The Absence of Legal Neutrality at Immigration Court

July 1, 2015 by Source
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By Carlos Batara

Henry Adams was right.

A great teacher affects eternity; no one knows where his or her influence stops. Larry Schwartz, my college history instructor, was that type of educator.

Outside my parents, Professor Schwartz was the most influential person in my life. As an educator, he guided my studies of social, racial, and political injustices. As a mentor, he inspired me to become a professional dedicated to helping the downtrodden and disadvantaged.

He taught me, above all else, that law is the ultimate instrument of political power.

Does Legal Neutrality Exist?

This belief came under heavy attack at law school. At law school, one of my first year professors repeatedly asserted that the law was neutral. Despite trying, I was unable able to buy into his proposition. It did not fit my reality.

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Protecting Mauna Kea: “We Are Satisfied With The Stones”

July 1, 2015 by Source

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By Will Falk / San Diego Free Press

The pohaku stopped the Thirty Meter Telescope construction last Wednesday. They began appearing on the Mauna Kea Access Road like raindrops. First, they were sprinkled lightly underfoot. A small rock here. A larger one there. The cops cussed and swore as they tried to remove them from the path of their seemingly unstoppable paddy wagons.

As the cops ascended, washing over the lines of Mauna Kea Protectors standing in their way, small piles grew into a drizzle of stones formed in the gathering fog. Then, the pohaku became a downpour. Looking up the road half-a-mile, I saw heavy boulders standing up, marching to meet us, making it impossible for the TMT construction crews and their police escort to climb any higher.

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Momentum Mounting for 2016 California Marijuana Measure

June 30, 2015 by Source

MJcaliflagBy Phillip Smith / AlterNet

On June 14, more than 200 people gathered at the Sebastopol Grange for a fundraiser and organizing meeting of local pot growers, the Sonoma County Growers Association.

They were being mentored by their northern neighbors from Humboldt, Mendocino, and Trinity counties, the Emerald Growers Association, which already has lobbyists in Sacramento and is in the middle of the effort to legalize weed in California next year.

The Emerald Triangle is the largest marijuana growing area in the country’s largest marijuana producing state.

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People Watching at the OB Street Fair – a Photo Gallery

June 29, 2015 by Source
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Here is Albert C Elliott’s black & white photo gallery on people watching at the Ocean Beach Street Fair 2015.

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How to Measure the 30 Foot Height Limit in Ocean Beach and Point Loma

June 29, 2015 by Source
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By Geoff Page

There continues to be confusion as to how to measure a building so that it conforms to the 30-foot height limit. I thought I had a pretty good idea of how this was calculated but learned some things had changed.

I also learned that the Development Services Department (DSD) has started using a twisted interpretation that resulted in a building on Avenida de Portugal being 36 feet high.

I would like to explain what I have learned about how height is to be measured. There are three issues.

The first issue is the question of where on a lot the measurement is taken from. The second issue is wording that the City has brought into the measurement language.

The third issue is the worst one, allowing measurement from future structures on a site, not existing conditions.

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Debate Over Rock Church’s Decision to Refrain From Feeding and Clothing the Homeless

June 26, 2015 by Source

WorkingStandDownBy Jeeni Criscenzo / San Diego Free Press

A recent post on the Facebook page for Homeless News San Diego showed a letter from the Rock Church regarding a change in policy for feeding homeless people.

Part of one sentence was highlighted:

refrain from feeding homeless people on the streets, as well as distributing items such as clothing and blankets.

The post indicates there were 107 shares and 206 comments!

I can’t recall ever seeing an issue evoke such passionate responses from so many people with opposing, yet reasonable points of view.

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The San Diego-Tijuana Boundary Monuments

June 24, 2015 by Source

Mexican war MapBy Barbara Zaragoza / San Diego Free Press

In 1848, the U.S.-Mexican War ended with the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. The treaty stipulated that Mexico relinquish 1.2 million square miles of its territory to the United States in return for $15 million. It also assigned a Joint U.S. and Mexican Boundary Commission to determine the exact location of the new boundary line.

The Commission consisted of a large caravan of men, including a commissioner and a surveyor for both sides. The drawing of the boundary line took two years to complete–from 1849 to 1851. The Joint Commission erected 52 boundary monuments with #1 overlooking the Pacific Ocean in what today is Border Field State Park.

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Protecting Mauna Kea: This Is a War

June 23, 2015 by Source

defend mauna kea

By Will Falk / San Diego Free Press

Sitting outside the 10 by 20 foot makeshift tent that has served as my home for the last 34 days on Mauna Kea, I watch the tent poles shudder to the concussion of US Army howitzer cannons firing live shells at their training grounds below. When the wind blows just right, from the south, the rattle of automatic rifle fire reaches the occupation. There’s no denying it: A war rages in Hawai’i.

It’s a war on native peoples, a war on women, a war on the land, a war on life itself. The war did not start in Hawai’i. …

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Ronald McDonald’s Unhappy Meals

June 22, 2015 by Source

Ronald McDonald photo

By Jill Richardson / OtherWords

McDonald’s is floundering.

There’s no other way to say it. The global fast food chain has experienced declining U.S. sales for well over a year now. But why?

I’d love to gloat that Americans have finally caught on that the Golden Arches peddles terrible food, but that might not be the case.

Theories for the slump abound.

Some believe the menu is too confusing, slowing down service. Others say that consumers are drifting toward fast-casual chains like Chipotle and Panera, even if their food costs more.

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Lessons to Be Learned from The Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed at San Diego Natural History Museum

June 19, 2015 by Source

mayan imageBy Jeeni Criscenzo /
San Diego Free Press

I spent a recent Sunday afternoon exploring the new exhibit at the San Diego Natural History Museum, Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed.

Being somewhat of an aficionado of Maya studies, due to the considerable research I did while writing the novel, Place of Mirrors , I had tacked the announcement for this event to my calendar with great anticipation. I wasn’t disappointed! This exhibit was thorough, interesting and respectful of the Maya culture, both past and present.

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Olympia WA Police Shoot Two Un-Armed Black Men

June 18, 2015 by Source
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Another Police Shooting of African-Americans!It Can Happen Anywhere in the United States Including Olympia, WA. It Did Happen Here!

by Peter Bohmer / June 4, 2015

At 1:15 A.M. early Thursday, May 21st, 2015 on the westside of Olympia, Washington, white police officer, Ryan Donald, shot two young Black unarmed brothers, Andre Thompson, aged 24, and Bryson Chaplin, aged 21.

These two Olympia residents were initially in serious condition at nearby hospitals in Tacoma and Seattle. Andre Thompson was released from the hospital five day after being shot but has broken ribs and internal injuries. As of June 4th, Bryson Chaplin is still hospitalized and paralyzed from the waist down with a bullet lodged in his spine.

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A Small Restoration Is a Big Deal in Mission Bay

June 18, 2015 by Source
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By Robert Little

There is a lot of action at the corner of Pacific Beach Drive and Crown Point Drive in Pacific Beach these days. The visible construction of grading for a small restoration project behind the marsh fence started in May of this year but the preparations started more than two years ago and the covering of the bare sandy soil will take at least six months to complete. The work is restricted to the portion of the marsh owned by the University of California and managed by UCSD.

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Non-Profit Sponsor Is Huge Step for Point Loma Park at End of Avenida de Portugal

June 17, 2015 by Source
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By Jon Linney and Don Sevrens / Special to the OB Rag

Our walk-in park at the upper end of Avenida de Portugal is moving forward. Big time.

We have a nonprofit sponsor. United Portuguese S.E.S., by a vote of the board of directors, has agreed to take on that role. What’s more, they will be our financial custodian, processing all private donations through a segregated account.

The agreement is a milestone on our path to success. It fulfills a city requirement that we have a nonprofit sponsor and means all donations are tax-deductible. Further, with UPSES serving also as the financial custodian, every penny of every donation will go directly to the park. There will be no administrative fees.

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OB Historical Society Presents: “San Diego Legends” – Thurs., June 18

June 17, 2015 by Source

OBHS Poster 6-18-15

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Panel on Homelessness at Midway Planners’ Meet – Wed. June 17

June 16, 2015 by Source
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By Tony de Garate

Oh no — not another meeting about homelessness?

No doubt that’s what some will say about the panel assembled by the office of District 2 San Diego City Councilor Lorie Zapf for a discussion on the topic at the monthly meeting of the Midway Community Planning Group June 17 at 3 p.m. in Room 205 of the San Diego Community College, West City Campus, 3249 Fordham St.

If anyone should be skeptical about efforts to address homeless issues in the Midway community, it’s Melanie Nickel, the planning group’s longtime chair. No other issue has been as chronic, pervasive and seemingly unsolvable in the 12 years she’s served with the group.

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June in Your Garden: Time for Early Summer Planting

June 16, 2015 by Source

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By Susan Taylor

San Diegans get half an inch of rain… and they become mad planters!

Yes, it did rain and everyone rushed to plant more seeds and summer veggies in the refreshed soil. What a good idea! While it rained I browsed yet another article on companion planting. Although we did cover this topic last year I think it bears consideration.

Companion planting means planting certain garden plants together for intended benefits.

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The Old OB Hippie: Jogging for the Revolution

June 15, 2015 by Source

Old Hippie ob timeIt’s OB Time

The Old OB Hippie Claims He Was the First OB Jogger and Says: Concrete Is Not Good for Knees

By the Old OB Hippie

When I left the college campus with a degree, it was during the heady days of the Vietnam War and the anti-war movement. There had been protests and demonstrations galore against the war for years and they were getting more intense and militant as each year went by. The country was being torn up by the war and how the Pentagon got its way. Students and young people were being turned into radicals. ‘Revolution was in the air.’

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It’s Not Right: San Diego Life Guards Do Not Receive the Same Health Coverage as Firefighters

June 15, 2015 by Source
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Lifeguards Deserve Presumptive Coverage

By Ed Harris / Special to the OB Rag

When a San Diego Firefighter or Police officer is injured or contracts an illness while performing their job, the City provides them with presumptive health coverage. Presumptive coverage includes meningitis, tuberculosis and hepatitis, to name a few.

Since San Diego Lifeguards are part of the San Diego Fire Department, one would think they’d be provided that same presumptive coverage. They are not.

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What’s in a Park’s Name? OB’s “Saratoga Park” Not Recognized by City

June 12, 2015 by Source
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Report on OB CDC Meeting: The main topic was the Adult Fitness Stations/Children’s Play Area for Saratoga Park. The request has been made to the County Board of Supervisors for a grant, but the outcome is at this time unknown.

What exactly is Saratoga Park? To try to fit this into the overall scheme of things, the city Parks & Rec web-site is not very enlightening. Saratoga Park is not on the list of parks.

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Artificial Grass May Save Water, But Does It Endanger People?

June 11, 2015 by Source
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By Lynne Peeples / Huffington Post / June 9, 2015

When Michael and Barbara Fouch first considered replacing their grassy lawn with artificial turf, they researched the growing array of options for the green plastic blades and the infill that holds them in place. They wanted a product that looked nice, but they also wanted something that wouldn’t make any people or pets sick.

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Only a Bully Kicks the Poor – Darrell Issa Takes on America’s Poverty

June 11, 2015 by Source

Darrell Issa QuoteBy Jeeni Criscenzo / San Diego Free Press

A few weeks back Rep. Darrell Issa (CA 49) tried to defend his statement made during a CNN interview, that “we’ve been able to make our poor somewhat the envy of the world.”

As someone who has dedicated my life to helping our poor, I am compelled to offer an opposing perspective. To be clear, this is not a debate between the left and the right, or liberals vs conservatives, or Democrats vs Republicans.

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Letter to Mayor Faulconer From OB Planning Board on Climate Action Plan

June 9, 2015 by Source

Editor: The following is a letter from the Ocean Beach Planning Board, signed by its chair, John Ambert, to Mayor Faulconer of their support for the Climate Action Plan.

The Honorable Kevin L. Faulconer
Mayor of San Diego
… The Ocean Beach Planning Board strongly supports the Climate Action Plan draft as released …

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Today – June 8th – Is World Oceans Day

June 8, 2015 by Source
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Today – June 8th – is World Oceans Day, an international celebration officially recognized by the United Nations.

Among the purposes, the United Nations says the day’s intention is to “remind everyone of the major part the ocean has in everyday life” and “information the public on the impact of the human actions of the ocean.”

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Ocean Beach Has the Longest Pier In Southern California

June 5, 2015 by Source
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OB Pier Is Also One of the Most Visited Landmarks in San Diego County

Who’s got the longest pier in Southern California?

OB does.

According to our research, at 1,971 feet, the OB Pier is the longest pier in Southern California. The closest competitor is Oceanside at 1,954. Imperial Beach is only 1,491. (The Santa Cruz Wharf is 2,745 feet but it’s not in SoCal.)

Plus, the OB Pier is host to more than a half million visitors each year. This makes it “one of the most visited landmarks in San Diego County,” according to the Los Angeles Daily News.

And, since the OB Pier was built in 1966 – guess what!? Next year is its 50th anniversary!

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The High Cost of Low Taxes

June 5, 2015 by Source

Californians are paying for tax cuts made years ago through outrageously high fines that make no sense.

By Jill Richardson / Other Words

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In May, I arrived in San Diego following five days of driving across the country from Wisconsin. I pulled into my friend’s driveway, brought my things inside, and went back to my car to park it on the street.

Almost immediately, a cop’s siren and flashing lights went off. I’d left my license in my friend’s apartment, so I was in trouble no matter what. But I was in even more trouble because, the cop told me, my license had been suspended since September.

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Open Letter to San Diego U-T on Ad Circulars – and Their Response

June 3, 2015 by Source
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Editor: Here below is the letter to the San Diego Union-Tribune from Mary Tolena – one of our own OB activists on the newspaper’s ad circulars – the subject of the last OB Town Council meeting. Mary is writing to Robert York and Mr. Ficarra, the paper’s reps at the meeting; below Mary’s letter is York’s response.
______
Dear Mr. York and Mr. Ficarra:
…after listening to you at the meeting, I have a lot of optimism about the future of the U-T in San Diego. I came away believing that the U-T of today is not the entity we were fighting when we started this Stop The Litter campaign in early April.

… I was even more delighted when I looked out my window today and saw a man and his son/grandson/nephew walking our sidewalks, checking addresses on a clipboard,

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Hillside Improvement Project for Sunset Cliffs Park Delayed Again

June 3, 2015 by Source
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A Report of the Sunset Cliffs Natural Park Advisory Committee Meeting of June 1, 2015

By Lois Lane

The City of San Diego is very good at planning; it’s that pesky implementation that always causes the problem.

In the case of the Hillside Improvement Project for Sunset Cliffs Natural Park, the expected start of construction has been delayed yet again.

You may recall, the nesting bird protection was a potential anticipated delay reported at the last meeting. This time, we are back to zero.

The contract awarded to Del Mar Construction has been held up due to bonding problems.

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Protecting Mauna Kea: Notes From the Summit

May 29, 2015 by Source

Ahinahina - Hawai'ian Silversword (Argyroxiphium sandwicense subsp. macrocephalum)

By Will Falk / San Diego Free Press

I went to the Thirty Meter Telescope construction site near the summit of Mauna Kea for the first time, today. Four-wheel drive is recommended for the road that twists steeply with hairpin turns up the Mountain, so ten of us piled into a Kanaka uncle’s (older native Hawaiian man’s) pick-up truck to go see the summit.

Leaving from the visitor center parking lot at 9,200 feet the road ascends over 5,000 feet to an elevation close to 14,000. While my ears popped, my sense of wonder grew. Conversations around the truck bed stopped as the Mountain’s power over our senses intensified.

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Auto Emissions: More Deadly Than Auto Accidents

May 29, 2015 by Source
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By Bill Adams/UrbDeZine

A nearby roadway may be putting your household’s health at risk. The same is true of workplaces, schools, and other places where people spend significant time. This health risk is from the elevated auto emissions near high traffic roadways. It’s a health risk separate and in addition to the regional air pollution from auto emissions.

We have come to draw a false sense of security from our collective sharing of regional air pollution and, perhaps, the belief that regulatory agencies protect us. However, research continues to show that air pollution, particularly from auto emissions, has profound effects on health.

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Peninsula Planners View City’s Plan for Catalina and Cañon Street

May 27, 2015 by Source
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By Tony de Garate / Special to the OB Rag

Nearly three months after an SUV struck and killed a seven-month-old girl who was being pushed in a stroller in the middle of a Point Loma crosswalk, city officials say they are developing plans to ensure such a tragedy doesn’t happen again.

Two city engineers say construction of a traffic signal designed to protect people using the crosswalk where the fatality occurred near the intersection of Catalina Boulevard and Cañon Street could begin in two months.

Pedestrians would be able to stop traffic 50 feet in front of the crosswalk by pushing a button, which would cause the light to turn yellow, then red, allowing cars to stop in good time, said Kharman Tawfiq, an assistant civil engineer in the city’s Traffic Engineering Division, at the monthly meeting of the Peninsula Community Planning Board May 21.

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