National City Stories

These are trotters!

Reaching for the banana ketchup in National City

Stop me if I’ve blurted this before, but I’ve always had a good feeling about the Philippines since I came across the Mangyan people. They live on the island of Occidental Mindoro, south of Manila. ...

White-collar lash

Hundreds of thousands in bribes equal six months in pokey

Lynda Sanabria, a banker for J.P. Morgan Chase, was sentenced today (June 1) to six months in prison followed by six months of home confinement. She had taken hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of ...

National City AMC denied liquor license after concerned parents speak out

"Think of the children!"

The National City City Council voted 3-2 last week to deny the AMC Plaza Bonita movie theater a liquor license. At a hearing before the vote, parents stressed the importance of maintaining a family-friendly atmosphere ...

Chefs’ secret

Flavor, taste, and pleasure materialize in a most unexpected location.

“Oh, no. This is free. You get this when you order a main dish.”

The youth love their guns

Police descend on gas station after report of young men with assault weapons

On March 1, National City police got a call at 11:30 a.m. from inside the Arco AM/PM at W. 8th and Roosevelt Avenue from someone who had seen people aiming what appeared to be assault ...

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 ...

Fear for a good neighbor

National City market's live-music permit worrisome to some

National City councilmembers voted Wednesday, January 21, to allow the Grill House at Big Ben Specialty Market to run a live-music venue on its new outdoor patio on weekends. "This is the first place like ...

The Lord really spoke to us

Southport Christian center, a lighthouse in a dark corner

Membership: 200 Pastor: Carolyn Nichols Age: 81 Born: San Bernardino Formation: University of La Verne, La Verne; Claremont Graduate University, Claremont; the King’s Seminary, Van Nuys Years Ordained: 22 San Diego Reader: What is your ...

“They turned everything into a war.”

Will fight over boxing center ever be over?

Clement Casillas, who teaches kids to box, likes to point to a saying in the fight world: somebody's got your number. "You fight the best fight you can, but somebody out there has your number," ...

Transmogrified

That North Park feeling in National City.

At night, that long walk up from the 8th Street trolley stop to National City Boulevard can get a little spooky. Especially when you’re walking the echoey stretch under the I-5. But then you cross ...

Puppies guaranteed for 10 years

Pet-store protesters suggest owner sells animals bred inhumanely

An animal-rights group is suing a retail property owner for First Amendment violations, claiming the owner's management company is prohibiting the group from conducting peaceful demonstrations against a tenant, National City Puppy. The Animal Protection ...

Bribes for the bankers

National City Bank implicated in loan-bidding scam

On Friday (September 26), Israel Hechter, owner of a San Diego mortgage investment firm Ocean 18, admitted that he paid $1 million in bribes to bank insiders at JP Morgan Chase, GMAC Mortgage, and National ...

God among prostitutes, drug addicts, and gang lords

Membership: 160 Pastor: Tim Captain Age: 27 Born: Logansport, IN Formation: Cincinnati Christian University, Cincinnati, OH Years Ordained: 5 years San Diego Reader: What is your favorite topic on which to preach? Pastor Tim Captain: ...

Sisig and sarsparilla at the other Tita's

Plenty of space and way too much food for 8 bucks

Actually, I was trying to go to Tita's Kitchenette, a cramped, cafeteria-style Filipino food counter on Plaza Boulevard in National City. But I passed right by without noticing. I might have driven another five minutes ...

Do the math: proper overtime pay demanded

Lawsuit accuses Paradise Valley Hospital of deliberate salary miscalculation

Stephene Ortega, an employee of National City's Paradise Valley Hospital since 2007, filed suit this week against its parent company, the Ontario-based Prime Healthcare Paradise Valley, charging the hospital with "systematic miscalculation of the overtime ...

Cheese plus steak doesn't always equal cheesesteak

Putting unmelted provolone on meat that can be beat

I heard some Philly boys were serving up cheesesteaks in National City, so I set my hopes to high and hustled that way, past a half dozen dilapidated mini malls and food chains. Across from ...

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 ...

Steve from National City can smell loyalty

Confidence man seeks students.

Post Title: First Words Post Date: April 11, 2013 From all over the world, I get requests for more information about the novels I write about your life. Now, I am taking it a step ...

All Things BBQ: the Barbecue Pit

San Diego's original barbecue restaurant still going after almost seventy years and half a dozen locations.

Little Manila: Eating dinaguan, watching disaster

At Point-Point, all eyes are on the TV screens

Typhoon. It's the one thing you think about, down here in Little Manila. In the restaurants, the TVs are tuned to TFC, The Filipino Channel. Telethons are going on between soap operas, reports are coming ...

Filipino street food at Kalye Hits

National City restaurant somehow fits karaoke and skewered pig's blood under one roof.

The Philippines is known for wild street foods. Balut (usually much younger and soupier than the Vietnamese fashion) is probably the most famous, but the list includes all manner of intense little skewered and barbecued ...

National City a long way from Scripps Ranch

Ed Brand and Alliant University want faster action from planning commission

Many people were surprised to see Sweetwater superintendent Ed Brand appear at the August 19 National City Planning Commission. Brand left a regularly scheduled Sweetwater board meeting shortly after it convened to attend the meeting ...

Amorous Abyss: Brian Meanswell's flowers and women

National City artist examines the emotions behind body language in an exhibit at EQ Culture Studios.

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 ...

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 ...

Osprey nests facilitated by San Diego Unified Port District

They scare away the seagulls

The two manmade platforms in the port area of National City are home to young osprey this year — for at least the third time in the past five years. There are two chicks on ...

Paradise Valley Seventh Day Adventist Church

8000 pounds of food a week to about 500 families

Interview with Will James, pastor at Paradise Valley Seventh Day Adventist Church.

Woo-Hoo!

Ed Bedford and Elmer Niederfrank’s ghost approve of the ice cream being made in National City.

Danged Tasty

Ed Bedford sniffs out the tostilocos (a newish Tijuana street food) in National City.

Walk and Glug

“We were riding the bayside bike track and came across it.”

If I’d known then what I know now, I might have stuck to life east of the I-5. I swear, what a hike. I get off the Blue Line trolley at 24th Street, National City. ...

Sweetwater's Funds for Education

Last week, Sweetwater’s interim superintendent Ed Brand suspended the Funds for Education Committee, saying, “I can stop the grief right here.” This is the second time Brand’s private-sector fund-raising efforts have ended in controversy. Brand ...

Beautiful Mess of Cheesesteak

“You want to watch out for a heart attack, eating all this Philly food.”

If I were more of a man, I’d actually do this. I’m looking at a sign on an artist’s easel: “McGonagle’s Cheesesteak Challenge: Eat 3 and Win $50!...Three double-meat cheesesteaks in 30 minutes.” Hmm…double-meat. Meaning ...

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 ...

Borders Bookstores Prepare to Close

Tuesday, July 19, was an ordinary day in the National City Borders store. Customers at the Westfield Plaza Bonita location were browsing, studying, and drinking coffee. When asked, few people realized that the Borders chain ...

National City's Street Vendor Sweep

If it’s up to National City officials, last-minute shoppers in National City will have a hard time finding a roadside stand or pushcart to buy Mom a quick gift on Mother's Day. Starting in May ...

Trolley Fatally Wounds Caltrans Worker in National City

On May 4 at around 1:00 in the afternoon, a southbound trolley hit a man who, according to a trolley engineer, “leaped out of a palm tree” located adjacent to the tracks. The victim turned ...

Highland Avenue Baptist Church

Membership: 300 Pastor: Emilio Meza Age: 55 Born: Coahuila, Mexico Formation: Golden State University, California Years Ordained: 15 San Diego Reader: How long do you spend writing your sermon? Pastor Emilio Meza: I spend all ...

National City Fire Spares 30 Stray Cats, 2 Brothers

In the early morning hours of October 7, flames broke out in a detached unit located on the 800 block of Palm Avenue. National City fire crews immediately responded and quickly knocked down the flames, ...

The Butcher's Block

"Around 2005 we found out that our checkbook wasn't looking like we needed it to. It's fair to say that this budget year is particularly treacherous," said Chris Zapata, city manager for National City, at ...

Click and Jab

At a special National City council meeting held on May 11, members of the public participated in surveys about the city’s finances and services. National City faces a $6.7 million dollar deficit, and the trial ...

New Direction for Old Town

National City residents crammed into council chambers on Tuesday, March 16, for a meeting of the city council. An additional 40 residents sat in a lobby to watch the meeting on a large flat-screen TV. ...

All Cops on Deck

A multi-agency DUI and driver's-license checkpoint conducted during the late hours of March 5 and 6 in National City was a success, according to a Chula Vista Police Department news release. Law enforcement from San ...

Elderly Scare

Mary Louise Wilson was sentenced to nearly 20 years in state prison on February 8. The 54-year-old admitted to setting fires at the two nursing homes she stayed at briefly during 2009. According to state ...

Quite a Hike for Picadillo

I’ve got to thank the MTS for this find. They canceled the 962 night-bus service on weekends from the Eighth Street trolley to Spring Valley and back. Who knew? And I’ve just missed the last ...

Of Ball and Bus

The Chargers’ 31-23 win over the Philadelphia Eagles led National City police to close off some streets on Sunday, November 16, at about 5 p.m. Fans cruising the streets had Chargers flags waving and horns ...

Pipe Nightmare

Westcal Construction company owner Richard Chidgey arrived at a job site in National City early on the morning of July 28 and discovered that someone had unsucessfully tried to steal a copper fitting from the ...

Crash Hinders Robbery Suspects

Josh Johnson was playing a video game in his home near the intersection of Allegheny Street and Calle Tortuosa on Monday, July 6, at around 5 p.m. when he heard a loud crash. He said ...

I Would Drive 100 Miles

I covered a hundred miles driving to three different parties on one recent Saturday. The first party was up in Murrieta. I would’ve blown it off, but it was for an old high school friend ...