Civil Disobedience

Another Ten Minute Acquittal Against DA Dumanis in Medical Cannabis Trial

June 21, 2016 by Source

By Terrie Best / San Diego Americans for Safe Access

cannabis logoThe thin-as-air manufacturing case against medical cannabis patient and collective operator, Shaun Smith swept so quickly through trial that, before we knew it, Attorney Michael Cindrich had queued up his third cannabis-related not guilty verdict in four months.

The Cindrich winning streak started with defendant John Mazula in El Cajon, moved north to LA and then touched down in San Diego County’s Vista yesterday – surely making waves in District Attorney’s office and changing the landscape for medical cannabis patients.

Shaun’s arrest occurred May 13, 2015, near his Oceanside home. He had been running a small legal cannabis collective out of his residence, providing flower, bubble hash, cannabis butter, tinctures and ointments to his members.

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Did San Diego Police “Overreact” During Anti-Trump Protests or Did They Simply Follow “The Zimmerman Plan”

June 3, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

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Is it true that San Diego Police overreacted during the anti-Trump protests in downtown last Friday, May 27th, or did they simply follow Chief Zimmerman’s plan to corral demonstrators and push them into Barrio Logan where they could make arrests – arrests made out of the lens of the national media?

I attended the protests and was downtown for about 6 hours that day a week ago. The following observations and opinions are my own. What I did see and experience has led me to believe that the police manipulated the anti-Trump protesters in order to declare an illegal assembly – which then gave them the authority to make mass arrests – arrests police made largely out of sight – and in the ethnic Chicano- Mexican-American community of Barrio Logan.

Knowing that the police had earlier announced that they were setting up two separate “free speech zones” – one for the Trump supporters and one for the anti-Trump protesters – …

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San Diego ACLU Seeks Public Records Related to SDPD’s Militaristic Tactics at Trump Rally

June 3, 2016 by Source

Trump SD protest cops why

Many San Diegans dismayed at the City of San Diego’s unprecedented response to public protest

By ACLU – San Diego / June 2, 2016

In response to the community’s objections about San Diego Police Department’s unprecedented show of force at last Friday’s Trump Rally, the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties sent a letter early today requesting public records from the City of San Diego concerning SDPD’s operations.

Along with Alliance San Diego, the American Friends Service Committee, National Lawyers Guild, and Union Del Barrio, the San Diego ACLU has been responding to community members’ questions and complaints in the aftermath of what community leaders believe was an unacceptable show of excessive force by SDPD against peaceful protestors.

Citing the California Public Records Act (CPRA), the ACLU is requesting the following information:

  • How many officers? The number of and specific law enforcement agencies and special units, including plainclothes officers, who were dispatched or who in some capacity participated in responding to the protests;
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Free Speech and Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Campaign at SDSU

June 2, 2016 by Source

Open Letter From SDSU Staff and Faculty Regarding Naming and Targeting of Students

sdsuThe following is an open letter sent to President Hirshman from the undersigned staff and faculty at San Diego State University regarding flyers posted on the university campus in April. The flyers listed the names of seven students from Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and the Muslim Students Association (MSA), accusing them of “Jew-hatred” and of being linked to “terrorists.”

They were singled out because of their support of the boycott, divestment, sanctions movement (BDS), which is used as a means of holding Israel accountable for human right violations against Palestinians. The letter touches on the broader implications of the flyer incident, whereby the naming and targeting of students represents a marked escalation of wide-ranging efforts to suppress the growing momentum of BDS campaigns across American campuses.

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Your Right to Protest In San Diego

May 27, 2016 by Source

Free Speech Rights, Free Speech Zones, Interactions with Police, Resources and MORE

By the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties

peaceful protestThe right to join with fellow citizens in protest or peaceful assembly is critical to a functioning democracy.

But it is also unfortunately true that governments and police can violate this right—through the use of mass arrests, illegal use of force, criminalization of protest, and other means intended to thwart free public expression.

Standing up for your right to protest can be challenging, especially when demonstrations are met with confusion, excessive force, or violence. But knowing your rights is the most powerful tool you have against the stifling of your voice.

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#NeverTrumpSD Live Blog: Anti-Trump Day In San Diego

May 27, 2016 by Annie Lane

Trump free speech zones map from the San Diego U-T

Editor: In an important update, San Diego Police have backed off their earlier threats of arresting any demonstrator outside the so-called “free speech zones”, and now say people can demonstrate outside of the designated zones, but they must follow laws and cannot block traffic.

The day has come.

Donald Trump is rallying in San Diego at the Convention Center at 2 p.m. (doors open at 11 a.m.). The San Diego Free Press – the OB Rag’s associates – will be live blogging today’s events. We’ll be pulling pictures and updates from people on the front lines who use the hashtag #NeverTrumpSD or you can send them directly to contact@sandiegofreepres.org.

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The Very Latest on San Diego’s “Crazy Anti-Trump Day” on Friday

May 26, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

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Here is the very, very latest in what’s happening on San Diego’s “Crazy Anti-Trump Day”, Friday May 27th.

More groups have announced they are mobilizing their members to protest Trump’s appearance in downtown. They include the LGBT community, San Diego Human Rights organizations and our very own Light Brigade – which is shining on tonight, Thursday.

The seven-or so networks that have been organizing their protest continue to mobilize, and are showing signs of cooperating with one another.

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‘Love Trumps Hate’ Rally Outside Trump Speech at San Diego Convention Center

May 26, 2016 by Source

love trumps hate

“Tear Down the Walls!” Noon rally sponsored by the ‘Love trumps Hate Solidarity Network’

By Martin Eder / Activist San Diego

The Friday May 27 rally outside the Trump speech will be part of a mobilization of several thousand. This noon-time rally at 5th and Harbor Drive, across from the San Diego Convention Center will focus on the theme “Tear Down Walls Between Peoples: Unity/Unidad and Solidarity”.

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“Friday Is Going to Be One Crazy Anti-Trump Day in San Diego”

May 24, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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NEW UPDATES (as of 5/26/16) – see “The Very Latest ….”

It’s going to be literally one crazy, anti-Trump day in downtown San Diego on Friday, May 27th. So much is going on that it boggles the mind to try to imagine everything.

First, of course, Donal Trump is arriving at the San Diego Convention Center to speak to his throngs around 2pm. And coming out to see and hear him, of course, will be probably thousands of ticket-holders. There will be long lines of them snaking around the Convention Center – which undoubtedly will be off-limits to protesters. Except those protesters in line with tickets.

Second, there will be thousands of protesters coming out to demonstrate against Trump and all that he stands for. There’s at least six different networks or groups mobilizing their supporters to show Trump that San Diegans will not stand for him.

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UPDATED: San Diego Mobilizes Against Trump – Due Here Friday, May 27

May 22, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

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NEW UPDATES (as of 5/26/16) – see “The Very Latest ….”

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UPDATED: Four San Diego Networks or Groups Planning Protests for May 27th Trump Rally

San Diego is mobilizing against Donald Trump’s appearance later this week, when he stages a rally on Friday at the Convention Center.

At least four networks or groups are organizing protests outside the Trump rally. One of the 3 has also stated its intention of organizing something inside his event. One of the groups is mobilizing protesters from the LA area as well. And, of course, each network has their own facebook page.

The networks include:

The Love Trumps Hate Solidarity Network

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Much Ado About Raised Fists

May 17, 2016 by Source

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By Denise Oliver Velez / Daily Kos

Here we go again, with yet another “incident” fueling right-wing outrage about black people and symbolism. The latest was over a photograph of 16 black female cadets who had come together to celebrate their upcoming graduation from the United States Military Academy at West Point.

The New York Times reported:

The gesture, posted on Facebook and Twitter last week, touched off a barrage of criticism in and out of the armed forces as some commenters accused the women of allying themselves with the Black Lives Matter movement and sowing racial divisions in a military that relies on assimilation.

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Backlash Grows in Ocean Beach Against City Cutting Down Trees

May 11, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

Ocean beach beachfront

There appears to be a growing backlash in Ocean Beach against the City’s cutting down of trees in the public right-of-way around the community. The backlash also includes negative reactions to the severe trimming of trees along commercial streets.

Three recent examples of OBceans exhibiting opposition to the downing or harsh trimming of trees illustrate this backlash.

The City is responsible for trees in the public right-of-way, and, of course, the City itself doesn’t cut down or trim trees – it contracts with private companies to do the dirty work. Signs of the backlash trend include, …

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May 4th: We Can’t Forget the Massacre of Students at Kent State – 46 Years Ago

May 4, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

Kent State, Ohio, May 4, 1970In Response to Nixon’s Invasion of Cambodia, American Campuses Exploded in Protest in May 1970

Today, May 4th, 2016, is the 46th anniversary of the infamous Kent State Massacre – where 4 students were shot to death by National Guardsmen during anti-Vietnam war protests on the Ohio campus.

Protests at Kent State were part of a wave of demonstrations that swept the country right after President Nixon’s invasion of Cambodia. Ten days later, 2 Black students were shot to death by police during an anti-war protest at Jackson State.

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Daniel Berrigan Dead at 94

May 2, 2016 by Source

Jesuit priest lived life of peace activism

By Andrea Germanos / CommonDreams

Dan Berrigan visit 1982

Daniel Berrigan—Jesuit priest, peace activist, poet, author, and inspiration to countless people—died on Saturday. He was 94 years old.

When America magazine asked a then-88-year-old Berrigan if he had any regrets over the course of his long life, he replied, “I could have done sooner the things I did, like Catonsville.”

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Let’s Build a Wall Between San Diego and Donald Trump

April 22, 2016 by Staff

Trump San Diego

By OB Rag and San Diego Free Press Editors

We anticipate that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump will visit San Diego during the California presidential primary campaign.

We at the OB Rag and San Diego Free Press will join with other San Diegans during his campaign stops in our city in expressing our adamant opposition to the racist, xenophobic and misogynist policies espoused by Trump.

And we join in solidarity with those whom Trump has targeted. Upon Trump’s arrival in San Diego, we want to join with others protesting his policies and we will support any and all of those who express their opposition through various forms of non-violent and civil-disobedient direct actions.

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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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San Diego County Supervisors Move to Further Outlaw Patient Access to Medical Marijuana

March 18, 2016 by Source
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By Terrie BestSan Diego Americans for Safe Access / March 17, 2016

San Diego, CA – The County Board of Supervisors met yesterday [March 16] and the patient community barely escaped a ban on medical cannabis.

The ban would have affected unincorporated areas of the county, such as Julian, Ramona and many other rural parcels where it would otherwise be safe and advantageous to cultivate cannabis.

The advantage would be a regulated and local supply of product to the growing number of licensed medical cannabis co-ops in the city of San Diego. The city is the only municipality in the county with a retail distribution ordinance on its books. But, the city’s law does not address the cultivation of cannabis at all. Many cannabis patients saw the need for cultivating a local supply of medicine and began to eye the dysfunctional county ordinance.

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San Diego Police and FBI Drove Local Black Panthers Underground

March 15, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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Union-Tribune Finally “Finds” San Diego’s Black Panthers

In a very decent February 28 article about San Diego’s Black Panthers penned by Peter Rowe of the San Diego U-T, some of the city’s turbulent civil rights and Black power movement history from the Sixties and Seventies was uncovered.

First, it’s amazing to some San Diegans, including Rowe, that San Diego even had a Black Panther chapter back in the day. And that’s a credit that the San Diego Union and Tribune themselves can claim, for the coverage of local Panthers and the civil rights movement in general was skewed due to the right-wing – and yes, racist – policies and bias of its owners and editors. Think the Copley family, who ran the city’s only pair of dailies for decades.

But now thanks to Rowe, some of this history has been dusted off and bared for all to read. Much of the article recounts the experiences of one Henry Lee Wallace, now 64 and still in San Diego, but back then, a member of the local Panthers.

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Local Ocean Beach Man Temporarily Blocks Cutting Down of Torrey Pines

February 10, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

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It was not a tense stand-off yesterday at the cutting of Torrey Pines on the 4600 block of Saratoga Avenue , but for several hours it was a stand-off – as a local OB man physically blocked the work crew.

Geoff Page, a local resident and contractor, stood in the way of work crews from Atlas Tree Service, until, he insisted, they or the City produced permits for what they were doing. And he wasn’t going to budge until they did.

As soon as he took his position, work on cutting down the two Torrey Pines targeted by the City completely halted, and both the tree service crews and the crane service crews took a several-hour break.

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You can’t ‘take back’ public lands. They already belong to all of us.

January 26, 2016 by Source

The extremists occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge are missing the point.

By Jamie Williams / Washington Post / January 25, 2016

(Jamie Williams is president of the Wilderness Society)

The extremists occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge may have thought they were “taking back” seized land on behalf of local ranchers. In reality, these gun-toting intruders are attempting to seize land that belongs to all of us. Their actions are nothing less than an attack on the property and the rights of the American people.

The misguided protesters believe that this treasured wildlife refuge, a sanctuary for more than 300 bird species, should be handed over to a small group of rule-breakers to exploit and profit from as they wish, at the expense of the public and of future generations.

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“No More Protest Marches Through Balboa Park – Please!”

December 18, 2015 by Source
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The Old OB Hippie Speaks Out

Been around long enough to know the “in’s and out’s” of organizing protests and marches here in good, ol’ conservative San Diego. I have been to many, many of them – all over the place. – And yes, I know our city’s demographics and politics have evolved over the years.

Just recently, I was at the Climate Action rally held in Balboa Park with its rally next to the water fountain. Before that – and at the same spot – I attended a support rally for Bernie Sanders. And one year ago exactly, I attended a “die-in” at the fountain when on December 13th, 2014, 200 people participated in a “die-in” – right at the fountain, as San Diego joined protests held nation-wide against police violence.

Going back a ways – I also attended many rallies and marches that were held in and through Balboa Park during both the Iraq Wars I and II.

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Excerpts From Sunshine/Noir II: Excavating San Diego Noir — A Jumping-Off Place

November 24, 2015 by Jim Miller

san diego noir

By Jim Miller

In Mike Davis’s seminal discussion of noir in City of Quartz he defines the genre as “a fantastic convergence of American ‘tough-guy’ realism, Weimar expressionism, and existentialized Marxism—all focused on unmasking a ‘bright, guilty place.’”

Born in the minds of the “Depression-crazed middle classes” of southern California, the “nightmare anti-myth of noir” trafficked in alienation and a distrust of the morality of capitalism. More specifically, Davis notes how “noir everywhere insinuated contempt for a depraved business culture while it ….”

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“Remember, remember – the 5th of November” – Guy Fawkes Day

November 5, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for “Remember, remember – the 5th of November” – Guy Fawkes Day

Are you familiar with the John Lennon song where he sings “remember, remember, the 5th of November….”?

I know you’re familiar with the “Anonymous” mask during the Occupy Wall Street” protest movement.

Well, November 5th – still celebrated in film, television and literature – is Guy Fawkes Day!

Who the heck is Guy Fawkes?

Guy Fawkes was one of the leaders in the infamous “Gunpowder Plot” – a plan to blow up the House of Lords in London in 1605. He was caught, tried and then hung and in England to this day Guy Fawkes’ execution is celebrated.

Yet – you may have seen the movie “V for Vendetta“. The film tells the other side to the story ( “V for Vendetta” – differently. ) The movie points out that Fawkes was not trying to blow up Parliament, but the House of Lords – the seat of autocratic rule and symbol of religious persecution in England at the time. (Remember the Pilgrims? They came to the New World because they were being persecuted for their religion.)

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“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.

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Mexico City: October 2nd, 1968 – A Day Mexicans and Gringos Remember

October 2, 2015 by Source
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Editor: October 2nd of 1968 – the day of the massacre in Mexico City by the Mexican government. Every Mexican with a social conscience remembers that fateful and murderous day. Gringos – Americans need to remember that day as well for our government’s collusion in what happened and the cover-up afterwards.

The following was published a number of years ago, but obviously, is still very, very pertinent for all of us today and tomorrow and everyday until those responsible are brought to justice.

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EYEWITNESS ACCOUNTS – Oct. 2, 1968: `A brutal massacre’ and U.S. Government’s Role

October 2, 2015 by Staff
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by Malcolm Beith / The News

Clouds loomed as night closed in. By the hundreds, the students streamed into the Plaza de las Tres Culturas. A little past 5:30 p.m., some 10,000 students – not to mention hundreds of workers, farmers and others attending in solidarity – had gathered in the square. Rain splattered down.

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The 1970 Chicano Moratorium Against the War in Vietnam – 45 Years Later!

August 27, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for The 1970 Chicano Moratorium Against the War in Vietnam – 45 Years Later!

By Herman Baca / August 26, 2015

Long forgotten by US history and barely remembered by many (even in the Chicano community) is the historical 45th anniversary of the August 29, 1970 Chicano Moratorium against the War in Vietnam.

The Moratorium held in Los Angeles, California was one of the most seminal historical events for Chicanos in the US since the end of the US/Mexico War of 1848.

Depending on whom you speak with; the moratorium drew 20 to 40,000 Chicanos from all over the US that marched and protested the war in Vietnam, where Chicano youths were dying in disproportion numbers. Parents, children, seniors, working people, students, war veterans and activists from thru-out the U.S., Mexico and Puerto Rico marched.

Numerous persons were hurt; hundreds were jailed including national Chicano leader, Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales. Three people were shot and killed by the police; martyred Angel Diaz, Lynn Ward, and LA Times Journalist, Ruben Salazar.

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“My Memories of Red House and Its Surrounding Community”

July 10, 2015 by Source
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Editor: As we approach the Centennial of the Red House, we asked friends who were in OB during the heady days of the Seventies for their memories. Our good friend, Bob, responded with the following:

By Bob

In the early Seventies I lived across the street at 5132 Cape May in the four-plex known as “The Barracks”. Our two bedroom apartment rented for $160 a month. My share was forty bucks to live a half block from the beach!

In those days, Red House, The Barracks, Little Red House (right on the beach at the end of the block) and several other apartments on the block housed probably 50 hardcore activists, progressive hippies, Lefty musicians, and fellow travelers, all dewy-eyed and hopeful at the possibility of changing America from the white bread blandness of the Fifties and early Sixties.

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The Abuse of Ocean Beach Tenants on Saratoga

July 2, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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By Frank Gormlie

Mark has lived in his small unit on the 4900 block of Saratoga Avenue in Ocean Beach for 14 years. His is one of the front units in the 8-plex, where a sidewalk and a narrow space separate the two buildings that make up a narrow courtyard. A row of garages that face the alley forms a “T” with the buildings.

Mark’s longevity as a tenant is not the only one. A woman neighbor has been there for 17 years and a buddy in one of the back units has been there for ten years.

Everyone got along in his courtyard neighborhood. Everything seemed fine, until about six months ago when the property changed hands. And a new property management team appeared. It was the Torrey Pines Property Management company that took over, as it was one of their clients that had purchased the units.

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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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