“Young at Art” in Ocean Beach Unleashes Kids’ Creativity

April 29, 2016 by Source
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Children’s Creative Center Art Show & Fundraiser – Saturday, April 30

By Ruth McGraw

Drawing and painting were always easy for me. When I was five, I drew a giant green peace sign on my parents’ freshly painted wall. Needless to say they were less than pleased, but that was when I knew I wanted to paint every wall, every where.

In what feels like a former life, I served in the Marine Corps and then as a Civil Service agent, and achieved my bachelors in Homeland Security and Emergency Management. I am very proud of my service and grateful for the friendships made and life lessons learned.

However, those days are passed. I finally realized that the taxing paranoia of constantly waiting for the “worst case scenario” was inhibiting my growth as a person. I was tired of expecting and seeing the bad in the world.

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Rule By American Dynasty Sinks Deeper Into Our Democracy

April 28, 2016 by Source

idealismBy Frank Thomas

I’ve always thought it would be nearly impossible for Bernie to ultimately win over the establishment status-quo Democratic forces so typically fearful of genuine progressive change … so caught up in an incremental rear guard progress and presidential nomination campaign that is manipulatively, simplistically characterized as one of ‘idealism’ versus ‘realism. So, the message in short seems to be, vote for the candidate of “lowered expectations.”

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What if We All ‘Left No Trace?’

April 27, 2016 by Source
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by Averi Melcher/San Diego UrbDeZine / April 21, 2016

As I’ve been camping and sharing my adventures, there’s one thing that keeps showing up over and over in my experiences: trash.

About 2 months ago, I was crawling through mud caves in Anza Borrego, when I looked down and found 2 Starburst wrappers illuminated by my headlight. A month ago, I was hiking a mountain in the Joshua Tree back-country and happened upon a deflated helium balloon. Then – later that night – I sat my tent down and fell asleep, just to wake up in the morning and find myself trying to maneuver out of my tent on shards of glass and plastic.

I thought to myself: why is this happening? Why am I finding trash in areas that are off the beaten path – in fact, they are so remote that the Joshua Tree trail log I found indicated I was the first human to step foot on that mountain in a month?

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San Diego Historical Resources Board: Save the Historic Caliente Mural

April 26, 2016 by Source

caliente racetrack sign

Sign the petition at Change.Org

By Enrique Limón / Change.Org

On Thursday, April 28 at 1 pm, San Diego’s Historical Resources Board will hold a meeting to strip away any historical association to the Caliente mural located on the back wall of downtown’s California Theatre (included San Diego’s Register of Designated Historical Resources in 1990).

In December 2011, after news broke that a beer company was set to paint over the mural, a petition on Change.org garnered over 1,000 signatures and made sure city officials listened loud and clear. An independent historic report commissioned by the Save Our Heritage Organisation determined the mural itself was also of historical significance. Now, the city wants to make way for big development.

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Urbanologist Mike Davis Reflects on His San Diego Upbringing and the 2016 Presidential Election

April 22, 2016 by Source
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A New Electorate: Mike Davis on Clinton, Trump, and Sanders

Editor: In the following – somewhat dated – interview, local-boy and well-known urbanologist Mike Davis, who is from El Cajon, reflects on his upbringing and the 2016 Presidential primaries. The interview with Maria-Christina Vogkli and George Souvlis first appeared on the LSE Researching Sociology blog.

By George Souvlis and Maria-Christina Vogkli / Verso / March 1, 2016

1) Could you please tell us a bit about your family background?

My family background is distinctive only in being impossibly average. My dad came from a rural Protestant background in Ohio and was a fervent New Deal Democrat. My mom was an urban Irish Catholic and a registered Republican, but twice voted for the Socialist candidate Norman Thomas. She equally adored President Eisenhower and Liberace.

Both were high-school graduates. Apart from the Vulgate Bible we had no books in our home, but my father was an avid newspaper reader (sports and politics) and my mom devoured the Reader’s Digest cover to cover. My dad worked in the wholesale meat industry in a strangely hybrid white collar/blue collar job.

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A Chat with Singer Janis Ian

April 22, 2016 by Source

Appearing May 22nd at the Balboa Theater at a Benefit for the San Diego Human Dignity Foundation Lesbian Health Initiative


By Anne M. Haule / San Diego Free Press

I had the most delightful chat with Janis Ian this morning. Her warmth immediately calmed my nerves (in this my first celebrity interview). I felt as if I were chatting with a friend. She is upbeat, articulate, humorous and amazingly candid. She was generous with her time and forthright with her comments. She is a self-proclaimed optimist with a sparkle in her voice.

We began by talking about her 50+ year career – and what a versatile career it has been and continues to be. Janis has received 38 awards and honors for her music, her writing, her audiobooks, and her social activism.

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BREAKING: Prince Has Died at 57

April 21, 2016 by Source
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Prince died earlier today (April 21) at age 57 at his Paisley Park home and studio, his publicist confirmed to the Associated Press. TMZ first reported the news.

Prince was hospitalized last week after his plane for was forced to make an emergency landing in Moline, Ill. Released a few hours later, a rep told TMZ that he had been battling a bad case of the flu.

One of the most iconic musicians in music history, Prince’s extensive career grew out of the music scene of his native Minneapolis, where he lived his entire life. His 1978 debut album For You and self-titled second LP, released in October 1979, kicked off an incredibly prolific run of albums that included 1999, Purple Rain, Around The World In A Day, Sign O The Times and Batman, among others, throughout the 1980s at a clip of nearly one per year, evolving with each release.

It was 1984’s Purple Rain — his first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 -,,,

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What’s Up, Point Loma? Attempted Abduction of Young Woman and Bomb Threats at the High School

April 21, 2016 by Source
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By South OB Girl

What is up with the news recently, Point Loma?

Bomb Threats at Pt Loma High Linked to Online Gaming Group

First the bomb threat at Point Loma High School last Wednesday, April 1th. Which was the third bomb threat made against PLHS this month (threats were also made on April 5 and 6).
According to San Diego police, the teen was linked to an online gaming group that made bomb threats – often called “swatting” – in five other states including Georgia, Michigan, Massachusetts, Texas and Illinois.

Attempted Abduction of Woman Student from Nazarene Jogging on Moana

Then the attempted abduction of a young woman on Thursday, April 14 near Point Loma Nazarene University. …

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A Celebration of the “Last 420” Before Legalization in California

April 20, 2016 by Source
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Ye Ol’OB Hippie Speaks

It seems rather fitting, doesn’t it, that today we celebrate the last 420 before recreational marijuana is legalized in California? It’s on the November election ballot – (a bunch of other different initiatives are trying for the ballot). But by all polls and tokens, marijuana legalization, in some form or rather, is expected to pass.

The last time weed legalization was on the California ballot, it was Prop 19 – the marijuana legalization initiative on the November 2010 ballot. It lost, 53.5% to 46.5%, but more people voted for Prop 19 than voted for the Republican candidate for governor – Meg Whitman. Remember her?

Since then, all kinds of polls show Americans increasingly favoring legalization. Majorities of Americans, in fact, have favored legalization for 3 years already.

Adult Use of Marijuana Act

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Open Letter to San Diego City Council Committee on Reform of Civilian Police Review Board

April 19, 2016 by Source
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Editor: The following open letter to the San Diego City Charter Committee was accompanied by this urgent call for action from Martha Sullivan:

This Wednesday, April 20th, at 9am is our last chance to convince the City Council Charter Review Committee to recommend our CRB Reform Ballot Proposal be put on the November Ballot. It’s Item 1 on the agenda – come to the 12th Floor Council Committee Room in City Hall. Allow time for parking and to get through the ground floor security screening.

See our latest letter to the Charter Review Committee following — and come on Wednesday morning to support more independence, transparency and accountability for civilian police review:

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A Democratic Spring: Thousands March on Washington Demanding Fixes to a Broken Political System

April 19, 2016 by Source

Credit: AFL-CIO Twitter

By Steven Rosenfeld / Alternet

Thousands of protesters from across America descended on the U.S. Capitol and Supreme Court on Monday, where hundreds of pro-democracy activists were arrested for blocking Congress’ doorstep and loud crowds of young people, undocumented familes, and immigration advocates rallied at the Court.

The action was a stunning display of a growing and vibrant progressive spectrum, reflecting a determination to work together on a range of justice issues that define much of what’s wrong with America’s political system.

The day began together, with thousands filling a nearby park for early morning speeches, prayers and pledges to protest non-violently.

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Jesse Egan, OB’s Funny Man and Host of “Tonight in San Diego”

April 18, 2016 by Source
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Egan Has Brought Laughs to OB for 16 Years

By South OB Girl

Long time OBcean, Jesse Egan, can be found these days hosting the late night talk show, “Tonight in San Diego”. If you attend a taping, or if you watch the show on-line – you are guaranteed a night filled with a ton of laughs!

You may remember Jesse from running stand up comedy at Winstons. Or as the host of “Think and Drink” trivia night at Winstons. He has been bringing laughs to OB for 16 years. And now via the YouTube based show, those laughs will be coming from people city wide, nation wide, and world wide.

Currently on YouTube, the show has potential to become huge. The excellent quality of material, the writing, the production team — this show is going places. And the show is definitely taking Jesse’s career to the next level.

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Is It All Coming Together?

April 18, 2016 by Source
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By Jeeni Criscenzo

Is it all coming together,
or all falling apart?
I can’t tell anymore.
I came with love,
but can’t find your heart.

I tried to explain how we could help get people off their streets,
by providing basic shelter in supportive communities.
We’d carefully thought out the plan,
Laid it out for them in ways they could understand,
how this would make life better for everyone.

But they came armed with one practiced phrase:
“Not in my backyard!”

Can it all come together?
Or is it already falling apart?
It’s impossible to tell
When we say we want peace,
but we’re fighting an uphill battle from the start.

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Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and Improv Street Theater in San Diego

April 15, 2016 by Source

“We’re here to comfort those who are disturbed and disturb those who are comfortable.”

By Barbara Zaragoza

Sister Donatello Soul and Sister Kali Vagilistic X.P. Aladocious

The Sister’s of Perpetual Indulgence, San Diego Chapter came into existence in April 2005. Fourteen San Diegans went up to Los Angeles and talked to their SPI about starting an order. Thereafter, the San Diego Sisters established their SPI chapter and called it the “Asylum of the Tortured Heart, Inc.,” devoting themselves to outreach for those on the edges.

Eleven years later, the Sisters still use humor and irreverent wit to expose the forces of bigotry and complacency.

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La Migra: A Chicano Historical Perspective

April 14, 2016 by Source

By Herman Baca

Herman Baca Bert Corona Corky 1977If the so-called U.S. immigration issue is a historical labor issue as Chicano/Mexicanos activists, historians, scholars & academicians claim, what then has been the historical role of the U.S. Border Patrol (BP)?

To answer that question one has to study the U.S.’s historical addiction to free and cheap labor. That started when white supremacists created the Afro-American slave labor system in Jamestown, West Virginia in 1619. A town named after King James I of England who organized the slave trade in America, and translated the King James Bible?

Today, those white supremacists are represented by Republican party presidential candidate, Donald Trump, and his Know-Nothing let’s make America great again supporters.

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“Terriers” – Another Look at the Neo-Noir TV Series Filmed in Ocean Beach

April 13, 2016 by Source

TERRIERS: L-R: Donal Logue as Hank Dolworth and Michael Raymond-James as Britt Pollack in TERRIERS premiering on FX. CR:Patrick McElhenney / FX

Editor: Here is indeed an interesting look back at Terriers’ – the TV series filmed in Ocean Beach. The show ran for 13 episodes on FX in 2010.

By Phil McCausland / A.V. Club / April 12, 2016

Terriers’ perfect one-season run defied description, marketability

FX needed a comeback in 2010.

In September 2009 FX made an unprecedented move, going six-for-six with pilot-to-series orders. Four of those shows came to define the network: Louie, Justified, Archer, and The League. A fifth, Lights Out, had promise but no audience.

The sixth was the lowest-rated program FX ever produced, and one of its most poorly named: Terriers.

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Immigrants Shouldn’t Be Locked Up for Being Poor

April 13, 2016 by Source

jail_cell_1336162381_600x275By Michael Tan, Staff Attorney, Immigrants’ Rights Project, ACLU

In the federal criminal bail system, judges are required to consider someone’s financial ability to pay a bond and determine if alternative conditions of supervision — check-ins, travel restrictions — are enough to get the person to show up for court.

But such protections don’t apply to immigrants locked up in detention centers. The result is that people like Cesar Matias, a gay man from Honduras, end up jailed simply because they’re poor.

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Tour de Taco – Search for the Best Taco

April 11, 2016 by Source
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Local Takes Tourist On Epic Search for the Only Taco Worth Writing Home About

By Sunny Rey

I met Shawn on a Saturday night, he mentioned he was in town for only the week and was here to find the best fish taco. This excited me. As a local, one of my biggest highs is showing the town off to noobs and cruising around seeing the city through the eyes of the traveler. The first time experience of Sunset Cliffs, the hearts feeling of repositioning itself during twilight at Seaport Village, lining your body up against the docked boats with a backdrop of silver and salmon colored sky.

A walk around the cross at Mt. Soledad, the families the edge and teen spirit at the boardwalk. The bars the craft donuts the music scene and pretty bodies on gorgeous beaches, all of it too much to squeeze into a week itinerary, but this small goal to find the best fish taco?! That- I could most defiantly take on!

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Statement by Ed Harris – Candidate for San Diego Mayor

April 11, 2016 by Source
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Editor: Here we post, unedited, a statement from Ed Harris who is running for San Diego’s mayor. We do welcome statements from other candidates.

A mayoral debate has been set for the next OB Town Council meeting for Wednesday, April 27th. Harris and Lori Saldana have confirmed for the debate, but Mayor Kevin Faulconer has not.

Progress, Not Politics

By Ed Harris

Kevin Faulconer is a nice enough guy. He’s worked hard to build an image as a down-to-earth
problem solver. His political handlers claim that polls show he’s viewed favorably by most
voters. In fact, they say he’s done such a good job that he’s now a contender to be California’s
next governor.

So an obvious question is, why am I running against him for mayor in the June 7 primary

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The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, San Diego Chapter

April 7, 2016 by Source

By Barbara Zaragoza / San Diego Free Press

Sister Kali Vagilistic X.P.Aladocious & Guard Inya

They’re witty. They’re irreverent. They have names such as Sister Hungry Bitch and Sister Hysterectoria. The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, San Diego Chapter seek “to promulgate universal joy and expiate stigmatic guilt.”

They’ve been called drag queens. They’ve been called a sorority of gay men. As a matter of fact, to be a Sister is a calling and their focus is on helping community members who have been marginalized or ignored.

The Sisters have a rich history that dates back to the days when AIDS ravaged the gay male population and few people—if any—wanted to serve their needs. Since then, the Sisters have grown into many chapters nationally and internationally. Their work encompasses improv street theater, charitable activities and a general call to serve others.

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San Diego is Led Around by the Nose

April 5, 2016 by Source

pigs on paradeBy Norma Damashek / San Diego Free Press

How about taking a break from our city’s inane preoccupation with a behemoth sports palace for the San Diego Chargers?

And let’s give ourselves a break from the fiasco called a “Convadium,” a zany proposal to link a convention center annex to a new football stadium just down the street from our 18-acre ballpark. Talk about blocking pedestrian access! Talk about walling off the heart of downtown!
What self-respecting city in the USA would fall for such a ludicrous proposal?

So let’s NOT to take a break from simple questions like: Why are we even thinking about cramming a mammoth new football stadium into our modestly-proportioned, pedestrian-starved downtown streets? What rational person would want to do such a dumb thing to our city? Are we nuts, or what?

And while we’re at it, how about taking a clean break from convoluted (fraudulent?) financing schemes involving hotel taxes and bonds and subsidies and giveaways that inevitably come back to bite San Diego taxpayers and residents?

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Reader Rant: ‘Now It’s Encroachment into Public Space by the Lifeguards.’

April 4, 2016 by Source


Reader Rant by Former Member of the OB Planning Board:

It’s very ironic that as the OB Rag has been writing about restaurants taking over public space on Newport Avenue, one of our public institutions – the lifeguards – now is taking over public access space.

The pictures attached show the lifeguard station in the process of installing a fence surrounding their parking lot. This fence will also block a public sidewalk that is extremely heavily used to access the beach directly across from the curbcut on Abbott (I myself use it – or used it – multiple times every day). As far as I know they’ve done this without any public notice or input.

6-8 years ago, I believe, the Lifeguards and the City of San Diego, presented a plan for a new lifeguard station. That plan had a big wall around the entire property and concerns were raised by OB planners then about restricting access to the beach as well as creating a compound look at the focal point of our community.


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San Diego’s Old Central Library: Public Benefit or Profit Center?

April 4, 2016 by Source

Former San Diego Central Library

A not-so-common idea for a building that belongs to us

By Jeeni Criscenzo

For three years, 150,000 square feet of space in downtown, belonging to the citizens of San Diego, has stood vacant. Each night, for these past three years, impoverished human beings have spread their cardboard beds on the brass inlays of the terrazzo at the entrance of the old Central Library on E Street.

But any suggestion that this place could provide shelter for homeless people is dead on arrival, so I won’t be wasting words on that idea. But I do think we need to come up with a fair and just use of this building that retains the spirit of its original reason for being built. After all, it belongs to us, if we are willing to fight for it and put a little imagination into its transformation.

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What San Diego Could Learn from America’s Best and Worst Public Transit Systems

April 1, 2016 by Source

From Portland’s TriMet to Atlanta’s MARTA

By Hutton Marshall / SanDiego350.org

PortlandTtrimet transit

Not all public transportation systems are created equal. Across the country, there’s a huge gulf between bumper-to-bumper black holes like Los Angeles versus cities like the subway-happy New York City, which boasts 660 miles of rail transit.

Many of the cities we now see as pinnacles of functional transit became that way out of utility. New Yorkers, for example, have come to see their expansive subway system as a way to escape fierce blizzards and even fiercer rush hours.

Today, however, many cities have come to see public transit as an important tool in growing in a sustainable, environmentally conscious manner. The 2015 and 2016 climate change reports increased the importance of efficient transit.

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The Language of Pinyon-Juniper Trees

March 31, 2016 by Source

Juniper bush with berries

By Will Falk / San Diego Free Press

After two months of struggling to write anything coherent about pinyon-juniper forests, I was on the verge of giving up.

Members of the group I am campaigning with to stop pinyon-juniper deforestation began brainstorming about applying for grants to support the campaign. Many of the grants they discovered required us to demonstrate that pinyon-juniper deforestation harmed wildlife populations, poisoned water supplies, or had a tangible effect on human populations.

Thinking that I could support our grant application process with an essay, I sat down many times to write about the countless beings that call pinyon-juniper forests home. But, I never wrote anything worth reading.

It took me a long time to figure out why.

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San Diego’s Multi-Headed Beast of a “Citizens’ Plan” Initiative

March 23, 2016 by Source

hydra 1By Norma Damashek

A whopper of a ballot petition has been stalking the city these past few months. It’s a 77-page proposal with the unwieldy title “The Citizens’ Plan for the Responsible Management of Major Tourism and Entertainment Resources.”

Whatever good intentions it may once have had (and I don’t doubt they existed), the “Citizens’ Plan” detoured down a back alley and emerged out the other end as a grotesque, multi-headed hydra.

Now, I’ve read the “Citizens’ Plan.” Then I read it again… and again. But for the heck of me, I can’t figure it out. And I’m not the only one!

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“I Had Tears in My Eyes at Last Night’s Bernie Rally”

March 23, 2016 by Source

Event Was Historic Occasion Where So Many Progressives Come Together

The Old OB Hippie Speaks

Old Hippie ob timeThere were tears in my wrinkled eyes last night at the Bernie Sanders rally at the Convention Center in downtown San Diego. I couldn’t help it.

There were so many young people – it was so amazing. It was historic. And the crowd was so diverse – it was even more amazing. And even more historic. I was simply overwhelmed by it all.

There was no beer being served, as this was not a beerfest.

There was no live music, as this was not a concert.

This was politics in San Diego – thousands of people – reportedly more than 13,000 – had gathered and stood in long lines – a mile long it was said repeatedly – for hours.

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Open Letter to Spray-Painting Vandals of Abbott and Voltaire

March 22, 2016 by Source
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Editor: We received this anonymous “Open Letter” addressed to “vandals” and referring to the recent spray painting of newly installed construction fencing on the corner of Abbott and Voltaire. The letter is signed “Ocean Beach community members”. We publish it in its entirety.

An open letter to the individuals who recently vandalized the security fence on the corner of Abbott and Voltaire.

Dear Vandals,

Neighbors in Ocean Beach that care about the health and welfare of our community do not support your message or your medium of choice.

Why do you feel entitled to additional voting privileges about how an owner handles their property? This is the function of San Diego city zoning and permitting, and public opinion is considered at that time.

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San Diego Activists Move Closer to Getting Needed Police Reforms on Ballot

March 22, 2016 by Source

City Council Committee to Hear Ballot Proposal, Recommendation to Charter Review Committee Urged

police badgeBy Women Occupy San Diego

On Wednesday, March 23rd Women Occupy San Diego will present its community-backed Ballot Proposal to make the Citizens Review Board on Police Practices (CRB) more independent and transparent to the San Diego City Council’s Public Safety & Liveable Neighborhoods (PSLN) Committee.

We will do so on behalf of 25 civic organizations who have endorsed a Charter Amendment for the November 2016 ballot.

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Why Bernie’s Struggle Will Continue

March 22, 2016 by Source

democratic convention fightBy Bob Dorn / San Diego Free Press

What the U.S. needs now is a good old-fashioned platform fight at the Democratic Party Convention, only 4 months distant in this nightmare year.

We need to see just who are these people we’re told are the party’s established leaders. What do they really believe?

A thoroughly open platform discussion would show us what the governors and Congress members believe should happen to Bernie Sanders’ pledge to pay the tuition of the children of the middle class. The party’s establishment at its convention this July ought to have to take a position on the Transpacific Partnership, a trade agreement that was negotiated out of sight by a commission mostly composed of international corporate executives and their sergeants.

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