Why Kids and Families Must be a Priority in Imperial Beach

Over the past four years as the Mayor of Imperial Beach, I have had the awesome opportunity to work to improve our neighborhoods and the quality of life throughout Imperial Beach so that our kids and families come first.  

As a first generation American and 47-year IB resident who attended elementary school, junior high and high school here, what my meetings with my friends and neighbors has reminded me of is that we have a wonderful culture of caring, community, equality and respect in Imperial Beach.  

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#NeverGiveUp

From the bluffs at Border Field State Park at the southern end of Imperial Beach, next to the international border, is one of the most beautiful and wild coastlines in Southern California. 

This past week, the surf was pumping, the sky and the sea were deep blue, and the dunes and salt marsh of the southern end of Imperial Beach--that starts at the metal wall that sticks out into the Pacific Ocean on the U.S.-Mexico--seemed to extend forever. 

It was stunning. 

 

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Making a Positive Difference in IB

In today's world of tweetstorms, accomplishing real things that make a difference in improving the quality of life for all is a big deal.

While on social media, conflict, bullying and bad behavior are often the norm, in the reality based world of Imperial Beach, we can only move our beautiful little beach town forward in a positive direction by working collaboratively, cooperatively, and respectfully in a focused way.

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Surf Dad: My Father's Journey from Paris to Imperial Beach

There was never a time when my father, who immigrated to America to escape the Nazi occupation of Europe, wasn’t loading up our Ford station wagon and taking us to the beach.

In 1939, at the age of six, my father traveled to the United States from France with my grandma Lotti and his brother Roland.

“In France as a little tyke, I played on a beach covered by pebbles and round pieces of wine bottles rounded by the surf,” my dad Michel Dedina recalled from his home near the Tijuana Estuary in Imperial Beach.

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Remembering my Surf Mum

On Mother's Day I often think about my English mum who had a fierce belief there there is nothing more important than supporting kids and families and that everyone deserves to be treated equally, fairly and with respect. Born in London just before the start of WWII, my mum came to America in the 1950s, started her college career at a local community college, and eventually earned a law degree. She worked as a Public Defender, specializing in representing kids, and retired as a Judge Pro Tem. I wrote this article about my mother a few weeks before she passed away in 2011 and it appears in my book, Surfing the Border. I will never forget my mum's passion for ensuring that everyone receives an equal opportunity to pursue the American dream. 

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Why I am Running for Re-election as Mayor of Imperial Beach

I still remember my first day in Imperial Beach. It was early September 1971. I was seven years old and my family had just moved into our little two-bedroom house in a cul-de-sac on the 1400 block of Hemlock Avenue (just a couple of blocks east of the entrance to Ream Field).

After a long day unloading boxes, my dad loaded up my mother, my little brother Nicky and our dog Shadow into our 1968 Ford Falcon station wagon and we headed to the beach.

I will never forget seeing the Coronado Islands for the first time. I can still picture myself bodysurfing the waves and the elation I felt knowing that I could go to the beach everyday if I wanted to.

 

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Why I Love IB


If a picture tells a thousand words, these photos illustrate why I love my friendly, ultra-cool and beautiful little beach town of Imperial Beach, California!!!

 

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IB Opens First Dog Park

From the San Diego Union Tribune.

Just before sunset these days, Sarah Gawronski, Nala and Lucien visit a new spot in Imperial Beach: the city’s first off-leash dog park, nestled in Veterans Park.

“They seem to enjoy it and almost expect to come here every day now,” Gawronski said of her 2-year-old dogs, Nala, a German Shepherd and Lucien, a Beauceron french shepherd.

The 18,500-square-foot dog park, with features that include a double-gated door and poop bag dispensers, opened late last month. Last week, more than 50 dog owners and their four-legged pets turned out for a ribbon-cutting ceremony, city spokesman Ed Vera said.

 

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IB's War on Blight

From the San Diego Union Tribune

Growing up on Fifth Street and Palm Avenue, the abandoned, rat-infested building across the street was a fixture of Allen Wiseley’s childhood.

Wiseley, now 40, remembers rats the size of small cats scurrying from the rotted wood, drug deals in the parking lot and homeless people setting up a beer-filled refrigerator in the middle of the night.

For more than three decades, his family waited for the city to do something.

“We couldn’t believe that they wouldn’t,” Wiseley said. “Why wouldn’t they do something? They know they’ve had police so many times from drugs and people getting assaulted.”

His wait is finally over.

The vacant building on Fifth and Palm is just the latest trophy in Imperial Beach’s war on blighted property.

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An IB Childhood

A little throwback to 1974 on the 1400 block of Hemlock where I lived from 1971-1980.


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