Serge Dedina

In early January I talked to Dr. Steven Luo who has a longtime dentistry practice in Imperial Beach on 9th Street, (I’ve been a patient of his practice that was originally run by Dr. Brunson, since 1971), about whether he would help out with vaccinations, since dentists had just been approved as vaccinators. Without hesitating Dr. Luo responded that of course he would help out. So I was so pleased that Dr. Luo was able to work as a vaccinator at the Mar Vista High School vaccine site. “Great experience. Well run. Great venue,” he told me.

We owe a big thanks to Supervisor Nora Vargas, Sweetwater Trustee Paula Hall and our own City of Imperial Beach staff who all helped to make the Mar Vista High School vaccination center happen. So thanks again Dr. Luo and all the staff and volunteers who are helping to get us back to a way better normal. As vaccination sites increase and tiers start opening for those with health complications as well as for essential workers and younger age groups, it is imperative that we all get vaccinated. We cannot get back to normal without having a defensive system against what are the rapidly mutating and ever more strains of the dangerous coronavirus.

While cases have dropped significantly across the county, it is clear cases in Imperial Beach and the surrounding zip codes in south San Diego County remain stubbornly high. It is also clear that a larger percentage of vaccines have been provided to the residents of the northern part of San Diego County than the southern part of the County that has seen a much higher impact from COVID including hospitalizations. That is why I am working with Chula Vista Mayor Mary Salas, National City Mayor Alejandra Sotelo-Solis and San Diego Councilmember Vivian Moreno to urge the county to do more to make vaccines available for the residents of our cities. It is also clear that the even more disastrous mismanagement of COVID in Mexico and the almost non-existent vaccination rollout in Baja California has and will continue to adversely impact our capacity to combat COVID in the South Bay. We must have greater federal involvement in supporting efforts to combat COVID along the border.

We have had a rash of DUI-related accidents and arrests over the past week. Please do not drink and drive and please do not let others drink and drive. The abuse of alcohol plays a major role in a large percentage of arrests in Imperial Beach. It is also important if you see a crime to report it immediately to the Sheriff’s. Reporting crimes or code violations on social media actually makes the problem worse. We can only make Imperial Beach safer when we all work together to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.

On Tuesday I spoke with Congressman Scott Peters about the need to continue to push for resolving the border sewage pollution crisis. I asked that he continue to push for spending the $300 million in USMCA funds on U.S. side diversion infrastructure so we can catch renegade flows before they reach our beach. I also asked he urge the Biden Administration to pressure Mexico to fix Tijuana’s decaying sewage collection and treatment system as well as develop public-private water reuse projects in northern Baja California. That is the most effective long-term solution for making sure that we have access to clean beaches 365 days a year far into the future.

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