Water Water Everywhere & Chicano Park Day | San Diego Summarized 4-16-18
Welcome to San Diego Summarized where each week we examine headlines from around the city:
This week we kick off with the news that water bills in San Diego are en route to rising due to a pair of newly approved tunnels to be built by the Metropolitan Water District this past week.
“There is no question the tunnels will increase water rates across the region. The question is by how much,” writes Voice of San Diego’s Ry Ryvard.
“Metropolitan staff estimate the average water bill in Southern California will go up by $4.80 a month, at most. The San Diego County Water Authority argues those estimates don’t tell the whole story. According to Water Authority calculations, the cost to San Diego customers could range from a mere 60 cents more a month to a shocking $23.30 more.”
As ever, context is key when it comes to understanding. The full story is laid out in Ryvard’s rather excellent piece on VoSD, but the gist of it is that California’s never-ending challenge to provide water to the entire state has culminated in a decision to spend $11 billion on two tunnels that connect Northern and Southern California through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay Delta, the series of waterways and wetlands fed by snow melting in the Sierra Nevada mountain range.
It wasn’t an easy matter to get the tunnels approved, and now that they are, there will surely be pushback from less enthused parties you can bet that litigation at one stage or another is forthcoming. Bottom line for the average citizen is that rates will go up, and the only questions are by how much and when.
This weekend is the 48th annual Chicano Park Day celebration which will take place on Saturday, April 21, 2018, 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM in historic Chicano Park, located in the Logan Heights community, south of downtown San Diego under the San Diego-Coronado bridge.
The event is a tribute to the Park Takeover that happened nearly 50 years ago when residents of the Barrio community peacefully resisted an attempt to open construction on a California Highway patrol station.
From La Prensa:
“In 1963, the construction of Interstate 5 literally cut the neighborhood in half, pushing out even more familias, and in 1969, the Coronado Bay Bridge was built right in the Corazón of Barrio Logan. Massive pylons and on ramps replaced casas and mercados. Residents, who felt powerless against city, state and federal governments, quietly sat back and watched as their dreams slowly diminished. During the time that these changes were taking place, Mexican-Americans across the nation were beginning to wake up and fight back against such injustices.
Taking a cue from Chicano activists, the people of Barrio Logan began making demands of their own, one of which was to obtain land to construct a large recreational park that they could call their own. The state of California granted them a tiny parcel of land, but it wasn’t enough for what they had envisioned, so they submitted a request to obtain all of the adjoined land under the bridge. They patiently waited for a response.
Celebrations of Chicano Park Day began in 1971 to commemorate the park takeover on April 22, 1970. One thousand people attended the first celebration which included cultural events and political speeches. Chicano Park Day is a symbol of community organization fighting to save a culture and a neighborhood, and should provide a positive example to other neighborhoods within San Diego that are fighting to stay alive.”
The 2018 edition of this annual event is free and family friendly. Highlighting the festivities will be traditional music and dance including one of the largest groups of Aztec Indigenous dance, coordinated by Danza Azteca Calpulli Mexihca. The day will be filled with performances by ballet folklórico groups and numerous live bands, a lowrider car show coordinated by Amigos Car Club, vendor booths, children’s (all ages) arts workshop, and speakers.