San Ysidro news and stories

Read before rolling into Baja

Cuidado — RV and towed-vehicle permits also new to Mexican officials

When the Baja 1000 races roll around next month (November 14–18), some Americans crossing into Mexico might be in for a big surprise. Recently, travelers crossing through the San Ysidro, Otay, Tecate, and Mexicali borders ...

San Ysidro swap meet replaced with Goodwill

"Oh yes, we all know it will close at the end of the year."

Colorful displays of toddler clothes and princess backpacks line the remaining vendadoras' (saleswomen's) stalls inside the huge buildings that house San Ysidro's only indoor swap meet. Almost half of the stalls are empty, but those ...

Severance pay for Julio Fonseca called "illegal"

Attorney Briggs says San Ysidro School District needs to recover $400,000

San Diegans for Open Government attorney Cory Briggs has threatened to sue San Ysidro School District if district officials do not recover the $400,000 in severance pay it awarded to former superintendent Julio Fonseca after ...

San Ysidro Port of Entry after Carmageddon

What about that promised 30-minute wait time?

In December 2014, the federal General Services Administration completed Phase 1B of a three-phase San Ysidro Port of Entry makeover. The construction project opened 25 new northbound lanes and 46 new primary inspection booths at ...

Plastic-bag ban led to hep A health crisis?

“The outbreak was completely predictable — it's why I left San Diego.”

“The plastic bag ban is the main reason for the hepatitis outbreak,” says the homeless man who writes the Homeless Survival Guide. “The hepatitis outbreak was completely predictable — it's why I left San Diego.” ...

New Tijuana pedestrian entry: a mix of Six Flags and prison

Yellow taxis still banned from both San Ysidro gates

“It looks like I’m entering a ride in Six Flags,” regular border crosser Yesenia Huerta comments after using the new southbound entry to Tijuana via PedWest. “It feels like you are getting out of prison,” ...

Border traffic Hell

Carmageddon, San Ysidro edition

Aviso importante para la comunidad de border crossers and visitors: prepare to suffer longer wait times heading into Tijuana starting late September. This is due to the third and final phase of the $741 million ...

Another mess for San Ysidro School District

Hush money or severance payment?

“It’s a typo,” Arturo Sanchez-Macias, assistant superintendent for San Ysidro School District says. The “it” to which Sanchez-Macias refers is the date, January 15, 2016, on a settlement agreement between the district and a San ...

A drum-tight belly by way of Taqueria Revolución

“Bedford! Hungry! Food! Now!”

"The southland has much more interesting Mexican food,” says Juan Carlos. “I’m thinking Chula Vista, I.B., San Ysidro. But in North Park the other day, we had been drinking, we needed something to put in ...

San Ysidro fizzling

Orgiastic monolith to America’s military might?

There’s nowhere to eat that isn’t a fast food chain. Nowhere to get a coffee or, god forbid, a beer. Nowhere to see anything like live music.

A dystopia of sorts

San Ysidro - where it's cheaper for kids to live in a motel

Veronica Medina sits in an office overflowing with blankets, shoes, and donated school supplies. A native of San Ysidro, she has a perennial smile and wears pink lipstick that accents her jolly laugh. She doesn’t ...

Canary Island palms in peril

South American palm weevil hard to kill

San Ysidro, Chula Vista, and now Bonita residents are watching their Canary Island palms choke and die — sometimes with the entire crown falling to the ground below. The culprit? The South American palm weevil ...

Southbound toy smugglers wanted

“We are not sophisticated with tunnels and all that.”

A group of smugglers huddled in a prayer circle a couple weeks ago to ask God for help crossing into Mexico. “We prayed for [aduanas, Mexican customs officials] to turn a blind eye when we ...

Suspected drug-smuggler nabbed at Denny's

"Driving with expired tags, that’s just stupidity.”

Just after midnight on November 17, Oceanside police officer D.K. Williams was cruising through the parking lot of the Denny’s restaurant at 487 Harbor Drive when he noticed an expired registration tag on the license ...

50 murders by the Border Patrol?

"We will not live in fear; we will not get used to this."

"Even if you do something wrong, you should make it to jail alive," says Birdie Gutierrez, an organizer whose group, La Flor De La Resistencia, was represented among about 30 protesters who gathered in San ...

Bacon King and Cheetos Chicken Fries, reviewed

Burger King, better than McDonald's, but still garbage

It’s NFL season again. Which means that, besides watching the Chargers lose over and over, I also get to watch a lot of meretricious commercials. Most of them are about cars that I cannot afford, ...

San Ysidro will check its own dang air quality

Community leaders not satisfied with monitoring by government agencies

San Ysidro has three freeways cutting through it. The approximately 29,000 residents also live next to the largest land port of entry in the world — an estimated 50,000 vehicles cross the border daily. It’s ...

Tijuana–San Ysidro pedestrian port of entry opens

But have you seen the Mexican side?

The New Virginia Avenue PedWest port of entry from Tijuana into the U.S. opened Friday, July 15, at about 12:20 p.m., only 20 minutes behind schedule. People lined up in Tijuana for over an hour ...

San Ysidro School District teachers ripped off?

County education board superintendent suspected of malfeasance

In 2014, the board of the San Ysidro School District told the teachers it was nearly broke and asked them to swallow a pay cut of 8 percent. The teachers went on strike, then settled ...

International refugee crisis reported south of San Diego

“Thousands” more are coming, say those who have arrived in Tijuana

On May 26 at high noon, Casa del Migrante in Tijuana received a phone call from the regional delegate of Mexican immigration for a 2:00 p.m. emergency meeting. Casa del Migrante representatives learned that refugees ...

Parks booze bans a no-brainer

Enough! say San Ysidro, Ocean View Hills, and University Heights residents

Residents of San Ysidro and Ocean View Hills want to see alcohol banned, and, in University Heights, the residents want an alcohol ban and a curfew. Ocean View Hills, Vista Pacifica, and Cesar Solis parks ...

San Ysidro’s new library to come in late 2019

After derailment in 2002, councilman Alvarez gets project on track

Frank E. Beyer, a border baron who co-owned the Sunset Inn and Racetrack in Tijuana, lived in San Ysidro during the Prohibition days. He purportedly drank a bottle of whiskey a day and could be ...

"Military age men" at San Diego's southern border

"Credible threat" posed by unknown Afghans and Pakistanis

Among the several dozen Pakistani and Afghan men who have entered the U.S. illegally, coming into San Diego from Tijuana, two were found to have ties to terrorist groups, according to a letter sent by ...

Baby delivered at border

Woman goes into labor while waiting to cross in San Ysidro

Of the many ways to find out what is happening on the San Ysidro or Otay border lines, the best source of current information (and misinformation) is the Facebook group “Como esta la Línea.” The ...

World's worst Border Patrol agent

Screening of Bordertown raises question: where's abuelita?

Imagine if Seth MacFarlane's Family Guy TV show got stirred around by cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz and writer Gustavo Arellano, who writes the Ask a Mexican column published in the OC Weekly… You'd end up with ...

Justice rally for Anastasio Hernández Rojas

Family and rights groups turn out to protest case dismissal

On Monday (November 9), several hundred people demonstrated their anger and disappointment with the U.S. Department of Justice's decision to clear the federal agents involved in the death of Anastasio Hernández Rojas — a decision ...

The Cashman taketh, the Cashman goeth away

Government employee took tens of thousands in bribes

Timothy Francis Cashman, a building manager for the General Services Administration, was sentenced to 16 months in custody today (October 23) for taking bribes and stealing government property. As an overseer of property at the ...

Border crossing rules have changed at San Ysidro

The days of walking freely into Mexico are over

In fact, you will need some steenking papers to enter Mexico.

Hey, not everyone is good with numbers

Following resignation, seat opens up on San Ysidro School District board

It’s open season for a seat on the San Ysidro School District board for the post recently vacated by Jose Barajas, a trustee who decided to resign instead of face a recall election. The governing ...

San Ysidro border entry to get final touches

GSA promises ten booths for pedestrians — ready by summer 2016

On Thursday, August 6, the General Services Administration (GSA) gave an update to about 20 community members at The Front art gallery about the ongoing reconfiguration of the San Ysidro Land Port of Entry. Anthony ...

Endangered species holds up road construction

Still no sidewalks for SY high school students

The nonprofit organization Casa Familiar held its 17th Safety Walk along the unpaved Otay Mesa Road on Friday, July 31, with about 20 protestors holding signs saying “Sidewalk Promised,” and “Safety For Our Children.” During ...

Frivolous appeal

No justice yet for Anastasio Rojas-Hernandez, five years after he died

Today marks five years since Anastasio Rojas-Hernandez died. The Mexican immigrant’s tasing by a group of federal agents while he lay on the ground with zip-tied hands was video-recorded and is the basis of his ...

Demand for dignity at the border

Allegations of rough language, treatment by border guards

Activists with the Southern Border Communities Coalition gathered outside the northern terminus of the San Ysidro pedestrian border Wednesday afternoon, May 13, in an effort to inform crossers of their rights and offer assistance to ...

No hard drive, no sex neither

But ample lies and hidden video camera convict Border Patrol supervisor

Supervisory Border Patrol agent Armando Gonzalez pleaded guilty in federal court today (May 14) to video voyeurism and lying to cover up the crime. He admitted to placing a hidden camera in the floor drain ...

Woman bites Border Patrol agent

Because he got in her way when she tried to walk into the U.S. among cars

A woman is in custody after allegedly biting a Border Patrol officer who had told her she couldn't cross the border in San Ysidro's vehicle entry lanes on foot, Customs and Border Protection officials are ...

Going off the rails on a gravy train?

Alleged conflicts of interest within county office of education

For years, the San Diego County Office of Education, the agency responsible for overseeing and allocating funding for 35 school districts in San Diego County, has turned to legal firm Stutz Artiano Shinoff & Holtz ...

The Mexican government lies

Parents speak out about their children who disappeared September 26

The small San Ysidro group known as Fuerza Amigo de Aztlán invited family members of the missing students from the Mexican state of Guerrero to speak at Mount Carmel Catholic Church on Monday, March 23. ...

You don't get the tacos, you get the meal

Even the Border Patrol knows the legend of Don Pepe

I have resisted the smell of Pollos Don Pepe for about 6 months. I work in the small soccer store next door from the taco shop in the strip mall next to Northgate Market in ...

Shades of blood-spattered gray

Border law enforcement crossed the line with "voluntary return" policies

San Diego civil rights and immigrant rights groups have 297 days to find Mexicans who were picked up in the U.S. and persuaded to sign "voluntary return" forms. The process waived their rights to due ...

San Ysidrans, are you ready to scramble?!

Japanese-style pedestrian crossing proposed for South Bay intersection

The San Ysidro Planning and Development Group (a committee of citizens) is going to ask the City of San Diego to try a “scramble" intersection where Camino de la Plaza, Beyer Boulevard, and San Ysidro ...

Refi on multimillion-dollar debt? Good idea

New San Ysidro schools superintendent sniffing out money for district

On February 12, the San Ysidro School District board announced a plan that could save property taxpayers $51 to $71 million over the next 35 years by refinancing the district’s Prop C bond. Trustees convened ...

A virtually wall-less border crossing

San Ysidro's Sentri lane changes at least one life

“I am immortal. I got my Sentri card,” posted Erick Mark Cavadas on his Facebook feed in early December. “Don't get too excited, the sentri lane has been sucking,” replied a girl that I did ...

O squeaky clean leader, where art thou?

San Ysidro school board votes in a new superintendent

Members of the San Ysidro teacher’s union held signs, “SYSD Needs Velasquez” at the district offices on Tuesday, January 27. Supporters were there before the San Ysidro Elementary School District board voted 3-2 to hire ...

Spotlight on Larsen Field

San Ysidro park benefits from installation of 90-foot light towers

After years of community efforts, eight 90-foot light towers were installed at Larsen Field in San Ysidro, which means neighborhood kids can now play baseball, football, and soccer after dark. San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer, ...

Will Walmart hubby take Chargers away?

Land-grabbing billionaire L.A. stadium planner owns San Ysidro border mall

A lot of hand-wringing is going on over at U-T San Diego, owned by wealthy Republican real estate mogul Doug Manchester, about a Los Angeles–area stadium proposal by Stan Kroenke. "The St. Louis Rams owner ...

Her hands and arms were covered with bluish-brownish pesticide

School district switches lawyers

After more than two hours in closed session on Thursday, December 18, the San Ysidro School Board President, Antonio Martinez, announced “… by unanimous vote to authorize a substitution of counsel be filed in the ...

Meanwhile, in San Ysidro's pedestrian line...

Small improvements for people who walk with the same enthusiasm as cattle.

The opening of more car lanes at the end of September greatly improved the San Ysidro border-crossing experience…for those who drive. My coworker who used to cross on foot now drives to work with a ...

Shorter waits at San Ysidro Port of Entry

And sometimes longer lines in the SENTRI lanes — say whaaa?!

With the reopening of seven northbound inspection lanes in September, commuters entering the U.S through the San Ysidro Land Port of Entry have experienced dramatically shorter wait times. According to a U.S. General Services Administration ...

South Bay residents get health report

Asthma higher, cancer lower than SD region as a whole

On October 23, SANDAG presented its “Border Health Equity Transportation Study” at the San Ysidro Civic Center. The study found that the South Bay has a 17.8% higher rate of asthma, a 25.1% higher rate ...

San Ysidro nukes: too hot to handle?

Covert nuclear smuggling data censored by federal auditors

How safe from nuclear smugglers is San Diego's border with Mexico? Not enough, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, which has released a censored version of a report to Congress. The document, entitled "Combating ...

Voiceless children of San Ysidro

District-wide school strike prompts superintendent to hold fruitless meeting

At approximately 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, October 9th, the interim superintendent of the San Ysidro School District, George Cameron, asked picketers of the teachers’ strike who stood outside the office to leave behind their signs ...

Hardship south of I-8, cont'd

San Ysidro community unhappy with 22-month-long project

On Wednesday, October 1st, the nonprofit Hearts & Hands organized a town-hall meeting at San Ysidro Middle School and San Diego city councilman David Alvarez was asked to speak about the planned infrastructure projects for ...

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