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Stories from the South Bay

Chicanos in National City, Imperial Beach pride, cowboys off Hollister Road, Sweetwater Valley love, Coronado prepares for crisis, the racial make-up of Otay

A fondness for Otay was palpable when my schoolmates gathered one evening earlier this year in a Chula Vista pizzeria.
A fondness for Otay was palpable when my schoolmates gathered one evening earlier this year in a Chula Vista pizzeria.
"The Chicanos are accepted by the white community that has lived here a long time."

National City Confidential

DeForest pointed out that 90% of NC businessmen, who are primarily Anglo, live outside the city and “therefore don’t elect city officials and don’t contribute to officials’ campaigns.'’ He asserted that he “was opposed to recall because it divides the community in negative ways.” When I asked if he didn’t think the community was already divided, he replied that he hadn’t noticed it. “The Chicanos are accepted by the white community that has lived here a long time.”

By Bettina Brownstein, Feb. 26, 1976 | Read full article

Council meeting hall, Imperial Beach. “Those city council meetings were unbelievable. There were hundreds of screaming people.”

Town without Pretense

I.B. is an untidy but peaceful community. Its residential streets may not be as well lighted as elsewhere in the county, and the cars parked in the front yards of its old homes built on small lots may be more often protected by primer paint than a car cover, but the city is comfortable and spacious. There may be no marina, but there is a vast estuary offering sanctuary to endangered species and a panoramic view of Tijuana.

By Bob McPhail, Sept. 29, 1988 | Read full article

Tijuana estuary. “Back then, business was booming. Potential was unbelievable. You had all that estuary down there, a boat marina coming in just tomorrow, for sure."

One Tough Town

The comparison between Coronado and Imperial Beach is a lot like the comparison of San Diego and Tijuana. There is a border between Coronado and Imperial Beach. Most people in Coronado think Imperial Beach is a slum and most people in Imperial Beach think Coronado people are pretty snotty and don’t care about Imperial Beach. And by and large my experience is that they don’t. I’m surprised how many people in Coronado own rentals in Imperial Beach.

By Patrick Daugherty, Dec. 8, 1994 | Read full article

Gene Mulvaney, Hat Creek stables: "I’ve led pack trips in the Sierras for Red’s Meadow Pack Station. I worked on a friend’s ranch in Arizona helping during roundups. My mother says it must have just been in my blood.”

You Are Always the Cowboy

Her voice still quivers when she talks about one Triple S horse boarder who refused to help evacuate her 15 horses. “She said, ‘Let them try and survive if they can.’” By the time the Kinleys got to the woman’s horses, one was loose in the arena, up to her hocks in sand with her foal trying to suckle. The horses had to be airlifted out. Three of the horses had injuries and had to be put down.

By Bay Anapol, Aug 7, 1997 | Read full article

When you and your husband first bought this old clapboard house on the north side of Chula Vista it was incredibly quiet at night. But since then, Highway 805 was built, then 54.

Ode to Highway 54

Last year during the month of October I called you. I spoke with your well-chosen complaint representative. When I discussed the efficacy of thicker windows, he pointed out to me that the idea of windows was to open them when it was hot. I remember he told me that even if I were to establish that the noise level was higher than the legal decibel level, that there was no money to do anything about it.

By Susan Luzzaro, Nov. 24, 1999 | Read full article

The other reason we bought the house was the glimpse of the Lower Sweetwater Valley from the second story. A dozen or so cattle grazing on acres of wide-open land.

Valley Love

The Lower Sweetwater Valley has served as a recreational and inspirational resource. One morning I looked up on the levee and saw a colorful line of kindergartners singing to the ducks in the Sweetwater River. Kathy Scott, a teacher from Rosebank School, takes her students out through the canyon several times a year to see the way seasons affect plants, to see the chance rabbit, squirrel, lizard, or red ant.

By Susan Luzzaro, June 6, 2002 | Read full article

The John C. Stennis

Too Close for Comfort

But did he have a stash of water in his house, extra food, and all that? “Nope. There was an article in the paper that said Coronado was on an earthquake fault line. And I said, ‘That’s good news and bad news. The bad news is the fault line. The good news is, we might lose the bridge.’ Wouldn’t that be nice? Doomsayers! They’ll drive you nuts. IMy God! You gotta take a chance every now and then.”

By Jeanne Schinto, April 10, 2003 | Read full article

According to Dickie Thomson, “When Chula Vista took over, things changed. Before that, the county allowed more freedom.”

Otay Dreams

At the corner of Broadway and Main was what my dad called the “Nigger Bar.” My father drank there, as he did in all the bars in town, but it was mostly a black clientele in the lively and raucous Uncle Sam’s Barbecue, owned by an African-American. Robson’s own father moonlighted there for a time as a bouncer, and one night he was forced to shoot and kill one of two knife-wielding men.

By Byron Shewman, June 17, 2004 | Read full article

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A fondness for Otay was palpable when my schoolmates gathered one evening earlier this year in a Chula Vista pizzeria.
A fondness for Otay was palpable when my schoolmates gathered one evening earlier this year in a Chula Vista pizzeria.
"The Chicanos are accepted by the white community that has lived here a long time."

National City Confidential

DeForest pointed out that 90% of NC businessmen, who are primarily Anglo, live outside the city and “therefore don’t elect city officials and don’t contribute to officials’ campaigns.'’ He asserted that he “was opposed to recall because it divides the community in negative ways.” When I asked if he didn’t think the community was already divided, he replied that he hadn’t noticed it. “The Chicanos are accepted by the white community that has lived here a long time.”

By Bettina Brownstein, Feb. 26, 1976 | Read full article

Council meeting hall, Imperial Beach. “Those city council meetings were unbelievable. There were hundreds of screaming people.”

Town without Pretense

I.B. is an untidy but peaceful community. Its residential streets may not be as well lighted as elsewhere in the county, and the cars parked in the front yards of its old homes built on small lots may be more often protected by primer paint than a car cover, but the city is comfortable and spacious. There may be no marina, but there is a vast estuary offering sanctuary to endangered species and a panoramic view of Tijuana.

By Bob McPhail, Sept. 29, 1988 | Read full article

Tijuana estuary. “Back then, business was booming. Potential was unbelievable. You had all that estuary down there, a boat marina coming in just tomorrow, for sure."

One Tough Town

The comparison between Coronado and Imperial Beach is a lot like the comparison of San Diego and Tijuana. There is a border between Coronado and Imperial Beach. Most people in Coronado think Imperial Beach is a slum and most people in Imperial Beach think Coronado people are pretty snotty and don’t care about Imperial Beach. And by and large my experience is that they don’t. I’m surprised how many people in Coronado own rentals in Imperial Beach.

By Patrick Daugherty, Dec. 8, 1994 | Read full article

Gene Mulvaney, Hat Creek stables: "I’ve led pack trips in the Sierras for Red’s Meadow Pack Station. I worked on a friend’s ranch in Arizona helping during roundups. My mother says it must have just been in my blood.”

You Are Always the Cowboy

Her voice still quivers when she talks about one Triple S horse boarder who refused to help evacuate her 15 horses. “She said, ‘Let them try and survive if they can.’” By the time the Kinleys got to the woman’s horses, one was loose in the arena, up to her hocks in sand with her foal trying to suckle. The horses had to be airlifted out. Three of the horses had injuries and had to be put down.

By Bay Anapol, Aug 7, 1997 | Read full article

When you and your husband first bought this old clapboard house on the north side of Chula Vista it was incredibly quiet at night. But since then, Highway 805 was built, then 54.

Ode to Highway 54

Last year during the month of October I called you. I spoke with your well-chosen complaint representative. When I discussed the efficacy of thicker windows, he pointed out to me that the idea of windows was to open them when it was hot. I remember he told me that even if I were to establish that the noise level was higher than the legal decibel level, that there was no money to do anything about it.

By Susan Luzzaro, Nov. 24, 1999 | Read full article

The other reason we bought the house was the glimpse of the Lower Sweetwater Valley from the second story. A dozen or so cattle grazing on acres of wide-open land.

Valley Love

The Lower Sweetwater Valley has served as a recreational and inspirational resource. One morning I looked up on the levee and saw a colorful line of kindergartners singing to the ducks in the Sweetwater River. Kathy Scott, a teacher from Rosebank School, takes her students out through the canyon several times a year to see the way seasons affect plants, to see the chance rabbit, squirrel, lizard, or red ant.

By Susan Luzzaro, June 6, 2002 | Read full article

The John C. Stennis

Too Close for Comfort

But did he have a stash of water in his house, extra food, and all that? “Nope. There was an article in the paper that said Coronado was on an earthquake fault line. And I said, ‘That’s good news and bad news. The bad news is the fault line. The good news is, we might lose the bridge.’ Wouldn’t that be nice? Doomsayers! They’ll drive you nuts. IMy God! You gotta take a chance every now and then.”

By Jeanne Schinto, April 10, 2003 | Read full article

According to Dickie Thomson, “When Chula Vista took over, things changed. Before that, the county allowed more freedom.”

Otay Dreams

At the corner of Broadway and Main was what my dad called the “Nigger Bar.” My father drank there, as he did in all the bars in town, but it was mostly a black clientele in the lively and raucous Uncle Sam’s Barbecue, owned by an African-American. Robson’s own father moonlighted there for a time as a bouncer, and one night he was forced to shoot and kill one of two knife-wielding men.

By Byron Shewman, June 17, 2004 | Read full article

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I’m cross about things, but I’m not doing anything about it
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