California

Offshore Winds + Solid West Swell = Golden State

January 27, 2015 by Source
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From Black’s to Bolsa Chica, Ocean Beach to Ocean Beach, this past weekend saw all-day offshores fanning the NW swell

From Surfline

Millions of waves are breaking all over the planet right now. Spin the globe, and where sea meets land, there’s a good chance there is some kind of breaking wave.

But the number of ingredients that have to come together to create great surf is shockingly high. Storm strength, distance and movement. Offshore bathymetry. Swell direction. Beach orientation. There needs to be some kind of reef, point or curvy beachbreak. Local winds. Tides. Etc. The list is nuanced and many.

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The War on Hen-Pecking

January 20, 2015 by Source

All states should follow California’s example and make egg producers treat laying hens better.

laying-hensBy Jill Richardson / OtherWords

Chickens had plenty to celebrate on New Year’s Day. Supposedly.

After a long wait, California’s 2008 ballot measure to improve conditions for laying hens finally went into effect. Instead of living in cramped cages that give each bird less room than a sheet of paper, the birds are going to get enough space to lie down, stand up, stretch their wings, or turn around.

That’s still not very much space. And it’s certainly not “Chicken Disneyland,” as egg producer Frank Hilliker told UT-San Diego.

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350.Org’s High Water Line in Mission Beach

January 20, 2015 by Source
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Excerpt from Doug Porter’s column at San Diego Free Press:

Volunteers with the local chapter of 350.org fanned out in Mission Beach yesterday, using chalk to mark off where predictions of sea level rise fueled by climate change will cause flooding in the coming decades.

They sought public input by getting petition signatures for a strong, enforceable City of San Diego Climate Action Plan.

From KPBS:

After New York’s HighWaterLine art project, San Diego’s Mission Beach was one of several communities across the country holding similar events. San Francisco, New York and Miami also used art to address climate change.

Researchers from Scripps Institution of Oceanography predict a combination of high tides …

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In Deep: Sea-Level Rise and San Diego

January 16, 2015 by Source
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OBceans Take Note: Group Will Mark Off New High Water Level Mark in Chalk in Mission Beach on Monday, Jan. 19th

By Bill Avrin / San Diego 350.org

As we burn more fossil fuels, and thus pump more heat-trapping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, we are changing every aspect of earth’s climate system. One of the many consequences is that the sea is rising.

On January 19, San Diego 350 will stage a simple action to help make people more aware of what rising seas mean to San Diego right now, as well as in the future. We’re going to Mission Bay, which is pretty much ground-zero for sea-level rise in our county, to mark out where the high-water line is likely to be in about thirty years.

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OB Community Plan Likely to Go to Coastal Commission in March

January 13, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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The much anticipated final review of the Ocean Beach Community Plan by the California Coastal Commission has been on the minds of OB planners and OBceans for months now.

Now it is known that the Commission is scheduled to meet in San Diego on March 11 to 13. It is speculation, but it is likely that is when the last stop for the OB Plan will be. Their agenda for that meeting has not be made public. …

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Notes From the Left Coast: California Democrats Need to Raise the Bar on Budget

January 12, 2015 by Jim Miller

DemocraticsStrategies121014By Jim Miller

Last week Eddie Kurtz of the Courage Campaign published a provocative column in the Sacramento Bee in the wake of Governor Brown’s triumphant release of the upcoming budget for the state.

Rather than praising Brown and the state Democrats for being a model for the nation, as many in Democratic circles have been doing, Kurtz took the opportunity to raise the bar of our expectations as he pointed out that …

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An Interview With Political Cartoonist Junco Canche

January 9, 2015 by Source

JuncoPeople find comfort believing we are now living in a post-racial society. We are not. There has been progress in racial issues, mind you, but there is still work to be done.

By Angelo Lopez / Everyday Citizen

One of the best up and coming political cartoonists in the nation is Joaquin Junco Jr, aka “Junco Canché”. Junco is the political cartoonist for El Coyote Crossing Borders and the San Diego Free Press, and he has had cartoons published in El Coyote Online, La Prensa San Diego, and the Southwestern College Sun.

Junco is studying graphic design at Cal State San Bernardino, where he began doing freelance cartoons. His cartoons offer an incisive view of the state and national political scene from a Hispanic point of view. His cartoons at the Southwestern College Sun won awards from the San Diego Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

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2014 Beach Cleanup Results – Fiesta Island Had Most Trash – Not OB

December 30, 2014 by Source
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Yearly totals indicate a troubling trend of inland trash making its way to the ocean

From Coastkeeper and Surfrider Media Release

Condoms. Tampons. Glow sticks. A stethoscope.

These items topped the list of unusual pieces of trash removed from San Diego County beaches during a suite of cleanups hosted in 2014 by the Surfrider Foundation San Diego County Chapter and San Diego Coastkeeper. The environmental groups train volunteers to track the type and number of items they pick up during cleanups, ask them to note unique items and help them weigh the total contents.

This year, more than 7,000 volunteers removed nearly 10,500 pounds of debris from coastal areas, capturing it before it could pollute the ocean.

More alarming than the unusual items, says cleanup organizers, is that volunteers removed nearly 207,800 pieces of trash including more than 75,000 cigarette butts, 23,500 plastic pieces and 17,500 bits of plastic foam (the top three items removed).

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New York State Bans Fracking – Is California Next?

December 30, 2014 by John Lawrence

Fracking CaliforniaBy John Lawrence

In a huge victory for the environmental movement, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo has banned fracking. I guess President Obama is not the only one that can get things accomplished by executive order. Experts have made analyses that identified contamination threats to water, soil and air, the absence of reliable health studies or proof that drillers can protect the public, as well as diminishing economic prospects. All good reasons for the public to demand a fracking ban.

fracking calif mapFracking is also being delivered a death knell by market forces. Since it costs more to access oil by fracking than it does by conventionsl drilling, if the price per barrel falls below a certain point, fracking becomes uneconomical. Lo and behold, thanks to the Saudis who have been keeping production up, the cost per barrel has fallen to around $60. It has to be higher than $80. for fracking to be profitable.

Hooray and Halleluja! Who would have thought that market forces, the Saudis and the environmental movement would all have combined with remarkable synergy to put an end to fracking?

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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.

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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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