Economy

OB Rag Public Service Announcement

August 4, 2015 by Staff
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OB Planners Meet Wed., Aug. 5th: Update and Possible Wrinkle on the OB Plan Update and New Planned “Ocean Beach Plaza”

August 3, 2015 by Staff
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The OB Planning Board meets this Wednesday, August 5th, at 6pm within the community meeting room at the OB Rec Center, 4726 Santa Monica Avenue.

Several important items top the all-volunteer Board’s agenda, including an update on the OB Community Plan, a possible naming of Saratoga Park, the construction of the new OB Plaza development, and the building of a unit in the 4700 block of Niagara Avenue.

The “Ocean Beach Plaza”

Possibly one of the most important commercial developments to come before the OB Board in recent years, the “Ocean Beach Plaza” is up for review. It represents an application for a Coastal Development Permit to demolish two existing commercial buildings at the former doctors and dentists’ complex at 1929 Cable Street – at Santa Monica – and construct two new mixed-use commercial buildings on the near half acre site. The new buildings – with at least one section a 2-story – will total 10,453 square feet.

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Here’s the List of Top 10 Groups Lobbying Our Government – and There’s Not One Union on It

July 31, 2015 by Staff

elections hands cashThere’s a group called MapLight and they keep accounts of which lobbying organizations are in our government’s face – in Congress and at federal agencies – lobbying. MapLight is a 501(c)3 research organization that tracks money’s influence on politics.

Here’s their most recent report – issued July 30, 2015, on the second quarter lobbying expenses for this year – and check it out – we’re always told by the mainstream media that government officials are pressured by labor as well as by corporate lobbyists – that union money is equal to corporate money during elections. You can see by the following list that is patently untrue – at least for this quarter: …

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Bottles, Cans and Spoons …

July 31, 2015 by Source
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Not Talking About Drinking and Drugs

By Kathy Blavatt

Ocean Beach residents have always had a creative way of recycling their items into utilitarian objects or whimsical art. In the 1960’s through the 1980’s a lot of reused relics were commonplace in the homes and yards of O.B.

Bottles of all kinds were the number one choice of reusable items.

One of the most seen items in yards were “bottles-filled–with-water” to keep the dogs from pooping on the grass.

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As Medicare Turns 50, It’s Time to Grow the Program

July 30, 2015 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

On July 30, 1965 President Lyndon Johnson signed legislation creating the Medicare program. After more than five decades of failed attempts dating back to President Theodore Roosevelt, at least some Americans were eligible for coverage under a federal health insurance program.

Today more than 54 million people are covered by Medicare. It’s far from perfect, but it’s a damn sight better than the alternatives being proposed by the GOP. In fact, many of the problems facing medicare can be addressed by e x p a n d i n g the program, an idea gaining currency nationally.

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Ocean Beach’s Newport News

July 27, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Comings and Goings on OB’s Main Street

Several new restaurants on Newport Avenue are set to open while a couple of others are still works in progress.

BBQ House Expansion to Open Publicly

David of the BBQ House family, told me that the new expansion will open to the public this Wednesday, July 29th. Then they’ll figure out, he said, when the ‘grand opening’ will be. This has been a long haul for the family and its employees (and customers) as it’s taken 2 years to get this far.

The day I was there – Friday the 24th – the place looked full – but they were all servers and bartenders in training. The expansion includes a new kitchen, a new bar and new eating areas both in and outside.

Not Much Progress at Apple Tree Market

The new Apple Tree Market on Newport has yet to open and by all looks and appearances, nothing much has progressed since our last visit.

New “OB Brewery”: 50% of Interior Completed

The new brewery – also years in progress – is much closer to fruition.

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22-Unit Santa Monica Apartment in Ocean Beach Sells for 2nd Time in Less Than 2 Years

July 24, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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A large apartment complex in the 5000 block of Santa Monica Avenue in Ocean Beach has sold for $7.5 million. This is the second time “Playa”, the 22-unit apartment at 5041-5043 Santa Monica Avenue, has been sold in less than 2 years.

The complex, built in 1957, sits on a one-third-acre lot (assessor’s parcel 448-092-07 and 08) and consists of 14 one-bedroom units and eight two-bedroom units, totaling 14,978 rentable square feet. It has a courtyard, 22 off-street parking spaces and an on-site laundry facility.

The sale also represents one of the largest in terms of units in recent years – and joins a trend we have been watching of late – the sale of apartment complexes in northwest OB – this sale is the 5th this year alone. (We think the trend is “unprecedented”.)

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Reader Rant: “We Should All Take Notice of What Is Truly Going On in Mission Valley”

July 24, 2015 by Source
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By Carole Thompson

The river in Mission Valley exists even though few San Diegans have really looked at it.

I served on the Mission Valley Community Council for more than five-years and sat through many discussions on the river and Mission Valley as a concerned San Diegan.

More people should take notice of what is going on in Mission Valley before we wind up with a situation much like New Orleans, because the valley is at or below sea level.

In a time with so much attention given to drought why are those in charge so tempted to mess with one of our water sources? Although, much of it is underground the San Diego River is more than 60 miles long and part of the water table. The water table is part of the cycle of water.

Most people in San Diego are aware of the flooding in Mission Valley, but they do not know why the river floods here.

It floods in Mission Valley because they have taken an aquifer and tried to manipulate it by paving over it, tucking it under roads, and small passages on its way to the ocean.

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Numbers Game at San Diego Anti-ALEC Protests

July 23, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Looks Like San Diego Union Tribune Is Up to its Old Tricks In Downplaying Dissent

A hell of a lot of people came out to protest ALEC’s convention yesterday in downtown San Diego. Local demonstrators had their numbers bolstered by bus-loads of union members from Los Angeles.

There were the labor locals, the environmentalists, the Democrats, the progressives and social activists – and many people energized to protest ALEC because they’ve been educated in just what it is and what it does.

There were a lot of demonstrators. Just how many is a good question. And now we’re in a numbers game in trying to determine just how many people were protesting against the right-wing lobby and legislative powerhouse – with all its corporate sponsors.

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What’s the Future of Short Term Rentals ? Panel Discussion – Sunday, July 26

July 23, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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From Pt Loma – OB Dems / July 21, 2015

Earlier this month the Democratic Woman’s Club hosted a great presentation by (and discussion with) Sarah Saez (United Taxi Workers of San Diego) on Making a Living Wage in the 1099 Economy. The focus was on taxi drivers, the rise of Uber and Lyft, and the move to contracted (1099) labor.

The ability to use internet services for alternative transportation, delivery services and accommodation may (at least in the short-term) be great for (some) consumers, but the longer term effects are likely to only benefit the corporations who rise to dominate each space. We only have to look at the $40 billion valuation given to Uber, by a salivating Wall Street, who sees in it the future of cash generation and wage control.

The short-term vacation rental market poses many similar challenges and has made strange bedfellows of San Diego hoteliers and progressives.

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Jerry Brown Gushes About “fighting climate change” at Vatican As He Fracks California

July 22, 2015 by Source
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by Dan Bacher

In yet another carefully choreographed photo opportunity to tout his “green” image while he promotes the expansion of fracking, Governor Jerry Brown on July 21 urged the world’s mayors to “light a fire” and “join California in the fight against climate change.”

Brown was speaking on the first day of the Vatican’s symposium on climate change and modern slavery hosted by the Pontifical Academies of Sciences and Social Sciences.

“We have fierce opposition and blind inertia,” Brown claimed. “And that opposition is well-financed, hundreds of millions of dollars going into propaganda, into falsifying the scientific record, bamboozling people of every country. We have to fight that propaganda and overcome the inertia and the tremendous opposition.”

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Confronting ALEC’s ‘Everybody Does It’ Defense

July 22, 2015 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

Mike Huckabee, Scott Walker, Ted Cruz. How can you lose?

If the spinmeisters at the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) hoped media coverage would focus on the three GOP presidential candidates genuflecting before their annual gathering of corporate lobbyists and state legislators this week in San Diego, they may be proved wrong.

A barrage of press releases and public statements from a wide spectrum of public interest organizations combined with the growing certainty that San Diegans would actually show up in large numbers to protest the closed-door right wing strategy meeting has begun to shift coverage away from the celebrity angle to questions about just what might be going on inside the Manchester Grand Hyatt hotel.

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Think Whole Foods is a Ripoff? It’s Worse Than You Thought

July 21, 2015 by Source

Faith Gardner / Daily Kos

Whole Foods Market store

If you’ve ever shopped at Whole Foods you’ve probably been shocked at the prices. But a recent investigation shows that not only are its products overpriced, it’s also dishonest—and its shady practices when it comes to weighing and mislabeling may be illegal.

The investigation looked at products that are weighed and labeled and found a “systematic problem” whereby customers were routinely overcharged for things like nuts, snack foods, poultry and other grocery products.

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Can a Child Born in the US Sponsor Their Immigrant Parents for Legal Status?

July 20, 2015 by Source
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Questions and Answers with Carlos Batara

Our Child Was Born In The United States. Can My
Husband And I Get Green Cards Through Her Citizenship?

By Carlos A. Batara

Question:

“My husband and I would like to know if we become permanent residents. Our daughter is a U.S. citizen. She is three years old right now. Can we get green cards through her? Both of us came to the United States on student visas. We met in college. We fell in love. Our visas have not expired.” (Submitted by Paula G., Corona, CA)

Answer: Maybe. But not at this time.

Let me briefly explain.

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12 Unit Apartment Complex on Saratoga Sells for $3.3 Million

July 20, 2015 by Staff
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Another apartment complex in Ocean Beach has been sold. A 12-unit complex at 4878-4882 Saratoga Ave just exchanged hands earlier this month for $3.3 million cash.

It joins a recent rash of apartment sell-offs that have hit OB over the last months and years, particularly in northwest OB. Here’s what we wrote in April:

According to a review of OB Rag records, there’s been an unprecedented sell-off of apartments in Ocean Beach over the last 4 years. This has included the transfer of nearly $38 millions and involving nearly 160 units.

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OB Noodle House Owner Gives Back to Ocean Beach Elementary

July 17, 2015 by Matthew Wood
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Bar 1502’s Steve Yeng Donates ‘Barmageddon’ Winnings to OB Elementary

By Matthew Wood
OB Noodle House owner Steve Yeng further cemented his status as a reality television star with his recent appearance on the TruTV show “Barmageddon.”

He also showed off his love for the community when he donated his winnings from the show – $10,000 – to the Ocean Beach Elementary School.

“I love that school and I owe a lot to it,” he said. “I just have my fondest memories from there. It’s where I learned to speak English. It’s where I met my wife. Such a great place.”

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‘It’s Not Socialism, It’s Democratic Capitalism’

July 16, 2015 by Source
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By Jeeni Criscenzo

In a recent interview about the groundswell of popularity for Bernie Sanders, Richard Wolff, author of “Democracy at Work, a Cure for Capitalism,” opined that we are seeing a new form of socialism that doesn’t give the power to the government, but rather focuses on –

“changing the way we organize enterprises, so they stop being top-down, hierarchical, where the board of directors makes all the decisions, and we move to this idea which is now catching on: cooperation, workers owning and operating collectively and democratically their economy and their enterprise.”

Instead of looking at this as a new kind of socialism, I like to think of it as a new kind of capitalism—democratic capitalism, where workers are actually free.

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San Diego’s Agreement With Airbnb to Collect Tourist Taxes Gave Them Huge Windfall

July 15, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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If you are one of those people who are keeping track of the short-term rental issue here in San Diego, you’re probably aware that Airbnb – the largest online short-term rental company – has just made an agreement with the City to begin collecting tourist taxes from visitors and remit them to the City.

And July 15th is the day that Airbnb will begin collecting those taxes on behalf of the hosts that sign up with them for rentals within the City.

This is great if you’re longing forward to see more money pour into the City’s coffers.

But guess what – this agreement includes a huge win-fall for Airbnb.

Okay, you ask, just what did our “Number 2″ city just give away to the online rental agency, worth an estimated $20 Billion?

Okay, what just happened in our town?

Comic-con, of course, which just ended after a 4-day bonanza.

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Chargers Stadium Financing Plan: Sell City Owned Unicorns and Fairy Dust

July 14, 2015 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

This whole deal with using public money to build a stadium for a privately owned football team just keeps getting stranger.

Yesterday we learned the idea of using funds from developments adjacent to the Mission Valley site to fund the project was off the table. Ancillary development has been part of every stadium plan proposed over the past 15 years. That’s $225 million just vanishing. Gone. Poof!

Then where’s the stadium construction funding coming from? Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s spokesman, Craig Gustafson, emailed Scott Lewis at Voice of San Diego: “The plan the City/County team is developing is based on negotiations and discussions with the Chargers and the NFL.”

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Open Letter to San Diego City Council: Vote “No” Today on Stadium EIR

July 14, 2015 by Source
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Editor: The views expressed in the letter do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors and staff of the OB Rag.
_________

Dear San Diego City Council:

As a sports writer and stadium activist, I urge you to vote ‘NO’ with regard to ITEM-S500: Establishment of Stadium Reconstruction Project CIP and Amendment to AECOM Agreement for Environmental Review Services. (Mission Valley Community Area. District 7.)

In 2009, I broke the story for SanDiego.com that the Chargers had re-engaged city officials and the focus for a new stadium had turned to downtown. Since then, I have built a strong relationship with the team and spent three seasons (2010-12) as the Chargers beat writer for CBSsports.com.

With deep knowledge of the stadium issue, I am extremely concerned that a ‘YES’ vote will cost the city

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How to Fix California’s Housing Affordability Crisis

July 14, 2015 by Source

housing-construction

California should require developers to include affordable housing for a fifth of all new projects

By / San Diego UrbDeZine

As the economy improves, California’s affordable housing crisis is worsening. The average rent in California ($1,240) is almost fifty percent higher than the national average. This is pricing out our state’s low-wage blue collar workers, who have flat incomes and rising commutes. It would take a service worker in San Jose 20 years to save up enough to buy a home.

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A Critique of the Austerity Proposal for Greece

July 13, 2015 by Source
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A Critique of the July 10th, 2015 Austerity Proposal for Greece from Syriza; There is an Alternative!

by Peter Bohmer / July 11, 2015

It is increasingly likely although not a done deal that Greece will come to an agreement with the 19 European Union countries that use the Euro, the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (the troika) in the next week or so.

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Property Management Co. Responses to Charges of Tenant Abuse on Saratoga

July 10, 2015 by Source
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Editor: In the interests of providing a platform and encouraging a debate and discussion over the alleged abuse of their tenants on Saratoga Avenue in Ocean Beach, the following is an unedited response by Torrey Pines Property Management, written by Andrew “Andy” Parashos, their Senior Vice President.

By Andy Parashos

In response to the mentioned article, please know that Torrey Pines Property Management has been successfully managing commercial and multi-family properties throughout Ocean Beach for over thirty years.

The property at Saratoga has been under our management since February of this year. The physical conditions leading to those described in the article existed long before our management, and were detailed in a property inspection report conducted during the purchase process. It was this information, along with new ownership’s desire to own a property they would be proud of, that lead to the repair, renovation and remodeling that is currently underway.

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An Inside Look at ‘A Green Alternative’ in Otay Mesa – San Diego’s First Licensed Medical Pot Shop

July 8, 2015 by Source

AGreenAlternativeAn Interview With CEO, Dr. David Blair

By Barbara Zaragoza / South Bay Compass

Eye On The Locals: I’m a curious person and when I see something historic happening in my community, I feel an urgent need to document and ask questions. When A Green Alternative opened in Otay Mesa on March 20, 2015 — only two blocks from a major U.S.-Mexico port of entry — I couldn’t help but find out more.

(Editor: The OB Rag covered its opening back in March.)

A Green Alternative is the first medicinal marijuana dispensary that has legally opened in the City and County of San Diego. It’s a historic moment, highly controversial and located in my neck of the wood–the South Bay. So I walked right up to the storefront security guard and asked for an interview.

As the CEO, Dr. David Blair, later told me: he asks his staff not to treat people the way they would like to be treated, but to treat people the way …

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OB Planning Board: 2 Projects Approved, Concerns on Community Plan Update, Crosswalks and Stop Signs Cometh to OB

July 3, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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The Ocean Beach planners were certainly busy at their last meeting, held on Wednesday, July 1st. They approved 2 projects, one on Santa Monica and the other on Cape May, they heralded an update on crosswalks and stop signs coming to OB, and they hosted an impromptu debate on the status of OB’s Community Plan Update.

Concerns Raised Over Status of OB Community Plan

Several veterans of OB’s Community Plan update process expressed their concerns over the status of the plan – as it is currently heading to the August meeting of the California Coastal Commission, to be held locally in Chula Vista. Both Mindy Pellissier and Gio Ingolia, co-chairs of the committee that led the update process, were concerned about the timing and any changes to the Plan that city staff were making.

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Hugs Offered to Hating Hecklers at Murrieta Immigration Rally

July 3, 2015 by Doug Porter

Murrieta mural July_1_15

Editor: The following is an update on the one year commemoration in Murrieta held on July 1.

By Doug Porter

The 75 or so people who came to Murrieta, California on July 1st to commemorate resistance to last year’s bus blockade gathered around a stage in the Town Square park under the watchful eyes of a dozen or so police officers. Situated just few yards away behind yellow caution tape, anti-immigration types screamed obscenities and racist insults through multiple bullhorns.

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Reader Rant: The Mainstream Media and the Push for Endless War

July 3, 2015 by Jeff Stone
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By Jeff Stone

Why is the mainstream media only in hysterics over ISIS and the “terrorist threats” from Muslims? Could it be that they are being manipulated, or even directed by our government agencies?

Before you accuse this writer of paranoia realize that there are only six corporations that collectively control U.S. media today: Time Warner, Walt Disney, Viacom, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., CBS Corporation and NBC Universal. Together, the “big six” absolutely dominate news and entertainment in the United States.

A

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The Abuse of Ocean Beach Tenants on Saratoga

July 2, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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By Frank Gormlie

Mark has lived in his small unit on the 4900 block of Saratoga Avenue in Ocean Beach for 14 years. His is one of the front units in the 8-plex, where a sidewalk and a narrow space separate the two buildings that make up a narrow courtyard. A row of garages that face the alley forms a “T” with the buildings.

Mark’s longevity as a tenant is not the only one. A woman neighbor has been there for 17 years and a buddy in one of the back units has been there for ten years.

Everyone got along in his courtyard neighborhood. Everything seemed fine, until about six months ago when the property changed hands. And a new property management team appeared. It was the Torrey Pines Property Management company that took over, as it was one of their clients that had purchased the units.

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California Offers Free ID to Homeless People

July 2, 2015 by Christine Schanes
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By Christine Schanes

As of July 1st, a homeless person, child or youth born in the State of California can get a free certified birth certificate from the county of their birth. And as of January 1, 2016, a homeless person, child or youth will be able to get a free new or replacement California photo identification card from the Department of Motor Vehicles.

These public records fee waivers were provided during the 2013-14 California legislative session by the passage of Assembly Bill 1733 whose primary author was former Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva and whose joint authors were Speaker of the Assembly Toni G. Atkins and Assemblymember Brian Maienschein.

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The Absence of Legal Neutrality at Immigration Court

July 1, 2015 by Source
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By Carlos Batara

Henry Adams was right.

A great teacher affects eternity; no one knows where his or her influence stops. Larry Schwartz, my college history instructor, was that type of educator.

Outside my parents, Professor Schwartz was the most influential person in my life. As an educator, he guided my studies of social, racial, and political injustices. As a mentor, he inspired me to become a professional dedicated to helping the downtrodden and disadvantaged.

He taught me, above all else, that law is the ultimate instrument of political power.

Does Legal Neutrality Exist?

This belief came under heavy attack at law school. At law school, one of my first year professors repeatedly asserted that the law was neutral. Despite trying, I was unable able to buy into his proposition. It did not fit my reality.

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