South Bay Historical Society

Newspapers of the South Bay

The first newspaper in the South Bay was the National City Record, founded by William Burgess in 1882. Frank Kimball had persuaded the Santa Fe Railroad to build a terminal in National City, and he believed his town would soon outgrow San Diego that had the only other newspaper, the Union, in the county. The railroad boom of the 1880s gave birth to new cities and newspapers, including the Otay Press in 1888. The National City Record became the National City News in 1903 and merged in 1954 with the Chula Vista Star that had been founded by Herbert Crooks in 1919. This merger that created the Star-News was the result of the efforts of Ray Coyle who had taken over the Chula Vista Star in 1944, and Larry Freeman who had taken over the National City News in 1950. This merger also included the San Ysidro Border Press that had been founded in 1946 and purchased by Freeman in 1950. The merger also included the Bay Cities Press that was renamed the Imperial Beach Star in 1960, and then the Imperial Beach Star-News in 1968. After Ray Coyle died in 1961, the Star-News was taken over by Lowell Blankfort and Rowland Rebele. In 1972 the Star-News was sold to Harte-Hanks Newspapers of Texas and became part of the six-paper San Diego Urban Newspaper Group that included the Imperial Beach-San Ysidro Reminder. Blankfort and Rebele stayed on as editors until resigning in 1978. The Star-News was sold in 1986 to Worrell Enterprises.

The Chula Vista Review in 1911 was published by Henry Grant Rising in a building next to the Wigginton Pharmacy on the east side of Third Avenue between Center and Madrona Streets.

1851/05/29 - John Judson Ames established San Diego's first newspaper, The San Diego Herald, on Thursday, May 29, 1851. Publication continued until April 7, 1860, when Ames printed his last issue, packed his outfit and removed to San Bernardino where he established The San Bernardino Herald. For eight years San Diego was without a newspaper until 1868. Col. William Jeff Gatewood formed a partnership with Edward W. Bushyhead, rented a small frame building on San Diego Avenue, from Manuel de Pedrorena, Jr., in which the printing plant was promptly installed. By the 3rd of October they had issued a prospectus, and true to its announcement the first issue of The Union was printed October 10, 1868. (Richard Yale, "The Birthplace of The San Diego Union," The Journal of San Diego History 14 (October 1968)

1869/08/21 - A newspaper called The Bulletin was born in New Town on August 21, 1869, taking many Union subscribers. As a result, The Union and The Bulletin became feuding rivals. The Bulletin was not published for very long, but it was not the only other newspaper trying to succeed in San Diego. There were many others appearing, but only a few had lasting success. The Daily Bee, established in 1887, was bought by The Union in December of 1888. The next month it was consolidated with The Union. The San Diego Sun was established on Sunday, July 19, 1881. It was owned by Mrs. C.P. Taggart, and the office was located in a small frame building on the east side of the plaza. In 1886 it was bought by Warren Wilson of San Bernardino. Then in November of 1892 The Sun was purchased by The San Diegan and the two papers merged into The San Diegan-Sun. Another emerging newspaper was called The San Diego Vidette, established on August 6, 1892 by D.O. MacCarthy. Its motto was, "Thrice armed is he whose cause is just." This paper was suspended March 8, 1900, and the plant was bought by The Union. On March 13, 1870, The Union became The San Diego Daily Union, and from that day on was printed every morning except Monday. This was so that the employees would not have to work on Sundays. On December 21, 1895, The Evening Tribune was established. It was bought in 1901 by a San Francisco editor named James MacMullen. Then finally in February 1938 both The Union and The Tribune were purchased by Ira C. Copley, already the owner of several papers in Illinois. (Teri Thorpe, "Early Journalism In San Diego, The San Diego Herald and The San Diego Union," The Journal Of San Diego History 28 (Summer 1982)

1882/09/28 - The National City Record was founded by William Burgess Sept. 28, 1882. W. Wats Burgess, son of William, wrote a brief history of the old Record in a 1932 golden anniversary edition of the National City News. The first title suggested was National City Banner, but changed to Record. Printing equipment, a Franklin hand press, came from a defunct newspaper in San Diego. Burgess had two employees, Mrs. George Smith and Gus Kimball. In 1883, son Frank Burgess took over the paper. After the railroad left National City and the boom collapsed, the paper was taken over by Gus Kimball. In 1890 C. A. Harris was the editor of the National City Record. In 1895 Gardener and Harbrough were connected with the National City Record and in 1896, the editor was Frank Grandier, this was a familiar name to everyone as Mr. Grandier had been contributing his articles "Sweetwater Ripples" to the paper for some time. ( The Chula Vista Star, Feb. 23, 1969. Also, Alana Coons, The Star-News, May 28, 1987. )

The Otay Press, March 28, 1889

1888 - The town of Otay was the largest of the boom towns of the 1880s, with a townsite of 120 acres and lots 50 x 150 feet. Six months after the townsite was opened, A. J. Jenkins started the Otay Press weekly newspaper, published in Otay from 1888 to July 1900 when it moved to Chula Vista as the Chula Vista Press, but sold its equipment a year later. ( Spencer Menzel, "The Development of the Sweetwater Area," M.A. Thesis, University of Southern California, 1942. Also, The Chula Vista Star, Feb. 23, 1969. )

1899/08/26 - Otay Press sold to D. N. Dodson of Escondido. Editor A. J. Jenkins recently died. (San Diego Union, Aug. 26, 1899) 1903 - Frank Grandier moved the National City Record into San Diego and it carried the heading of The Record, San Diego, but several months later was returned to National City by Cooke and Christiance as The National City News. In 1904 the News was sold to Fred Atherton who decided to leave National City after less than a year. Frank Kimball wrote on June 3, 1907: "Gus Kimball decided to take my advice and buy the National City News from Fred Atherton." Augustus Kimball had been a printer for the National City Record and was very familiar with the running of a paper. Once again the paper was filled with information on horticulture, and the Kimball name. The first photograph was printed in 1906, before that etchings and lithographs were used for illustration. Gus sold the paper to one of his best friends, Kyle Alexander, in July of 1911. Kyle had been working on the paper as a printer since 1904 and Mr. Alexander continued to publish the paper for close to a decade. The paper then went through several owners. Joseph Vurgason purchased it in 1937 ( Alana Coons, The Star-News, May 28, 1987 )

1911 - The National City News was sold to K. William Alexander in 1911. P. S. Packard was publisher for a short time in 1920. It was sold in 1921 to Rowon and Cornelius and Forrest (Frosty) Raymond. Richard Cornelius took it over Aug. 1, 1932. During World War II, Joseph Vurgason ran the paper. In April 1950 it was sold to Larry Freeman, and in 1954 merged with the Chula Vista Star. ( The Chula Vista Star, Feb. 23, 1969. )

1911/12/15 - The year 1911 also brought a weekly newspaper, the Chula Vista Review, to the community. Henry Grant Rising published the paper in an office on Third Avenue, and a yearly subscription cost $1.50. The first edition appeared on Dec. 15, 1911, and the last one in 1918. Except for the first issue of this newspaper, all copies of later editions have been lost and with them much of the early history of Chula Vista. ( Webster, Chula Vista Heritage, 1986., p. 48. )

1911/12/15 - H. G. Rising used the printing firm of the Denrich Press at 151 4th Ave to produce his Chula Vista Review until 1918. ( The Chula Vista Star, Feb. 23, 1969. )

1916/10/01 - Sudden death of H. G. Rising of Chula Vista Review. (San Diego Union, Oct. 1, 1916)

1917/07/26 - Kyle Wm. Alexander, proprieter of Chula Vista Review, offering for sale the Review's printing plant and property. F. W. Worcester from Los Angeles became publsher of the National City News and the Chula Vista Review in 1919. (San Diego Evening Tribune, July 26, 1917, and the San Diego Union, Oct. 16, 1919)

1919/02/10 - Editor and Mrs. Crooks and family are to make their home in this city and this week expect to issue the first number of the Chula Vista Star. The print shop is in the Worthington block on Third Avenue. (The San Diego Union, Feb. 10, 1919)

1919/02/21 - Herbert Crooks published the Chula Vista Star vol. 1, no. 1.

1919/12/29 - Final publication of the Chula Vista Review. (San Diego Union, Dec. 29, 1916)

The office of the Chula Vista Star was an adobe building at 331 F Street.

1922 - Chula Vista Star building at 331 F Street was constructed in 1922 for Herbert W. Crooks, the publisher of the Chula Vista Star newspaper. The structure is one of only a few adobe buildings in the city. As originally built, the twelve inch thick adobe walls were not plastered but treated instead with a "solution of distillate and linseed oil" which was poured over the exterior. The composing and press room of the newspaper occupied the front half of the building, while the rear was a large living room with a fireplace. A time capsule was sealed in the cornerstone of this building about the time the new newspaper headquarters was dedicated on Nov. 15, 1922. The newspaper remained at this address until the 1930s, when the building was purchased by the Fuson family and became part of Fuson's Garage. The Chula Vista Star Building is one of the few Pueblo Revival structures in Chula Vista and the only commercial one made of adobe. Historical significance is added by the association with the newspaper and also with the Fuson family. ( Webster, "Historic Resources Inventory," 1985. )

1922 - Chula Vista Star adobe built for newspaper publisher Herbert W. Crooks, became Fuson's Garage in 1938, then demolished 1986. ( Chula Vista Historical Society. Chula Vista, the Early Years. Vol. 3. San Diego CA: Tecolote Publications, 1994. )

An advertisement for Lincoln Acres in 1925 reproduced a front page of the Lincoln Acres Leader.

1925/06/28 - Lincoln Acres Leader, vol. 1, no. 8. "Rube Harrison's Colony of Boosters, 1,200 Strong, Plan to give Away Carload of Watermelons. A Happy Throng. FREE WATERMELON! The Whole White Race Invited to the Place. Big Parade is Planned." ( The San Diego Union, June 28, 1925 )

1927 - H. W. Crooks died 1927, and Leafy Crooks kept the Chula Vista Star going until May 1930 when she sold to Lawrence Thompson. In 1938 Thompson sold to Rudolph B. Reinbach and his wife Genevieve, and the Star moved its office to 271 Third Ave. Ray Coyle took over in 1944 and moved the newspaper in 1946 to 278-A Third Ave. In 1949 Coyle built a new two-story building with Ralph Cloyed at 429 G St and the Star moved in Sept. The Coyles formed Bay Cities Publishing Co. in 1954 with Larry Freeman. ( Chula Vista Star Feb. 23, 1969. )

The first issue of the San Ysidro Border Press, Oct. 24, 1930

1930/10/24 - San Ysidro Border Press was published in San Ysidro by George S. Breidford. Vol. 1, no. 1 was Oct. 24, 1930. Publication moved to National City, Sept. 21, 1933-Mar. 6, 1936; publication returned to San Ysidro, Mar. 13, 1936 to Dec. 25, 1952.

1932 - Bay Cities Press began publication in Imperial Beach. (The San Diego Union, Jan. 19, 1962)

1932/04/01 - Leafy Crooks sold the Chula Vista Star to Lawrence L. Thompson two years ago, but she now has announced plan to launch a newspaper her called the Chula Vista Echo. ( The Chula Vista Star, Apr. 1, 1932. )

1938/01/28 - Larry Thompson won The Times cup trophy for best front page of newspaper, the Chula Vista Star ( The Chula Vista Star, Jan. 28, 1938. )

1938/12/09 - Chula Vista Star sold to R. B. Reinbach by L. L. Thompson who had been owner since May 1930. Reinbach lived at 274 Church St, had been from Michigan and 4 years ago moved to Long Beach. Thompson had bought the Chula Vista Star in May 1930 from Mrs. Leafy R. Crooks, widow of the newspaper's founder, when it was still in the adobe on F Street next to Fuson garage. In Oct. 1931 he moved it to the current location at 271 3rd Ave. Thompson will retain ownership of the California Veteran, official publication of the VFW ( Chula Vista Star, Dec, 9, 1938. )

1939/05/19 - Chula Vista Star circulation up by 250 since new owners took over late last year. Also, every issue has photos of women's fashions ( The Chula Vista Star, May 19, 1939. )

1939/08/04 - Benjamin Wigginton found a copy of the Jan. 4, 1912, Chula Vista Herald, published by Ray Sauers, father of the publisher of the San Diego Herald, but it has since been lost. ( Chula Vista Star, Aug. 4, 1939. )

1944/08/18 - W. R. Coyle from Iowa became new owner of Chula Vista Star on Sept. 2. ( Chula Vista Star, Aug. 18, 1944. )

1944/12/01 - The Star expanding size to 12 pages, full 8 columns wide, 21 inches deep. Isobel White will be special correspondent in the Pacific for the Star, was publicity director at Rohr, is wife of Capt. S. R. White, Jr., supply officer of Naval Air Station in San Diego. ( Chula Vista Star, Dec. 1, 1944. )

1945/08/31 - It has been one year since the Chula Vista Star has moved from old location at 271 Third Avenue to present location in the Moeser building at 278-A Third Avenue. ( Chula Vista Star, Friday, Aug. 31, 1945 )

1945/08/31 - New features of the Chula Vista Star listed since new owners took over a year ago, by editor W. Ray Coyle ( Chula Vista Star, Aug. 31, 1945. )

1946 - Edgar Shaw established the Imperial Beach News. (The San Diego Union, Jan. 19, 1962)

1946/09/08 - Vurgason started the National City Reporter in 1931 and in 1936 he acquired the National City News and consolidated both papers. ( The San Diego Union, Sept. 8, 1946 )

1948/01/18 - Vurgason named president of California Newspaper Publishers Association; came to National City in 1905, later got a job as a printer's devil in Chula Vista while attending Sweetwater High School, then put a hand press in his garage and earned his way through State College. ( The San Diego Union, Jan. 18, 1948 )

1948/02/27 - The new Bay Cities Advertiser vol 1 now published, owned by the Chula Vista Star ( Chula Vista Star, Feb. 27, 1948. )

1948/10/03 Joseph Vurgason was editor publisher of the National City News and the San Ysidro Border Press. (The San Diego Union, Oct. 3, 1948)

1949/04/01 - Jerry Champ buys part of the Chula Vista Star, new building coming at 429 Third Avenue. ( Chula Vista Star, Apr. 1, 1949)

1949/09/02 - This issue of the Chula Vista Star was printed on new Duplex press in the new building at 429 Third Avenue. ( Chula Vista Star, Sept. 2, 1949)

1950/02/02 - Chula Vista Star is now an afternoon paper, will be delivered Thursday afternoon, for first time by carriers, rather than by mail, on Friday mornings. ( Chula Vista Star, Feb. 2, 1950. )

1950/03/17 - Joseph Vurgason sold the National City News to Lawrence A. Freeman, former publisher of the weekly Delano, California Record, who will take over April 1. Vurgason has published the News for 10 years which he bought in 1940, four years after he had established the National City Reporter. Included in the sale to Freeman were the Border Press, and the South Bay Shopper. Freeman is president of the California Newspaper Publishers Association. ( The San Diego Union, Mar. 17, 1950 )

1950/05/25 - 1st annual auto section published in the Chula Vista Star newspaper ( Chula Vista Star, May 25, 1950. )

1954/07/16 - Ray Coyle and Larry Freeman to merged Chula Vista Star and National City News into the Star-News Aug. 1; Freeman to be president of the South Bay Press, Inc., and Coyle president of the Bay Cities Publishing Co., the Border Press and the Bay Cities Advertiser and the National City-Lincoln Acres-Paradise Hills Advertiser and the South Bay Shopper will be combined. Although owned by the same company, the National City Star-News will be published for readers in National City, and the Chula Vista Star-News will be published for readers in Chula Vista. ( The San Diego Union, July 16, 1954)

1955/03/24 - Starting Apr. 11 the Monday issue of the Star-News will be issued weekly as a single newspaper covering both National City and Chula Vista and delivered to the subscribers of the Thursday edition of the National City Star-News and the Chula Vista Star-News who pay 55 cents per month for carrier delivery. ( Chula Vista Star-News, Mar. 24, 1955. )

1955/04/08 - Vurgason died at his home at 710 K Avenue in National City; had sold his newspaper in 1950; was born in Tenn, moved to National City when he was 3. ( The San Diego Union, Apr. 8, 1955 )

1959/10/25 - El Mexicano newspaper began publication in Tijuana, owned by Garcia Valseca; the other morning papers were Noticias (Mexico City) and ABC (Mexicali), the afternoon papers are El Heraldo and Baja California. (The San Diego Union, Oct. 25, 1959)

1960/11 - Bay Cities Press, part of the Bay Cities Publishing Co. that was formed in 1954 when Chula Vista Star and National City News merged. The newspaper was renamed the Imperial Beach Star and offices operated in Imperial Beach. ( Chula Vista Star-News, Sunday, Mar.5, 1961 )

Ray Coyle's death was announced on the front page of the Chula Vista Star-News, Mar. 5, 1961.

1961/03/05 - Headlines front page on death of W. R. Coyle. His credo reproduced on page 2, published when he took over the paper in 1944. Coyle died Thursday at his home 289 Sea Vale. ( Chula Vista Star-News, Sunday, Mar. 5, 1961 )

1961/06/01 - Star-News sold by Blanche Coyle to Lowell Blankfort and wife Alice, from Pacifica, and Rowland Rebele and wife Patricia, from Coalinga. ( Chula Vista Star-News, June 1, 1961. Also Feb. 23, 1969. )

1961/06/04 - Imperial Beach Star won local Annual Press Award for best news story of 1960, its coverage of the drowning of 8-year-old Jerry Eugene Farson body found in slough near mouth of Tia Juana River Aug. 4, by Jamie Bryson and Bob Weaver ( Chula Vista Star-News, June 4, 1961. )

1961/07/13 - Jennevieve Reinbach, 59, died in Spring Valley, was an owner with husband (whom she later divorced) of the Chula Vista Star 1937-45 when it was sold to Ray Coyle. In Jan. 1958 she was convicted of embezzling funds from the South Bay Press and spent brief time in woman's reformatory. Funeral held at Humphrey Chula Vista Mortuary ( Chula Vista Star-News, July 13, 1961. )

1961/07/16 - Blankfort editorial argued that Chula Vista and National City had common interests, esp vs. the "Big City Boys" who sought to "gobble up" the South Bay. ( Chula Vista Star-News, July 16, 1961. )

1961/08/03 - New columns and features start today in the Star-News: South Bay Gardens, South Bay After Dark by Kathy Rolles, Lee Chilson's South Bay Scene, In the Sweetwater Valley by Barbara Childers, Women's Whirl by Johnnie Lou Looney, At Fredericka Manor by Amy Thoren Mekkelson, How's Business by R. K. Rebele, In the Service, All About Autos by Dan Putnam, Parade of Foods, Parent Problems, Library Notes, South Bay Gardens, The Wonderful World of Animals. ( Chula Vista Star-News, Aug. 3, 1961. )

1962/01/19 - The weekly Imperial Beach Star, formerly the Imperial Beach News established in 1946, yesterday published its final issue. Its subscription list, advertising contracts and good will will be taken over by the Star-News Publishing Co.. Lowell Blankfort co-owner of the latter firm, announced in Chula Vista. The purchase agreement is subject to formal approval by stockholders of Imperial Beach Publishing Co. of which Clark W. Perry is president. "We expect to provide Imperial Beach with a bigger and better newspaper and provide merchants with a better service in the combined newspaper," Blankfort said. The Bay Cities Press, established in 1954, was a forerunner of the present Star-News. Ace Printers, owners of the News' printing equipment plans to continue a job printing plant at the present location, 181 Palm Avenue (The San Diego Union, Jan. 19, 1962)

1962/02/11 - Reorganization of the management of The Star-News publications news departments was announced this week by Lowell Blankfort and Rowland Rebele, co-publishers. Lee Chilson, managing editor of The Chula Vista and Imperial Beach Star-News, was also appointed managing editor of The National City Star-News. He will make his headquarters in The Star-News' National City office, and have primary responsibility for the National City newspaper's news content. Eugenia Boisseau Clarke, former managing editor in National City, was appointed Sunday editor of both the Chula Vista and National City publications She will make her headquarters in Chula Vista and will specialize in Chula Vista news, a field familiar to her in the past as a Chula Vista city hall reporter. CHILSON, 40, has been with the Chula Vista Star-News for 10 years and is the author of the popular column "South Bay Scene." He originally joined the Chula Vista newspaper as a reporter and was made managing editor of the Star-News publications after a merger of the Chula Vista and National City newspapers six years ago. Both he and his wife Gloria came from the same small town in North Dakota. They live at 2231 Ilex St., Nestor, with their five children. Before coming to Chula Vista. Chilson was news editor editor for four years of the Williston (N. D.) Daily Herald and a sports writer for the Jamestown (N. D.) Daily Sun. He served with the Army for five years during World War II, including two years with the infantry in the south Pacific. MRS. CLARKE, a native of Sioux City, Iowa, has had an 18-year career in the newspaper field, beginning in Los Angeles, where she worked for the City News Service and the United Press. She also has been editor of the Burbank (Calif.) News, and a news writer for the Bridgeport (Conn.) Sunday Herald, the Post Press Newspapers in El Centro, and the Newburgh (N.Y.) Daily News. She was Imperial Valley correspondent for the U S . Information Service, Newsweek Magazine and the Los Angeles Examiner. Mrs. Clarke, who lives at 2036A Sweetwater Road in the Sweetwater Valley, returned to The Star-News in I960. (Imperial Beach Star-News, Feb. 11, 1962; see article with photos of Chilson and Clarke)

South Bay girls display home town letters at half time when the Chargers played the New York Titans. Front row: Rory Freudernberg, Pat Max, Denise Butler, Nancy Loy, Carol Walker, Pam Brown, Tammy Mitchell, Cindy Camberg. Back row: Pat Rosten, Julie Anderson, Judy Ballard, Barbara Black an Betty Mahary. (The Imperial Beach Star-News, Sept. 20, 1962.)

1963/06/16 - Campus Viewpoint column began in Star-News, editor Judy Goering ( Chula Vista Star-News, June 16, 1963. )

1965/01/07 - Joyce Smith will teach class at Sweetwater High School adult school, "History of the South Bay area", she wants to make Montgomery wing a national monument. She is a member of South Bay Historical Society; wants to mark beginning of Camino Real at Mexican border where Serra crossed, not at San Diego Mission. Her first husband was John Hettich, editor of the Border Press. Before 1936 the couple edited the San Diego News Chronicle and Mountain Empire Bulletin. ( Chula Vista Star-News, Jan. 7, 1965.)

1965/04/08 - Wadie Deddeh gave his students in his political science class at Southwestern college the Alabama voter literacy test, all 126 flunked it, including Deddeh. the story was first printed in March 25 Star-News, was picked up by national wire services. It was the third Star-News story to go national in a little over a year. The others were the surrender in Imperial Beach of Frank Sinatra, Jr.'s kidnappers, and the denunciation last summer of Sen. Thomas Kuchel (R-Calif) of the Republican national convention. ( Chula Vista Star-News, Apr. 8, 1965.)

1965/07/29 - special supplement on expansion of the Star-News - chart of circulation growth 1961-65, from 24,073 to 42,255. ( Chula Vista Star-News, July 29, 1965.)

1966 - Lowell Blankfort received the Outstanding Layman award of the Sweetwater Education Association for his contributions to local education. ( Chula Vista Star-News, Feb. 23, 1969. )

1966/01/02 - Chester S. DeVore, 47, honored as the newspaper's first Newsmaker of the Year, for his role as the Great Compromiser among rival viewpoints, and his leadership of the Southwester College that won a "ringing vote of confidence" in October when voters passed by a 3 to 1 majority a $1.2 million bond issue to add four new buildings and a theater and art gallery. DeVore said he wanted the college to be "a leader not only in education but as a cultural center for the entire community." ( Chula Vista Star-News, Jan. 2, 1966.)

Front pages of the 1882 Record and 1919 Star reproduced in the 1965 Star-News.

1969/02/23 - Star-News 50th Anniversary edition. Started in 1919 as a 4-page weekly. In 1930 went to 8 pages, but during depression would occasionally go back to 4 pages. A new owner Ray Coyle took over 1944, and by 1945 was running 12 to 18 pages weekly. In 1948 the usual size was 18 pages, and by 1952 there were 25 page issue. In March 1960 when Ward's opened in National City, there was a 60-page edition. In the 1960s the Thursday average is 36-48 pages, and Sunday of 16 pages. Circulation grew from a couple hundred in 1919 to 15,000 in mid-1950s. ( Chula Vista Star-News, Feb. 23, 1969. )

1972 - The Bonita Valley News began in 1972, Daniel F. Green, publisher; Mary Jane Perkins, news editor; Daniel Ayer, Asst. Editor; Mike Schnepf, Sports and Photo Editor; Ann Dawe, Staff Reporter; Robb Hornbeck, Staff Photographer. ( Bonita Valley News, Oct. 20, 1973 )

1972/04/20 - Alice Blankfort began her series on C. Arnholt Smith in the Star-News, revealing the pattern of corrupt business practices that reached all the way to President Richard Nixon. The Republican National Committee decided May 5 to moved the national convention from San Diego to Miami Beach. None of this was published in the San Diego Union, or what Lowell Blankfort called the "Daily Monopoly" newspaper. ( Chula Vista Star News, Apr. 20 and May 4, 1972. Also, Vincent S. Ancona. "When the Elephants Marched Out of San Diego," The Journal of San Diego History 38 (Fall 1992) )

1972/06/04 - The Star-News received 8 county news awards; article by Mrs. Crowder on strange case of mother who married her own son and bore him a child; article by Larry Peterson on beachfront riots in Imperial Beach; article by Alice Blankfort on red tape and inhumanity of state Medi-Cal program; best photo award for a picture of Valentine Day lovers taken by late Charlie Phillips, one of his last photos, died of cancer 2 months later; community service aware for in-depth coverage of Chula Vista's new year-round elementary school including editorials by Lowell Blankfort. ( Chula Vista Star-News, June 4, 1972. )

1972/06/04 - Last month the Star-News switched production to offset replacing metal type, resulting in clearer pictures and easier to read type ( Chula Vista Star-News, June 4, 1972. )

1972/10 - In October, ownership of the Star-News changed hands. Lowell Blankfort and Rowland Rebele, co-owners, sold their stock in the newspapers and in Publishers Offset to Harte-Hanks Newspapers, a fast-growing Texas-based newspaper chain, in $3.8 million transaction. Harte-Hanks also bought several other non-daily newspapers in the San Diego area. Rebele and Blankfort agreed to remain as co-publishers and chief operating officers. ( Chula Vista Star-News, Dec. 28, 1972)

1972/12/28 - Alice Blankfort, Star-News investigative writer, this week was honored by the Suburban Press Association as Suburban Journalist of the Year. Mrs. Blankfort, editor of the newspaper's "etc." page, received a plaque and a $100 check at the annual association convention here. It was presented by Edward L. Dardanell of Monroesville, Pa., publisher of 10 suburban newspapers near Pittsburgh. Dr. Granville Price of Northern Illinois University, who rated the 28 contest entries, said judges were impressed with the "wide variety of topics Mrs. Blankfort covered on the Star-News "etc." page; "the thorough research evident, the lively writing and the imaginative illustrations." He cited as examples a two-part series on prisons, a three-part series on San Diego tycoon C. Arnholt Smith, and articles on Medi-Cal foulups, and on highways which raised new questions about unlimited freeway construction. The national prize is the latest in a series of honors won this year by the Star-News. In February, the Star-News was judged the best non-daily newspaper in California by the Newspaper Publishers Association, and in June, the weekly food page was judged the best in the nation for non-dailies. The Star-News also won more awards in county competition than any other newspaper, and its religion page was singled out last December for a full-page article in Editor and Publisher, national journalism weekly. ( Chula Vista Star-News, Dec. 28, 1972 )

1973/12/06 - Frontera paper in Mexicali has been sold to Fernando Gonzalez Diaz Lombardo, owner of Caliente Racetrack; is one of the two largest papers in Baja, the other is El Mexicano in Tijuana. (The San Diego Union, Dec. 6, 1973)

The Bonita Post, Oct. 20, 1976

1973/12/15 - The Bonita Post, began publication, was mailed on the 1st and 15th of each month to 5,000 residents in the Bonita area. ( Bonita Post, Dec. 15, 1973)

1975 - The Imperial Beach-San Ysidro-South San Diego Reminder was part of the six-paper San Diego Urban Newspaper Group, along with Star-News, owned by San Antonio-based Harte-Hanks since 1972.

1975/04/10 - For five months Victor Santana, owner of a seafood restaurant, has been publishing a 20-page newspaper, San Diego en Espanol, billed as the county's only Spanish-language weekly. In what was once a used car lot on Broadway south of Chula Vista, a 38- year-old Mexican-American is rolling his first dice in the risky world of newspaper publishing. There are half a million Spanish- speaking people in San Diego County. Each week 8,000 issues are placed in newsstands at liquor stores and shopping centers throughout the county and 2,000 go to Tijuana. Surprisingly, the paper sells best in North County, Santana said. "We put 20 issues in a newsstand in Imperial Beach and they take four or five days to sell. But 50 copies in Oceanside - zip! - gone the same day." The lack of Tijuana papers account for the popularity of Santana's paper there. ( Chula Vista Star-News, Apr. 10, 1975. )

1975/04/24 - "Looking Back," a feature on the early history of the South Bay, will tell about meat men, ice men, good guys and bad guys of the past. Writing the weekly Star-News featurette will be history buff Ruby Peters, born in Chula Vista 60 years ago . The retired school teacher's family was active in Chula Vista history, starting the Peters' Feed Store at 3rd and Center in Chula Vista. It carried hay, grain and eggs from surrounding farms. Ruby Peters Machado, who will use her maiden name as her pen name, taught 10 years in National City's EI Toyon and Lincoln Acres Schools before retiring. She also taught abroad and in San Diego. The short "Looking Back" items will appear starting today on the Star-News editorial page. It will be printed as part of the on-going American Revolution Bicentennial celebration, giving South Bay residents a glimpse of their past. ( Chula Vista Star-News, Apr. 24, 1975. )

1975/07/27 - The Star-News moved its offices a mile south to 837 Third Avenue. "The spacious office is located between K and L St. on Third Ave., about equally between Interstates 5 and 805. The Star-News grew under Rebele and Blankfort from a 23,000-circulation community paper in 1961 to its 72,000 circulation figure today. Gross business last year stood at $2.2 million, Rebele reported, a 400 per cent increase over the 1961 level. Its $800,000 annual payroll and its 70 full-time employes makes the Star-News one of the largest employers in the area. Many a local resident can claim having worked for the Star-News as a carrier boy. Some 350 boys and girls now deliver the Star-News and Shopper to 72,000 South Bay homes. The Star-News is a member of the six-paper San Diego Urban Newspaper Group, which includes the Life News, Sentinel, La Jolla Light Journal, Coronado Journal, and Imperial Beach-San Ysidro-South San Diego Reminder. The newspaper group is owned y the San Antonio-based Harte-Hanks, one of the 10 largest newspaper chains in the country. Rebele and Blankfort, who bought the Star-News from the estate of Ray Coyle in 1961, sold the newspaper to Harte-Hanks in 1972. They remain co-publishers and hold substantial stock in the Texas-based corporation. The Star-News has grown from an 8-page Sunday and 32-page Thursday paper in 1961 to a 24- to 32-page Sunday and 44- to 64-page Thursday edition. The Star-News turned to new technology to keep up with its growing newspaper size. "We bought our first rotary press in 1962," Rebele said, explaining how the obsolete eight-page flat bed press was scrapped. "We had to start printing on Monday to get the paper out by Thursday. That's how small the press was. We pre-printed and inserted. " The 32-page rotary press was soon replaced by another letter press twice the size, which was used until The Star-News turned to the modern photo-offset technique in 1971. The Star-News contracted with Clinton McKinnon's Publisher's Offset. Rebele and Blankfort soon became co-owners with McKinnon and Publisher's Offset printed the Star-News and the Sentinel. When the Harte-Hanks chain bought the McKinnon and Star-News interests in 1972, Publishers Offset was part of the package. Printing for the papers is still done there, but for the past two months, the Star-News has been doing all offset type setting and paste-up work in its new building at 837 Third Avenue, the former home of Yellow Front and Bradshaw's Market. Rebele and Blankfort started the Star-News Shopper which reaches 55,000 South Bay homes, the Voice and Viewpoint and the Imperial Beach Buy-Wizer. Backed by Harte-Hanks capital, The Star-News co- publishers have transformed the east county Life News from a 28,000 circulation weekly into the county's largest community newspaper with a 128,000 circulation. Blankfort is editor and co- publisher. Rebele is business manager and co-publisher. Johnnie Lou Rosas is the Star-News managing editor. ( Chula Vista Star-News, July 27, 1975. )

The Imperial Beach Reminder, Feb. 4, 1976

1978/01/21 - Mobile life is a new feature column in the Star-News about mobile home living, edited by John Kolsters. Some trailer parks such as Otay Lakes Lodge out Telegraph Road have their own newspaper with every day social events. ( Chula Vista Star-News, Jan. 21, 1978. )

1978/05/13 - Blankfort and Rebele have resigned as co-publishers. ( The San Diego Union, May 13, 1978 )

1978/07/27 - Newspaper co-publisher Joseph A Cocozzo named by Blankfort to replace Rebele who will leave at the end of next week, spend a year in Europe. Blankfort to remain as co-publisher until mid-November. ( Chula Vista Star-News, July 27, 1978. )

1979/02/22 - In the past five years, editorials by Blankfort have been judged either first or second in the statewide competition. In last year's contest, Blankfort's won second place for a series of editorials advocating public takeover of the California-American Water Co which voters approved at the polls. ( Chula Vista Star-News, Feb. 22, 1979. )

1979/11/04 - Third Baja newspaper and the most independent, the tabloid ABC, was shut down by the government. Ultimas Noticias (Mexico City) and La Voz de la Frontera are the other two newspapers. (The San Diego Union, Nov. 4, 1979)

Bonita Style, April, 1987.

1985 - The Bonita Style began monthly publication in the Sweetwater Valley, published by Mary Jane Perkins and the Style Publishing Company.

1986/12 - The Star-News was sold to Worrell Enterprises.

1992/02/01 - The San Diego Union prints its final edition before coming out tomorrow as The San Diego Union-Tribune. In Bonita, museum co-curator Richard Peņa, who also writes a column in the Chula Vista Star-News, recalls, "I used to deliver The Union on horseback. Not as much noise as a motorcycle, more convenient than a bicycle. You and the horse can carry more." ( The San Diego Union, Feb. 1, 1992 )

  • Bonita Post, 1973-1985, paper editions in the Bonita Museum and Cultural Center.
  • Bonita Style, 1985-1987, paper editions in the Sunnyside Library.
  • Chula Vista Star, 1930-1954, and Chula Vista Star-News, 1954-1992, microfilm in the Chula Vista Public Library.
  • Chula Vista Star, Prosperity Edition, Dec. 18, 1925, paper edition in the Bonita Museum and Cultural Center.
  • Imperial Beach Star-News, 1962-1985, bound volumes in the El Cajon Public Library.
  • Menzel, Spencer, "The Development of the Sweetwater Area," M.A. Thesis, University of Southern California, 1942.
  • National City News, 1905-1953, bound volumes in the Local History Room, National City Public Library.
  • National City Record, 1882-1903, bound volumes in the Local History Room, National City Public Library.
  • National City Star-News, 1954-1987, bound volumes in the Local History Room, National City Public Library.
  • Otay Press, 1889, bound volume in the Local History Room, Chula Vista Public Library.
  • San Ysidro Border Press, 1930-1936, bound volumes in the California Room, San Diego Public Library.
  • Thorpe, Teri, "Early Journalism In San Diego, The San Diego Herald and The San Diego Union," The Journal Of San Diego History 28 (Summer 1982).
  • Webster, Karna, Chula Vista Heritage 1911-1986. City of Chula Vista, 1986.
  • Webster, Karna, "Historic Resources Inventory," City of Chula Vista, 1985.
  • Yale, Richard, "The Birthplace of The San Diego Union," The Journal of San Diego History 14 (October 1968).

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