California

Use “San Salvador” Replica to Tell the True Story of What Happened to Native Americans in San Diego and California

December 19, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Continuing the Debate: Is the San Salvador Replica a “Symbol of Genocide” or a “Marketing Tool for San Diego”? or can it be used to tell the true story?

In the interests of continuing the debate of the controversy that has arisen over the current construction of the San Salvador , the replica of Juan Rodriquez Cabrillo’s flagship, which is being built at Spanish Landing in San Diego Bay by the Maritime Museum, we offer the following comments.

We’re certain that the building of the replica of the San Salvador, is widely known around town by now, and many even know that most of the construction is being accomplished by volunteers using the “original” tools and methods of the 16th century. There are tours, displays and some PR by the San Diego Maritime Museum.

In fact, the Museum is planning to stage the official launch of the vessel in late February 2015.

As it is a local story of interest, the OB Rag has covered the building of the ship several times, with photo essays, a focus on the volunteers – particularly the women volunteers, the craftsmanship, tools and imported wood.

Yet, our coverage has encouraged discussion, and because of our posts here and at our online media partner, San Diego Free Press, a debate has arisen – as the construction of the replica of the 500-year ship has run into a wall of controversy.

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Ocean Beach Being Considered for National Surfing Reserve

December 17, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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We have just found out that Ocean Beach is right now being considered as a National Surfing Reserve.

Research is currently going on to identify iconic California surfing spots that could have the National Reserve status. It is being conducted by World Surfing Reserve cofounder Brad Farmer, who along with Michael Blum, are doing the research into the potential sites. It’s apparently a 10-year process.

Surfing sites at Malibu and Santa Cruz have already been declared World Surfing Reserves.

Just what are the criteria to being a National Surfing Reserve? They include historical and cultural significance, surf break quality, community interest, economic and recreational value, and the presence of environmental threats. Ocean Beach has all of these, doesn’t it?

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SeaWorld WATCH: CEO and 108 Workers Let Go, But No Orcas

December 17, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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These are bad days for SeaWorld: plummeting ticket sales and profits. And worse – the CEO was fired, 108 workers at the San Diego theme park were laid off, part of 300 nation-wide.

Yet, no orcas have been let go or laid off. You know things are getting bad when even the U-T San Diego – a staunch supporter of SeaWorld – asks “Will SeaWorld free Shamu?“.

Amidst continuing protests at their front gate, SeaWorld announced a week ago that CEO Jim Atchison was resigning. At this point it’s fairly universally accepted that a lot of SeaWorld’s decline is because of changing attitudes of consumers about orca captivity – much of that prompted by the “Blackfish” documentary -which was highly critical of its treatment of killer whales.

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Conversion to Renewable Energy is Going Too Slow to Avoid Catastrophe

December 11, 2014 by John Lawrence

By Frank Thomas and John Lawrence

Part 1 of a Multi-Part Series

Introduction

climate x johnA facile denial of reality sits in the DNA of human nature – and climate change is no exception. The inbred fantasy-culture of endless growth, technology, and a throwaway consumeristic lifestyle fueled by exploiting pollutive fossil fuels has reinforced the illusion that we can do so without destroying the environment and even life itself.

The threat to human life and the planet seems to need to be truly imminent before we humans can change our course. By then, however, it will be too late …

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Study models the past to understand the future of strengthening El Niño

December 1, 2014 by Source
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by Kelly April Tyrrell / UM-Madison News

It was fishermen off the coast of Peru who first recognized the anomaly, hundreds of years ago. Every so often, their usually cold, nutrient-rich water would turn warm and the fish they depended on would disappear. Then there was the ceaseless rain.

They called it “El Niño” — The Boy, or Christmas Boy — because of its timing near the holiday each time it returned, every three to seven years.

El Niño is not a contemporary phenomenon; it’s long been the Earth’s dominant source of year-to-year climate fluctuation. But as the climate warms and the feedbacks that drive the cycle change, researchers want to know how El Niño will respond. …

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In Solidarity With Ferguson, San Diego Protesters Shut Down 2 Freeways

November 26, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Over the course of about 12 hours, protesters in San Diego blocked two freeways in solidarity with people in Ferguson, Missouri, upset with the decision by the Grand Jury not to indict officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown.

Last night, Tuesday, demonstrators in City Heights of San Diego moved down from University Avenue and blocked I-15 for a few minutes. Some arrests were made by police.

Then this morning, Wednesday, about 50 protesters from UCSD shut down I-5 northbound for about a half hour. No arrests were made in this action.

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Students Fear that UCSD Administration Will Evict CHE Cafe During Thanksgiving

November 21, 2014 by Source

From Media Advisory – CHE Cafe

On Wednesday, November 19, UCSD administrators decided to seek a writ of possession to enforce an earlier unlawful detainer judgment and evict the CHE Cafe Cooperative and any students from the cafe space it has continuously occupied for over 34 years.

Despite a resolution by the UCSD Associated Students Council asking the Chancellor to not proceed with posting a 5-day notice to vacate, and 14,000-signature petitions and open letters demanding that UCSD stop the eviction actions against the C.H.E. Cafe, delivered to the Chancellor earlier this month, action by the administration to evict the CHE Cafe continues rather than negotiations for a new lease agreement with the Co-op.

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University of California Campuses Explode As Students Protest Proposed Tuition Hike

November 19, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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UPDATE: According to the LA Times:

A key UC regents committee moved Wednesday to hike tuition by as much as 28% over the next five years despite strong opposition from the governor, legislative leaders and students.

The regents committee on long-range planning approved the hike in a 7-2 vote after an unusual debate that pitted the state’s most powerful political leaders against administrators of the 10-campus UC system. The full Board of Regents is scheduled to vote Thursday on the proposed increase,

University of California campuses up and down the state exploded yesterday, Nov. 18th, as students protested a devastating tuition hike proposed by the UC administration.

Protests included a sit-in in front of the main library at UC San Diego – plus demonstrations at UC Berkeley, Irvine, Davis, LA.

DETAILS INSIDE, PLUS SUMMARY OF UC PROTESTS

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Are You Ready for the 2016 Political Shuffle in San Diego?

November 17, 2014 by Doug Porter

startinglinelogoBy Doug Porter

The results have yet to be certified for this year’s election results, but that hasn’t prevented various political players around town from lining up support for the next step in their careers. There’s already some action and plenty of rumors to share today.

City Councilman Ed Harris was first out of the gate yesterday, by way of a story in the OB Rag announcing his intention to seek termed-out Assemblywoman Toni Atkins position representing the 78th District in 2016.

Hey, there’s plenty more. …

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Protests and “Blackfish” Force SeaWorld Earnings and Attendance to Drop

November 13, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Protests at San Diego SeaWorld and the film “BlackFish” have had enormous impact on the earnings and attendance at SeaWorld, both here in San Diego and in Orlando, Florida.

SeaWorld’s parent company, SeaWorld Entertainment Inc., announced on November 12, that its earnings for the 3rd quarter fell nearly a third – 28 percent – from a year ago. Shares of the company fell 10 percent in morning trading.

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OB Town Council: Ocean Beach Community Plan Is the Grand Marshall for the Holiday Parade

November 12, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Organizers Set to Mobilize Plan Supporters for an OB Community Plan “Float”

The Ocean Beach Town Council has announced that its selection of the “Grand Marshall” for the OB Holiday Parade is the Ocean Beach Community Plan. Every year, someone or something is awarded the exalted title. Usually it goes to a deserving community member or celebrity. …
Meanwhile, organizers and supporters of the OB Community Plan are moving on plans to create a “float” in the OB Holiday Parade

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Ed Harris to Run for Toni Atkins’ 78th Assembly Seat in 2016

November 12, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Current District 2 Councilman Ed Harris told the OB Rag at the OB Veterans Plaza event yesterday that he intends to run for the 78th Assembly District seat, now held by Speaker of the Assembly, Toni Atkins in the year 2016. Atkins will be termed out that year.

Harris made this announcement after we queried him on his future plans. Harris steps down from the council seat on December 10th, the day that Lori Zapf is sworn in as the newly-elected rep for the district.

Since his selection as District 2 council rep 7 months ago, Harris has …

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Post Election Notes from the Left Coast: Apocalypse Now? Just Say No

November 10, 2014 by Jim Miller

Creative Commons image by Kevin Crumbs

By Jim Miller

Last week progressives in California rightfully felt a bit relieved that their state served as a seawall against the ocean of red that washed across America. Outside of our reactionary little backwater here in San Diego where Carl DeMaio can pretend to be moderate and almost win despite multiple scandals, there were bright spots in the rest of the state …

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Meeting Called to Organize “Float” for the OB Community Plan at Holiday Parade – Monday, Nov. 10

November 8, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Organizing Meeting Monday, Nov. 10th at Dog Beach Dog Wash

The San Diego City Council approved the OB Community Plan Update on July 29th. And sometime during January 2015 it goes before the California Coastal Commission.

In the meantime, OB planning activists and supporters want to keep the issue of the Plan Update in front of the community, …

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California’s Proposition 47 Passed. Now What?

November 7, 2014 by Doug Porter

ca_prison21By Doug Porter

One of the big electoral victories for what I’d call sane people this week was the passage of Proposition 47. Simple drug possession and property crimes valued under $950 are now misdemeanors, effective immediately, punishable by up to a year in a county jail. … Law and order–or should I call them “lock ‘em and leave ‘em”– types are taking to the airwaves to fan the kind of (mostly irrational) fears responsible for California’s decades long dance with draconian detention policies.

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Parsing the Pitchmen for Plots in a Political Graveyard

November 7, 2014 by Source

max headroomBy Bob Dorn

Get ready for the message: Democrats need to move toward the center. That’s it, that’s all you need to know from the political professionals whom we pay to tell us who we are and what we think.

Picture them. You have Brian Williams, the hippest of that knot of strange guys in a hotel bar who anchor the nightly news of the three traditional used-to-be’s: ABC, CBS and NBC. …

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Where Is My Polling Place? And Other Last Minute Election Questions in San Diego

November 4, 2014 by Anna Daniels

By Anna Daniels

vote 2014This is for all you super busy people and procrastinators out there who haven’t turned in your mail ballot yet or figured out where you need to vote on Tuesday.

If you are still figuring out which way to vote for candidates and propositions, check out our SDFP Progressive Procrastinators Guide. You can find all of our November 2014 election analysis and coverage in the SDFP Voter Guide for Progressives. And if this is your first visit to the San Diego Free Press, we hope you’ll bookmark this site and come back for more grassroots news and progressive views.

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Massive Dumping of Fracking Wastewater into Aquifers Shows Big Oil’s Power in California

November 4, 2014 by Source

california-fracked-315x288By Dan Bacher

As the oil industry spent record amounts on lobbying in Sacramento and made record profits, documents obtained by the Center for Biological Diversity reveal that almost 3 billion gallons of oil industry wastewater were illegally dumped into Central California aquifers that supply drinking water and irrigation water for farms.

The Center said the wastewater entered the aquifers through at least nine injection disposal wells used by the oil industry to dispose of waste contaminated with fracking (hydraulic fracturing) fluids and other pollutants.

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November 2014 Progressive Procrastinator’s Voting Guide: OB and San Diego Edition

November 3, 2014 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

A big deal is being made over the large percentage of California voters who’ve opted to use the vote-by-mail ballots. While right-wing efforts in other states are focused on Voter ID laws and other variants of Jim Crow, the don’t vote effort here on the left coast is focused on spreading doubt about the reliability of the mail in system.

A mistake in mailing out ballots in Sacramento becomes evidence of a state-wide “glitch ridden ballot system”, according to Breitbart.com. Their “concern” is sooo touching. They’d like you to be afraid of mail-in voting, mostly because they’re afraid that other-than-Republican voters are discovering how easy it can be to use.

Sadly, a disturbing large percentage of those ballots will be left out of the count because people never got around to filling them out. If you’re one of those people who’ve put off filling out your ballot, here’s a handy-dandy cheat sheet

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3 Critical Votes Where You Can Make a Positive Difference on November 4th for California and San Diego

November 3, 2014 by Jim Miller

go voteBy Jim Miller

Most political observers are predicting bad results for the Democrats at the national level, but there are a few important races where progressives might be able to win key victories that will have a real effect here in California and a number of largely ignored down ballot contests where we can elect solid people while keeping some dangerous, incompetent characters out of public office.

More specifically, tomorrow we can:

1) Take a significant step away from the colossal stupidity of the last several decades of the war on drugs, senselessly draconian three strikes laws, a ballooning prison industrial complex, and surging economic inequality by passing Proposition 47. …

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Point Loma Democrats Review the Propositions – Didn’t we hire the Legislature to do this?

October 31, 2014 by Source
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By Lois Lane

The Point Loma Democrats met Sunday, October 26 at their usual venue, the Point Loma Assembly building.

Before the panel discussion of the propositions started, Ed Harris, still our councilmember, was there to fill us in on the Belmont Park proposed lease extension to 55 years. His take is that this will not come back to the City Council before he leaves office. He had an additional piece of information – the current lease requires the tenant to spend 2.5% of gross revenue on improvements. The proposed lease removes this requirement. This makes the proposed lease even worse than he originally projected.

Attended by about 50 people, the main meeting was devoted to the Propositions, and it was a spirited presentation,

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The San Salvador Project: Ignoring Genocide

October 29, 2014 by Source

Editor: In the interests of continuing the public debate around the San Salvador, an historical replica of the original flagship of Juan Rodíguez de Cabrillo, we offer the following:

By Steven Newcomb / Indian Country / March 4, 2014

In A Legacy of Genocide: The San Salvador, published by the OB Rag and San Diego FreePress , February 14, 2014, Will Falk, an attorney and poet, precisely pinpoints what is wrong with the nearly completed reconstruction of the Spanish designed ship San Salvador (“Holy Savior”).

Once completed, the vessel is to be a replica of a ship built under brutal conditions with Indian slave labor under the command of the conquistador Juan Rodíguez de Cabrillo. In September of 1542, Cabrillo sailed the San Salvador into the vast bay of the Kumeyaay territory. …

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Debate Heats Up Over San Salvador “Historic Replica”

October 28, 2014 by Source
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Editor: Ever since the OB Rag first published articles about the reconstruction of a replica of the San Salvador, the flagship of Juan Cabrillo, the Spanish explorer who was the first European to land on San Diego’s shores, a debate has ensued over how modern society views and values the new ship which represents so much of the past. The ship is docked right off Point Loma, in Spanish Landing.

By Will Falk

As a settler, I think it’s my responsibility to say this: The San Salvador was a weapon of genocide and, today, is a symbol of genocide.

“A Historically Accurate Replica”

How accurate are we going to get with the San Salvador? Are we going to use African and indigenous slave labor to build it? …

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San Salvador Replica Progress

October 28, 2014 by Judi Curry
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Building a Historically Accurate Replica of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo’s Flagship

By Judi Curry

There are not many times in life that you meet a person you don’t want to say goodbye to. This was not a romantic endeavor, but rather a person that is so genuine, so humble that you obtain energy just from being with him.

I recently met one of those extraordinary men – a Sicilian, who has worked in the boat business for 50-odd years, learning the trade as a teen in Sicily. He is a wonderful craftsmen and you can’t help but marvel at the finished product he creates.

Who is this man, you ask? A little background first. A while ago I did a story of the “Women volunteers of the San Salvador.” This is the ship that you can see being built just west of the airport on Harbor Drive. I was going to go back and do a story of the men volunteers but never got around to it.

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Goodbye San Francisco Bay Guardian; Hello Wankergate

October 27, 2014 by Jim Miller

Bay Guardian Front PageBy Jim Miller

Recently, California lost one of its last remaining, genuinely progressive weeklies, the San Francisco Bay Guardian. As [people.power.media] tells the story:

The San Francisco Bay Guardian, the prize-winning newspaper and progressive voice, was shut down immediately by the San Francisco Media Company, after 48 years of “printing the news and raising hell.”

No warning for staff, just pack your boxes and get out. Boom. This historic independent newspaper, so long a pivotal force in San Francisco progressive politics and culture was suddenly treated as a corporate portfolio item, and lopped off the balance sheet . . .

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An Abbreviated Voter Guide to Electing Judges

October 23, 2014 by Anna Daniels

justice scalesBy Anna Daniels / San Diego Free Press

Editor note: The OB Rag and the San Diego Free Press have not endorsed any judges. The opinions in the article are those of the author.

Does this sound familiar? ” I’m filling out my ballot and there are 14 judges. Who do I vote for and specifically not for?” The usual means at our disposal for choosing voter nominated candidates and propositions are noticeably absent when voting for judges. It is therefore easy to blow off this obscure exercise in democracy until you wake up one day to find out that you have been Kreep’d, as in San Diego Superior Court Judge Gary Kreep.

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

October 21, 2014 by Source
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by Bill Adams / San Diego UrbDeZine

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

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

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

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OB Rag Voter Guide for November 2014 Election

October 20, 2014 by Frank Gormlie

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

________

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

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

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Down-Ballot Races in San Diego You Need to Know About

October 16, 2014 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

While there is no rule saying a ballot must be filled out completely to be valid, there are four contests you should know and care about as we approach the 2014 general election.

Exhibit A is why we should care about down-ballot races is Judge Gary Kreep, who’s now lurking around Department 7 in the central courthouse, handling a full calendar of landlord-tenant disputes.

People voted for Kreep because the only thing they’d heard (if they’d heard anything at all) were rumors, spread via a suspicious robocall campaign saying his opponent was soft on crime.

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OB Rag Presented “Community Partner” Award by OB Town Council

October 15, 2014 by Staff
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At the annual “OBie Awards” dinner last night hosted by the Ocean Beach Town Council, the OB Rag was presented with the yearly “Community Partner” award given out by the Council.

Frank Gormlie, editor, accepted the certificate on behalf of the OB Rag. Gormlie immediately thanked Patty Jones, his partner, “for making it all happen,” praised the new generation of the OB Town Council and the OB Planning Board, and spoke of the OB tradition of “doing it the OB way.”

In her prepared remarks, OB Town Council president Gretchen Newsom stated …

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