach veteran, craftsman, advertiser died in November

Imperial Beach lost one of its celebrated locals last month — Kermit Brown, known as the "Wagon Man" for the advertising-covered Conestoga wagons he used to pull around the beach town with his motorized wheelchair. ...

14% alcohol in a can? That's Loko

Meeting scheduled in Imperial Beach to address perils of booze product

An Imperial Beach church is holding a "community conversation" on December 10 to discuss a ban on the Four Loko alcoholic beverage, which has been linked to deaths and binge-drinking problems. The action comes a ...

New restaurant for Imperial Beach Pier?

Tin Fish likely won't bid on new lease

On November 19, about two dozen people came to the port of San Diego's meeting for businesses interested in bidding on the Imperial Beach Pier restaurant space now held by Tin Fish. "Imperial Beach's motto ...

Dead dolphins aren’t much fun

Recent lawsuit mandates investigation into Navy's role

Three dolphins washed up dead on the shores of Imperial Beach in the past month — a fourth on Silver Strand State Beach — and officials are investigating at least two of them to determine ...

Another newspaper bites it

I.B. Local News stopped publishing due to lack of funds

It has been almost two months since the last issue of the muckraking bimonthly newspaper, which started publishing in April of 2014, was seen on the streets of Imperial Beach. In early October, publisher Ed ...

That's no useless salt flat in Imperial Beach

Port and city eye Pond 20 for development/restoration project

In a process that has taken 19 years, the former salt flat in the southern part of San Diego Bay near Imperial Beach is finally going to be developed in a plan that combines economic ...

I.B. conditions just right for mosquitoes

"Heat, humidity, and rain put out the welcome mat for breeding."

Imperial Beach mayor Serge Dedina and mayor pro tem Brian Bilbray must be hearing that ultra-high-pitched buzz and feeling the sting of an unusually large swarm of mosquitoes this fall. Both went on the record ...

Code Compliance on speed-dial in Imperial Beach

"These were relatively minor issues that were selectively enforced."

The long fight between Imperial Beach's Code Compliance Division and the owners of a residence on Hickory Court seems to be over. The house has been the subject of energetic code enforcement since 2010, and ...

Accounting and accountability awry in I.B.

“He did not [withdraw the funds] deliberately; he did it by mistake.”

For over 20 years, real estate managers Richard and Cheryl Schaumburg have been a well-respected couple in Imperial Beach, with their photos on placards posted in front of properties that they managed listing them as ...

Save-A-Lot no more

I.B. store changes name, health inspection allegedly yields no violations

Ten days after an angry public protest in front of the Save-A-Lot supermarket in south San Diego, the store has taken down its sign, leaving a big blank spot on its façade, and is changing ...

Surf and dye in Imperial Beach

Scripps drops 30 gallons of colorant into ocean to monitor currents

Morning beachgoers in Imperial Beach on September 23rd found surprising colors in the ocean after bright pink tracer dye was released by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in an experiment to study the movement of ...

Why rains result in U.S. pollution from Tijuana River

Pump house across border was built to handle dry-weather flow only

Sandwiched between Tijuana’s Central de Bomberos and the auto-import syndicate parking lot just south of the concrete-lined Tijuana River, the tiny CILA pumping station in Tijuana looks pretty innocuous. But when the pump station shuts ...

Funky chicken protest in Imperial Beach

Save-A-Lot customers say they're tired of being sold rotten food

Upset over what they say is rotten food and an unwillingness to address their complaints, angry residents of Imperial Beach and south San Diego held a protest in front of the Save-A-Lot grocery store on ...

Marian Catholic High School in pieces

Demolition of eyesore welcomed, but “I still can't believe it's gone.”

Demolition of the abandoned buildings of the former Marian Catholic High School in South San Diego began in late August, and by September 7 there wasn’t much more than rubble. The campus, which was shut ...

The fight for freedom of street sleep

Vote this week to determine lawfulness of bans to shut-eye in vehicles

After dark, parking a home is a problem. That was clear in 2010, when advocates for the houseless opened the first overnight safe parking lot. And the need goes on. “The program was a direct ...

Will Monument Road finally get improved?

Will overflow from Goat Canyon basins wreck it?

The State Legislature has earmarked $5.9 million for a road to the southwest corner of the United States, where the Pacific Ocean meets the border between Mexico and the U.S., Border Field State Park and ...

Showered with nothing

Freshwater rinse-offs at the beach are over until the drought is

On Wednesday, July 15, the outdoor showers at San Diego’s four state-park beaches were scheduled to be shut off, in compliance with the governor’s mandated 25 percent reduction in water usage. The cold-water shower towers ...

Paddle with the mayor

First developed in the 1880s and incorporated on July 18, 1956, Imperial Beach became the tenth city in San Diego County. The I.B. Pier was originally built around 1909; one purpose was to attract crowds, ...

Tattletale rattles I.B. RV owners

Residents receive warning letters about off-street parking

Imperial Beach city officials are trying to deal with residents’ anger and frustration after they received letters that warned them about unauthorized driveway parking of recreational vehicles. Unlike the City of San Diego, which doesn’t ...

South Bay serenade

The Bassics bring the San Diego music scene to their neighborhood in Imperial Beach

What is Imperial Beach famous for? “I don’t know, [HBO’s] John from Cincinnati...Lords of Dogtown was shot at the pier,” says Bassics lead singer Sam Martinez about his hometown. “Sand Castles, I guess. But there’s ...

Luckily, he was thrown from the motorcycle

Biker goes down, cage driver runs over cycle

A car driver pulled out of a gas station and collided with a motorcyclist in the 2200 block of Palm Avenue on Friday, June 26th. The accident took place at around 5:00 p.m., a time ...

The nepotism case that won't die

Cousin of ousted port commissioner checks in regarding son's lifeguard proceeds

There are many family ties in San Diego government, some legal, some not so much. For instance, the ghost of Wayne Darbeau, ousted as chief executive officer of the port of San Diego after a ...

No boat, no problems...or so they thought

Undocumented Mexicans caught swimming across border

Customs and Border Patrol officials apprehended three men early Monday morning (June 15) after they attempted an ocean swim across the border. According to a release, the trio was observed shortly after midnight paddling north ...

Barber-slash-slasher gets ten years in jail

Death defied by Navy-medic victim of inexplicable deed

Tim Vaughn had a lot on his mind last October when he sat down in the barber's chair at Vic's Barber Shop in Imperial Beach. Vaughn, 33, is a U.S. Navy petty officer who worked ...

These trails are our trails

Mountain bikers and horse riders share concern over border trail plans

It was standing-room-only at the Thursday, June 4 Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve advisory council meeting, held to discuss the Tijuana River Valley trails located along the U.S.-Mexico border. The advisory council — a ...

I.B. is still pretty o.k.

Budget report and fiscal forecast

With about a dozen residents participating, the Imperial Beach City Council looked over the city's proposed budget at a workshop on Wednesday night, May 20. "Our main priority as we focus in on the capital ...

Mother's Day, unmeshed

Holiday visitors to border park share unobstructed views with loved ones

Mother's Day at Friendship Park — on the rare occasion when the U.S. celebration of Mother's Day landed on May 10, which is the set date for Mother's Day in Mexico — was a particularly ...

Rough country's rewards

A hiking tour of the Tijuana River Valley

There should be a sign, I say to myself every time I park at the end of Monument Road to go hike the Tijuana River Valley. Like the “welcome to our habitat” signs for rattlesnakes ...

In raunchy-funky's absence...

Is Pier South hotel a boon or boondoggle for Imperial Beach?

Fifteen years ago, officials in Imperial Beach proposed transforming the raunchy, funky Seacoast Inn — its redeeming feature being the location on the sand — into a resort and luring upscale tourists to the most ...

No round and round on I.B. roundabout test

"We had a chance to do it right…. We didn't win people over with this project."

Residents near the 9th Street and Donax Avenue roundabout showed up at the Imperial Beach council meeting last week, March 18, to let council members know what they thought of the demonstration project put in ...

Jet ski queen's going down

Damning testimony against U.S. citizen from crooked former TJ cop

When the federal jury heard fired Tijuana cop Angel Arceo-Sevilla testify in November of last year that Sofia Martinez was his boss in a ring of smugglers who ran people north from Rosarito in pangas ...

Poor, by the sea

Imperial Beach mayor says coastal commission ought to help his town

Imperial Beach mayor Serge Dedina thinks that the city should be able to get California Coastal Commission subsidies for lodgings — and not just the inexpensive ones that the commission's funds are set up to ...

Order at the border…sorta

County parks undoes some of its work in Tijuana River Valley

County Parks contractors began removing obstacles from the Tijuana River Valley Regional Park today, March 3, just weeks after they were installed. After a National Border Patrol Council (union) safety officer raised concerns that newly ...

Peace in the Tijuana River Valley

County parks works with Border Patrol to remove safety hazards

After a safety officer for the Border Patrol union raised concerns, San Diego County Parks & Recreation officials agreed to remove some recently installed bollards and fences from and alongside trails in Tijuana River Valley ...

Prescription-drug crackdown

They kill more people in San Diego County than car crashes

Two county law-enforcement collectives led by the sheriff's department — the Methamphetamine Strike Force and Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force – swarmed the South Bay on February 19, contacting over 4700 individuals as part of ...

Border Patrol declares foul

County parks trail improvements include obstacles

As a finishing touch to an $8.4 million project next to the U.S.-Mexico border in Tijuana River Valley Regional Park, the county is installing low poles called bollards down the middle of trails and putting ...

And the newspaper wars continued as well

I.B. publications both claim dirty distributorship

Ed Kravitz, owner of the I.B. Local News, said he has filed a criminal complaint about copies of his paper being taken or covered up by the distributor of the competitor paper, the Imperial Beach ...

I.B.'s menudo institution

Back from the dead with the whole hog

The hoof stares me in the face. “Eat me!” it says. Oh, Lordy. But this is what I came for. It’s Sunday. Feeling a little hung over, truth to tell. “You sure this works?” I ...

Imperial Bassics

The Martinez brothers say their cue to start their band was an omen. “We found these two guitars sitting right outside a neighbor’s fence,” says Sam Martinez, lead vocalist/rhythm guitarist of the Bassics. “It was ...

What happens when you bring sand to the beach

I.B. homeowners claim SANDAG created a flood hazard

A group of Imperial Beach homeowners has filed suit against the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) and the City of Imperial Beach over a 2012 sand-replenishment project gone wrong. The Imperial Beach Shores Homeowners ...

"I’m going to bury your little railroad."

Why one sign could cost $10,000

At a recent City Council Meeting, Councilman Spriggs asked that three items be pulled from the consent agenda. Normally consent agenda items are voted on Aye or Nay with no discussion. The items that were ...

Funky’s opposite

Imperial Beach council okays development — RV park likely to close

With the only objection to the project coming from an Arizona couple who spend their summers living at the Bernardo Shores Adult Community RV park, the Imperial Beach City Council voted 4-1 last week to ...

Lost the election, won the plum

Airport authority appoints former I.B. mayor Jim Janney

On December 1, four South Bay mayors met in National City to appoint a new member to the board of directors of the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority. The four mayors were: Ron Morrison ...

Perils of the first flush

Storm-water system awakens from dormancy

The unusually pungent aromas blanketing O.B.'s Dog Beach and Mission Bay on a Tuesday morning are enough to tell even the most casual observer that something's not right. Indeed, these two popular coastal destinations are ...

Environmental roshambo: Navy smashes lotus

Coastal Campus would wipe out rare plants and habitat

Last month, the Navy’s proposed Coastal Campus on the Silver Strand took another step forward, despite concerns about natural resources, sea rise, and traffic and visual impacts on Coronado and Imperial Beach. Against a staff ...

For goats, not the Roma

Border Patrol tends to weak spot in fencing

The steep slope into a drainage ditch on the U.S.-Mexico border — reportedly an entrance ramp to the U.S. for hundreds of Roma people since 2010 — is being blocked by new fencing. The slope, ...

The most American drink on the menu

Making something from nothing with the Rum Runner.

"A disaster in a glass.” So says Kanai Williams, the Salty Dog’s front man behind the bar, about this Imperial Beach joint’s premiere chockablock chug-a-lug — the Rum Runner. “And that’s probably the only reason ...

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