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Buena Creek Blues- Graffiti, Alcohol, Stolen Shopping Carts and More!

By   /  May 10, 2018  /  6 Comments


Alex Hughes  —  Vista CA ..May 2018   Going home to my mom’s house, I walk through a different part of Vista. One like my grandma’s area in the sense that it is on the border of San Diego County and the City of Vista. I am going to be honest that Buena Creek is a dirtier part of town. I always thought when I was younger that my mom lived in the nice part of Vista where there was suburban housing and families living door to door. However, it seems that recently when I went back that it is facing some serious issues that have compounded together.

Photos by Alex Hughes

I get off the Sprinter at Buena Creek and first notice the amount of trash along the platform. This trash comes in stranger forms such as articles of clothing and more body care items rather than the plastic wrappings of snacks. I sense that the homeless have come this way. The concrete path out from the station is littered with cigarettes and cheap 99 cent liquor shots. They are hidden beneath a shed away from the light of day.

I cross the street and notice that a sticker is attached to the signal titled “PONE”. I knew from the past that this area was a target for graffiti from the electrical boxes to even “Los Junior’s Mexican Food”. People had come around to mark “their” territory.


As I walk across Robelini Drive, I notice the fading lines of the white crosswalk paint and enter an area devoid of sidewalk. The only thing standing between me and the street are an arm’s length of dirt and the crammed parking spaces of local businesses. I weave through the parking lots of Colinas Contractors, Used Tires Emmanuel and Motorcycles Unlimited. As I pass through, I notice that trash collects on the bushes and the tumbleweeds on these properties as well as the dirt pathway that I come across. Cigarette butts are littered everywhere along with styrofoam pieces and plastic bottles which surround the 305 bus stop I pass by.

As you turn left onto Woodland Drive, you notice Nissho Landscaping and the benches outfront. Graffiti is tagged on the green paint of the arm rests and the seats. The landscaping on the outside of the property has evidence of marijuana usage with “Rx” bottles for medical marijuana littered about. One has broken into smaller pieces near the storm drain and some are popped open from self medicating.

I take a turn onto Hannalei Drive toward my elementary school and notice how close this blight gets to my old school. The graffiti, dog waste, marijuana containers and alcohol bottles get right up to the property line. I shake my forehead realizing how much has changed in this area. What happened to the nice neighborhood that I live in? It seems that this negative influence has started to invade our peaceful homes.

That is why we can reverse this trend by picking up the trash that we see, reporting the graffiti to the city for cleanup and volunteering to clean up the weeds. In addition, we can report stolen shopping carts and install dog waste containers. Surprisingly, most if not all of these actions can be done by an average citizen! These small steps will insure that we can soften the sound of the Buena Creek Blues!


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  • Published: 11 months ago on May 10, 2018
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  • Last Modified: May 10, 2018 @ 6:04 pm
  • Filed Under: Local

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  1. Sandi Lord says:

    Suggest ypu write to Alex and let him know that Buena Creek is a large area encompassing a lot more ground than the area around the Sprinter station and points west on S. Santa Fe, Articles like this, while well-meant, will negatively affect the resale value of expensive homes in the area, and inexpensive ones as well.
    The very young writer has no idea what he is doing. Yes, the area around the Sprinter station is a mess, and has been for years. Before the Sprinter, there was a derelict building on the property, once an apartment building, that was used by squatters and drug dealers for years. The area on the south side of Santa Fe that he describes once held a lovely German restaurant when we moved here in the seventies. Around it were the trashy properties that still exist, and the trash and debris that we also see now, but in smaller quantities. It was not a nice area then, and will not be until it is all torn down and replaced with modern buildings, sidewalks and money-making businesses. The Nissho area is home to landscape workers, likely low-paid latinos who may not know the laws or care about them. They are trying to support their families, likely south of the border. They may or may not be legally here. But they aren’t supporting our way of life. We understand their need. But they are not helping the area.
    Alex should lead a charge to motivate citizens of Vista to get the area renovated by the City, and at the same time force the property owners in the area to keep it cleaned up, especially North County Transit.
    The local big merchants, whom I used to call to report shopping carts, don’t seem to care. They seem to think that people are using them to bring home goods they purchased, and that they will bring them back.
    The world, including our part, has changed. The sheriff’s department cannot arrest drug users unless they have committed a more serious crime. The homeless want us to feed them, but won’t clean up their messes. And the ones camping out have been responsible for more than one wildfire in our area.
    In the end, the feds will have to somehow solve the problems in Mexico and points south, where drug lords are running things and terrorizing the peasants there, forcing them to try to get here to get work. Look at what is happening with those claiming fear from the drug people for their arriving at the border.
    Please, if you have any good ideas, do something with them. But do not label a large area like Buena Creek the way Alex did. I live here, and where I live has nothing to do with the area near the Sprinter station.

    • Carl Hughes says:

      Thank you for the response that was well thought out! I will continue to report the graffiti here to the County as I learned that most of it is outside of Vista’s jurisdiction. The shopping carts I will report to the phone number written on the individual carts. The trash I will pick up myself when I visit my mom’s house. I was not aware that there was a German restaurant! Where was that exactly on South Santa Fe? I definitely will take note of the Buena Creek area and specify it more in future reports. That is the name I always hear when I get off the Sprinter.

  2. Janelle says:

    Thank you Alex. I agree, as citizens we need to pick up the litter in our neighborhood. Sadly this area is in need of help from the city, county and local businesses. The apartment, land and building owners need to step up along with NCTD to clean the area. I see a larger homeless population in this area that also hang out in downtown Vista. I blame the city and county for not doing enough.

  3. Mary Goffeney says:

    Hey Alex
    Your vivid writing skills and your community consciousness are commendable. Maybe you will become a news reporter one day! I like your solution ideas. I also am impressed by your VERY mature response to input from others. Your mom should be quite proud of you. Best of luck on your endeavors.

    • Carl Hughes says:

      Thank you! I like to give a narrative or story. I also learned that you have to be more conscious of your reactions. Sometimes it is hard but it is possible.

  4. Whistle Blower says:

    100% agree.
    And…I’m DOING IT. – I’ve come-from FLORIDA.

    I ..RESPECT…neighborhoods .. and PEOPLE.

    A STANARD. You have Standards.

    We DO IT….t o g e t h e r. RESIST the filth and ignorance. Hieronymous Bosch

    “Cleanliness is next to Godliness.”

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