Economy

Modular Living on Abbott and Voltaire – Photo Essay

May 27, 2016 by Source
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Editor: Our good friend, John Story, was happening by the commotion at Abbott and Voltaire on Wednesday and was surprised to see what was coming down. Literally – the 2 story units at that corner are modular and can be installed relatively very quickly.

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

May 25, 2016 by Anna Daniels

homeless w signBy Anna Daniels / San Diego Free Press

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

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

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

homeless sign vet one in 4A growing population among us cannot find affordable places to live or jobs that pay a living wage. This is a crisis that we cannot ignore.

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OB Town Council – Presentations on OB’s Controversial Private Cops and Women’s Self-Defense – Wed., May 25th

May 24, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OB security patrolThis Wednesday, May 25th, the Ocean Beach Town Council will hold its monthly public meeting at the Masonic Center, located at 1711 Sunset Cliffs Blvd, at 7pm as usual.

Besides the usual reports from the different politicians’ reps, reports from the public agencies that serve OB: fire department, police, lifeguard, elementary school, and library, and after all the Board members give their reports, the Town Council will move into its main agenda item: ‘OB public safety – engagement and empowerment”.

At the top of the public safety element, is a presentation of the OB Mainstreet Association’s “OB Security Program”- the enlistment of private security team patrols of a company called the National Public Safety (NPS). Reportedly, NPS teams “patrol the business districts of OB and work closely with SDPD to get positive results for the entire community.”

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On Dark Patches and Redemption

May 23, 2016 by Jim Miller
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By Jim Miller

Despite all our best efforts, things don’t always go the way we would hope. Sometimes we are stunned by the unexpected bad turn and left groping for answers.

Last week in my column about what motivated me to go on the March for California’s Future, I explained how the stories of my students inspired me:

As a community college professor at City College, I am particularly attuned to the painful realities of economic and racial inequality because I see the costs of poverty on a daily basis …

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UC San Diego Faculty Call on Regents to Divest UC Funds from Fossil Fuels

May 20, 2016 by Source

Academic Senate votes in support of divestment resolution

UC San Diego Academic Senate

divestUC San Diego’s Academic Senate announced the passage of a resolution calling on the UC Regents to divest the University of California’s investment portfolio of stocks in companies whose primary business concerns the extraction and sale of fossil fuels.

According to its 1868 charter, governance of the University is shared between the Regents and the Academic Senate. The vote by tenure-track faculty and academic leadership took place electronically over a two week period ending May 11.

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The California Way of Poverty

May 16, 2016 by Jim Miller

Miller-marchers-walt-e1303747766621

By Jim Miller

Last week, I pondered the obscene spectacle of holding a mega-concert catering to the wealthy in the Southern California desert town of Indio where a quarter of the population lives below the poverty line.

The truth is that events like this that underline the contrast between the heedless luxury of the affluent with the deprivation of the poor are not the exception to the rule, but rather, a basic fact of everyday life in our era of historic economic inequality. It’s just the way we live now.

And in sunny California, San Diego in particular, the poor are accustomed to watching the party from the outside.

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Is Affordable Housing In the City of San Diego an Oxymoron? – Part 4

May 16, 2016 by John Lawrence

Section 8 Rental Assistance is a Cruel Jokesection 8

By Katheryn Rhodes and John Lawrence

Approximately 46,000 households in San Diego are on a waiting list to obtain a federal Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8). The average wait time to obtain a housing voucher is 8 to 10 years.

Nobody’s housing needs remain constant over a period of time that long. Many people on the waiting list will have died before they are called for their Section 8 rental assistance voucher. Cruel irony.

In theory, the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program will pay the balance of a rent payment that exceeds 30% of a renter’s monthly income.

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“Gallagher’s 1502” Launches Soft Opening Tonight on Newport – Friday the 13th

May 13, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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Discounts Extended to 92107 Locals

It is happening. The “Soft Opening” of Steve Yeng’s latest bar and restaurant – called (for now) “Gallagher’s 1502” is on for tonight, Friday the 13th.

Steve Yeng and his family, owners of the original OB Noodle House on Cable and of Bar 1502 on Niagara, have taken over the former Gallagher’s on Newport Avenue – as we announced on Tuesday.

And tonight, beginning at 5pm and lasting till 2am, Steve will introduce his new “traditional Irish pub” to the OB community that he so loves.

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From 1969 Original SD Free Press Article on San Diego’s Critical Housing Shortage – ‘So What Is New?’

May 11, 2016 by John Lawrence

housing fistJL: This article was originally published in the 1969 print edition of the San Diego Free Press. It follows on to our 4 part series on affordable housing in San Diego. So what else is new? Nothing except the price of real estate. [Items in parentheses are my updated comments.]

Rent Going Up? Planning to Move? Welcome to the Street

By John Lawrence

The housing situation in San Diego, especially for people with low incomes, bears all the earmarks of a terminal illness. The condition is grave and seems destined to get worse. The City will tell you that 1968 was a year in which San Diego experienced a record boom in housing construction, but their figures are completely misleading.

It is true that there were 12,525 units of housing begun in 1968, as compared with 6,100 units in 1967, and that while city building doubled, rural building was up 47% in 1968 over the previous year.

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Newport News – the Latest from Ocean Beach’s Main Street – and More

May 10, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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This is the latest of our occasional reports on the comings and goings of businesses on Newport Avenue – the main street of Ocean Beach, plus any new developments that have occurred recently. This is what we found on Monday, May 9th:

Renovations at the Sunshine Company

New exterior and changes inside the Sunshine Company may surprise locals who haven’t been there in a while. Part of the exterior wall in the front has been removed to move the establishment into the new way of drinking – visible and right off the public sidewalk. Upstairs, there is now more light and visibility.

Inside, the long counter and a series of tales has been taken out and replaced with cushioned seating along the wall and round tables in the middle.

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San Diego’s Crisis of Compassion: Scorn and Indifference Do Not Solve Homelessness

May 6, 2016 by Source

By Jeeni Criscenzo / San Diego Free Press

homeless familyIt doesn’t take the recently released Point in Time Count report to know that the number of unsheltered people in downtown San Diego is exploding.

Seeing every vacant lot encircled with blue tent and tarp encampments propped against chain-link fencing has ceased to evoke alarm. It’s now the norm.

The fact that we have become so accustomed to seeing human beings huddled in these makeshift shelters is a pathetic indictment of our city’s dismal failure to solve our housing problem.

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Is Affordable Housing in the City of San Diego an Oxymoron? – Part 3

May 5, 2016 by John Lawrence

The City Needs to Build and Own More Affordable Units

SD Housing CommissionBy Katheryn Rhodes and John Lawrence

According to a recent Zillow report: “Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, and San Diego are unaffordable for both renters and buyers. … Looking forward, the picture doesn’t look bright for renters.

Rents will likely keep rising at roughly their current pace for at least the next few years, which will lead to a continued affordability crunch unless wage growth significantly improves.”

Enter the San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC) whose job is to redress the balance of unaffordable rents to make it possible for San Diego to be inhabited by other than rich folks.

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Marijuana Legalization Looks Like It’s Headed to the California Ballot

May 4, 2016 by Source
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Initiative Has Enough Signatures to Appear on November Ballots

By Emily Gray Brosious / Extract Sun-Times / 05/04/2016

Adult Use of Marijuana Act powers forward in California.

The group leading efforts to legalize recreational marijuana for adults in California will announce Wednesday, May 4, that it has collected enough signatures to put its legalization initiative before voters on the November ballot, as reported by the Sacramento Bee.

The Adult Use of Marijuana Act has gathered more than 600,000 signatures, far exceeding the 350,000 needed. It has also received backing from billionaire Facebook co-founder Sean Parker and California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, in addition to the support of many other marijuana policy reform groups.

The Act would establish a regulatory system for recreational cannabis, modeled after the state’s medical marijuana regulatory system that passed in 2015.

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Coastal Commission Still to Rule on Huge 63-Unit Project Slated for Mission Beach School Site

May 3, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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There’s a whole bunch of Mission Beach residents who have been questioning and challenging a proposed 63-unit development project being slated for the community’s former elementary school site. As the LA Times reports, they are now pinning their hopes of blocking it with the California Coastal Commission, which still has not finalized any decision on the 2 acre project.

With the Coastal Commission raising some issues about the development, the stakes just got higher for the developer, Chris McKellar, who is currently resting his laurels on the fact that the City Council voted 6 to 2 in favor of the project. Residents are banking that the Commission will overturn this decision in early 2017.

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Wealth Gap in America with Jeoffry Gordon, M.D.

May 2, 2016 by Staff
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Here is a video of Dr. Jeoff Gordon speaking on the wealth gap in America using lots of slides and graphics. In the vid, he is introduced by Derek Casady, of People’s Food Store Co-op.

Dr. Gordon practiced medicine for decades, and until retirement a few years ago had a thriving office in Ocean Beach.

Before coming to OB, Dr. Gordon had an office in Pacific Beach, and was one of the founders of the very first Free Clinic in Mission Beach in the early Seventies.

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Getting Sandbagged by SANDAG: San Diego’s Failure of Imagination

May 2, 2016 by Jim Miller

soon san diego traffic

By Jim Miller

Last week Kevin Faulconer got some good press when, “under pressure from environmental groups,” he voted no to putting SANDAG’s deeply inadequate tax measure on the ballot citing San Diego’s Climate Action plan as one of the factors in his decision. Faulconer’s opponent, Ed Harris, was quick to point out that Faulconer’s vote was less about climate change and more about pleasing his anti-tax Republican base.

In a press release the Harris campaign observed that:

“Kevin Faulconer is using the environment as a prop to cover up his real reason for voting against SANDAG’s proposed infrastructure plan today,” said mayoral candidate Ed Harris. “He claims the reason for his no vote is the plan’s incompatibility with the city’s Climate Action Plan, but in October of last year he said just the opposite.”

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San Diego Homeless Advocates Rock the City Council

April 29, 2016 by Source

Screenshot of Channel 8 video on San Diego using rocks to drive away homeless

Anatomy of a Successful Press Event in Protest of City Placement of Rocks to Displace Homeless

By Jeeni Criscenzo

Some days I marvel at the value of the network of good people that has grown in our community—people involved in so many different areas, all so critical, who come together to support one another in our various efforts. Without that, we could have never pulled off the very successful action on Tuesday April 19 in protest of the City’s reprehensible decision to fill an underpass in Sherman Heights where homeless people take shelter with rocks.

PLAY VIDEO INSIDE

This was a case where all systems were running at peak performance. For the sake of all of those younger people who are just starting to dip their toes in the art of community organizing, here’s how it goes when you have a cadre of like-minded friends to call upon for a cause.

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Rule By American Dynasty Sinks Deeper Into Our Democracy

April 28, 2016 by Source

idealismBy Frank Thomas

I’ve always thought it would be nearly impossible for Bernie to ultimately win over the establishment status-quo Democratic forces so typically fearful of genuine progressive change … so caught up in an incremental rear guard progress and presidential nomination campaign that is manipulatively, simplistically characterized as one of ‘idealism’ versus ‘realism. So, the message in short seems to be, vote for the candidate of “lowered expectations.”

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Is Affordable Housing in the City of San Diego an Oxymoron? Part 2

April 27, 2016 by John Lawrence

Homeless Population Under-counted

homeless familyBy Katheryn Rhodes and John Lawrence

The 8700 people identified by the Point-In-Time-Count are not anywhere close to the total number of homeless people in San Diego City and County. They didn’t count all the people sleeping in their cars nor the many that are staying with friends or couch surfing.

Nor did they count the many that sleep “off the beaten track” in the many hidden gullies and the river bed. Nor did it count all those who slept in places unlikely to be found by the volunteers who did the counting who, after all, could not be expected to expose themselves to dangerous situations and environments.

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A Re-Visit to Liberty Public Market by the Widder Curry

April 25, 2016 by Judi Curry
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“Could I Have Been that Wrong?”

Liberty Public Market
2820 Historic Decatur Rd.
San Diego, CA 92106
619-487-9346

Holy Moly! I’ve been lambasted for reviews I have done before, but none like my first review of the Liberty Public Market in Point Loma. I call it like I see it, but with all the positive comments – forgetting the negative ones for a moment – that the Liberty Public Market has received on my comments, I decided it was time to go back and revisit it. If I made a mistake, I am certainly willing to admit it. (And I do that – look at an old article entitled “If you have to eat crow how do you cook it?”) I gathered a few women from my widow support group and we headed over to the market.

The parking lot was packed on this Friday afternoon at 1:00pm. We found a place after circling the lot once, and wished that not only had teachers taught children how to color in the lines, but also taught them how to park within the lines. Never-the-less, we embarked on our mission.

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Urbanologist Mike Davis Reflects on His San Diego Upbringing and the 2016 Presidential Election

April 22, 2016 by Source
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A New Electorate: Mike Davis on Clinton, Trump, and Sanders

Editor: In the following – somewhat dated – interview, local-boy and well-known urbanologist Mike Davis, who is from El Cajon, reflects on his upbringing and the 2016 Presidential primaries. The interview with Maria-Christina Vogkli and George Souvlis first appeared on the LSE Researching Sociology blog.

By George Souvlis and Maria-Christina Vogkli / Verso / March 1, 2016

1) Could you please tell us a bit about your family background?

My family background is distinctive only in being impossibly average. My dad came from a rural Protestant background in Ohio and was a fervent New Deal Democrat. My mom was an urban Irish Catholic and a registered Republican, but twice voted for the Socialist candidate Norman Thomas. She equally adored President Eisenhower and Liberace.

Both were high-school graduates. Apart from the Vulgate Bible we had no books in our home, but my father was an avid newspaper reader (sports and politics) and my mom devoured the Reader’s Digest cover to cover. My dad worked in the wholesale meat industry in a strangely hybrid white collar/blue collar job.

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Mayor Faulconer’s Republican Unicorns: Jobs! And the Minimum Wage Veto

April 20, 2016 by Doug Porter

Kevin Faulconer headshot colorrevers Kevin Faulconer headshot

The Committee for Slave Wages and Free Puppies for Everybody Lives On

By Doug Porter

Have you seen the Falconer for Mayor ads in social media yet? San Diego’s incumbent mayor is claiming credit –sort of– for a 34% drop in local unemployment since he was elected. If you buy into this claim, you’ll love the expected follow-up ads claiming credit for the sun rising, the sun setting, and better-than-usual surf in Ocean Beach.

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Is Affordable Housing in the City of San Diego an Oxymoron? Part 1

April 20, 2016 by John Lawrence

Has the City squirreled away millions of dollars in off-budget funds which could be used for affordable housing and housing for the homeless?

afordable housing coverBy Katheryn Rhodes and John Lawrence

In the City of Palo Alto, if you make less than $250,000 a year, you’re eligible for a housing subsidy. The city council has voted to study a housing proposal that would essentially subsidize new housing for what qualifies as middle-class nowadays, families making from $150,000 to $250,000 a year.

Here in San Diego, the situation is not much better as teachers, police and government workers cannot afford to live in the city they work in. So if middle class, college educated professionals can’t afford to live here, how can anyone else lower on the economic ladder afford to live here either? In particular, those on the bottom most rung, the homeless, can’t even afford a foot in the door.

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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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Is It All Coming Together?

April 18, 2016 by Source
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By Jeeni Criscenzo

Is it all coming together,
or all falling apart?
I can’t tell anymore.
I came with love,
but can’t find your heart.

I tried to explain how we could help get people off their streets,
by providing basic shelter in supportive communities.
We’d carefully thought out the plan,
Laid it out for them in ways they could understand,
how this would make life better for everyone.

But they came armed with one practiced phrase:
“Not in my backyard!”

Can it all come together?
Or is it already falling apart?
It’s impossible to tell
When we say we want peace,
but we’re fighting an uphill battle from the start.

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La Migra: A Chicano Historical Perspective

April 14, 2016 by Source

By Herman Baca

Herman Baca Bert Corona Corky 1977If the so-called U.S. immigration issue is a historical labor issue as Chicano/Mexicanos activists, historians, scholars & academicians claim, what then has been the historical role of the U.S. Border Patrol (BP)?

To answer that question one has to study the U.S.’s historical addiction to free and cheap labor. That started when white supremacists created the Afro-American slave labor system in Jamestown, West Virginia in 1619. A town named after King James I of England who organized the slave trade in America, and translated the King James Bible?

Today, those white supremacists are represented by Republican party presidential candidate, Donald Trump, and his Know-Nothing let’s make America great again supporters.

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Immigrants Shouldn’t Be Locked Up for Being Poor

April 13, 2016 by Source

jail_cell_1336162381_600x275By Michael Tan, Staff Attorney, Immigrants’ Rights Project, ACLU

In the federal criminal bail system, judges are required to consider someone’s financial ability to pay a bond and determine if alternative conditions of supervision — check-ins, travel restrictions — are enough to get the person to show up for court.

But such protections don’t apply to immigrants locked up in detention centers. The result is that people like Cesar Matias, a gay man from Honduras, end up jailed simply because they’re poor.

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Statement by Ed Harris – Candidate for San Diego Mayor

April 11, 2016 by Source
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Editor: Here we post, unedited, a statement from Ed Harris who is running for San Diego’s mayor. We do welcome statements from other candidates.

A mayoral debate has been set for the next OB Town Council meeting for Wednesday, April 27th. Harris and Lori Saldana have confirmed for the debate, but Mayor Kevin Faulconer has not.

Progress, Not Politics

By Ed Harris

Kevin Faulconer is a nice enough guy. He’s worked hard to build an image as a down-to-earth
problem solver. His political handlers claim that polls show he’s viewed favorably by most
voters. In fact, they say he’s done such a good job that he’s now a contender to be California’s
next governor.

So an obvious question is, why am I running against him for mayor in the June 7 primary
election?

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Here’s to the Folks Who Demanded the Impossible and Brought Us the $15 an Hour Minimum Wage: The Labor Movement

April 11, 2016 by Jim Miller

Marching Inside Wendy's just one year ago... (SEIU Photo)

By Jim Miller

Time to give credit where credit is due. It was not the noblesse oblige of individual politicians or the Democratic Party that brought us the $15 dollar an hour minimum wage, it was the labor movement.

Surely, the governors of New York and California and their fellow Democrats in those statehouses deserve credit for listening to the cry for economic justice and having the good sense to do the right thing, but the historic victory of the Fight for $15 that we have just celebrated would never have come to pass without the bold vision and prolonged struggle of working people standing together and demanding what many called impossible.

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

April 11, 2016 by Anna Daniels

By Anna Daniels / San Diego Free Press

homeless make devilQuick— imagine a homeless person.

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

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

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