Chargers Dilemma: After Screwing the Fans, Now They Want Them Back

February 10, 2016 by John Lawrence

… At Least For a Year

roman colusseumBy John Lawrence

The Romans used to provide Bread and Circuses for their populace to keep them pacified. Nothing much has changed in 2000 years. The San Diego Chargers want taxpayers to spend $350 million to buy them a new Colosseum.

And they’re not really even the San Diego Chargers. They are the Dean Spanos Chargers. He owns them. The players should all be wearing “Dean Spanos Chargers” on their shirts.

The Chargers merchandise should all bear his name. As we’ve seen recently, the Chargers would think nothing of “Bolt”ing to Los Angeles if the grass were greener there. But their quest for a shiny new stadium in another locale has been stymied at least temporarily.

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Calling on SANDAG to Invest in Better Transit, Safer Streets, Good Jobs and Clean Air

February 5, 2016 by Source

EHC Monique

Will SANDAG’s proposed sales tax increase serve your community’s needs?

By Monique López / Environmental Health Coalition

We all need to move. How we get from place to place is deeply connected to our quality of life.

Unfortunately, not all communities have the same access to healthy, safe, reliable and affordable transportation options, such as public transit and biking and walking paths.

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Tiny Village of Tiny Shelters for San Diego Homeless: Small is the New Sexy

February 5, 2016 by Source

Danielles Tiny HomeBy Jeeni Criscenzo

No question about it—being involved in a coalition to build a tiny village of tiny shelters for people who are without a place to live, is damn exciting!

I can’t put my finger on exactly why this is taking over my brain activity—from waking up in the morning ready to get online and share ideas, to dreaming about it at night.

Maybe it’s what someone at our community meeting last week said about it—tiny homes are sexy!

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A Fresh Start for Gilmore Jewelers after Ocean Beach Icon Moves to Liberty Station

February 4, 2016 by Matthew Wood

Gary Gilmore move mw 02

By Matthew Wood

Fear not, fans of Gilmore Jewelers. The iconic shop is still in business. It’s just a bit tougher to find, and that’s just the way Gary Gilmore likes it.

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The Face of Homelessness in San Diego

February 3, 2016 by John Lawrence

San Diego Has the Fourth Highest Number of Homeless in the US and that Doesn’t Even Count Most Homeless Families

homeless familyBy John Lawrence

I met a homeless woman at a coffee shop in downtown San Diego. She had emailed me to correct a few points in a previous article I had written about the homeless. Her name is Jingles, not her real name, of course.

That’s the name she goes by downtown. She’s tough, savvy, intelligent, resourceful, wise to the ways of the street. She is 55 years old with several health related problems and three small dogs.

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More Debate on Short-Term Vacation Rentals in San Diego

February 2, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for More Debate on Short-Term Vacation Rentals in San Diego

Editor: In the spirit of continuing the public discussion on short term vacation rentals here in San Diego and at the beach, we offer the following by our friend, John P Anderson, a proponent of short term rentals – whose views on this issue clearly depart from ours.

Some Market Thoughts on Short-Term Rentals in San Diego

By John P Anderson

The topic of short-term rentals in San Diego continues to be debated and potential rules / changes to rules will be a hot topic in 2016.

After ending 2015 with a well attended Planning Commission meeting in December it looks like the next official meeting / hearing will be in late February or March at the City Council. It is sure to be a long hearing, with hundreds of San Diegans attending and providing commentary both for and against short-term accommodations in San Diego neighborhoods.

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Lessons From 1965: Why Employment-Based Reform Is Xenophobia In Disguise

February 1, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for Lessons From 1965: Why Employment-Based Reform Is Xenophobia In Disguise

By Carlos Batara

Politics is a game of unintended consequences. One needs to look no further than the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

As a San Diego / San Bernardino immigration lawyer, it is not uncommon to hear immigration activists praise the virtues of the Act. Yet, a retrospective review reveals that it was politics as usual. Benevolence was not the foremost consideration of most in Congress.

The Civil Rights Connection: Fact And Fiction

The Act was inspired by the Civil Rights Act as well as our nation’s quest for ethnic diversity and racial equality. In some political corners, the immigration bill was characterized as a progressive extension of the civil rights movement.

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Living and Working In Poverty in San Diego : Excerpt From “Sunshine/Noir II”

January 28, 2016 by Source

homeless photo Photo by quinntheislander (Pixabay)

Grim Reality in “America’s Finest City”

By Susan Duerksen

“Living in poverty” is one of those shorthand terms that rolls easily off the tongues of news anchors and politicians before they turn to the next topic. We all tend to glaze over the full meaning of the phrase, the grinding day-to-day misery of hunger, worry, discomfort, exhaustion, and despair.

In the city of San Diego, the proportion and number of people living in poverty edged up in 2013. It should have gone down. Instead, 7,000 more people in the city live in poverty now, in addition to the 202,000 who remain in that dire situation from the previous year.

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Lack of Diversity Among San Diego County Commissions

January 28, 2016 by Source

Over 200 vacant positions. Zero Latinos on the “Citizen’s Review Board On Police Practices”

By Barbara Zaragoza / San Diego Free Press


On Thursday, January 21st the Center on Policy Initiatives (CPI) held a Boards and Commissions Launch Event at MAAC’s Chula Vista Community Room in hopes of encouraging more citizens to actively participate in their local government.

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Get Ready for the Market Crash and Recession of 2016

January 27, 2016 by John Lawrence

oil pumpBy John Lawrence

Oil is less than $30. a barrel. This is over three times less than what it costs just to buy the barrel itself! Iran has been accepted back into the world community and is revving up to sell its oil on the world market which will bring down the price of oil even more.

Frackers and oil producers in the US have taken on a huge amount of debt under the assumption that it would pay off down the road. They hadn’t counted on the price of oil plummeting. What will they do when we convert 100% to renewables?

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Rebuild San Diego: Snake Oil or Cure for Local Infrastructure?

January 27, 2016 by Doug Porter

post-office-potholeBy Doug Porter

This week local politicos will be making the rounds, led by Mayor Kevin Faulconer and City Councilman Mark Kersey, promising to repair San Diego’s infrastructure. Potholes big enough to be named, geysers from broken water mains regular enough to be a tourist attractions and crumbling sidewalks unsafe at any walking speed are facts of life in America’s Finest City.

Smiling faces from city hall will be front and center in the media, pitching Councilmember Kersey’s “Rebuild San Diego” ballot measure promising three decades worth of improvement with no tax increases. If it sounds too good to be true, that’s because it probably is.

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A Beach, Burb, and Billionaire “Citizens’ Plan” for San Diego’s Urban Neighborhoods

January 26, 2016 by Source

Photo by Doug Porter Overlooking tailgate park and MTS building Photo by Doug Porter

Editor: Some months ago Attorney Cory Briggs and others rolled out the “Citizens’ Plan for the Responsible Management of Major Tourism and Entertainment Resources,” better known as the Citizens Plan. They are hoping to have this on the November 2016 ballot as an alternative to the current tourism/development scheme, which is dominated by hotel industry’s financial interests.

By Bill Adams / San Diego UrbDeZine

They’re calling it the “Citizens’ Plan” initiative. Like all such initiatives, the name is misleading. Said citizens are an alliance of a billionaire and a few advocates for a limited selection of public interests. Not included are the citizens who are most impacted nor the economic interests of the City’s working populace. Citizen Kane Plan might be a more appropriate name for the way it attempts to manipulate public opinion into believing it is a grassroots plan.

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Emergency Shelter in San Diego: Getting Beyond the Game of ‘Mother May I’

January 25, 2016 by Source

By Jeeni Criscenzo / San Diego Free Press

shelter spotBack when I was a kid, about a billion years ago, all the kids in the neighborhood would hang out after school until it got dark, or we got hungry, playing games like tag and Hide-and-Seek with the entire neighborhood for our playground.

We didn’t get in trouble or kidnapped … (well there was the time 5-year-old Johnny Pappa disappeared and everyone in the neighborhood was out looking for him well past bed-time, until his brother found him sleeping UNDER his bed).

One game we played was “Mother, May I?”.

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Preserving the San Diego Commons: Public Land, Policy and Process

January 22, 2016 by Source

Who decides and who gets to participate in decisions to sell City properties?

Oak Oasis Open Space Preserve - Lakeside, CA(Photo:

By Jay Powell

The previous article in the San Diego Commons at the Crossroads series keyed in on the Mayor’s State of the City promise to break ground on “50 new or upgraded parks during the next five years” counterpoised against examples of designated open space and other city-owned lands that are in jeopardy of being sold by the City as “surplus properties”.

The proposal to sell one of the now controversial properties labeled “Truax House” adjacent to the Maple Canyon Open Space system has been continued to the February 10 Smart Growth &Land Use (SG&LU) City Council Committee along with some additional properties, not all as yet specified.

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Bringing the ‘White Line’ Gondolas to San Diego

January 21, 2016 by Doug Porter

tram1By Doug Porter

An editorial in the Union-Tribune waxes poetic about the virtues of building a mass transit system for the white people in San Diego– a network of “skyway” gondolas.

Saying it’s “one idea that does not get the attention it deserves,” the UT goes on to predict Ron Roberts, now chairing both the Board of Supervisors and SANDAG (and vice chair of the Metropolitan Transit System board), will use his perch to seek funding for the concept.

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San Diego Commons at the Crossroads: the Sell-Off of ‘Excess’ Properties

January 20, 2016 by Source

“Why didn’t you ask the neighbors and the community what they might think?”

By Jay Powell / San Diego Free Press

This past week San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced as one of the key highlights of his State of the City that he is bringing forward “the first comprehensive vision for San Diego’s parks in more than 60 years” and promised that “ground would be broken on 50 new or upgraded parks during the next five years. “

Actual budgets are always a reality check on visionary pronouncements. By April we should know if and how this vision will be reflected in the upcoming Fiscal Year 2017 budget. There is a need for yet another kind of reality check.

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Emergency Shelter for San Diego’s Most Vulnerable

January 18, 2016 by Source

homeless children Screen shot: KPBS Homeless Babies and Toddlers Endure Tough Long Days on San Diego Streets (video)

By Jeeni Criscenzo / San Diego Free Press

Using school data, we can prove that close to 10,000 families in San Diego County are homeless and are not included in the Point-in-Time Count (PITC) that is conducted every year throughout the country to determine how to allocate HUD funds for homelessness programs.

[C]lose to 10,000 families in San Diego County are homeless and are not included in the Point-in-Time Count [used] … to determine how to allocate HUD funds for homelessness programs.

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European Refugees Are Better Off than San Diego’s Homeless

January 13, 2016 by John Lawrence

calais jungleBy John Lawrence

Amy Goodman did a recent show about the refugees living in a camp in Calais, France. She walked around the camp interviewing several refugees all of whom spoke good English.

Most of these people were sleeping in tents similar to the ones you see on the sidewalks of San Diego. Some had built simple structures.

As she walked around, I began to notice some facilities that they had there which are nowhere to be found for the San Diego homeless. First I noticed a dumpster. There’s no dumpster for San Diego’s homeless. The trash just gets left on the street.

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The Future of Post-Bordernity – Excerpt From “Sunshine/Noir II”

January 13, 2016 by Source

Vasquez PB - dialogue__fmt

By Perry Vasquez

The U.S./Mexico border is falling apart. Like Chipotle Swiss cheese, it is shot through with gaps, holes, lacunae, erasures, and stretches of emptiness. The border exists—but at times its existence seems to collapse beneath the weight of its own sovereignty. How does the border both exist and not exist at the same time? How does it manage to appear in strategic locations and disappear in non-strategic ones? Why do we think of the border as having a fixed and permanent national identity instead of a contingent and temporary one?

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Craig Miller Died on Christmas Day in Ocean Beach

January 12, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for Craig Miller Died on Christmas Day in Ocean Beach

By Vera Sanchez and Sunny Rey

December 25th, 2015 is the day we found Craig Miller dead. Most people celebrate Christmas by unwrapping surprises, with the smell of coffee, the sound of giggles, and the warmth of a crowded house. We were just two volunteers wanting to pass out sleeping bags; the season slump was to be uplifted in the streets of Ocean Beach.

An organization, The Urban Street Angels, had a goal of reaching 800 local homeless in the community by gifting them with newly donated sleeping bags. As fate would have it, we received an outdated flyer with an old starting time of the event, consequently arriving two hours late to an event that had longed past.

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San Diego Police Impound Tiny Shelter, Arrest Homeless Man

January 11, 2016 by Source

Red And Lisa With Shelter

A wooden box is not a home…but…

Originally posted at San Diego Free Press on January 7, 2016.

By Jeeni Criscenzo

Part three of the quartet of storms pounding San Diego is in full force as I sit here at my computer. The alert goes off on my phone signaling a flash flood warning. The shade cloth over my neighbor’s garden has disengaged itself from two of the poles securing it to earth and is preparing for takeoff.

Peering out the rain-whipped, sliding-glass doors that safely separate me from the deluge outside on my patio,

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‘We Told You So’ in Ocean Beach

January 7, 2016 by Doug Porter

One condominium complex in Ocean Beach was featured on newscasts throughout the region. Resident Johnny Caito made a YouTube video featuring the area around Saratoga and Abbott Streets.

The OB Rag ended up calling the units The Million Dollar Condos. Years of community opposition to building what some considered to be a fortress-type structure on the beach front ended with the OB Planning Board approving the plans in November 2011.

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Saratoga Million-Dollar Condos Flood for Second Time in 4 Months

January 6, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Saratoga Million-Dollar Condos Flood for Second Time in 4 Months

Yes, it happened again.

The so-called “million-dollar” condos at Saratoga Avenue and Abbott Street have flooded for the second time in less than 4 months.

In this most recent series of El Nino storms, OB and other parts of the City and County flooded. As did the garage and some of the units at the Saratoga condos. And – as KUSI reported – there was a Lamborghini parked in one of the garages.

The vacationing owner of another car that was under 6 feet of water at the same complex had leased a unit for $5,000 a month and had parked his vehicle in the garage that accompanied the unit. And no one warned him of possible flooding. The very same condo complex experienced flooding during the rains in mid-September 2015. The big news then and reported worldwide was that a brand new Lamborghini was destroyed in the garage of the complex.

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Top 10 Political Hopes for 2016

January 4, 2016 by Jim Miller

via UFT via UFT

By Jim Miller

It’s a new year and a big one for politics. Here is my pragmatic political wish list for 2016:

1) That Donald Trump actually wins the Republican Presidential nomination and brings the entire Republican Party down when the sizable majority of Americans who hate his ideas vote out the party up and down the ticket.

2) That Bernie Sanders wins some primaries and continues to unsettle the Democratic Party and build momentum for a continuing progressive movement in our politics, win or lose.

3) That the lack of a mayor’s race will finally convince San Diego progressives …

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The Most Hated Man in America – Uber Capitalist Martin Shkreli – Is Arrested

December 30, 2015 by John Lawrence

The Poster Boy for Corporate Greed

ShkreliBy John Lawrence

Martin Shkreli, CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, who bought the drug, Daraprim and then raised the price from $13.50 to $750. a pill was arrested on December 17 by the FBI on fraud charges having nothing to do with his price gouging with Daraprim.

Shkreli seemed to back off on his 5000% increase for a life-saving drug after he received a lot of negative publicity but later said that he wished that he had raised the price of the drug even more. A silent chorus went up all over America, “He’s getting what he so richly deserves!” It does seem like Karma, doesn’t it?

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City Attorney On Vacation Rentals: Lodging Mainly for Visitors and Tourists Prohibited in Residential Zones

December 28, 2015 by Source

The following is from a Press Release from Save San Diego Neighborhoods:

City Attorney clarifies position on vacation rentals: Uses providing lodging primarily to visitors/tourists are prohibited in San Diego’s residential zones

SAN DIEGO, December 26, 2015 – Spurred by concerns from citizens over the proliferation of commercial mini-hotels in San Diego residential zones, City Attorney Jan Goldsmith has released a new memorandum on short-term vacation rentals that says providing lodging primarily to visitors and tourists in San Diego’s residential zones is unlawful and violates the city’s Municipal Code.

Goldsmith’s memo, released on December 22 in response to requests by citizens’ group Save San Diego Neighborhoods (SSDN), comes as the San Diego City Council prepares to consider a draft ordinance on the contentious issue, perhaps as early as January. Directed to the mayor and city council, Goldsmith’s release updates a 2007 memo on the same subject by then City Attorney Mike Aguirre.

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Censored 2015: The Most Underreported Story of the Year

December 28, 2015 by Jim Miller

By Jim Miller

As I wrote back in mid-October, Project Censored recently released their list of the most underreported stories of 2015. The number one story on their list features the news that 2016 will be the year when half of the world’s wealth will be controlled by the top 1%. More specifically, they document how:

According to the Oxfam report, the proportion of global wealth owned by the 1 percent has increased from 44 percent in 2009 to 48 percent in 2014 and is projected to reach 50 percent in 2016.

In October 2014, a prior Oxfam report, “Even It Up: Time to End Extreme Poverty,” revealed that the number of billionaires worldwide had more than doubled since the 2009 financial crisis, showing that, although those at the top have recovered quickly, the vast majority of the world’s population are far from reaping the benefits of any recent economic recovery.

Even more staggering, the world’s richest eighty-five people now hold the same amount of wealth as half the world’s poorest population. “Failure to tackle inequality will leave hundreds of millions trapped in poverty unnecessarily,” the report’s authors warned.

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“Refugees, Late Summer Night” by Steve Kowit – An Excerpt From Sunshine/Noir II

December 22, 2015 by Source

By Steve Kowit

Woke with a start, the dogs barking out by the fence,
yard flooded with light. Groped my way to the window.
Out on the road a dozen quick figures
hugging the shadows: bundles slung at their shoulders
& water jugs at their hips. You could hear,
under the rattle of wind, as they passed,
the crunch of sneakers on gravel. Pollos. Illegals
who’d managed to slip past the Border Patrol, …

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Did Anyone Notice? Southern California Just Went Through Two of the Hottest Summers on Record – Without … Nukes!

December 21, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Did Anyone Notice? Southern California Just Went Through Two of the Hottest Summers on Record – Without … Nukes!

Now that we’re in a wet, cold Southern California winter, it’s instructive to look back to that long, hot summer and the very warm fall that this region experienced in order to understand that the summer of 2015 – it turns out – was the hottest summer on record. On earth.

This fact made headlines – summer of 2015 was Earth’s hottest on record (Washington Post / September 17, 2015):

Temperatures soared about 1.5 degrees warmer than the long-term average, passing 1998 and 2014, which were the previous hottest summers on record depending on the dataset. These records date back to the late 1800s.

And as noted above – until this year – the summer of 2014 was the hottest summer on record (USA Today) .

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HUD Bureaucrats to San Diego’s Homeless Service Providers: ‘My Way or the Highway’

December 18, 2015 by Source

homeless womanBy Jeeni Criscenzo

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently came out with a 55-page document titled:

Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing: Defining “Chronically Homeless.

I can only imagine the thousands of dollars spent to clarify that: agencies receiving HUD funds to serve chronically homeless people cannot use those funds for persons or households if any of the periods separating the requisite “4 separate occasions in the past 3 years” where they were homeless (according to the HUD definition of homeless) were less than 7 nights.

If that sounds convoluted to you, imagine being an underpaid, intake staff person at an underfunded homeless service agency, interviewing a homeless client to determine if they can accept him or her into the program without jeopardizing their HUD funding.

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