San Ysidro Stories

Gantry Crane Brought In to Disassemble Border Station

An enormous gantry crane recently erected at the U.S. Border Station in San Ysidro, hovered above the U.S. landmark in order to begin the precision disassembly of the old 1972 Nixon-era structure in such a ...

A Bridge Not Yet Far Enough

The new northern-most vehicle bridge, a key segment in Tijuana’s masterplan to expedite border inbound and outbound commuter traffic, is slowly taking shape just south off the ancient pedestrian bridge that crosses the Tijuana River. ...

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 ...

San Ysidro Port of Entry Tumbles as Reconstruction Begins

Crossing over the new pedestrian bridge in San Ysidro, the observer can see the beginning of the end, the razing of the current United States Port of Entry, which will be replaced with a new ...

Two U.S. Citizens Shot While Waiting at Border

On April 4 at about 2:30 a.m., motorists at the San Ysidro port of entry were shocked to see two male U.S. citizens shot to death as they waited in line to cross the border. ...

San Ysidro Is Too Far South for Sidewalks

Juan Mariscal rests a hand on the new walker he started using two days ago. In November, doctors amputated the 64-year-old man’s right leg because of complications from diabetes. During the next three months, as ...

New Border Pedestrian Bridge to Open Soon

The new pedestrian bridge that crosses over the I-5 freeway in San Ysidro is scheduled to open this spring. From all appearances, it is ready to open now. In the wee hours of the night, ...

Women Beat Border-Crosser with Burritos

Three women attacked a 32-year-old man inside the U.S. border-crossing building at 3:30 a.m. on February 25. A little earlier, this reporter passed a group of three screeching, belligerent women buying what appeared to be ...

Trolley Pass Black Market Pops Up at Border

Since our local Metropolitan Transit System changed the trolley fares and how the bus and trolley transfers worked in 2009, riding the trolley has become very expensive. Before with a trolley ticket or a bus ...

Metropolitan Transit System to Work on Trolley Line From San Ysidro Northward

Blue Line trolley service from the San Ysidro station to points north has been halted on weekends so the Metropolitan Transit System can rebuild sections of track and station platforms to accommodate the more modern ...

Bridges to Bargains

The new east-west pedestrian bridge being constructed at the San Ysidro border crossing is rising rapidly from its formerly inchoate state. Since a pile-driver pounded piers into the ground a few months back, it’s been ...

He Wasn't Resisting

The San Diego American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) has blasted media coverage of the May 28 death of Anastacio Hernández Rojas following a tasering and alleged beating by U.S. Border Patrol agents at the San ...

Fright Wedding

A man of Somali-descent pleaded guilty in a Minnesota federal court on May 2 to charges of making false statements to federal investigators due to his involvement in transporting suspected terrorists to San Diego and ...

Weedy Wheels

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers arrested an American teenager on Wednesday, February 17, when he attempted to smuggle marijuana into the U.S. At about 3:00 p.m., the 18-year-old male, who is also a resident ...

Breeding, Fighting, Dying

A pickup heading southbound to Mexico on Monday, January 11, had a compartment concealed under the truck’s bed that was filled with more than 40 game birds. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers detected the ...

Dregs Net

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the San Ysidro port of entry arrested five wanted fugitives between 6:00 a.m. Sunday and 6:00 a.m. Monday, November 23. Included in the roundup was a man wanted ...

Eye-Eye-Eye on Guns

Downtown merchants and restaurant owners held a press conference at the Hotel Nelson in Tijuana on Monday, July 20, to voice their apprehensions about the installation of new traffic-monitoring equipment being installed at the San ...

Trolley on the Fritz

The Blue Line trolley came to a stop Friday morning, July 3, after an overhead power line broke somewhere between Palm Avenue and H Street, according to a transit police officer. North- and south-bound passengers ...

13 Miles of Metal

Border Patrol agent Richard Gonzales pushes a button in the shiny white Chevy Tahoe he’s driving. In response, a gate rolls open to allow entry to the no-man’s-land between the secondary fence and the old ...

For the Children

On March 5, the South Bay Union School District voted to eliminate 80 teaching positions, but it was not the slam-dunk many expected. District superintendent Carol Parish addressed those attending, saying, “We had to start ...

The Border Wait, and Wait, and Wait

When it comes to crossing the border, Carlos Hermosillo plays it by ear. As he gets close to the San Ysidro crossing, he calls 700-7000 on his cell phone, and a recording gives him the ...

Salmonella Salsa

I received word about a few parties down south on a Friday that I was to drive up to L.A. I decided that I’d hit them both before the long drive. The first was for ...

Illegal Ways to Avoid the Border Wait

How did the pollero cross the border?

They’re still building roads out on Otay Mesa, about three miles north of the international border. The hot tar takes longer to set in the incredible heat. The smell hangs thick over the brown hillsides ...

Homeless San Diego

Author: Rodney Akins Neighborhood: Downtown Age: 43 Occupation: Homeless After finally moving out of Colonia Libertad, Mexico, which is two blocks across the San Ysidro border crossing, I was homeless with about $50 in my ...

The Sarcastic Killer

San Diego’s mean streets

A boy 3-1/2 months old was the youngest homicide victim in San Diego County during the first half of 2007. The oldest was a 75-year-old woman. Both were killed by family members, allegedly, the infant ...

Bloody Mess

PolyHeme, that controversial blood substitute deployed in some of the city's poorest neighborhoods during trials conducted by UCSD three years ago, has come a cropper. Evanston, Illinois-based Northfield Laboratories announced on May 23 that of ...

The Hard Way to Cross the Border

Short southbound and long northbound waits are not always the norm at la frontera internacional. During the weekday evening rush hour, the southbound wait at San Ysidro is often more than an hour. This nightly ...

Uniform Agreement

The Colegio de Bachilleres high school sits about five miles east of downtown Tijuana on the Vía Rápida, the highway that straddles the Tijuana River channel. The campus looks like public high schools in San ...

Breakfast with the Birds

"I have the soup every time. That's every week, for ten years!"

Back When

Thirty Years Ago THANK YOU, Ricky, for being yourself in a world lacking spontaneous, natural love. Please never lose my number, or my love. Earl. ROGER BOWMAN, the Renee Richards of the water polo world: ...

A Gritty Dilemma

Around 9:30 p.m., on Friday the 19th of August, 22-year-old David Silverman of Jacumba and two female friends were cruising south on Buckman Springs Road toward Campo when they found themselves stuck behind an 18-wheel ...

Fear Tracer

The 1999 World Trade Organization riots occurred on Norm Stamper's watch as chief of police in Seattle (he retired in 2000). But the homicide he writes "I committed" was the most traumatic event in his ...

R.J. Donovan Correctional Facility (Kairos Prison Ministry)

Tall, barbed-wire fences surround R.J. Donovan Correctional Facility near the San Diego-Mexico border. Approximately 5500 inmates call the blue-and-white cement buildings home. Twice a year Kairos Prison Ministry runs a three-day weekend program for the ...

San Ysidro, America’s last gasp

Okay, okay, I know. San Ysidro. It's not a place, it's the blur just before you get to Mexico. It's humanity sluicing up and down through the World's Busiest Border. The tidal gate between the ...

Best of 2001: Best Place To Buy New Kids' Clothes Cheap

Kid's Outlet Retail & Wholesale 5971 University Avenue, northeast San Diego 619-582-1676 Other locations in National City, Chula Vista, and San Ysidro The rate at which children outgrow or ruin clothes is startling. At Kid's ...

Best of 2000: Best Place To Study Graffiti

Barrio Logan Some people admire the elaborate mural-sized geometric designs of former guerrilla tagger Saki, others prefer the primitive kinetic power of a simple bathroom-wall limerick. Sponsored graffiti -- wall paintings commissioned by civic groups ...

Bonita's First Blood

When the kids get off the trolley at San Ysidro these spring evenings, you sense the bravado. With so much news about murders, cartels, allegations of government corruption, it's impossible to think about Tijuana the ...

Doing the Mexican Mailbox Jam

'Hi gang! Having a wonderful time in Tijuana. Wish you were here. Write back soon." I address the postcard, a view of the Jai Alai Fronton Palace on Revolución to myself in San Diego. I ...

Mafia Hunter

Loren McCannon stands, faces the frigid autumn wind blowing across the border at Otay Mesa, and sees the ghosts of crimes past. McCannon, now 75, suffering from diabetes, and survivor of a heart attack, can ...

Riding: Or the La Jolla-San Ysidro Four-Hour Bus Ride Home

Herschel and Silverado, La Jolla: The buildings on this corner in La Jolla don't reek of money: a print shop, a Travelodge, It could be a corner in another part of San Diego. But the ...