I live in a little Village, in the Valley, that overlooks the San Diego River and the manicured, softly rolling greens of the Admiral Baker Golf Course. Ancient trees shade our homes. All our residents share the bounty of the fruit trees that grow here, in abundance.

Snowy Egrets dot the landscape between the River and the Golf Course. Finch, Crow and Ducks abound, as well as birds I can’t name and have never seen before.

I like to swim in the early evening and watch for my friend, a Great Blue Heron, to fly from his perch in a Giant California Oak, up the hill and away into the gathering darkness. I’d love to know where he goes. Where ever that is, he’s always back the next day.

I’m amazed by the peace and tranquility here, bordered as we are by the crowded and congested Mission Gorge and Friars roads.

Our little area shelters a stunning array of wildlife. We have fat little squirrels that raid our gardens, noisy raccoons that party in the Loquat trees, shy opossums, wiley coyotes and the inevitable skunks.

This is the first place I’ve ever lived where people actually take care of each other. Whether it’s a ride to the airport, a hot meal when you’re sick or someone to walk the dog. We take care of each other. We’re a Family. I don’t know if it’s the Magic of the setting or the fact that we’re all Seniors. I just know it’s great.

We’re a really diverse group, both by career and ethnicity. What we have in common are shared values, energy and a determination to give back. Our residents volunteer at local hospitals, staff the Polls at election time, teach Adult Literacy and assist in Stand Down.

I feel proud and lucky to live here. But nothing lasts forever and our luck is about to run out. A dark cloud has formed over the Village, shattering the tranquility.

A rich, greedy, predatory, out of State Conglomerate discovered us. They don’t care about our community, or its residents. They don’t share our Values. They are not good Corporate Citizens. They made secret deals to deny us our Rights. They have demonstrated a complete lack of Good Faith in their business dealings.

They picture our Village as an expensive high- rise, high-density, sterile, cement tenement for a high paid transient population for strangers.

They plan to displace the current residents. Bulldoze the trees, destroy the habitat and pollute the environment. It’s already started.

My heart is heavy as I look around at the scarred earth, where homes have been ripped out, along with rose bushes and fruit trees.

In ten or fifteen years, Mission Valley Village will be an urban legend. Like Shangri-La. No one will remember if it ever really existed. No one will believe that our City Leaders’ would allow it to be replaced with a high-rise cement tenement.

I’m glad I lived here while it was still a Magical place.


Fred Williams Oct. 28, 2008 @ 7:28 a.m.

The story of Mission Valley Village deserves to be told far and wide in San Diego. What the developers and city have done to these good people is a disgrace.

Under the guise of redevelopment Jim Madaffer and his cronies have conspired to evict the seniors from their homes so a multi-billion dollar conglomerate can build yet more condos.

Nobody has lifted a finger to stop this travesty. The mayor came to whisper soothing noises at a "no media allowed" meeting with Village residents, but when it came time to do something at the city council did nothing.

Turns out the developer gave money to our Mayor's campaign. So much for the seniors.

The injustice of destroying affordable housing in the name of "affordable housing" and "mixed-use development" would be ironic if it weren't so tragic. In their rush to bulldoze these people out of their homes, the greed obsessed developers will tell any lie and pay any politician off just to cram a few more dollars in their pockets.

We must change San Diego.

Marti Emerald would represent these home owners on a new city council and she would fight to rescind the dirty deals done in secret. That's why you see Emerald signs around Mission Valley Village today.

For District 7 residents who care about basic fairness, there's no better candidate than Marti Emerald. Please vote for her.

The residents of Mission Valley Village don't have the money for a high priced law suit, so they need an advocate on the City Council. A vote for Emerald is a vote for change, and a vote for justice for the residents of our neighbors in Mission Valley Village.


Fred Williams



ShawnMichel Nov. 17, 2008 @ 10:51 p.m.

I take the trolley through your neighborhood at least once a week. I wasn't aware of this idiocy until I read your blog. Oy.

Best to you and your community in fighting these Pigs.



thebigdog April 1, 2009 @ 10:24 p.m.

I Live and work in Mission Valley and have called San Diego Home for the last 45 years I was born and raised here also.

I went to Jones,Taft,Kearny,Mesa,State

My Dad still lives in his original house in Serra Mesa oh have times changed

Where I live near Mission Center Road I used to be able to stand on my balcony and see fireworks at the yearly Skyshow at the murph/qualcom

Now I have buildings and condos and more buildings and condos I can't see even the lights of the Q

I hear the San Diego trolley running every 15 minutes past my house and see all the homeless people that use it as a way to just go to the next stop, and camp out under the bridges near and around Mission valley mall near the Best buy Store and at the other end near the Staples store

Once what was a quit little valley has turned into a zoo of mini/ condo packed mini malls and more places to eat then you could do so in a year and never hit one twice, there are more stores and retail places down here per square mile them any place in the United states, do a google search and a map view of mission valley starting qualcom and head down the san diego river towards the beach talk about over crowded, I was reading somewhere that california has water for 18 million people and 30 live here, hey I have an idea build some more condo's

I do enjoy the fact that I can take the trolley now west and east go places without driving a car, and I can walk to most major places I need to go in less then 15 minutes.

but funny I don,t see many people doing that (and that was the plan they pushed on all us down here) I see people working down here that have to live in el cajon or santee and stuff as they can afford to live here and work here so they have to drive in anyways! another point.

If you live down here you can work down here as the area is full of retail and small business that don't pay enough to let you live and work here! the average job down here if your working at one of the 20 malls is like maybe $8.00 and hours and all the people working for the 300+ Resturaunts make that or less hey build some more Condo's

I remember when it was Just mission valley mall and Fashion valley and both malls were packed all the times and the stores had lines and all of them were making money, we grow up down here the wrong way more is not better, getting back to some of the old ways would be better. funny more people mean more cars cars that need to be washed and we don't have water or a good fire dept down here its o'k they can put out the fires with San Diego river water.

Trust me I thought I would never want to leave San Diego But know its looking like the thing to do!


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