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Not so pretty: Bonita’s sign replacement cost

Eucalyptus tree destroyed it; Kiwanis to help rebuild it

Photos by Charles Bailey
Photos by Charles Bailey

Though Bonita's welcome mat has been pulled, the South Bay community is hardly discouraging people from coming by.

The “Welcome to Bonita” sign, designed to convey a warm hello to those entering the community's portal, was destroyed November 26 by a eucalyptus tree that toppled over across Bonita Road just east of I-805.

The toppled tree's base

The tree's notoriously shallow root system had been saturated with rain. Wind gusts of up to 21 miles an hour sped the demise along. As the sign cracked to pieces, the logos of some 16 local organizations smashed to bits on the pavement. The spots that lit up the sign at night shattered, too. Destroyed medallions included those of the Optimists. Rotary, Lions, and Kiwanis clubs; the Bonita Business and Professional Association; the Road Runners bicycling group; and the Music Machine, a music and dance troupe out of Bonita Vista High School.

It may take as long as five months to replace the sign, assuming $3500 can somehow be raised.

“We need $2000 to get started,” said Randy Bellamy in an interview last week. Bellamy, a Kiwanis Club member, is leading the effort. He expects the groups to pay the costs of replacing their own logos, (low-ball) estimated at $100 each, due to expected discounts for the work of a Bonita Kiwanian, who produces decals that are mounted on discs and sealed in place with a clear plastic overlay.

Kiwanis led the drive to mount the sign in the late '90s. Five years ago, the sign collapsed for the first time. Then, the two wooden posts on which it was mounted had rotted in wet soil and heavy winds came along to finish things off. The wood was replaced with steel beams, the lone surviving remnants of the recently demolished welcome sign.

“Bonita Kiwanis rebuilt the sign then and we will do it again!” said Bellamy.

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Though Bonita's welcome mat has been pulled, the South Bay community is hardly discouraging people from coming by.

The “Welcome to Bonita” sign, designed to convey a warm hello to those entering the community's portal, was destroyed November 26 by a eucalyptus tree that toppled over across Bonita Road just east of I-805.

The toppled tree's base

The tree's notoriously shallow root system had been saturated with rain. Wind gusts of up to 21 miles an hour sped the demise along. As the sign cracked to pieces, the logos of some 16 local organizations smashed to bits on the pavement. The spots that lit up the sign at night shattered, too. Destroyed medallions included those of the Optimists. Rotary, Lions, and Kiwanis clubs; the Bonita Business and Professional Association; the Road Runners bicycling group; and the Music Machine, a music and dance troupe out of Bonita Vista High School.

It may take as long as five months to replace the sign, assuming $3500 can somehow be raised.

“We need $2000 to get started,” said Randy Bellamy in an interview last week. Bellamy, a Kiwanis Club member, is leading the effort. He expects the groups to pay the costs of replacing their own logos, (low-ball) estimated at $100 each, due to expected discounts for the work of a Bonita Kiwanian, who produces decals that are mounted on discs and sealed in place with a clear plastic overlay.

Kiwanis led the drive to mount the sign in the late '90s. Five years ago, the sign collapsed for the first time. Then, the two wooden posts on which it was mounted had rotted in wet soil and heavy winds came along to finish things off. The wood was replaced with steel beams, the lone surviving remnants of the recently demolished welcome sign.

“Bonita Kiwanis rebuilt the sign then and we will do it again!” said Bellamy.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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