Imperial Beach Stories

Border Patrol schedules closure of Friendship Park

Budget cuts to trigger April 7 closure

Friends of Friendship Park, a group with an interest in the unique spot at the southwestern corner of the U.S. where it meets Mexico, is planning to protest the closure of the park, scheduled for ...

Sewage in Imperial Beach traced to Playas de Tijuana

Wastewater flowed at about 32 gallons per minute

On Monday, March 18, with currents and wind pushing north, the San Diego County Department of Environmental Health closed all beaches in Imperial Beach due to a suspected sewage spill from the Tijuana River mouth. ...

Imperial Beach’s imported sand threatens estuary’s eco-health

Those 450,000 cubic yards could block marsh outlet

San Diego National Wildlife Refuge biologists are monitoring the movement of the 450,000 cubic yards sand dumped on Imperial Beach shores last fall, worried that southbound sand will block the river mouth as it did ...

Imperial Beach's sandcastle competition to return?

None last year after 31 years

The San Diego Unified Port District is set to put up $40,000 in seed money toward reviving Imperial Beach's U.S. Open Sandcastle Competition, which was washed out last year, ending a 31-year tradition that drew ...

Imperial Beach City Council nixes stoplight plan

Using surplus SANDAG funds “not quite right”

An effort to install a traffic light that would help cyclists on the Bayside Bike Trail — one supported and funded by the San Diego Association of Governments — failed to get off the ground ...

Confused man takes a drive in Tijuana River Valley

Police send him home in tow truck

An elderly man who police said has Alzheimer’s disease drove his car through the Tijuana River Valley Regional Park, up to the top of Spooner's Mesa, and became stranded in his white Honda just feet ...

Dredging of Tijuana River Valley court-ordered to stop

Does the city depend on “emergency” caveat to skirt law?

Dredging of the flood-prone Smuggler's Gulch channel and the Tijuana River that had been allowed to proceed was again halted on Thursday, February 22, as attorneys fighting the City of San Diego over its permit ...

More trails for Tijuana River Valley, but none to the mesas

Federal government noncompliant

San Diego County supervisor Greg Cox and state assemblyman Ben Hueso celebrated a $1.5 million grant for added miles of horse and hiking trails in the Tijuana River Valley Regional Park on Friday, February 15. ...

Dredging to begin in Tijuana River Valley

Court battles settled

On Monday, February 11, city crews are expected to begin dredging sediment and garbage from the drainage channel that originates at Smuggler’s Gulch and runs north, into the heart of the Tijuana River Valley. The ...

Imperial Beach phone booth dumped

For years, a phone booth sat on the corner just outside of the Siesta RV Park in the 400 block of Palm Avenue in Imperial Beach. Made of aluminum and glass with a light in ...

King tides create salty problems in Imperial Beach

Flood parking areas, require bulldozer work

Residents in Imperial Beach were dealing with more flooding as unusually high “king tides” hit the California coast last week. Condominiums along Seacoast Drive were inundated with water on Friday morning, January 11. The high ...

Imperial Beach contamination prompts closure

Bad timing by suspected illegal border-crosser

Tijuana River contamination forced the closure of the entire Imperial Beach shoreline on Wednesday, January 2. According to the county Department of Environmental Health, the contamination stretched from the Mexican border to the north end ...

Imperial Beach sand project creates seawater pool near homes

Cast-iron pipes at risk?

Some Imperial Beach residents who own beachfront condominiums are worried. They say they have been complaining to city hall for months after high-tide water started pooling in an area of beach that was rebuilt with ...

South Bay businesses face fines from California water-quality board

Annual reports weren’t filed

The taxpayer-funded Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve was the only public entity on a list of 31 outfits that received a warning letter from the California Regional Water Quality Control Board for not filing ...

Posada celebration at Friendship Park draws a crowd

Border Field State Park was the scene of cross-border Christmas prayers and songs on Saturday, December 8, as more then 200 people gathered for the 19th annual Posada, formally the celebration of Joseph and Mary's ...

Scout to fix lifeguard hazard in Imperial Beach

A 16-year-old Eagle Scout candidate from St. Charles Church Boy Scout Troop 211 is going to fix a tripping hazard outside the lifeguards' entrance to the Dempsey Holder Safety Center. The Imperial Beach City Council ...

Federal government settles border land lawsuit with county and state

On Tuesday, December 4, the federal government agreed to pay $7 million to the county parks, state parks, and California Coastal Conservancy for land that was condemned in order to build additional layers of border ...

Imperial Beach Center Memorializes Boys

The Jonathan Sellers & Charlie Keever Outdoor Education Center opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Monday, November 26, at the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge, located on the north end of 13th Street along ...

Calculating Attendance at the I.B. Sandcastle Festival

Hi Matthew:I read that the Sandcastles Festival here in Imperial Beach had over 400,000 visitors during the three-day weekend, more than any previous festival. Any clue how they can possibly calculate that figure and how ...

Navy to Remove Polluted Soil in Imperial Beach

Tons of contaminated soil will be excavated from two sites at the southern border of Naval Outlying Landing Field (NOLF) Imperial Beach within the next month, according to Michael Pound of Naval Facilities Engineering Command ...

Imperial Beach Access to Border Park Closed After Rains

Just a month after the U.S. Border Patrol promised better public access to Monument Mesa in the historic Border Field State Park, the gates to the mile-and-a-half-long road from the park entrance to the mesa ...

Imperial Beach Murder Suspect’s Facebook Page Can’t Help

The San Diego woman identified by sheriff's deputies as a suspect in the death of 28-year-old Victor Saucedo — found shot to death at the Mariners Point apartments in Imperial Beach on October 16 — ...

More Than the Dish or the Deal

Restaurants you can take to heart.

There are some places that you kinda take to heart. They’re more than the dish or the deal. Something clicks about the people and the place, and you want to come back and be a part of it. These are just some.

The Battle of the Sunflower Maze

It was an organic farm in the Tijuana River Valley pitted against the United States Navy. They weren’t fighting over pesticides or aircraft noise pollution. Instead, what got Congressman Bob Filner involved was a fight ...

Tijuana Sewage Spill Didn’t Reach Imperial Beach

Although the beach was closed as a precaution, the waters off Imperial Beach appear not to have been contaminated by the August 28 sewage spill from broken pipes in Playas de Tijuana. That's what San ...

Road Open through Border Field State Park

The road to the beach through Border Field State Park is open this weekend from 9:30 a.m to 7 p.m.. This is only the second time this year Monument Road (accessible via Hollister Street and ...

It's Time to Make Smart Business Decisions for IB and Allow Marijuana Dispensaries

In 1989 I moved to Puerto Rico. I arrived on a Tuesday – that Sunday hurricane Hugo devastated the Island. I had a permit to sell clothes on Luquillo Beach, but the beach was destroyed ...

Surf Dogs Spread the Stoke in Imperial Beach

On June 16, a large crowd cheered in Imperial Beach as dogs were pushed into the whitewater of broken waves during the annual Loews Coronado Bay Resort’s Surf Dog Competition. The last time I saw ...

Our Dad Was Marco

“We grew up in there. Five sisters. Kitchen slaves!”

Three sisters — former “kitchen slaves” — opened their Cafe Di Roma in Imperial Beach.

Wild Pork Wings!

“Actually,” says Joe, “we were arguing over this, me and Doug, the kitchen manager.”

When they make wings out of pork parts and call it bar food, our cheap-eats guy is there to scarf it.

Ye Olde Plank Inn, Imperial Beach

Chad Deal went looking for a drink (not a fight!) in SD’s second-oldest bar.

UPS Can't Find Me. FedEx Can't Find Me. Visitors Always Get Lost.

San Diegans outside the bubble.

What’s it like to live in what passes for “the wilds" of San Diego County? Bill Manson finds out.

Cluttered Home Hinders Firefighters in Imperial Beach

Imperial Beach firefighters were called to a home in the 1200 block of 7th Street shortly before 8:00 a.m. on March 8. Firefighters had to stretch their hoses 1500 feet to reach the nearest hydrant. ...

Dry-Rotten Electric Pole Falls on Imperial Beach Apartment Building

A utility pole fell against an Imperial Beach apartment building on the morning of December 7, cutting off power to approximately two city blocks. At around 6:30 a.m., the wooden pole fell against the two-story ...

Blaze at SDG&E substation in Imperial Beach

Residents living near the SDG&E substation at Palm Avenue and Thermal Avenue were blasted awake at about 6:30 on Saturday morning, December 3, by three loud explosions. Soon after, residents observed fire and smoke coming ...

New Submarine Border Fence Construction in Imperial Beach

The Imperial Beach border fence of rusted metal posts has been torn down, and construction of a taller, sturdier structure began in October. People, birds, and dogs have celebrated the chance to stand on the ...

The Sweetwater School Board Hits the Canvas Again

"The honeymoon might be over,” acknowledged Dr. Edward Brand, interim superintendent for Sweetwater Union High School District. Knee-deep in scandal, the Sweetwater school board on June 21 fired Superintendent Jesus Gandara. On June 22, Brand ...

Roaming Solitary in the Sands

Fourteen miles south of San Diego and five miles north of the land where Tequila pours like honey lays the surfing Mecca known as Imperial Beach –or “IB” as it is referred to locally. I ...

Stardust's Famous Rings

“Our grandmother, Pretty Kitty Keen, had donut places all through the Depression.”

The Tyranny of Those Tests

"Teachers have an analogy for all the testing that we are required to do,” says Melanie Morton, a Sweetwater Union High School District teacher. “You don’t lose weight if you just keep stepping on the ...

Mixed Bag of Crime in San Diego County

The criminal justice research arm of SANDAG (San Diego Association of Governments) released a crime report today, September 16. The data was a mixed bag for people who live in San Diego County: “While overall ...

Imperial Beach Burger King Closes with No Notice

It’s been over 20 years since Burger King opened their restaurant at 1180 Palm Avenue. Recently, though, all the Burger King logos were stripped off the building, and the restaurant's appliances and equipment were removed. ...

Meijo Sushi's Tiger Eyes

"We should be so lucky,” says Michael. The two of us are looking at a wooden box, maybe four-by-four inches and three inches deep. Joe, the owner here, has brought it over to our table. ...

Don’t Peek Over My Fence, Mr. Code Compliance Man

There is a multicolored slide, part of a jungle gym, in Robert Brians’s front yard on Delaware Street in Imperial Beach. But I am admiring his two large African turtles crawling along the dusty ground. ...

Interview with a Google Maps Street View Driver

The Google Maps “Street View car” was making it rounds on Eighth Street in Imperial Beach on July 27 when it pulled into Veterans Park and stopped. The driver introduced himself as “Google Mike” and ...

Street-Corner Vendors in Imperial Beach

In Imperial Beach, residents who park their car on the lawn or have a yard sale without a permit say they can expect a visit from a code-compliance officer. Some of those same residents object ...

Imperial Beach United Methodist Church

Membership: 124 Pastor: Phyllis Ashe Born: San Francisco Formation: Claremont School of Theology, Claremont; National University, La Jolla Years Ordained: 12 years. San Diego Reader: How long do you spend writing your sermons? Pastor Phyllis ...

Teen Driver with Young Students Crashes into Fire Hydrant in Imperial Beach

As Oneonta Elementary School in Imperial Beach was dismissing students on June 16, nearby, a 19-year-old man lost control of his Chrysler PT Cruiser and sheared off a fire hydrant. According to witnesses, the driver ...

Imperial Beach Walk

Imperial Beach’s beaches are not as glamorous as others farther north, but they do include some very secluded stretches of sand, including the one described here, lying within the Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge. To ...

Field of Cell Phone Tower Beams

Is the Sweetwater Union High School District playing roulette with students’ health? The district has signed lucrative contracts with communication companies that allow them to place 32 cell phone towers on campuses throughout the southernmost ...

Taggers Arrested After Posting Graffiti Photos on Facebook

On April 21, San Diego sheriff’s deputies arrested several members of a tagging group responsible for over $70,000 in property damage in Imperial Beach. Law enforcement officials tracked them down on Facebook, according to a ...

VW Painted by the Art Kids of San Diego County

If you happen to be driving down Seacoast Drive in Imperial Beach, you will probably notice the 1977 VW bus owned by John Haupt. Haupt, owner of the Beach Club Grille, decided he wanted his ...