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Stories by Lucy D. Barker

Fearless film shoot finishes up in Ocean Beach

Fearless, a musical, finished shooting in Ocean Beach on October 30. Some local denizens participated in the production — whether invited or not. The hacky-sack man, the blonde pole-leaner, and a rowdy woman shouting outside ...

October 31, 2013
Power failures at Mission Valley YMCA

As a precaution, dozens of kids and their parents and coaches were evacuated from the Mission Valley YMCA at around 1:15 Saturday afternoon, October 19, when the electrical power remaining from an earlier partial black-out ...

Trash becomes benches at Border Field State Park

Around 150 volunteers removed trash — and helped build the trash-based entrance — at Border Field State Park on Saturday, October 12. Over a ton and a half of refuse and 130 tires were pulled ...

Burning Man people to host Youtopia near Palomar Mtn.

"The entire thing is volunteer-run and a gift to people in the community," says Persep Sion, one of the organizers of Youtopia, set for October 17–21. She says the gathering is based on the ten ...

Dredging of sediment begins in Tijuana River Valley

San Diego city crews have begun dredging two congested river channels in the Tijuana River Valley, and ranchers, horse owners, and residents of the area, which is prone to severe flooding, say they are glad ...

North Park water tower makes National Register

North Park’s big green water tower — officially designated as the University Heights Water Storage and Pumping Station, even though it's located south of El Cajon Boulevard (on Idaho Street, north of Howard Avenue) — ...

Injured Marine veteran gets help from congressmen

U.S. Marine Corps veteran Katherine Ragazzino's injuries in Iraq threw her into a nightmarish journey of denied benefits, homelessness and having to beg for help — including the now notorious visit with former mayor Bob ...

September 14, 2013
Sediment to be trucked out of Border Field State Park

Starting today, September 12, the sediment piled up in Goat Canyon's enormous basins will be removed, thanks to a $1 million state-budget award in June for Border Field State Park. The three-year project calls for ...

Micaela Saucedo memorial at Friendship Park

People brought their memories and respect for Micaela Saucedo to Friendship Park on Sunday, September 8, for a small, sweet remembrance of the woman who worked to help the deported, displaced, endangered, and lost along ...

Film shoot in Tijuana River Valley

The Tijuana River Valley rancher sits in his truck, off a side road to a backroad north of Monument Road, a mile from the border and a mile from the ocean. He's been here 24 ...

Second drowning victim found at Playas de Tijuana

The body of a young male washed ashore in Border Field State Park on Thursday morning, August 1, quite likely the second of two teenage boys who went missing July 16 from the Playas de ...

Normal Heights’ “sewer line project from hell” addressed

On the evening of June 26, about three dozen people from the neighborhood around 33rd Street in Normal Heights finally learned the details of what one resident called "the sewer line project from hell.” Five ...

Marriage proposal at Border Field State Park

Dulce Serrano went to Friendship Park in Border Field State Park on Sunday, June 23, to see her mother for the first time in five years and to introduce her to her boyfriend. Friendship Park ...

New skate park for City Heights Community Center

Bobby Chocolate pulls up his socks and waits for his friend Jimi to complete his ride down the rail in the skate corridor of the City Heights Community Center walk next to Rosa Parks Field. ...

Incursions on the rise, says Border Patrol

Faced with huge budget cuts at the midpoint of their fiscal year, Border Patrol agents from the Imperial Beach station (and other stations along the border) are doubling up in many of the patrol vehicles ...

Border Patrol reports bands of Gypsies crossing from Mexico

Since 2010, more than 2200 Romanians have come into California from Mexico illegally and surrendered to the first U.S. Border Patrol agent they saw, according to Border Patrol statistics and accounts. Many of them surrendered ...

Border Field State Park gate swings open on regular basis

The California State Parks opened the iron gates to Border Field State Park to the public Saturday and Sunday — the first time the park has been open for anything other than special events since ...

Border sewage plant logs two violations since February

The border sewage plant that treats Mexican sewage, which the International Boundary and Water Commission oversees, has had two violations of treatment standards since February — far fewer than preceding years. One of the violations ...

Osprey nests facilitated by San Diego Unified Port District

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 ...

Lake Jennings opens for night-fishing

Cars lined up for the first weekend of night-fishing at Lake Jennings on May 17. The lake — actually a water-supply reservoir — is open until midnight every Friday and Saturday night until Labor Day. ...

Logan Heights charity overstocked with home wares

Rebuilding Together San Diego's Logan Heights warehouse is jammed to the ceiling with rugs, cabinets, light fixtures and wiring, doors and windows, and even deep-fat fryers for turkey and the oil used to cook them. ...

Volkswagen Bugs, buses, and Corvairs welcome

The Volkswagen enthusiasts of San Diego Air Cooled have lined up at least 200 cars — Bugs, Karmann Ghias, and vans — for the First Annual Air Cooled Fiesta at Southwestern College on Sunday, May ...

U.S.-Mexico border gate swings open at Friendship Park

Mayor Bob Filner, his fiancé Bronwyn Ingram, and Border Angels founder Enrique Morones made history Sunday, April 28, by going into Mexico via a newly built gate in the fence, opened for the first time ...

Council votes to settle with Academy of Our Lady of Peace

Four years ago, when the Academy of Our Lady of Peace began planning to add classrooms and parking to its Normal Heights canyon-top campus, the high school found itself fighting the city and its neighbors ...

Trestles toll-road plan revived

The April 18 Transportation Corridor Agencies meeting that revived the Trestles toll road plan was scheduled on short notice, held without notifying interested parties, and rubber-stamped at a meeting in Orange County. To the Natural ...

April 26, 2013
Friendship Park to remain open at the Border

The silent protest of the closing of Friendship Park scheduled for Saturday April 6 has been canceled because Friendship Park, at the monument in Border Field State Park, will be able to remain open on ...

More energy-efficiency home funding for Imperial Beach

Ten homeowners in Imperial Beach will have a chance at energy-efficiency improvements, and six Habitat for Humanity homes will be completed with money from the now-folded redevelopment agencies that the state Department of Finance has ...

Border Patrol schedules closure of Friendship Park

Friends of Friendship Park, a group with an interest in the unique spot at the southwestern corner of the U.S. where it meets Mexico, is planning to protest the closure of the park, scheduled for ...

Sewage in Imperial Beach traced to Playas de Tijuana

On Monday, March 18, with currents and wind pushing north, the San Diego County Department of Environmental Health closed all beaches in Imperial Beach due to a suspected sewage spill from the Tijuana River mouth. ...

Imperial Beach’s imported sand threatens estuary’s eco-health

San Diego National Wildlife Refuge biologists are monitoring the movement of the 450,000 cubic yards sand dumped on Imperial Beach shores last fall, worried that southbound sand will block the river mouth as it did ...

Imperial Beach's sandcastle competition to return?

The San Diego Unified Port District is set to put up $40,000 in seed money toward reviving Imperial Beach's U.S. Open Sandcastle Competition, which was washed out last year, ending a 31-year tradition that drew ...

Imperial Beach City Council nixes stoplight plan

An effort to install a traffic light that would help cyclists on the Bayside Bike Trail — one supported and funded by the San Diego Association of Governments — failed to get off the ground ...

Confused man takes a drive in Tijuana River Valley

An elderly man who police said has Alzheimer’s disease drove his car through the Tijuana River Valley Regional Park, up to the top of Spooner's Mesa, and became stranded in his white Honda just feet ...

February 27, 2013
Controversial killings protested in San Ysidro

A group of about 250 demonstrators at the San Ysidro Port of Entry called for justice and transparency on Saturday, February 23. The loud and peaceful protesters, including the families of three people killed by ...

February 25, 2013
Dredging of Tijuana River Valley court-ordered to stop

Dredging of the flood-prone Smuggler's Gulch channel and the Tijuana River that had been allowed to proceed was again halted on Thursday, February 22, as attorneys fighting the City of San Diego over its permit ...

February 22, 2013
More trails for Tijuana River Valley, but none to the mesas

San Diego County supervisor Greg Cox and state assemblyman Ben Hueso celebrated a $1.5 million grant for added miles of horse and hiking trails in the Tijuana River Valley Regional Park on Friday, February 15. ...

February 20, 2013
Mexican men rescued from San Ysidro sewer pipe

Four illegal immigrants were rescued from a sewage filled pipe by San Diego Fire and Rescue on the night of Wednesday, February 13. Afterward, the men were hosed off and handed over to Customs and ...

Ekco Metals procures permit to open recycling center in Grant Hill

Despite an appeal of the permit for Ekco Metals International by the Southeastern San Diego Planning Group, the city council voted unanimously on Tuesday, February 12, to allow Ekco to run its recycling facility in ...

February 13, 2013
Dredging to begin in Tijuana River Valley

On Monday, February 11, city crews are expected to begin dredging sediment and garbage from the drainage channel that originates at Smuggler’s Gulch and runs north, into the heart of the Tijuana River Valley. The ...

Chula Vista’s Dynegy energy plant to be destroyed tomorrow

The Dynegy South Bay energy plant in Chula Vista — described by some environmentalists as a fossil-fuel-burning monster — gets blown sideways tomorrow, February 2. People who want to see the two-minute event should go ...

February 1, 2013
Hot prowling and burglaries in Normal Heights

Police are warning Normal Heights residents about a series of middle-of-the-night burglaries — with the victims at home asleep. The “hot prowls” all occurred in a small area of the neighborhood. "Hot-prowl burglaries are bold ...

Which San Diego cop won’t take your pot?

What's a medical cannabis patient to do in a routine encounter with the police? Depends on the police, it seems. The cannabis and paraphernalia in the photo above — from a bust at an I-8/East ...

January 30, 2013
Sixth College at UCSD wraps up Winter GameFest

“Fluff,” professional gamer Brian Lee, led a team that crushed the enemy in Defenders of the Ancients on Sunday, January 20, at UCSD’s Price Center. Gamers surrounded the tables and watched over the players' screens ...

January 21, 2013
Santee house fire displaces family

A Santee family of four was burned out of their Poinciana Drive home Tuesday, January 15, by a two-alarm fire that destroyed much of the house's interior. A firefighter and a civilian suffered minor injuries ...

January 16, 2013
SDG&E works on Normal Heights power outage

About 1300 people in Normal Heights went without electricity for ten hours, starting at 5 p.m. Monday, January 7, after a construction crew replacing sewer pipes crushed underground power lines at 33rd Street and Meade ...

Water main break in Normal Heights

Hundreds of people in Normal Heights were without water Friday night, January 4, after a water main broke at 32nd and Meade Avenue at around 4 p.m. Crews were still working to repair the main ...

Worker rescued from trench in Spring Valley

A 31-year-old construction worker in Spring Valley fell into a 5-by-15-foot trench and was subsequently pinned by a 1400-pound concrete form on the morning of January 4. After being rescued by CalFire personnel, the worker ...

Imperial Beach contamination prompts closure

Tijuana River contamination forced the closure of the entire Imperial Beach shoreline on Wednesday, January 2. According to the county Department of Environmental Health, the contamination stretched from the Mexican border to the north end ...

South Bay businesses face fines from California water-quality board

The taxpayer-funded Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve was the only public entity on a list of 31 outfits that received a warning letter from the California Regional Water Quality Control Board for not filing ...

December 15, 2012
Posada celebration at Friendship Park draws a crowd

Border Field State Park was the scene of cross-border Christmas prayers and songs on Saturday, December 8, as more then 200 people gathered for the 19th annual Posada, formally the celebration of Joseph and Mary's ...

December 10, 2012

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