San Diego Volunteers Raise Roof Beams for Emergency, Very Affordable Housing

March 17, 2017 by Anna Daniels

Amikas Emergency Housing Expo March 15 – 26

By Anna Daniels /San Diego Free Press

The super bloom of wild flowers in the most inhospitable of places–the Anza Borrego desert– has captured the attention of San Diegans, who are flocking to get a glimpse of this short lived phenomenon.

Closer to home, an equally remarkable blossoming takes the form of the cluster of cabins that has sprung up like wild flowers at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in North Park. San Diego has been the most inhospitable of places for enacting solutions to our growing humanitarian crisis of homelessness. Volunteer activists from Amikas have stepped into the leadership vacuum, displaying what can be done to address the immediate housing needs of the most vulnerable among us.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Trump’s Long Shadow Falls on San Diego Immigrants, Refugees, Muslims

February 2, 2017 by Anna Daniels

From City Heights Town Hall to Airport Protest

By Anna Daniels / San Diego Free Press

“Tell me what democracy looks like!”

“This is what democracy looks like!”

The chant ran up and down the whole length of Terminal 2 of San Diego’s Lindbergh Airport, up and down the opposite side of the terminal and could be heard on the second floor walkway. Three lines of cars ran between the two and those cars honked their horns while passengers waved flags and held signs outside of the windows.

Read the full article → 2 comments

Protect San Diegans’ Obamacare – Call to Action!

January 6, 2017 by Anna Daniels

no obamacare repeal

By Anna Daniels / San Diego Free Press

The 115th Congress convened for the first time earlier this week. After their disastrous behind closed doors attempt to gut the Office of Ethics went down in flames, they decided that it was time to concentrate on the number one priority–Repeal and Replace Obamacare.

Repeal and Replace Obamacare has been the Republican mantra since 2009. Their call for repeal of the Affordable Care Act is gratuitous, but it has kept the base hopeful if not happy. Repeal is infinitely easier than proposing a replacement and Republicans have nothing to offer in its place.

Read the full article → 2 comments

Why Don’t OB and San Diego Restaurants Add ‘Free Market’ Surcharges to Customer Bills?

January 5, 2017 by Anna Daniels

High-end Ocean Beach and San Diego Restaurants Poised to Add Surcharge for “government mandated” Costs to Business

By Anna Daniels

Over the past ten years consumers have absorbed higher costs at the check-out counter for all manner of goods. Remember when gasoline costs spiked and affected more than gas at the pump?

Everything from the potted plants at the local nursery to grocery items reflected an attendant price increase. Remember when the cost of coffee went up? What about the shortage of cheese and how that was reflected in higher consumer costs?

These consumer cost increases reflect everything from volatility in the commodity market to shortages caused by natural disasters to price fixing. We weren’t handed restaurant checks or grocery bills with a surcharge added for “free market” or “act of god” or “corporate greed.”

So why are some San Diego restaurants considering a surcharge on bills to cover the most recent “government mandated” wage hike which raises the minimum wage to $11.50 an hour?

Read the full article → 3 comments

AARP’s Spineless Response to Social Security, Medicare Privatization Threat

January 4, 2017 by Anna Daniels

By Anna Daniels

AARP, the American Association of Retired Persons, recently sent a call to action letter to its members about the need to secure future Social Security benefits. That opening line should have generated a sigh of relief from AARP’s 37.8 million members over the age of 50 who have been following the rumblings from the new Republican Congress to privatize Medicare and Social Security.

Read a little further and you find out that AARP is not alerting us to the potential unraveling in 2017 of two wildly popular and essential components of our social safety net–but rather the potential insolvency of Social Security in 2034. Imagine that your house has been doused in gasoline and an arsonist is standing close by with a box of matches but you are being told that your problem is that you aren’t saving enough money to tent the place for termites seventeen years into the future.

Read the full article → 5 comments

Left Behind: Myrtle Cole’s Committee Appointments and Neighborhoods South of 8

December 30, 2016 by Anna Daniels

By Anna Daniels / San Diego Free Press

Myrtle Cole

San Diego City Councilwoman Myrtle Cole’s contentious election as Council president last week culminated with her appointments to the various City Council committees.

Few of us know that these committees exist or what they do, but by the time issues are brought before the full City Council for legislative action they have been discussed and pretty much finalized in a committee.

Cole’s appointments to the Public Services and Livable Neighborhood (PS&L) committee denies a seat at the table for those of us who live in communities south of 8. Her selection of Council members Chris Cate (chair), Lorie Zapf (vice chair), Barbary Bry, and Chris Ward is enraging, deeply concerning and unacceptable. Here’s what PS&L does:

Read the full article → 1 comment

Historic Marston House Hosts Book Release of Maria Garcia’s ‘La Neighbor’

December 28, 2016 by Anna Daniels

By Anna Daniels / San Diego Free Press

Maria Garcia recently release her long awaited book based on the award winning San Diego Free Press series The History of Neighborhood House in Logan Heights. The site of the book release—the historic Marston House—was no accident.

Read the full article → 0 comments

A Call for Mayor Faulconer to Halt San Diego’s Confiscation of Blankets and Tents of the Homeless

December 23, 2016 by Anna Daniels

Editor:We received a report of police confiscating the blankets of OB homeless at the beach, we commented recently about Park and Rec crews removing homeless sleeping material from a tree in Robb Field, and below is a post by Anna Daniels who lives in City Heights with an accompanying video of trash workers removing tents and belongings of homeless. (If you cannot view the video, go to the original store at San Diego Free Press.)

Finally, at the end of the article is a petition being circulated calling upon Mayor Faulconer to confront the nightmare of homelessness. They are demanding Emergency Humanitarian Action to stop criminalizing homeless people in San Diego. It would be very Christian of him.

Did You Wake Up this AM in a Warm Home? Thousands of San Diegans Didn’t

By Anna Daniels / San Diego Free Press

The first of two storms expected to move through the San Diego region this week arrived last night with steady moderate rainfall here in City Heights. It was sixty degrees on the porch at 6:00 am this morning. The cats had taken shelter there and were curled up in loosely strewn bedding. I was still bed warm and savoring the first cup of coffee. Then I remembered this:

Read the full article → 6 comments

One Person, One Vote: Time to Eliminate Electoral College

December 20, 2016 by Anna Daniels

By Anna Daniels / San Diego Free Press

Yesterday, December 19, electors cast their votes in the Electoral College against a backdrop of protests across the country, including here in San Diego.

For the second time in some of our memories, the winner of the popular vote lost the Electoral College vote.

Democrats howled after Al Gore’s loss in 2000 and agreed that something must be done about the Electoral College. All of the sound and fury ultimately signified nothing–here we (Democrats) are again.

A useful thought experiment is to imagine what would have happened if Trump had won the popular vote and not the Electoral College. Do you seriously think that we would be hearing about anything except how the election was stolen from Trump?

Read the full article → 1 comment

Do I need a California ID to vote? Where is my Polling Place? The OB Rag Quick and Easy Guide to Election Day

November 7, 2016 by Anna Daniels

Here are some frequently asked questions about election day voting in San Diego County. In order to vote, you must be a U.S. citizen and you must already be registered to vote. There is no same day registration in CA.

For info on candidates and issues on the 2016 general election ballots in San Diego, go here.

OB Rag and San Diego Free Press Progressive Voter Guide here.

When are the polls open?

Polls are open on election day Tuesday, November 8, 2016 from 7am to 8pm. If you are in the line at the polling place prior to 8pm, you have the right to vote.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Illumina, Inc.: Wealth Creation – San Diego Style

August 30, 2016 by Anna Daniels

By Anna Daniels

black-hole-money1Around this time last year, the city of San Diego signed an Economic Development Assistance Agreement with Illumina, Inc.

It was approved on August 7th, 2015 as a “Consent Item” without pre-hearing noticing. The ten year deal included a promise to rebate $1.5 million in sales and use taxes in return for retaining “over 100 middle-wage manufacturing job opportunities” in San Diego.

SDFP editor Doug Porter wrote at the time:

Illumina is in the genomics business, and it is exactly the kind of company the city should be encouraging to put down roots and prosper here. This deal made by the Faulconer administration, however, is exactly the kind of governance the city doesn’t need.

So how is Illumina doing one year later? What has the public received in return for its largess?

Read the full article → 5 comments

The Day after San Diego Homeless Awareness Day

August 18, 2016 by Anna Daniels

Photo by Anne Haule

What has changed?

By Anna Daniels / San Diego Free Press

Yesterday, August 17, twenty of San Diego’s media outlets participated in a focused effort to call attention to the tremendous human, financial and societal costs associated with homelessness in San Diego.

If we were writing about another country, we would be referring to the humanitarian crisis posed by a growing number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP), but this is sunny San Diego.

It remains to be seen whether the well greased wheels of San Diego politics and commerce are altered in any way after yesterday’s concerted effort, but I can speak with some certainty about a few things that haven’t changed today.

Read the full article → 1 comment

‘Honey, Don’t Worry about Me. We’ll Find a Place Soon.’

August 17, 2016 by Anna Daniels

By Anna Daniels

Photo: Wikipedia Commons

Halina is dead.

The effervescent petite blonde with the ebullient smear of sky blue eyeshadow above her sky blue eyes died in a residential hotel earlier this year.

I met Halina over a decade ago while I was working at the information desk of the old Central Library downtown on E Street. She was in the library searching for information on how to replace a lost ID. On a return trip she was looking for the address of her daughter Jessica.

Read the full article → 3 comments

City of San Diego Ballot Proposals Promote Police Transparency, Human Services

June 13, 2016 by Anna Daniels

Women Occupy San Diego address Citizens Review Board
on Policy Practices inadequacies (again);

Democratic Woman’s Club advocacy for City of San Diego
Department of Public Health and Social Welfare

Women Occupy San Diego

By Anna Daniels / San Diego Free Press

Keep an eye on some of the new ballot proposals that have been filed recently with the San Diego City Clerk.

These proposals reflect focused citizen participation that offer correctives to the city’s Citizen Review Board on Police Practices (CRB) and the county’s meager health and human services. These small “d” democratic efforts also happen to be spearheaded by women.

Read the full article → 2 comments

Peering into the Heart of Darkness: Why I Oppose Mayor Faulconer’s FY’17 Budget

May 25, 2016 by Anna Daniels

homeless w signBy Anna Daniels / San Diego Free Press

The following is the public testimony that I provided at the May 16 budget hearing before the San Diego city council.

Good Evening. My name is Anna Daniels and I am a resident of City Heights. I have attended close to a decade of budget hearings, always as an advocate for our library system.

But this year is different. I stand here before you as a person of conscience who has been witnessing first hand a burgeoning and permanent underclass of the dispossessed in City Heights and San Diego.
homeless sign vet one in 4

Read the full article → 2 comments

City Attorney Candidate Forum and San Diego’s Fault Line

May 17, 2016 by Anna Daniels

Pinnacle Tower from Island Avenue Photo credit Jay Powell

Land use, wealth and the smart city

By Anna Daniels

The League of Women Voters and community radio station KNSJ hosted a city attorney candidate forum at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in downtown San Diego on Saturday May 14.

I had been asked to participate as a media representative on the panel asking questions of the candidates.

The 94 freeway exit that my husband and I took downtown to the event dumps cars on a surface street on the fringe of East Village.

We drove through a convulsed urban landscape created by CalTrans engineering, deteriorating Victorian era houses, new apartments and temporarily re-purposed vacant lots. This entry point reflects how San Diego’s decision makers have approached land use and development in the area over many decades and to wildly different effect.

Read the full article → 1 comment

‘Always Fly Away’ : Teaching Children to Be Smart, Strong and Safe

April 25, 2016 by Anna Daniels

Author Milena (Sellers) Phillips

By Anna Daniels

Milena (Sellers) Phillips’ book “Always Fly Away” is not the work of someone who has made a career of writing books for children. This brightly illustrated book written for elementary school children is a reflection of how the author herself has come to understand the world as much as it is a children’s story.

“Always Fly Away” acknowledges the necessary transition that takes place when young children want to start exploring the world with an ever growing degree of independence. It also helps to develop the critical judgement that young children need to recognize when a situation doesn’t feel right and what to do when this happens.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Housed to Homeless in San Diego: Could It Happen to You?

April 11, 2016 by Anna Daniels

By Anna Daniels / San Diego Free Press

homeless make devilQuick— imagine a homeless person.

Did you conjure up the image of an utterly ordinary looking seventy year old white woman attending classes at SDSU? or a neatly dressed young Latino waiting at a bus stop? or a pregnant African American woman passing by your house? or a neighborhood kid who disappears and reappears and seems disconnected, rootless?

We don’t hear much about these men and women, young and old, who are homeless. Instead, we read about the uptrodden who have to deal with homeless people crapping on the sidewalk in front of their expensive condos downtown or the bad optics and shabby aesthetics of the tents and battered pieces of cardboard where the homeless visibly bed down every night, also downtown.

Read the full article → 1 comment

Want to Know How Much Water Your Neighbors Use?

February 12, 2016 by Anna Daniels

City of San Diego residents—look at your water bill

By Anna Daniels / San Diego Free Press

Click for larger imageWe were told last year that our water rates in the City of San Diego would go up on January 1st of 2016. That prompted me to look a little more closely at the most recent bill which includes December and January.

This year’s bill for the winter months, when outside watering was unnecessary, broke a hundred dollars for the first time.

Yes, the rates have gone up. But in addition to the amount due, other information on the bill caught my eye.

Read the full article → 0 comments

“Sunshine/Noir II” Is for Bibliophiles

October 15, 2015 by Anna Daniels

San Diego City Works Press’ distinctive approach to book as object

Editor: Here is Anna Daniels’ intro to an anthology on the underside of the San Diego – Tijuana region, “Sunshine/ Noir II“, which was just published by City Works Press – and includes a work by Anna Daniels herself, plus works by Doug Porter, Brent Beltran and OB Rag editor Frank Gormlie. Daniels, Porter, Beltran and Gormlie are also editors at the San Diego Free Press, where this was originally published.

By Anna Daniels

Sunshine-Noir-II-WEB“Books are now obsolete, so the library bureaucracy has long sought to become a quasi adult education institution or after-school study venue or someplace in between.” – Former California Assemblyman Larry Stirling on the Central Library.

Contrary to former California Assemblyman Larry Stirling’s recent misinformed and exceedingly dull assertion that “books are now obsolete” the book publishing industry is doing quite fine. It is only doing so well because there continues to be people who want to own and read books, whether in hard copy, paperback or electronic form.

Read the full article → 0 comments

San Diego Free Press Celebrates!

August 17, 2015 by Anna Daniels
Thumbnail image for San Diego Free Press Celebrates!

By Anna Daniels

The San Diego Free Press celebrated its third birthday on August 8 with a Galastravaganzaversary party at Border X Brewing. Wow–three years!

It has been an astoundingly active year for this unique all volunteer operated San Diego media presence. Contributors and editors have provided another year of progressive views with a distinctly grassroots perspective on the topics of labor, the environment, immigration, criminal justice, politics and government.

Our approach–multi-media and multi-genre– reflects the talents and interests of our contributors. Video essays, personal narratives, cartoons and poetry are essential …

Read the full article → 2 comments

Demolition of North Park LGBTQ Historical Site – a Clerical Error?

June 3, 2015 by Anna Daniels

Paisley Abbey gargoyle 6By Anna Daniels / San Diego Free Press

Doug Porter recently wrote about the after hours demolition of one of San Diego’s two remaining historic Saltbox houses. The Bernie Michels-Thom Carey house at the corner of Florida Street and El Cajon Blvd was bulldozed by contractors working for developer HG Fenton this past Friday, May 29.

San Diego 6News has reported that the demolition permit may have been issued in error and that the city’s Development Services Department is conducting a “forensic review.” If that is the case, it is one helluva oops. A dozen red roses and a Hallmark card won’t put humpty dumpty back together again.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Public Scrutiny Turns Civic San Diego Board Testy and Defensive

May 1, 2015 by Anna Daniels

Civic’s Community Benefit Policy enactment a study in #democracyfail

civicsd board meeting

By Anna Daniels / San Diego Free Press

The Civic San Diego Board of Directors and President Reese Jarrett scored a victory at their April 29 board meeting. Civic San Diego, which describes itself as a “city-owned non-profit that is the entrepreneurial development partner for targeted urban neighborhoods” approved its own Community Benefit Policy with one dissenting vote after two hours of board discussion and public testimony.

Read the full article → 1 comment

Civic San Diego Willing to Bury City Rep on Meaningless Advisory Board

April 23, 2015 by Anna Daniels

nothingburgerEx-officio City staff on New Market Tax Credit Advisory Board = CivicSD’s latest nothingburger

By Anna Daniels

The latest news about Civic San Diego has been appearing courtesy of Lyle Moran in The Daily Transcript, which unfortunately operates behind a pay wall.

Moran reports on the unexpected departure of CivicSD CFO and COO Andrew Phillips, who couldn’t pass up the opportunity to accept an invitation to work at the western division of Jones Lang LaSalle and CivicSD board member Cynthia Morgan, an attorney at Higgs Fletcher and Mack and new mother who wants to spend more time on her career and with her family.

Read the full article → 0 comments

The Morphing of Civic San Diego and the Need for City Council Oversight

March 16, 2015 by Anna Daniels

diceFocus on March 18th Public Safety and Livable Neighborhood Committee Meeting

By Anna Daniels / San Diego Free Press
This past October, Reese Jarrett, newly hired President of Civic San Diego (CivicSD), appeared before the Public Safety and Livable Neighborhood Committee of the San Diego City Council. The committee chairwoman, District 9 council member Marti Emerald, directed a number of pointed questions toward CivicSD staff, followed by additional questions from District 4 council member Myrtle Cole.

Read the full article → 3 comments

The Ocean Beach Library Was on the Original Expansion List

January 15, 2015 by Anna Daniels
Thumbnail image for The Ocean Beach Library Was on the Original Expansion List

Veteran Librarian Advises OB on How to Proceed to Get OB Back on the List

By Anna Daniels

Here’s some historical info that may be helpful in presenting your case to Councilwoman Zapf, Mayor Faulconer AND new library director Misty Jones:

“In 2002, the City Council approved a program to build or improve 24 libraries throughout San Diego, including a New Central library.”

Ocean Beach was on that original expansion list.

As recently as 2008, Ocean Beach appeared on a list of City of San Diego & CCDC Projects. The construction costs were $10,186,500 for an expansion to 15,000 square feet.

In 2010, over $2M in capital improvement funds were (I vaguely remember) used to fix the roof and other maintenance.

Thirteen years have passed and why is Ocean Beach (and so many other branches) on hold?

Read the full article → 3 comments

What’s 80% White, 80% Male and 92% Christian? Welcome to the 114th Congress!

January 12, 2015 by Anna Daniels

What does the 114th Congress say about our representative democracy?

By Anna Daniels /San Diego Free Press

wemu.org

Did you know that our brand new 114th Congress is the most diverse Congress in our history? Women! African Americans! An African American woman! The 114th Congress is being hawked like a new and improved box of breakfast cereal. This newly minted diversity is relative of course.

A Washington Post article notes that “Congress actually gets slightly more Christian, with nine more Christians, five fewer Jewish members, one fewer Buddhist and one fewer unaffiliated member.” John Boehner, who was re-elected Speaker of the House, opened the 114th Congress with “This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad.”

Read the full article → 0 comments

The Day after the Elections: Same as It Ever Was?

November 6, 2014 by Anna Daniels

By Anna Daniels

bilingualvoteWednesday dawned in City Heights much like every morning here, with the cough and sputter of cars starting, the occasional twitter of birds, a siren shrieking on El Cajon Boulevard. Kids will pass by the house on their way to school. …

Read the full article → 0 comments

Where Is My Polling Place? And Other Last Minute Election Questions in San Diego

November 4, 2014 by Anna Daniels

By Anna Daniels

vote 2014This is for all you super busy people and procrastinators out there who haven’t turned in your mail ballot yet or figured out where you need to vote on Tuesday.

If you are still figuring out which way to vote for candidates and propositions, check out our SDFP Progressive Procrastinators Guide. You can find all of our November 2014 election analysis and coverage in the SDFP Voter Guide for Progressives. And if this is your first visit to the San Diego Free Press, we hope you’ll bookmark this site and come back for more grassroots news and progressive views.

Read the full article → 0 comments

MTS Ad Policy: Incoherent, Inconsistent and Anti-Democratic

October 30, 2014 by Anna Daniels

San Diego’s publicly funded transit system bites the hand that feeds it

By Anna Daniels / San Diego Free Press

MTS Poster3MTS – you are a craven, pathetic mess. When Alliance San Diego launched a non-partisan effort to increase awareness about elections in communities with historically low voter turnout like my community of City Heights, they approached San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) with the intention of buying printed bus ads.

The ads would include the message Vote for San Diego, along with the date of the election. Images of native San Diegans were included with motivational messages such as “Vote for what’s best for your community.”

Did I say that Alliance San Diego’s intention was to buy bus ads? They weren’t asking for a public service freebee. MTS declined the request and herein lies the tale of how our publicly funded, public benefit agency proceeded to simply make sh*t up. …

Read the full article → 1 comment