California

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. San Diego Free Press editors Doug Porter and Anna Daniels joined those who were bringing light to what happened a year ago to bussed-in immigrants. Doug Porter filed the following report, as part of his daily column at SDFP.

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.

As protest rallies go, there really wasn’t much to see on stage. Banners waved, speakers spoke, people applauded.

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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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After Over 30 Years, OB Planning Board Changes Its Logo Due to Request From Originator

July 1, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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For over 30 years (we believe) the Ocean Beach Planning Board has sported its logo on agendas, letterhead, fliers and other documents.

The logo has the famous OB seagull with the “OB” with the planning board’s name below.

But now, the current Board – run by a bunch of upstarts apparently – has changed the logo into a symbolic “OB” with a parrot. My goodness! A seagull for a parrot. What’s next for OB? Veggie tacos instead of fish tacos? (JK guys, really.)

How could they change it after all these years? you may ask yourself.

But wait, they had a good reason it turns out.

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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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Murrieta, the Town Without Pity, Remembered One Year Later Today – July 1st

July 1, 2015 by Doug Porter

murrieta poster

Editor: As we repost an excerpt of Doug Porter’s column at SDFP, he and another San Diego Free Press editor, Anna Daniels, are on their way up to Murrieta, “the town without pity”. Stay tuned for an update.

By Doug Porter

Latino and Human Rights activists are returning to Murrieta, California on July 1st to commemorate the anniversary of a historic confrontation that laid bare the racism in Southern California for the world to see.

It was one year ago self-styled patriots, acting on rumors and innuendo, blockaded busloads of refugee women and children from Central America on their way to a Border Patrol processing center.

The angry anti-immigrant protesters, seen on TV news across the country chanting of “Go home!’ and “We don’t want you!,” were tacitly encouraged by local authorities. (It was the local police who actually stopped the buses)

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Student Loan Default a Growing Trend?

July 1, 2015 by John Lawrence

student loan debtBy John Lawrence

With over a trillion dollars in outstanding student loans, young college graduates are being forced to take jobs they hate in order to pay them back. Their futures consist of debt peonage for as far as the eye can see.

Some are opting out of a lifetime of death-in-debtorhood and choosing instead to start over living the life that they foresaw when they enrolled in college in the first place. Such a one is Lee Siegle whose June 6 opinion piece in the New York Times laid out his rational for defaulting on his student loan.

His decision was made based on choosing life over death:

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Is Ocean Beach Number 3 in Vacation Rentals for San Diego? Boasts Meet City’s Strict Law

June 30, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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There’s a new vacation rental property management company out there that’s boasting that with 12,000 short term vacation rentals, “San Diego is rapidly becoming the fastest growing market in the country.”

And it also claims that of the top 5 key regions in the San Diego area, Ocean Beach is number 3 in terms of potential earnings from property owners turning their units into short term rentals.

The company Pillow just announced that it is officially launching in San Diego, and it has a nifty graphic that shows that short term rental fees from OB make the community the third top community in the San Diego region.The breakdown: La Jolla, Pacific Beach, then OB, then San Diego generally, and fifth is Coronado.

The company is all about enticing homeowners to rent out their digs and has held several workshops around town. It’s already established itself in several other cities. Pillow

Wow! OB is number 3!

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Poetry at a Budget Meeting of San Diego School Board Members

June 30, 2015 by Ernie McCray

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By Ernie McCray

I had the honor of spending a day with a room full of progressive School Board Members from around San Diego County.

I wasn’t so sure, at first, as the subject was: Budgets.

Whenever I got my budget sheets at my schools, it might as well have been expressed in hieroglyphics – I just can’t relate to language like “Total Available Funds minus Total Outgo.” Gives me vertigo.

I was there, though, to kick things off. And in doing that I shared three poems and one went like this:

Our schools now,
at this stage
of a rapidly aging New Century,
are about to introduce
our kids
to the realm of Ethnic Studies.
Sure does
make sense to me

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Momentum Mounting for 2016 California Marijuana Measure

June 30, 2015 by Source

MJcaliflagBy Phillip Smith / AlterNet

On June 14, more than 200 people gathered at the Sebastopol Grange for a fundraiser and organizing meeting of local pot growers, the Sonoma County Growers Association.

They were being mentored by their northern neighbors from Humboldt, Mendocino, and Trinity counties, the Emerald Growers Association, which already has lobbyists in Sacramento and is in the middle of the effort to legalize weed in California next year.

The Emerald Triangle is the largest marijuana growing area in the country’s largest marijuana producing state.

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Chipping Away at “The Black Problem”

June 26, 2015 by Ernie McCray

Angela Y

By Ernie McCray

The madness in Charleston, to me, is so much deja vu because blacks being shot or bombed where they worship and pray is not something that’s new here in the USA.

In no way. These atrocities started, practically, when they shoved us off the ships to pick cotton, way, way back in the day.

And where’s a good place to find a lot of us to slay? Church. Makes sense to a hateful evil-minded KKK kind of person who all of a sudden, out of his madness, just can’t stand to see a Negro alive.

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Water Quality Report Card: Dog Beach Gets an “F” and OB Pier Gets an “A+”

June 19, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Drought Helps Water Quality at San Diego and Other California Beaches

The group, Heal the Bay, just released their annual report card on water quality. They assign a letter grade to beaches and coastal areas up and down the West Coast in three categories, the dry season from April to October, dry periods from November through March, and during wet weather.

Perhaps paradoxically, it appears the drought actually is helping water quality and the vast majority of San Diego County beaches reached A or B’s.

But not Dog Beach.

The San Diego River outlet at Dog Beach was one of the locations that received F grades — during wet weather. This is not that surprising, is it?

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Lessons to Be Learned from The Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed at San Diego Natural History Museum

June 19, 2015 by Source

mayan imageBy Jeeni Criscenzo /
San Diego Free Press

I spent a recent Sunday afternoon exploring the new exhibit at the San Diego Natural History Museum, Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed.

Being somewhat of an aficionado of Maya studies, due to the considerable research I did while writing the novel, Place of Mirrors , I had tacked the announcement for this event to my calendar with great anticipation. I wasn’t disappointed! This exhibit was thorough, interesting and respectful of the Maya culture, both past and present.

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San Diego Restaurants Guilty of Wage Theft, Labor Law Violations and Discrimination

June 17, 2015 by Doug Porter
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SDSU and CPI Study Found 3/4’s of Employees Victims of Wage Theft

By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

A study by San Diego State University Department of Sociology and the Center on Policy Initiatives found persuasive evidence of widespread wage theft, labor law violations and widespread discrimination in restaurants throughout San Diego.

If you went in to a grocery store and took something without paying, you’d face arrest. If you robbed a bank you’d be eligible for jail time. Both are thefts. Both are crimes.

But if you’re an employer in the restaurant industry and fail to pay an employee’s wages –also a crime–, chances are good to excellent that you’ll get way with it. So this morning we’re learning there’s a crime wave going on in San Diego. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

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Representatives Scott Peters and Susan Davis Disappoint on Trade Bill

June 16, 2015 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

On Friday the House of Representatives used a legislative maneuver to block President Obama’s path to fast track legislation on the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP).

One good thing about Friday’s vote is that we now know where Representatives Susan Davis and Scott Peters stand on the issue. Both voted to advance the measure despite weeks of intensive citizen/grassroots/labor lobbying for a no vote. Both did so knowing they’d face the wrath of the coalition opposed to TPP in future elections.

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Trans Pacific Partnership Fast Track Authority Vote Set for Today – Friday, June 12

June 12, 2015 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

Republican leaders in the House of Representatives have set a Friday deadline for a vote on a bill giving the President fast-track authority on commercial treaties currently being negotiated.

The legislation would allow the executive branch to submit trade agreements to Congress for an expedited, up-or-down vote without amendments was passed by the Senate last month. President Obama has said he wants to complete a 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership and send it for approval under that procedure.

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Artificial Grass May Save Water, But Does It Endanger People?

June 11, 2015 by Source
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By Lynne Peeples / Huffington Post / June 9, 2015

When Michael and Barbara Fouch first considered replacing their grassy lawn with artificial turf, they researched the growing array of options for the green plastic blades and the infill that holds them in place. They wanted a product that looked nice, but they also wanted something that wouldn’t make any people or pets sick.

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County Board of Supervisors vs. the Constitution

June 9, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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The San Diego County Board of Supervisors will today – Tuesday, June 9th – consider a proposal to limit freedom of expression in and around the new Waterfront Park just outside the County’s headquarters, the Admin Center.

San Diegans upset with this proposed ordinance to limit political activities are planning to attend the meeting. If the proposal is passed, the County will consider it again for a final go-around on June 23rd. Under the proposal, large groups of people involved in political acts at the Park could be required to move into or be inside so-called “free speech zones”. The problem is … these zones of “free expression” have been declared unconstitutional by federal courts.

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Getting Money Out of Politics in San Diego City Elections

June 9, 2015 by John Lawrence

Patrick Gensel/Flickr

By John Lawrence

Wouldn’t it be nice if money didn’t influence who gets elected and what they do after they get elected? The Clean Elections Initiative aims to get money out of politics so that one vote will truly equal one vote like it’s supposed to in a democracy.

Right now money controls elections and lobbyists have too much influence over elected officials which are in turn dependent on rich donors for their campaign funds.

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Today – June 8th – Is World Oceans Day

June 8, 2015 by Source
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Today – June 8th – is World Oceans Day, an international celebration officially recognized by the United Nations.

Among the purposes, the United Nations says the day’s intention is to “remind everyone of the major part the ocean has in everyday life” and “information the public on the impact of the human actions of the ocean.”

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The Pain of Neoliberalism : Corporate Trade Deals and the Death of Tenure

June 8, 2015 by Jim Miller

Keanu_What_If_Neoliberalism_Is_WrongBy Jim Miller

Depending on how things line up, this week may be when we learn whether or not the House of Representatives delivers Obama a win on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a bipartisan effort that will more thoroughly enshrine a neoliberal structure in U.S. law in the service of bolstering corporate control of our democracy.

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Nuclear Shutdown News – May 2015: Fire at Indian Point Plant in NY – and Is It ‘the End’ for Diablo Canyon?

June 5, 2015 by Michael Steinberg
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By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the continuing decline of the US nuclear industry.

Here’s our May 2015 report:

Indian Point Nuke Plant Fire

A May 8 fire in a transformer at the Indian Point Nuclear Plant caused a fire and explosion, shutting down reactor #3 for 16 days. The Environmental News Service reported on May 9th:

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“Empty the Tanks” Campaign to Hit San Diego’s SeaWorld this Weekend

June 5, 2015 by Staff
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Animal rights activists from throughout Southern California will gather in San Diego this weekend in a kick-off for a world-wide campaign called “Empty the Tanks” with demonstrations against SeaWorld.

The main demonstration is on Saturday, June 6th outside SeaWorld from 10am to 1pm, at the intersection of SeaWorld Drive and SeaWorld Way. The goal is to advocate for marine mammals held captive worldwide for entertainment and profit.

One of the orcas at the center of this campaign is Corky, a female who has been at SeaWorld for 25 years and another 20 years at the former Marineland of the Pacific.

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Ocean Beach Has the Longest Pier In Southern California

June 5, 2015 by Source
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OB Pier Is Also One of the Most Visited Landmarks in San Diego County

Who’s got the longest pier in Southern California?

OB does.

According to our research, at 1,971 feet, the OB Pier is the longest pier in Southern California. The closest competitor is Oceanside at 1,954. Imperial Beach is only 1,491. (The Santa Cruz Wharf is 2,745 feet but it’s not in SoCal.)

Plus, the OB Pier is host to more than a half million visitors each year. This makes it “one of the most visited landmarks in San Diego County,” according to the Los Angeles Daily News.

And, since the OB Pier was built in 1966 – guess what!? Next year is its 50th anniversary!

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The High Cost of Low Taxes

June 5, 2015 by Source

Californians are paying for tax cuts made years ago through outrageously high fines that make no sense.

By Jill Richardson / Other Words

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In May, I arrived in San Diego following five days of driving across the country from Wisconsin. I pulled into my friend’s driveway, brought my things inside, and went back to my car to park it on the street.

Almost immediately, a cop’s siren and flashing lights went off. I’d left my license in my friend’s apartment, so I was in trouble no matter what. But I was in even more trouble because, the cop told me, my license had been suspended since September.

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“Wall of Gentrification” in Ocean Beach Halted on West Pt Loma?

June 3, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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With the near completion of the fourth house in OB’s “Wall of Gentrification” on the 5100 block of West Point Loma Boulevard, we can readily get a sense of what that area of the community would look like if more such 3-story McMansions were allowed to be built along that street.

Try to imagine duplicating these four across the face of the parking lot at Dog Beach – so that the entire length becomes a 30-foot wall …

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Three Ocean Beach Restaurants Join Campaign Against Plastic

May 21, 2015 by Staff
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Three restaurants in Ocean Beach have joined a city-wide campaign against plastic containers.

The Lazy Hummingbird Cafe, Raglan Public House and Wonderland Ocean Pub are part of the campaign that has at the moment 16 San Diego restaurants pledging to eliminate plastic containers in exchange for paper. Each one will have a special sticker outside their store to show they have made the switch.

The other restaurants include: …

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Santa Barbara oil spill now stretches for 9 miles

May 21, 2015 by Source
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by Dan Bacher

The spill from a ruptured pipeline owned by Plains All American Pipeline expanded overnight from 4 miles long to two slicks stretching 9 miles along the coast, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. The pipeline carries crude oil from to Flores to Gaviota.

Preliminary reports indicated that the ruptured 24 inch pipeline in Goleta leaked an estimated 21,000 gallons of crude oil Tuesday. However, the pipeline company may have actually released as much as 105,000 gallons, with tens of thousands of gallons going into the ocean, according to the latest data from Plains All American.

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Notes on the History of San Diego’s Medical Marijuana Regulations

May 20, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Less than a month ago, the Point Loma Democratic Club held a panel discussion on the topic of the history of San Diego’s medical marijuana regulations – and the following is based upon my notes of that discussion.

The panel included Terrie Best from the San Diego Chapter of Americans for Safe Access, Alex Kreit, Associate Professor and director of the Center for Law and Social Justice at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, and Ebon Johnson, director of the Green Nectar Dispensary. Cynara Velasquez, an activist on the issue and club member, served as moderator.

In 1996, Prop 215, the Medicinal Marijuana Initiative for California passed. It essentially protected patients and gave limited protections for care givers.

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Going Homeless to Pay For College

May 20, 2015 by John Lawrence

WSUVBy John Lawrence

My daughter was entering the freshman class at UCSD in 1992 and the plan was for me to move out of our condo where we had lived for 18 years and in with my girlfriend. Renting out the condo would bring in $1000 a month and let me pay for a good share of my daughter’s college expenses.

After about a year when the relationship didn’t work out, I decided that rather than rent an apartment which would cost me what I needed to pay my daughter’s expenses, I would go homeless instead.

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