Civil Rights

New Chicano Park Muralists Are Honored to Paint in the Park

April 17, 2014 by Source
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Editor: Chicano Park and OB have a long history together. Some folks from OB were at the take-over at Chicano Park on April 22, 1970, and were thus inspired to “take over” the abandoned lot in northeast OB and turn it into Collier Park.

44th annual Chicano Park Day Celebration this Saturday – April 20th


By Brent E. Beltrán / San Diego Free Press

The Chicano Park Steering Committee and thousands of their friends will be celebrating the 44th anniversary of the takeover of Chicano Park this Saturday in San Diego’s Barrio Logan. The theme of the celebration is “La Tierra Es De Quien La Trabaja: The Land Belongs To Those Who Work It.”

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Student Threatens Teacher Online at Point Loma’s The Charter School – 17 Year Old Arrested

April 17, 2014 by Source

Student was arrested Wednesday in connection with the violent online threats

By Monica Garske and Omari Fleming / NBC 7

A 17-year-old San Diego student was arrested Wednesday for posting statements on social media websites in which he allegedly threatened to shoot a teacher and open fire on a school, the San Diego Police Department confirmed.

According to police, one of the threatening messages was posted online Wednesday. In that post, the student threatened to shoot a teacher at The Charter School of San Diego in the Point Loma area. The suspect is a student at that school, police said.

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More Medical Marijuana Collective Operators Freed from Criminal Charges

April 17, 2014 by Source
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Vista Prosecutor Dismisses Charges Against Laura Sharp and son Nelson on April 16

By Terrie Best / San Diego Americans for Safe Access

San Diego, CA – It has been a great day for legal medical marijuana patients Laura Sharp, her son Nelson and an unnamed co-defendant after a Vista prosecutor dismissed the charges against the trio in the interest of justice and the three walked out amid cheers and clapping from their supporters.

SocalPURE, a non-profit mutual benefit corporation and legal medical cannabis collective was raided back in October of 2013. Laura Sharp, a directing member, her son Nelson and a volunteer were all man-handled by the array of law enforcement who conducted the raid. Several patient members were thrown to the ground, screamed at and handcuffed for more than six hours.

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Senator Bernie Sanders’ Guide to Corporate Freeloaders

April 15, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Here is Senator Bernie Sanders’ guide to the corporate freeloaders. Check this list out as you write the check for the IRS and compare what they made and paid in taxes with what you did.

Exxon Mobile, Bank of America, GE, Chevron …

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Lori Saldaña: Sex, Power, and Politics in San Diego – the Run Up to the 2012 Election

April 14, 2014 by Source

Editors Note: Former Assemblywoman Lori Saldaña has an up close and personal story to tell about her dealings with former Mayor Bob Filner and the Democratic Party establishment.

PART ONE: Filner Clears the Field

filnersexismBy Lori Saldaña

In December 2010 I termed out of the California Assembly after serving 6 years; 3 terms were then the maximum allowed. In the summer of 2011 I prepared to teach a class in the Women’s Studies Department at San Diego State University on “Sex, Power and Politics,” and, as redistricting was concluded, decided to run for Congress in the 52nd district in California. As I began preparing to teach and run for Congress, I began hearing stories from women who told me they had been harassed by then-US Representative Bob Filner, who appeared to be the only Democratic candidate for Mayor of San Diego.

Filner did a good job of clearing the field.

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Why We Need Media Critics Who Are Fiercely Independent

April 14, 2014 by Source
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By Norman Solomon / NormanSolomonwebsite

The most renowned media critics are usually superficial and craven. That’s because — as one of the greatest in the 20th century, George Seldes, put it — “the most sacred cow of the press is the press itself.”

No institutions are more image-conscious than big media outlets. The people running them know the crucial importance of spin, and they’ll be damned if they’re going to promote media criticism that undermines their own pretenses.

To reach the broad public, critics of the media establishment need amplification from . . . the media establishment. And that rarely happens unless the critique is shallow.

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5 Popular Home Products That Can Be Surprisingly Toxic

April 14, 2014 by Source
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If you thought you were safe from pollutants around the house, think again.

By Cliff Weathers / AlterNet

We love the convenience and the comfort they bring us, but some of our most popular consumer products can come at a heavy price to our personal health. We all try being careful, removing the known hazards from our households, yet there are many products that you likely have in your home that you probably didn’t know were toxic. Here are five that might shock you:

1. Candles.Few things are better at adding atmosphere to a room than candles. But as those candles fill the room with warm light, they’re also filling it up with harmful gases and sediments. …

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Report of State Assembly Committee that Stalled the Orca Welfare and Safety Acts in Pens

April 10, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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From WDC / April 8, 2014

For those of us watching the live feed of the California legislative hearing on Assembly member Bloom’s orca bill (AB 2140) at the State Capitol in Sacramento, it was clear that an overwhelming number of Californians support passage of the bill. Mothers, teachers, business owners, labor interests, organizational representatives, and unaffiliated individuals of the public filed past the microphone and proclaimed their complete support for AB 2140, alongside individuals from other countries that flew in to physically present their support of the bill at the hearing.

Not only was public sentiment overwhelmingly in support of the bill, but the Water, Parks, and Wildlife Committee chair, Anthony Rendon, made it clear that he supports passage of the bill and recommended a ‘yes’ vote to Assembly members on moral and ethical grounds alone.

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Politicians Who Oppose Marijuana Legalization Are On the Wrong Side of History

April 9, 2014 by Source

marijuanademrepsA majority of Americans support marijuana legalization.

By Tony Newman via AlterNet

A majority of Americans support marijuana legalization – yet not one sitting governor or U.S. Senator supports it, according to a New York Times piece.

Marijuana prohibition is a disastrous failure. 43 years after President Nixon launched the “war on drugs,” the U.S. arrests 650,000 people a year for marijuana possession – yet marijuana and other illegal drugs are as available as ever. Thanks to the drug war, the U.S. has less than five percent of the world’s population, yet nearly 25 percent of its prisoners.

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BREAKING: Ed Harris Selected by City Council to Represent District 2

April 7, 2014 by Frank Gormlie

Ed Harris, lifeguard and union head, was selected by the San Diego City Council to take the vacant seat for District 2 left when Kevin Faulconer was elected mayor.

It took two ballots for the 8 Council members to coalesce around one applicant with at least 5 votes. The replacement selection was the only item on the docket, and the Council Chambers were filled with the applicants, their supporters and community people.

Twenty people had originally filled out the paperwork for consideration, but when Council President Todd Gloria gaveled the meeting to order around 2:05 pm, there were only 17; Richardo Flores, Don Mullen and Wayne Raffesberger had all withdrawn their names. (See the list.)

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Supreme Insanity: How the High Court is Killing Our Democracy

April 7, 2014 by Source

RooseveltBy Jim Miller

Last week was a very bad week for American democracy. With the McCutcheon v. FEC decision, the Supreme Court of the United States dealt a sweeping blow to existing campaign finance laws that seek to limit the influx of money in American politics.

In the wake of the Citizens United case that opened the door for big spending by Super PACS and dark money, this ruling takes another step towards plutocracy by striking down overall limits on campaign contributions. By doing so McCutcheon rudely thrusts us further into a new Gilded Age where our economy and our politics are thoroughly dominated by a small minority of the opulent.

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Ernie McCray: Speaking Straight from the Heart

April 7, 2014 by Staff

Ernie McCray Unsung Hero

Recipient of the Phi Delta Kappa Unsung Hero Award

By Staff

On April 3, Ernie McCray was honored by the San Diego Chapter of Phi Delta Kappa, an international association for professional educators. The Kappan awards bestowed earlier in the evening were for individuals and organizations that have made a substantive difference for those wishing to become educators and for children within the school system.

Ernie’s award came later in the evening, after the recognition of Partner in Education, Educator of the Year, and Leadership. Those of us who know Ernie would be hard pressed to sum up his presence and contributions in just one category– he is known by thousands of students, parents and colleagues as an extraordinary educator; he has been a tireless advocate for peace and justice in the streets and in our schools; you can find him from time to time on a stage, acting and reading his poetry; and he has a following on the San Diego Free Press and OB Rag where he contributes essays and poetry. Unsung Hero is a pretty good fit and that was his award designation.

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UCSD Graduate Students Strike After Just Demands Not Met

April 4, 2014 by Source

Strikers disrupt classes and block public thoroughfares in protest against unfair labor practices while upper level administrators continue to receive exorbitant salaries and enjoy a culture of lavish living

By Daniel Gutiérrez

Grad student strikers and their allies block a pedestrian walkway at UCSD.

Graduate students at the University of California, San Diego represented by the United Auto Workers Local 2865 initiated a two-day strike Wednesday, April 2nd, that will end today Friday, April 4th. The strike at UCSD is part of a statewide action occurring at all the campuses of the University of California for these reasons.

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Point Loma High School Takes Honors as Best Surf Team

April 4, 2014 by Source
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from Surfer Today

Point Loma High School has conquered the San Diego stage of the 2014 Oakley High School Surf Team Challenge, held at Seaside Reef in Cardiff, California.

Ten teams of four surfers each from area high schools competed in the fun rippable swell on offer.

But at the close of the final, only one team could claim the honor of best San Diego area High School Surf Team and this year’s honor went to Point Loma High School.

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If We Don’t Connect It to Race and Class, Then Green Politics Is Just High-End Consumerism

April 4, 2014 by Source

greenpovertyInstead of advocating “green” lifestyles that are financially and culturally inaccessible to millions of Americans, artist Marc Bamuthi Joseph proposes we ask a single, crucial question that connects race, class and ecology: What sustains life in a community?

By Marc Bamuthi Joseph / Creative Time Reports

As environmentalism goes mainstream, corporations are marketing the word “green” as a panacea for the world’s climate crisis. Today the word describes a set of prescribed, mostly consumerist actions: buy local, organic and fresh; go vegan; eat in season; skip the elevator; take the stairs. “Green” has come to mean shopping at Whole Foods and possessing a Prius. Meanwhile, leading corporate polluters like BP and Exxon Mobil place commercials on CNN advertising their “green” practices.

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A Review of “Cesar Chavez” the Film: Sí, Se Puede

April 3, 2014 by Source
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By Byron Morton

Cesar Chavez shows the political evolution and the struggles of the man behind the movement during the 1960s to organize the farm workers in California. Through the United Farm Workers (UFW) Chavez (played by Michael Peña) brings bargaining rights and dignity for the impoverished farm workers. The UFW motto during this time was “Sí, se puede” or yes, it is possible.

It is important to remember at that time in the 1960s the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 did not protect farm workers and others. The Act “is a foundational statute of US labor law which guarantees basic rights of private sector employees to organize into trade unions, engage in collective bargaining for better terms and conditions at work, and take collective action including strikes if necessary.”

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CIA misled on interrogation program, Senate report says

April 3, 2014 by Source

By Greg Miller, Adam Goldman and Ellen Nakashima / The Washington Post / March 31, 2014

A report by the Senate Intelligence Committee concludes that the CIA misled the government and the public about aspects of its brutal interrogation program for years — concealing details about the severity of its methods, overstating the significance of plots and prisoners, and taking credit for critical pieces of intelligence that detainees had in fact surrendered before they were subjected to harsh techniques.

The report, built around detailed chronologies of dozens of CIA detainees, documents a long-standing pattern of unsubstantiated claims as agency officials sought permission to use — and later tried to defend — excruciating interrogation methods that yielded little, if any, significant intelligence, according to U.S. officials who have reviewed the document.

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UCSD Grad Students Protest Controversial Employment Policy

April 3, 2014 by Source

UCSD grad students protesting.Doctoral students rally against the 18 Quarter Limit

By Daniel Gutiérrez

La Jolla, California — Students at the University of California, San Diego stormed the Office of Graduate Studies Tuesday, April 1, to protest a controversial employment policy implemented across the University of California.

The “18 Quarter Limit” restricts doctoral students by only allotting them 18 quarters to be teaching assistants, readers, or graduate student researchers. Such positions, if secured, reduce a graduate student’s tuition from roughly $5,200 a quarter to a mere $196. The action came on the eve of the two-day strike that will be held April 2nd and 3rd at UCSD.

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“If I could sit down with SeaWorld executives, I would share my vision …”

April 2, 2014 by Source
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By Cara Wilson-Granat

If I could sit down with the Sea World executives, I would share my vision for their new park.

Since I’m an incurable optimist I believe that wishes do in time come true. I’ve dedicated my life to talking and writing about the power of hope — even when all seems so hopeless. Indeed, one of the most famous Holocaust survivors was the one who told me that “Even if the end of the world would be imminent, you still plant a tree today.” Those words were expressed to me years ago by the father of Anne Frank, Otto Frank. He gave me hope as he did a worldwide global family.

So surrounded by others who are strong believers in seeing a harmonious world for orcas, dolphins, indeed, all captive beings I appeal to Sea World to “sea” your next 50 years as the one we all wish to celebrate.

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Reader Rant: OB Needs More Tenants On Planning Board

April 2, 2014 by Source

By OB Joe

Just noticing that there are 5 potential open seats on the OB Planning Board, I have a special plea to the Board:

Please Appoint Some Tenants !

Six out of every 7 OBceans are people who rent – tenants. And from I can remember of the goals of the OB Planning Board in the beginning – yea, I was there – the planning committee is supposed to represent and reflect the makeup of the citizens, property owners and businesses of OB.

But 6 out of 7 are renters, who don’t own property and who don’t own businesses. In my interpretation, that means that the Board ought to have a large majority of renters on it.

So how many tenants or renters are on the present OB Planning Board?

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Review: the Brown Bag Deli

March 31, 2014 by Source
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By Kathy Blavatt

Brown Bag Deli
1912 Rosecrans Street
San Diego, CA 92106

For a couple years in the 1980s, my husband and I lived in Roseville, and Brown Bag Deli was our favorite deli (besides Pomas). Located on Rosecrans across from NTC, Brown Bag Deli is much like its name, very basic when it come to atmosphere.

What made my early experiences of this deli special was the heavenly smell of fresh baked bread coming out of their large ovens in the early lunch hours.

The sandwiches are delicious, reasonably priced and there is a long menu list to choose from. The large size can easily be split between two people. Also, they have 3-foot and 6-foot sandwiches that can feed large groups and parties.

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Love Transcends Borders and Legal Status

March 27, 2014 by Source

Juan and Alma in love.Shameful immigration policies separate loved ones

By Brent E. Beltrán / San Diego Free Press

Love doesn’t recognize borders. It doesn’t know if the person you love has papers or if they have done time for youthful indiscretions. None of that matters to love because love transcends all. My cousin Alma, who grew up on 29th St. near K St. in Grant Hill, knows about this kind of love. She and her children live it every day.

My cousin fell in love with, and eventually married, her husband Juan. Him not having legal status to live in the US didn’t bother her whatsoever. She was in love and her heart didn’t care if the man she wanted to be with was allowed to be in this country legally or not. Juan and Alma in love.

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City Council Makes First Step Towards Raising the Minimum Wage in San Diego

March 26, 2014 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

The room was packed Monday, March 24th, for a meeting of the Economic Development and Intergovernmental Relations Committee as Councilman Todd Gloria successfully gained approval to draft ballot language on a measure proposed for the November ballot raising the minimum wage and granting paid sick leave for San Diegans.

Gloria will consult with City Attorney Jan Goldsmith and bring the measure back for consideration by the committee on April 30th. We can only hope the City Councilman president has the language double-checked by an outside attorney who doesn’t have a vested ideological interest in the measure failing.

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Marijuana Legalization is Coming to California, But What Path Will it Take?

March 24, 2014 by Source

MJcaliflagA breakdown of the initiatives in the state

By Chris Conrad / The Leaf Online

With four marijuana legalization initiatives vying for the California ballot, one thing is clear: All four sets of reforms are better than the state’s current prohibition. The initials and names are confusing, but the core question is, which one or ones will voters get to vote on?

The California Cannabis Hemp Initiative (CCHI) has been gathering signatures the longest. TheMarijuana Control, Legalization and Regulation (MCLR) is the longest and took in the greatest amount of direct input from the public. A third version was drafted by a group of long-time reform activists, including remnants of the unsuccessful 2010 Prop 19 campaign. None of these has visible financial backing to make the ballot.

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Notes from the Class War: Killing “The Year of the Populist” in the Crib?

March 24, 2014 by Jim Miller

By Jim Miller

democratic-party-where-are-youRecently, in “Neoliberalism and Its Discontents: What’s Left Beyond More Impoverished Choices?”, I continued my analysis of the national debate that followed the publication of Adolph Reed’s sharp criticism of what qualifies as the “left” in the contemporary American political landscape.

After that column was posted, Reed wrote yet another piece in American Prospect, this time responding to Harold Meyerson’s dismissal of his call for a left less tethered to a Democratic Party increasingly colonized by Wall Street and other corporate interests.

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Increasing San Diego’s Minimum Wage: If You’re Not at the Table, You’re on the Menu

March 21, 2014 by Doug Porter

raiseminwageBy Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

The ‘Improving Wages and Working Conditions’ measure is set to be introduced at the City Council Economic Development and Intergovernmental Relations (EDIR) Committee on Monday morning. In addition to calling for an increase in the minimum wage, the proposed initiative would also guarantee workers up to five earned sick days.

While serving as iMayor, Councilman Todd Gloria made a bold pledge to get a measure before the voters that would raise local minimum wages. He’s now softened that pledge a bit making it clear that the actual amount of any increase is negotiable. And the opening negotiating position for the Chamber of Commerce (and their as yet silent allies) is: Zero.

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Another Medical Marijuana Loss for DA Dumanis

March 20, 2014 by Source
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Jury Verdict- Victory in People v Dennis and Deborah Little

By Terrie Best / San Diego Americans for Safe Access /March 18, 2014

Dennis and Deborah Little were vindicated in Vista court – March 17th, each of one count of possession for sale of marijuana and one of cultivation. The happy moment was shared with several jurors who lingered and hugged the traumatized couple, their attorneys and supporters in the halls outside Judge Munroy’s courtroom.

The Little trial began in earnest when a jury was finally seated, on March 11, last week. It took quite some time for the judge to find and dismiss those potential jurors who said they would be biased – most of those dismissed directed bias toward prosecutions and one hopes it can’t be long before San Diego District Attorney stops bringing sick patients like the Littles to court.

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Tucson: My Hometown as a Basketball Town

March 20, 2014 by Ernie McCray

Arizona ScenesBy Ernie McCray

I just finished a nice read, Tucson a Basketball Town. It was written by Arizona hoop legends, Bob Elliott and Eric Money.

They, in a nice informative way, remind Arizona basketball fans that before Lute Olson came along and took the program to somewhat unbelievable heights that there was an era, in the 70′s, their era, that Tucson became a basketball town.

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There is Still Time to Enroll in Covered California Health Insurance in San Diego

March 20, 2014 by Staff

The March 31st enrollment deadline for health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is approaching. The state of California is handling the insurance exchange and enrollment through Covered California. According to the state’s enrollment statistics in February, San Diego has already surpassed its target, reaching 105% of its goal by the end of December.

That doesn’t mean that everyone who is eligible has enrolled. Kaiser Permanente is hosting two events in San Diego, one on Saturday March 22 and the other on Saturday March 29 to assist people who want to enroll.

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Reader Rant: What to Do With Bad Neighbors in a Good Neighborhood?

March 18, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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By Anonymous Neighbor

Good Neighborhood, Bad Neighbors.

Living in Ocean Beach on and off for twelve years, I have a unique perspective based on my military experience throughout the world. This area is rich in stories and traditions and has developed a distinct reputation. Fairly or not, inhabitants of Ocean Beach are seen by outsiders as eclectic bunch. As a result, inhabitants of Ocean Beach also need to be accepting of the diversity of background and ideas found here.

I became fully aware of this when I became a permanent home owner in the area, married and started a family here. There are wonderful things to see here in OB like …

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