Civil Rights

Nuclear Shutdown News – June 2015: Balloon Shuts Down Troubled Indian Point Plant

June 29, 2015 by Michael Steinberg
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By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the continuing decline of the US nuclear industry, and the efforts of those who are working to bring about a nuclear free future. As US nukes increasingly approach or surpass their 40 year lives, they are becoming more qnd more dangerous and outdated. They need to be shut down and replaced with renewable energy sources—now!

1. Balloon Shuts Down Indian Point Plant

On June 16 the New York state The Journal News reported, “a balloon tangled in electrical wires led to a sequence of events resulting in the shutdown of the Indian Point nuclear plant,” which is located 35 miles up the Hudson River from New York City.

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Supreme Court: Gay Marriage Is Constitutional

June 26, 2015 by Doug Porter
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A More Perfect Union: Let’s Just Call it “Marriage” Now

by Doug Porter

The Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling Friday morning was a historic victory for gay rights. The majority said the Constitution requires that same-sex couples be allowed to marry no matter where they live.

“They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”

“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were.

As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage.

Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves.

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Debate Over Rock Church’s Decision to Refrain From Feeding and Clothing the Homeless

June 26, 2015 by Source

WorkingStandDownBy Jeeni Criscenzo / San Diego Free Press

A recent post on the Facebook page for Homeless News San Diego showed a letter from the Rock Church regarding a change in policy for feeding homeless people.

Part of one sentence was highlighted:

refrain from feeding homeless people on the streets, as well as distributing items such as clothing and blankets.

The post indicates there were 107 shares and 206 comments!

I can’t recall ever seeing an issue evoke such passionate responses from so many people with opposing, yet reasonable points of view.

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Chipping Away at “The Black Problem”

June 26, 2015 by Ernie McCray

Angela Y

By Ernie McCray

The madness in Charleston, to me, is so much deja vu because blacks being shot or bombed where they worship and pray is not something that’s new here in the USA.

In no way. These atrocities started, practically, when they shoved us off the ships to pick cotton, way, way back in the day.

And where’s a good place to find a lot of us to slay? Church. Makes sense to a hateful evil-minded KKK kind of person who all of a sudden, out of his madness, just can’t stand to see a Negro alive.

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OB Town Council: Drought Remedies, Mallow-Out Campaign, Caves, Grants, Vendors and Park Rangers

June 25, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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The Ocean Beach Town Council juggled a lot of issues last night at its monthly public meeting – drought solutions, its “Mallow-Out” Campaign, the day after July 4th clean-up, the funding of grants …

It was well over half-way through the meeting when the keynote presentations on the drought and solutions were finally made to the crowd of about forty audience members and a dozen Council members.

Drought Remedies: Native Plants, Rainbarrels, Greywater and Diet

One-by-one several presenters laid out remedies that included learning about native plant gardens, which native plants are good to plant, about installing grey-water systems in your home, and how our diets also contribute to the waste of water.

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Protecting Mauna Kea: This Is a War

June 23, 2015 by Source

defend mauna kea

By Will Falk / San Diego Free Press

Sitting outside the 10 by 20 foot makeshift tent that has served as my home for the last 34 days on Mauna Kea, I watch the tent poles shudder to the concussion of US Army howitzer cannons firing live shells at their training grounds below. When the wind blows just right, from the south, the rattle of automatic rifle fire reaches the occupation. There’s no denying it: A war rages in Hawai’i.

It’s a war on native peoples, a war on women, a war on the land, a war on life itself. The war did not start in Hawai’i. …

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Don’t We All Have the Right to be Left Alone?

June 22, 2015 by Ernie McCray

Respect Human RightsBy Ernie McCray

Someone on Facebook posted, regarding the recent “pool party” event in McKinney, Texas: “If you don’t like the interaction you’re having with the police, just trying obeying the law.”

A comment was made saying that what happened could have been avoided if the girls had just acted responsibly and obeyed the laws.

I couldn’t help but think “There are pool party laws?” But, as to “obeying the laws,” I’m down with that. I’m just opposed to somebody, who is hired to uphold the law, slamming those who don’t obey the law to the ground or kicking them in the face or choking them or executing them in the streets.

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Olympia WA Police Shoot Two Un-Armed Black Men

June 18, 2015 by Source
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Another Police Shooting of African-Americans!It Can Happen Anywhere in the United States Including Olympia, WA. It Did Happen Here!

by Peter Bohmer / June 4, 2015

At 1:15 A.M. early Thursday, May 21st, 2015 on the westside of Olympia, Washington, white police officer, Ryan Donald, shot two young Black unarmed brothers, Andre Thompson, aged 24, and Bryson Chaplin, aged 21.

These two Olympia residents were initially in serious condition at nearby hospitals in Tacoma and Seattle. Andre Thompson was released from the hospital five day after being shot but has broken ribs and internal injuries. As of June 4th, Bryson Chaplin is still hospitalized and paralyzed from the waist down with a bullet lodged in his spine.

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San Diego Restaurants Guilty of Wage Theft, Labor Law Violations and Discrimination

June 17, 2015 by Doug Porter
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SDSU and CPI Study Found 3/4’s of Employees Victims of Wage Theft

By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

A study by San Diego State University Department of Sociology and the Center on Policy Initiatives found persuasive evidence of widespread wage theft, labor law violations and widespread discrimination in restaurants throughout San Diego.

If you went in to a grocery store and took something without paying, you’d face arrest. If you robbed a bank you’d be eligible for jail time. Both are thefts. Both are crimes.

But if you’re an employer in the restaurant industry and fail to pay an employee’s wages –also a crime–, chances are good to excellent that you’ll get way with it. So this morning we’re learning there’s a crime wave going on in San Diego. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

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Representatives Scott Peters and Susan Davis Disappoint on Trade Bill

June 16, 2015 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

On Friday the House of Representatives used a legislative maneuver to block President Obama’s path to fast track legislation on the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP).

One good thing about Friday’s vote is that we now know where Representatives Susan Davis and Scott Peters stand on the issue. Both voted to advance the measure despite weeks of intensive citizen/grassroots/labor lobbying for a no vote. Both did so knowing they’d face the wrath of the coalition opposed to TPP in future elections.

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It’s Not Right: San Diego Life Guards Do Not Receive the Same Health Coverage as Firefighters

June 15, 2015 by Source
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Lifeguards Deserve Presumptive Coverage

By Ed Harris / Special to the OB Rag

When a San Diego Firefighter or Police officer is injured or contracts an illness while performing their job, the City provides them with presumptive health coverage. Presumptive coverage includes meningitis, tuberculosis and hepatitis, to name a few.

Since San Diego Lifeguards are part of the San Diego Fire Department, one would think they’d be provided that same presumptive coverage. They are not.

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Former Congressman Jim Bates Re-enacts Mid-Night Ride of Paul Revere – Sat., June 13

June 12, 2015 by Staff

It’s true. Former Congressman Jim Bates is making his comeback as the ghost of Paul Revere. Bates is actually re-enacting Revere’s midnight ride this Saturday night, June 13th at – of all times – midnight.

He’ll be on a horse calling for a need for the country to mobilize a large scale effort to get the nation off fossil fuels, a type activists call “a U.S. government World War II-scale Mobilization to transition the U.S. from fossil fuels to conservation and safe, clean wind, water and solar renewable energy.”

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Vacation Rentals in San Diego

June 12, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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By Frank Gormlie

Besides the Chargers stadium, there is no other hotter issue these days in San Diego than that of the issue of vacation rentals. And this is particularly true in the beach and coastal communities of San Diego, like OB, Pacific Beach, Mission Bay.

It is an issue that hits close to home and is a personal one for many San Diegans. A good friend of mine just got married up in the Bay Area. He and his wedding party of 5 found a nice, roomy house in Berkeley with such a nice backyard that they held their ceremony there. They had found the place on Airbnb after another real bed and breakfast had cancelled on them at the last moment.

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Speaking Up on Policing the Police – City Council Today at 6pm

June 11, 2015 by Staff

A San Diego coalition of activist groups believes it is time for police reform – mainly by strengthening the Community Review Board on Police Practices.

The coalition has issued a call for people to attend tonight’s – Thursday, June 11th- City Council hearing to demand reform. The hearing starts at 6pm in Council Chambers – 202 “C” Street, 12th Floor.

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Only a Bully Kicks the Poor – Darrell Issa Takes on America’s Poverty

June 11, 2015 by Source

Darrell Issa QuoteBy Jeeni Criscenzo / San Diego Free Press

A few weeks back Rep. Darrell Issa (CA 49) tried to defend his statement made during a CNN interview, that “we’ve been able to make our poor somewhat the envy of the world.”

As someone who has dedicated my life to helping our poor, I am compelled to offer an opposing perspective. To be clear, this is not a debate between the left and the right, or liberals vs conservatives, or Democrats vs Republicans.

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Delay In Showdown Between County Supervisors and the Constitution

June 10, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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The Board of Supervisors of San Diego County delayed their vote on a very controversial proposal to limit free speech and assembly in and around the new Waterfront Park that surrounds the County Administration Building.

After some discussion, the Board said it needed more time and unanimously voted to send the proposed ordinance that would in part set up so-called “free speech zones” and require permits for large gatherings back to County lawyers for clarifications and revisions.

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Will City of San Diego Make Dubious Move to Get Blanket CEQA Exemption for Mission Valley Stadium?

June 9, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Is the City of San Diego about to go for a blanket CEQA exemption for the Mission Valley stadium?

Dan McLellan thinks so. He used to sit on the San Diego Stadium Coalition, was its vice-president for awhile and is a longtime ardent Chargers fan. He departed the group so he could speak out more aggressively, he told us.

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County Board of Supervisors vs. the Constitution

June 9, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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The San Diego County Board of Supervisors will today – Tuesday, June 9th – consider a proposal to limit freedom of expression in and around the new Waterfront Park just outside the County’s headquarters, the Admin Center.

San Diegans upset with this proposed ordinance to limit political activities are planning to attend the meeting. If the proposal is passed, the County will consider it again for a final go-around on June 23rd. Under the proposal, large groups of people involved in political acts at the Park could be required to move into or be inside so-called “free speech zones”. The problem is … these zones of “free expression” have been declared unconstitutional by federal courts.

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Getting Money Out of Politics in San Diego City Elections

June 9, 2015 by John Lawrence

Patrick Gensel/Flickr

By John Lawrence

Wouldn’t it be nice if money didn’t influence who gets elected and what they do after they get elected? The Clean Elections Initiative aims to get money out of politics so that one vote will truly equal one vote like it’s supposed to in a democracy.

Right now money controls elections and lobbyists have too much influence over elected officials which are in turn dependent on rich donors for their campaign funds.

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The Pain of Neoliberalism : Corporate Trade Deals and the Death of Tenure

June 8, 2015 by Jim Miller

Keanu_What_If_Neoliberalism_Is_WrongBy Jim Miller

Depending on how things line up, this week may be when we learn whether or not the House of Representatives delivers Obama a win on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a bipartisan effort that will more thoroughly enshrine a neoliberal structure in U.S. law in the service of bolstering corporate control of our democracy.

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The High Cost of Low Taxes

June 5, 2015 by Source

Californians are paying for tax cuts made years ago through outrageously high fines that make no sense.

By Jill Richardson / Other Words

traffic ticket photo

In May, I arrived in San Diego following five days of driving across the country from Wisconsin. I pulled into my friend’s driveway, brought my things inside, and went back to my car to park it on the street.

Almost immediately, a cop’s siren and flashing lights went off. I’d left my license in my friend’s apartment, so I was in trouble no matter what. But I was in even more trouble because, the cop told me, my license had been suspended since September.

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OB Planners: Passed Del Mar Project, Okayed Apple Tree and Juggled Concerns of Community Plan Delay

June 4, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Once Chair John Ambert guided the OB planners to their action agenda items, the Planning Board got down to business, at last night’s monthly meeting at the OB Rec Center. And eventually, they had almost a full Board.

Here’s what they accomplished:

They overwhelmingly approved the 4900 block Del Mar project, they okayed Apple Tree Market’s permits – including their alcohol permit – ; they juggled real concerns about a delay in the Coastal Commission’s approval of the Community Plan with assurances from the city; they approved the Climate Action Plan, and tossed about the notion of changing the historic logo of the Board.

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An OB Activist’s Calendar for June

June 4, 2015 by Staff
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June 20th Saturday 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. International Surfing Day Veteran’s Plaza at the end of Newport Ave ( From 6 – 8 Surfrider Foundation with FM 94.9

June 26th Friday 7:00 p.m. – 11 p.m. Critical Mass Balboa Park at the Big Fountain

June 27th – SaturdayThe 36th Annual Ocean Beach Street Fair & Chili Cook-Off Festival 4800 – 5000 blocks of Newport Ave; @ 10:00 am – 8:00 pm –

…. And there’s more ….

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Poll: 87% Support Legalization of Pot

June 4, 2015 by Staff
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In the latest OB Rag poll of our readers on if they supported the legalization of recreational marijuana, an overwhelming 87% responded that they did.

In contrast, nearly 11 and a half percent were opposed to its legalization. One percent replied they didn’t know or had no opinion. No one responded that it was improper or immoral.

The legalization proponents in this poll were split between those who smoked it – 47.1% – and those who didn’t – 40%.

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New Projects in Ocean Beach: a Seawall and a Mysterious Project at an Empty Lot

June 2, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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There’s two projects coming to Ocean Beach in the near future of some interest.

Seawall or Bluff Repair for Ocean Front Street

One is a permit “to stabilize the coastal bluff adjacent to the residences located at 1759-1765 Ocean Front Street“, in other words, some kind of seawall or bluff repair. …

Empty Lot or What at 5040 Santa Monica?

The second project that the community was given notice about is a “Notice of Future Decision” regarding a review and permits “to remove an underground parking garage” …

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After Hours Demolition of Historic Movement Birthplace Angers LGBTQ and Preservation Activists

June 2, 2015 by Doug Porter

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By Doug Porter

Shortly after 5pm on Friday, May 29, one of San Diego’s two remaining historic Saltbox houses was bulldozed by contractors working for developer HG Fenton. Adjoining properties were left untouched. And what some consider the birthplace of the local LGBTQ movement became a pile of rubble.

Local LGBTQ activists and the Save Our Heritage Organization (SOHO) had hoped to work out a deal to save the property, either by incorporating architectural details into the finished development or by moving the house to another location. A Friday morning conversation between representatives of the Lambda archives and the developer made no mention of the building’s impending destruction.

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NSA Collection of American Phone Records Ends – Thanks to Edward Snowden

June 1, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Halt to Records Collection Probably Temporary As Senate Expected to Pass Reform Measure

By Frank Gormlie

As of today – June 1st – the National Security Agency is no longer legally allowed to collect Americans’ phone records in bulk. The NSA massive collection of telephone records ended at 11:59 p.m. EDT Sunday, right after the Senate failed to pass a measure to extend the controversial program, part of the Patriot Act.

And Americans can thank Edward Snowden for it. Snowden was the one who heroically revealed the massive surveillance program to the American public and is now sitting in Russia for his punishment.

The halt to the phone coverage, however, is probably only temporary, as the Senate is expected to okay a House-passed reform bill targeting the NSA’s surveillance program. Even if it passed, it would still take a couple of days for it to start up.

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Ocean Beach and Point Loma News – Early June 2015

June 1, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Editor: Just about every week, we publish an roundup of sorts of recent news from OB, Point Loma, the Peninsula, the Midway District, Mission Bay and, at times, other beach areas – along with updates on issues and notices of community events. Here’s the latest from over the last week or so:

Another Stabbing in OB

There was another stabbing in Ocean Beach, in the alley of the 4900 block of Newport Ave. It occurred Tuesday night, May 25th. Community Relations Officer David Surwilo reported the incident at the recent OB Town Council meeting. This time the stabbing came down when one of the workers of a business told a homeless guy he couldn’t stay on a couch that he had occupied. The guy stabbed the employee a couple of times and fled. The worker was taken to a hospital – and probably already released, Surwilo said on the 26th.

COME INSIDE FOR MORE ……….

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Claim Filed Against City by Family of Man Fatally Shot by Police in Midway District

May 29, 2015 by Staff

Channel 10News has broken the story that a claim against the City of San Diego has been made by the family of the man fatally shot by police in the Midway District at the end of April. The claim alleges that the police officer involved used excessive and unreasonable force, violating the civil rights of Fridoon Rawshan Nehad, the victim.

Nehad was shot by Officer Neal N. Browder in the alley outside an adult bookstore near Rosecrans Blvd. on April 30th.

The claim calls for the city to compensate Nehad’s estate and his parents for damages in an amount of $20 million. A claim such as this is the first step in a lawsuit.

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Bernie Sanders to America’s Billionaires: “Your greed has got to end.”

May 27, 2015 by Source
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Bernie Sanders Announces Presidential Campaign

This is Bernie Sanders’ prepared speech*, delivered Tuesday, May 26, in Vermont.

Today, here in our small state – a state that has led the nation in so many ways – I am proud to announce my candidacy for president of the United States of America.

Today, with your support and the support of millions of people throughout this country, we begin a political revolution to transform our country economically, politically, socially and environmentally.

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