Civil Rights

6 Common Mistakes Made By Cities and Towns in Urban Renewal.

October 21, 2014 by Source
Thumbnail image for 6 Common Mistakes Made By Cities and Towns in Urban Renewal.

by Bill Adams / San Diego UrbDeZine

For the last half century, cities have attempted to repair the damage to their urban cores from migration to suburbs and exurbs. Redevelopment has evolved into smart growth, transit oriented development, and complete streets. In the last 15 years or so, the urban renewal efforts have had a receptive audience as people, tired of the car oriented lifestyle of the suburbs, are returning to urban cores and older urban neighborhoods. However, while cities get the big picture, too often in my 25 years as a land use attorney, I have seen the same mistakes repeated.

1) Failing to Understand How to Provide for Pedestrian and Other Active Transit:

Too often, cities and towns seem to think that all pedestrians need are sidewalks to walk on and greenery to look at. The same goes for bikes and bikelanes. It goes without saying that pedestrians and bikes work differently than cars, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.

Read the full article → 2 comments

Utopia Revisited: Rethinking the Response to Faulconer’s Climate Action Plan

October 20, 2014 by Jim Miller

climate action plan sdBy Jim Miller

Since I last wrote on the People’s Climate March in late September, the grim environmental news has just kept coming in, whether it’s the revelation that September was the warmest month ever on planet earth, the Stanford study linking California’s grueling drought to climate change, the World Wildlife Federation report that the earth has lost half of its wildlife in the last fifty years, or the unpleasant surprise that, “In what could be termed as the worst effect of degrading climatic conditions and global warming, a new study has showed that fish in large numbers will disappear from the tropics by 2050”—it just doesn’t let up.

Read the full article → 0 comments

OB Rag Voter Guide for November 2014 Election

October 20, 2014 by Frank Gormlie

OB RAG VOTER GUIDE
please voteHere is the November 2014 Election Voter Guide by the OB Rag. It closely follows the endorsements of the San Diego Free Press editorial board – as the editors of the OB Rag are also part of the editorial board – and the SDFP is our online media partner (and prodigy). For all SDFP articles on the upcoming election, check out our 2014 Progressive Voter’s Guide.

________

The San Diego County Registrar of Voters issued a 76 page long list of the 671 local candidates for the November 2014 elections. And that doesn’t include local propositions, the statewide propositions and the dozen or so statewide races for office. So there are plenty of contests on the ballot we passed over. These were the ones we agreed upon.

Regardless of your political persuasion, we urge you to vote.

Read the full article → 2 comments

How to Destroy Mission Valley

October 16, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for How to Destroy Mission Valley

If you want to destroy Mission Valley, what’s coming down the development pipeline will surely do it for you. There are four massive residential and commercial projects and another four minor ones in various stages of construction and blueprints – which if all were built – would permanently damage Mission Valley to the point where the Valley that we now know would no longer be there.

Some old-timers believe Mission Valley was destroyed a long time ago, when it was a long, lush valley of dairy farms and agricultural fields. Then the hotels, resorts, golf courses and freeways came and Mission Valley lost its beauty, serenity, and its soul. Yet it’s also another group of “old-timers” – a special group – a group of Mission Valley landowning families who have plans to damage the Valley even further.

Read the full article → 96 comments

The Co-Op Movement – Democratizing the Ownership of Wealth One Step at a Time

October 16, 2014 by John Lawrence

Capitalby pikettyBy John Lawrence

It has finally dawned on the American consciousness that wealth is being concentrated among fewer and fewer people. In fact just 400 Americans own more wealth than the bottom 180 million taken together.

Thomas Piketty in his ground breaking book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, shows the dynamic behind this dramatic rise in wealth among the upper echelon of society while everyone else, in particular the middle class, is being left in the dust.

Read the full article → 7 comments

Councilman Alvarez Brokers Compromise on Winter Homeless Shelter

October 15, 2014 by Source
Thumbnail image for Councilman Alvarez Brokers Compromise on Winter Homeless Shelter

Compromise Means Barrio Logan to Host this Year But Not in 2016

By Brent E. Beltrán /

With his back against the wall, and a community within his district upset with the continued siting of the winter shelter in their neighborhood and the negative impact it brings, Councilmember David Alvarez stepped up and brokered a compromise.

Though the shelter will return this coming winter the City Council voted unanimously (with Councilmember Marti Emerald absent due to health reasons) with Mr. Alvarez’s motion to not have the location at Newton Avenue and 16th Street in Barrio Logan considered by the Housing Commission in 2016.

Read the full article → 2 comments

Who Runs San Diego? Some Taxpayers Are More Equal Than Others at the County Taxpayers Association

October 14, 2014 by Source

The Nerd, the Negotiator, the Pretender and its Protégé

Womans Democratic LogoBy Linda Perine / Democratic Woman’s Club

This week’s article is a little more complex than some of our previous looks at Who Runs San Diego?. When David (Cory Briggs) slays Goliath (Hoteliers Financing District) – that’s a good story!

When some (Sea World and certain electeds) tell us it’s OK to imprison and mistreat our sweet Shamu, LOTS of folk get mad. When our CD2/lifeguard good guy (Ed Harris) takes on tenants (Belmont Park) that seem a little moochy, you can pump your fist.

Read the full article → 1 comment

Lessons from Cointelpro – Many Learned in OB and San Diego in the Seventies

October 13, 2014 by Source
Thumbnail image for Lessons from Cointelpro – Many Learned in OB and San Diego in the Seventies

Editor: The following is taken from a talk given by Professor Peter Bohmer at the Radical Ecology Conference, in Portland, Oregon on September 6, 2014. Bohmer currently is a faculty member in Political Economy at the Evergreen State College in Washington state. He lived in Ocean Beach in the Seventies and taught at SDSU. Many of the lessons Bohmer learned were from experiences here in San Diego and OB during the heady days of the 1970s.

By Peter Bohmer

I have been asked to share my experiences and knowledge of government repression with you not to scare you but so that we can deal with it and build stronger and more effective movements today for social, environmental and economic justice, locally, nationally and globally.

First a few comments.

We live in a society that is very unequal and growing more so. 50 million are below the official poverty line, and 10 million are officially unemployed and another 10 million have given up looking or are working part-time and want to work fulltime.

Read the full article → 1 comment

Notes From the Education Wars: Marshall Tuck and the Plot Against Public Education

October 13, 2014 by Jim Miller

marshall-tuck-getting-chased-by-families-670x250By Jim Miller

After my column last week on the battle between Tom Torlakson and the corporate education reform machine backing Marshall Tuck, I was pleased to see The Nation magazine’s special issue on schools. The writers aptly note that the struggle in American education is not one of the “status quo” versus “reform,” but rather, it is between a kind of educational class war dressed up as reform and a more progressive vision that seeks to empower all kids equally.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Three Years Ago Today – Oct. 7th, 2011 – the Occupy Wallstreet Movement Burst Upon San Diego

October 7, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Three Years Ago Today – Oct. 7th, 2011 – the Occupy Wallstreet Movement Burst Upon San Diego

It was October 7th, in the year 2011, that the Occupy Wallstreet movement hit San Diego.

In a huge outpouring of demonstrators, up to 4,000 San Diegans marched through the Gaslamp District of downtown San Diego – mainly protesting for social and economic justice, against the state of the economy and the role of banks and Wallstreet responsible for the financial downturn. Occupy San Diego was born in a giant – for San Diego – protest in solidarity with the rest of the country and particularly those in New York City – where the occupy movement began.

Read the full article → 0 comments

November 2014 Propositions: Jerry Brown’s One-Two Punch

October 7, 2014 by Doug Porter

one two punch 3

An Analysis of Propositions 1 and 2

By Doug Porter

Back in the middle of August the California Legislature worked up a plan to renumber a couple of propositions appearing on the Nov. 4 ballot.

Two of Gov. Jerry Brown’s legacy political projects — a multibillion-dollar bond for water needs and a constitutional amendment to enhance the state’s rainy day budget fund — dropped the ballot numbers assigned by Secretary of State Debra Bowen of Proposition 43 (water) and Proposition 44 (budget).

Read the full article → 0 comments

Local San Diego Occupy Activists Holding Third Anniversary – Tuesday, Oct. 7

October 6, 2014 by Staff
Thumbnail image for Local San Diego Occupy Activists Holding Third Anniversary – Tuesday, Oct. 7

Tuesday Action Also in Solidarity with Hong Kong Demonstrations

Members of the Occupy Wallstreet local group, Occupy San Diego, are holding a third anniversary celebration this Tuesday, October 7 – which will also be a solidarity action in support of the Hong Kong demonstrators who have been occupying streets and government buildings for over a week.

The gathering will be – true to form – at the San Diego Civic Center Plaza – aka “Freedom Plaza”, at 7 p.m. People are asked to bring umbrellas – the symbol of the Hong Kong demonstrations – “to stand in solidarity with the Umbrella Revolution”.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Tom Torlakson Versus the Corporate Education Reform Machine

October 6, 2014 by Jim Miller

The Most Important Race on the Ballot is the One No One is Talking About

DFER real democrats

By Jim Miller

This fall in San Diego the Peters vs. DeMaio and Kim vs. Cate showdowns are getting all the attention, but my pick for the most important race on the ballot is one that nobody is taking note of at the statewide level—and that’s a problem. The race in question is for . . . (wait for it) . . . State Superintendent of Public Instruction!

O.K. I know, Superintendent of Public Instruction races don’t usually get peoples’ hearts pumping, but if you are dismayed by the full-court-press assault on teachers, public education, and democratic local control over schools, …

Read the full article → 2 comments

String of Armed Stickups in Point Loma and OB

October 4, 2014 by Staff
Thumbnail image for String of Armed Stickups in Point Loma and OB

There’s been a string of 4 armed holdups in Point Loma and Ocean Beach lately and police are looking for a suspect that fits the description given by victims. The stick-ups happened from September 19th to the 21st, where the armed suspect accosted people late at night or early in the mornings.

Even though the local TV media stated that all the robberies occurred in Ocean Beach, actually only one or two did – the rest were in parts of Point Loma. (Local mainstream media is constantly doing that – portraying crimes in OB that really occurred in other sections of the Peninsula.)

Here’s an accounting of the armed thefts:

Read the full article → 4 comments

Student Loan Debt: The Only Debt You Can’t Discharge in Bankruptcy

October 3, 2014 by John Lawrence

By John Lawrence

6a00d8341cca9453ef01b7c6e93f43970bToday’s students are being crushed with John Bunyan’s proverbial burden on their backs – student loan debt. Until relatively recently this debt could have been discharged in bankruptcy.

Then all that changed when Sallie Mae, the Student Loan Marketing Association, was privatized in 2004. Albert Lord, the new CEO, and his lobbyists went to work to change the laws so that student loans could not be discharged in bankruptcy. Today the cumulative student loan debt is more than $1 trillion.

While a generation ago a high school diploma was considered sufficient for a decent middle class entry level job, today it’s a college diploma even if the job itself could be easily accomplished by a person with just a high school education.

Read the full article → 9 comments

October 2, 1968: the Mexico City Massacre – We Won’t Forget

October 2, 2014 by Source

by Daniel Hernandez / Intersections / October 2, 2008

[Forty-six] years ago today the Mexican government opened fire indiscriminately on a crowd of peaceful protesters at the Plaza de las Tres Culturas in Tlatelolco, Mexico City, killing still-unknown numbers of students, bystanders, and demonstrators. The operation was a brutal smashing of the grassroots movement for social reform that had swept across Mexico and the world in that turbulent year, 1968.

Read the full article → 2 comments

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

October 2, 2014 by Staff
Thumbnail image for EYEWITNESS ACCOUNTS – Oct. 2, 1968: `A brutal massacre’ & U.S. Government’s Role

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.

Read the full article → 3 comments

Fifty Years Later: Who Really Won the Battle of Berkeley?

October 1, 2014 by Staff

As student activists return to campus to celebrate the 1964 Free Speech movement that galvanized for social justice, big questions remain about the direction of higher education since those radical days of upheaval and hope

mario-free-speechBy Barbara Garson / Common Dreams

I’m going back to the Berkeley campus this week for the fiftieth reunion of the Free Speech Movement. You may have heard in some history class about Mario Savio and the first student sit-in of the sixties. That was us FSMers at Berkeley.

It will feel a bit surreal. The university that had 801 of us arrested is welcoming us back by hanging Free Speech banners on the building we occupied. Home like a victorious football team! But it’s not a real victory because …

Read the full article → 0 comments

Comparison of Condo Conversions of Canada Versus Ocean Beach and San Diego

October 1, 2014 by Marc Snelling
Thumbnail image for Comparison of Condo Conversions of Canada Versus Ocean Beach and San Diego

Editor: Condo conversions are once again before the Ocean Beach Planning Board. Are they a good thing for a community? Here, Marc Snelling does a comparison between the history of condo conversions in OB and San Diego with Canadian cities. Marc was a former member of the OB Planning Board and founding member of the OB Grassroots Organization. He currently lives outside Ottawa.

By Marc Snelling

Ten years ago San Diego was among the national leaders in condo conversions. Lack of City regulation combined with speculator greed resulted in a rate of condo conversions that threatened families and renters.

Condo conversion proponents invariably tout the supposed benefits of owner occupancy and the lower cost of a condominium versus a detached home for first-time buyers. They are also just as sure not to mention the inconvenient fact that renters need to be evicted to make a condo out of an apartment.

The owner-occupancy argument is dubious as many condo owners do not live in the properties but turn around and rent them at a higher rate.

Read the full article → 2 comments

San Diego City Works Press, Sunshine/Noir II: Writing from San Diego and Tijuana

September 29, 2014 by Jim Miller

cityworks

November 1st Deadline Approaching

By Jim Miller

San Diego City Works Press is still accepting submissions for Sunshine/Noir II until November 1st. In particular we are looking for creative non-fiction pieces about underrepresented communities in San Diego and generally uncovered topics with regard to life in our region. We are also looking for good fiction, poetry, and artwork that runs against the grain of San Diego’s official story.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Legalization Here We Come: California Campaign Underway for 2016 Pot Proposition

September 26, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Legalization Here We Come: California Campaign Underway for 2016 Pot Proposition

By Doug Porter

More than four decades ago (1972) California’s Proposition 19, which would have decriminalized marijuana possession, was resoundingly defeated by a 2 to 1 margin.

In the years since then, hodgepodge of voter approved propositions, legislative initiatives and executive orders have sought to lessen or eliminate criminal penalties for use and possession of pot. They haven’t worked as intended. Overzealous prosecutors and law enforcers have continued to put the hammer down, even as juries have increasingly refused to play along.

The beginning of end for pot prohibition in California came Wednesday, Sept. 24, as the Marijuana Policy Project filed paperwork registering a a campaign committee to start accepting and spending contributions for a pot legalization initiative on the November 2016 state ballot.

Read the full article → 2 comments

A Photo Essay of Sunday’s San Diego People’s Climate March – The Time for Change is Now

September 24, 2014 by Staff

By Court Allen

310,000 people marched in NYC Sunday to make politicians and world leaders focus on Climate Change in the upcoming United Nation’s Climate Summit. That’s right – 310,000 people. All in one place. All with one message – the time for change is now.

PIC 1 The Peoples Climate March in NYC – just a few people attending.

Here in San Diego, roughly 1,500 people gathered, marched and added their voice to the cause of Climate Justice. The march went from the Civic Center over to Broadway and then on to the County Administration building along Harbor Drive. Speeches were made, signs were held high, pledges were signed.

Read the full article → 12 comments

Sign the Petition to Throw Out Lynching Charges Against Pro-Immigrant Protesters Arrested at Murrieta

September 24, 2014 by Staff

Two More Days to Sign Petition to Dismiss Charges

Gerald Singleton, a local San Diego attorney is representing a group of pro-immigration protestors who were assaulted first by anti-immigration demonstrators -who outnumbered them 4-5 to 1 , and then by the local police -who sympathized with the anti-immigration group.

Singleton and his supporters are trying to get 7,000 signatures on a petition below to drop the charges and dismiss before the Sept. 25 hearing. [Editor: at this moment there are 6,840.]

He is hoping you will consider signing the on-line petition below requesting that the Riverside DA drop the felony lynching charges against the 5 pro-immigration protestors who were charged.

The incident occurred because, on July 1, the anti-immigration group blocked several buses carrying refugees from Central America from entering a Customs and Border Patrol detention center in Murrieta, CA -the anti-immigration people demanded that the refugees be deported immediately.

Read the full article → 4 comments

Descendants of Early Native Point Lomans Speak Out

September 23, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Descendants of Early Native Point Lomans Speak Out

Local Indians Called Point Loma “Mat Loan

By Charlie Best / Special to the OB Rag

Five elders of the Kumeyaay Nation spoke out in Point Loma on Tuesday, September 16th. At the invitation of La Playa Trail Association, they presented an hour-long program at the Point Loma Assembly, where roughly 60 people attending the event – with strong contingent coming from OB.

Campo chairman Paul Cuero kicked off the affair with an overview of the Kumeyaay Nation, which we learned is made up of 12 bands living in 13 reservations north of the Mexican border, and five communities spread throughout northern Baja California. Kumeyaay are responsible for the protection of a little over three million acres in San Diego County.

Read the full article → 6 comments

San Diegans Turn Out for March for the Climate

September 22, 2014 by Source
Thumbnail image for San Diegans Turn Out for March for the Climate

By Chris Dallenbach

Sunday was a busy day for activism in San Diego and around the world, as 1,000 or more people filled Civic Center Plaza downtown to demand leadership from government in taking action to stem the tide of climate change, taking part in the People’s Climate March.

The event world-wide featured more than 2,700 demonstrations including an event that drew an estimated 400,000 people in New York City.

Read the full article → 1 comment

America’s First Banned Book and the Battle for the Soul of the Country

September 22, 2014 by Jim Miller

New English Canaan CoverBy Jim Miller

It’s Banned Books Week and what better way to kick it off than with a salute to America’s first banned book: Thomas Morton’s New English Canaan published in 1637? New English Canaan is a three-volume affair containing Morton’s sympathetic observations about Native Americans along with a celebration of the beauty of the natural world and a fierce satire of the Puritans.

While some scholars point to other books such as John Eliot’s The Christian Commonwealth (written in the late 1640s) or William Pynchon’s The Meritorious Price of Our Redemption (1650)as the first books to be banned by the Puritans for theological or historical reasons, Morton’s New English Canaan precedes both of these texts and the conflict surrounding it is far more important and illustrative with regard to the political and cultural history of the United States.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Inside an Outsider’s Campaign for Elected Office – Battle Lines Are Drawn

September 19, 2014 by Source

cash-grabBy Lori Saldaña / Part Two of Four

In Part One of this series, Lori Saldaña discussed her motivations and personal considerations leading up to her run for the California Assembly in 2004.

At the end of yesterday’s installment, she’d just been told by a Los Angeles woman’s organization at the end of a fundraising presentation that they viewed her a good candidate for school board, not the statehouse.

They ultimately endorsed my opponent- a woman with no prior elected experience who had worked as a pollster for the state teacher’s union. Fortunately, I was unwilling to accept these evaluations as the final say on my qualifications to run, or my ability to serve in state-level office.

Read the full article → 0 comments

OB Town Council Passes Resolution Calling on Government to Deal with Chronic Homelessness at the Beaches

September 19, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for OB Town Council Passes Resolution Calling on Government to Deal with Chronic Homelessness at the Beaches

At their most recent Board meeting on September 10th, the Ocean Beach Town Council passed a resolution that called on government – all levels of government – to deal with chronic homelessness in OB, at the beaches and coastal areas of San Diego and the San Diego River channel. It also stated that it should be a priority to end the homelessness of veterans.

The resolution passed was in support of addressing chronic homelessness “with best practices”, calling upon the City and County of San Diego to bring homelessness resources, outreach, and programs to the San Diego coastal communities.

It read:

The Ocean Beach Town Council calls upon the City and County of San Diego to now bring their successful practices, and homelessness resources and programs …

Read the full article → 10 comments

United Nations Rebukes America for Criminalization of Homelessness

September 18, 2014 by Source
Thumbnail image for United Nations Rebukes America for Criminalization of Homelessness

By Carey L. Biron / Inter Press Service / News Report / Nation of Change / Sept. 7, 2014

A rebuke comes from the United Nation as a pattern of U.S. homeless laws violates the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination as the majority of the homeless are minorities.

A United Nations panel reviewing the U.S. record on racial discrimination has expressed unusually pointed concern over a new pattern of laws it warns is criminalizing homelessness.

Read the full article → 7 comments

The People’s Climate March – What Will It Take to Save the Planet?

September 18, 2014 by Jim Miller

ClimateMarchBadgeBy Jim Miller and Kelly Mayhew

This coming Sunday, September 21st, is the People’s Climate March in New York City, here in San Diego, and elsewhere around the world.

The organizers hope that it will be “an unprecedented citizen mobilization” occurring “[a]s world leaders meet at the United Nations climate change summit” while marchers demand “the world we know is within our reach: a world with an economy that works for people and the planet; a world safe from the ravages of climate change;…”

Read the full article → 0 comments