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What’s Your Impression Of Chula Vista?

Evening Edition

Aired 5/28/14 on KPBS Midday Edition.


Betty Waznis, Director, Chula Vista Library

Zaneta Encarnacion, Director, Chula Vista Charitable Foundation

There is a lot of construction going on in the city of Chula Vista and there's a lot more to come.

San Diego's second-largest city is moving forward on a long-awaited Bayfront development project and efforts to improve downtown.

So you might think this South Bay city would be the talk of San Diego, as it embarks on the largest coastal development in the state, but not so much.

A recent survey found that six out of 10 San Diegans have a negative view of Chula Vista, and a third of those surveyed don't have thoughts about it at all.

This week, a public forum called "Chula Vista — the good, the bad and the just plain wrong!" aims to address the city's image problem, debunk myths and celebrate the reality of the city.

The program is set for Friday, May 30, from 8:30–11 a.m. at the Civic Center Library Branch, 365 F St.

“In light of these perceptions, we invite everyone to join us for a lively and interactive exchange of ideas about what it means to live and work in Chula Vista. We want to talk about what we can do to promote the positive aspects of our city, and brainstorm ideas for improving its image,” said library director Betty Waznis.

The program will be moderated by Mesa College political science professor Carl Luna, director of the new Institute for Civil Civic Engagement, a partnership between the University of San Diego, San Diego Mesa College and San Diego City College.

“It is important for members of the public to be active participants in the decisions of the community,” said Luna. “Public issues require engagement and coordination from the entire community — not simply the government or a few activists. There is nothing we, as a community, working civilly together, cannot accomplish.”

The forum is part of the library’s Pathways to Civic Engagement program, funded by a grant from the Chula Vista Charitable Foundation, an affiliate of The San Diego Foundation.

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Avatar for user 'paralaxvu'

paralaxvu | May 28, 2014 at 12:27 p.m. ― 2 years, 10 months ago

It would help if the people who live on the other side of 805 would stop referring to themselves as residents of "East Chula Vista."

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | May 28, 2014 at 12:56 p.m. ― 2 years, 10 months ago


I don't think the image problem comes from people saying East Chula Vista, but rather North Tijuana.

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Avatar for user 'nickEff'

nickEff | May 29, 2014 at 6:04 p.m. ― 2 years, 9 months ago

paralaxvu I never heard of anybody say or call East Chula Vista, you must live on the other side of the 805 "West Chula Vista"

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Avatar for user 'callahan2211'

callahan2211 | May 29, 2014 at 6:54 p.m. ― 2 years, 9 months ago

I'm a life long resident of Bonita/Chula Vista. I think the biggest need is for the South Bay to get some high tech jobs -- BioTech, Software, Mobile Devices, BioMedical, etc. Our leaders have failed miserably on this front. We don't need more WalMarts, Resorts, Entertainment Parks and the like.


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Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | May 30, 2014 at 7:20 a.m. ― 2 years, 9 months ago

C2211, what makes you think this is a leadership failure? Which leaders do you think have failed to provide high tech jobs? What policies do you support to incentivize high tech companies to relocate to Chula Vista?

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Avatar for user 'DeLaRick'

DeLaRick | May 30, 2014 at 7:36 a.m. ― 2 years, 9 months ago

Good cast of characters, poor plot.

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Avatar for user 'JulieNadine'

JulieNadine | May 30, 2014 at 9:36 a.m. ― 2 years, 9 months ago

I like Chula Vista and recently moved there. It's nice, and housing costs a fraction of what comparable places on the North side do. I also like the ethnic diversity of the neighborhoods. I have heard people say it's "way down there" or "so far away" but I feel that way when I go to Carlsbad or even Rancho Bernardo.

I think a freeway or expressway in between 54 and 905 would be helpful for getting around the city, East to West. I also wish do wish there were more good restaurants.

It's not a good idea to hold a public forum on a weekday during office hours. That biases who will come.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | May 30, 2014 at 11:55 a.m. ― 2 years, 9 months ago

CA OFFENDER, and you say you're not a bigot. Behind your facade of "intelligence" you have nothing to offer but prejudice, stereotyping, exclusion, parochialism, abrasiveness, and if you are indeed, part Latino, of whatever heritage, obviously self-loathing. I now actually feel sorry for you, for it is people such as yourself, who have absolutely NOTHING to offer society. If we were in Afghanistan or Pakistan, you would be like one of those clan-tribal leaders, warring against his brother simply because he speaks a different tongue, eats different food and lives on the OTHER side of the hill.

As far as the South Bay is concerened, it has been Anglos who have VERY voluntarily been moving northward and eastward, over the years. We have no laws saying they MUST remain. Or maybe they were just leaving their old 1950-era constructed houses to move into the newer one of East Lake, etc.? Personally I was glad to begin to see African-Americans moving into Chula Vista in the late 70's and early 80's. At a recent election, I worked at the polls over behind the Balboa hospital. It was an interesting area. We have Anglos, Mexican-Americans, African-Americans, Filipino-Americans and other Asians, as well as new citizens of Somali background, all coming to vote. It was very distinct from Chula Vista or other areas like IB where I've worked at the polls. That is the face of the country. Period.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | May 30, 2014 at 12:05 p.m. ― 2 years, 9 months ago

I blame Shirley Horton for cuttig off 5th Ave. and putting a movie theater that NEVER rose to the level of the ones that were houses in the Plaza Bonita mall. Ever since this affected not only revenue at the mall but traffic as well. CV has never recovered from that.

In the 90s, all these wannabee social ladder climbers started buying up houses in Eastlake. Some were victims of the predatory lenders and others of the super market restructuring after their big strike. I have no sympathy for them. The city government, however, has ignored west of of 805. And with people like Jerry Ringtone and John McCan't in the local government, didn't help matters much.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | May 30, 2014 at 12:22 p.m. ― 2 years, 9 months ago

I should also mention here the various scandals, big and small, at SUHSD, which emcompasses middle and high schools in Chula Vista, with two in National City. And this would be under the Doc Brand-Jesus Gandarra--and again Doc Brand, regimes.

Absconded funds, bribes, forgeries, gratuities, nepotism, and a robbing-Peter-to-pay-Paul approach to budget allocations, etc.

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Avatar for user 'joebalboa33'

joebalboa33 | May 30, 2014 at 12:46 p.m. ― 2 years, 9 months ago

Start at the top. Take a look at the leaders in office and their history and check what people what they think of them. The Bay-front project would also be a nice place to start if they want to really grab attention. There was a chance to make a big splash there with a Bay front Stadium and add something that really would've put the city on the map not just locally but nationally. But in house grudges scuttled what could've been an anchor project to the area. That along with the other things mentioned above are just some examples why everyone views the area the way they do..

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