California

Orca Profiles in Captivity: The San Diego 10

April 18, 2014 by Source
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By Cara Wilson-Granat

Dame Jane Goodall (famed British primatologist, ethologist, anthropologist, and UN Messenger of Peace) was asked a question. “Why did she do what she did for the chimps she has advocated for all her life?” She answered by sharing a true story.

A captive lab chimp had never lived outside a cage his entire life. Now freed by Jane and her team of researchers and scientists, the frightened primate sat and watched the other chimps in a large zoo compound—free of cages and offering grassy, rocky, chimp-appealing offerings, including the sight and sound of others like him. He was terrified by such a contrast—from darkness to light.

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“Taxifornia” Dreaming: Who Really Pays Taxes in California?

April 14, 2014 by Jim Miller

California-300x300By Jim Miller

Tomorrow is tax day, and we are likely to hear the usual histrionics from the pity the millionaire crowd about how the draconian taxes on the affluent and businesses in “Taxifornia” are killing growth and jobs and driving folks out of the state.

There is only one problem with this—it’s not true. Indeed, far from the socialist hamlet that the anti-tax zealots like to portray us as, California’s tax system is still more regressive than progressive.

This is documented in the California Budget Project’s (CPB) Annual report “Who Pays Taxes in California?” that shows that, “Contrary to the oft-repeated claim that high-income Californians pay an unfair amount of taxes, it is actually California’s low-income households who pay the largest share of their incomes in state and local taxes.”

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Carl DeMaio’s À la Carte Campaign

April 11, 2014 by Source
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Editor: OB and Point Loma plus much of the Mission Beach and PB areas are within the 52nd Congressional District that Democrat Scott Peters now holds. His main opponent in the upcoming election is our old friend Republican Carl DeMaio, former mayoral candidate for San Diego. (We call him ‘friend’ because he always gives us so much to write about.)

By Lucas O’Connor

Carl DeMaio is running for Congress. You may have heard. And even though he’s had the misfortune of writing down and voting on major issues for more than a decade, so far his campaign is predicated on hoping that nobody notices in spite of article after article after article after article chronicling his career.

The attempts to fake a newfound moderation on social issues have been well chronicled, but if you don’t believe him, don’t ask him… He refuses to talk about civil rights issues even as the Republican leadership Carl’s running to empower continues going along with Tea Party extremists and holding votes on exactly those issues. It’s not clear if anyone’s really sat down yet and explained to Carl that you can’t actually be an à la carte Congressman, but he seems committed to trying anyhow.

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Surf Film Festival Looking for San Diego Venues

April 11, 2014 by Source
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By Promise Yee

The California Surf Festival will be showing three epic surf films at three locations in San Diego County this spring and summer. This is the sixth year for the film festival that screens surf films with amazing cinematography and compelling story lines.

“Half the surf movies out there don’t have storylines,” Sam Zuegner, California Surf Museum operations manager, said. “We focus on the other ones.

“When you see the world’s best, you’re watching an artist.”

The California Surf Museum, located in Oceanside, holds the film festival as a community outreach each year. The films share the beauty and history of the sport.

“We want to make sure we’re a well-rounded museum,” Zuegner said. “It’s a fundraiser in part, but it’s more community outreach.”

“We want to give back to the community. There’s no other surf film festivals.”

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Politicians Who Oppose Marijuana Legalization Are On the Wrong Side of History

April 9, 2014 by Source

marijuanademrepsA majority of Americans support marijuana legalization.

By Tony Newman via AlterNet

A majority of Americans support marijuana legalization – yet not one sitting governor or U.S. Senator supports it, according to a New York Times piece.

Marijuana prohibition is a disastrous failure. 43 years after President Nixon launched the “war on drugs,” the U.S. arrests 650,000 people a year for marijuana possession – yet marijuana and other illegal drugs are as available as ever. Thanks to the drug war, the U.S. has less than five percent of the world’s population, yet nearly 25 percent of its prisoners.

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Cheap Corn Permeates Every Facet of the American Diet

April 9, 2014 by Source

cows1By John Lawrence / San Diego Free Press

Corn is the staple of the US agricultural system and food supply. It’s in everything we eat unbeknownst to many Americans.

Corn feeds steers that become steak and fast food hamburgers. Corn feeds chickens and pigs – even catfish, salmon and tilapia. Milk, cheese and yogurt that once came from cows that grazed on grass now come from Holsteins that spend their time tethered to milking machines while munching on corn.

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UCSD Graduate Students Strike After Just Demands Not Met

April 4, 2014 by Source

Strikers disrupt classes and block public thoroughfares in protest against unfair labor practices while upper level administrators continue to receive exorbitant salaries and enjoy a culture of lavish living

By Daniel Gutiérrez

Grad student strikers and their allies block a pedestrian walkway at UCSD.

Graduate students at the University of California, San Diego represented by the United Auto Workers Local 2865 initiated a two-day strike Wednesday, April 2nd, that will end today Friday, April 4th. The strike at UCSD is part of a statewide action occurring at all the campuses of the University of California for these reasons.

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A Review of “Cesar Chavez” the Film: Sí, Se Puede

April 3, 2014 by Source
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By Byron Morton

Cesar Chavez shows the political evolution and the struggles of the man behind the movement during the 1960s to organize the farm workers in California. Through the United Farm Workers (UFW) Chavez (played by Michael Peña) brings bargaining rights and dignity for the impoverished farm workers. The UFW motto during this time was “Sí, se puede” or yes, it is possible.

It is important to remember at that time in the 1960s the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 did not protect farm workers and others. The Act “is a foundational statute of US labor law which guarantees basic rights of private sector employees to organize into trade unions, engage in collective bargaining for better terms and conditions at work, and take collective action including strikes if necessary.”

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UCSD Grad Students Protest Controversial Employment Policy

April 3, 2014 by Source

UCSD grad students protesting.Doctoral students rally against the 18 Quarter Limit

By Daniel Gutiérrez

La Jolla, California — Students at the University of California, San Diego stormed the Office of Graduate Studies Tuesday, April 1, to protest a controversial employment policy implemented across the University of California.

The “18 Quarter Limit” restricts doctoral students by only allotting them 18 quarters to be teaching assistants, readers, or graduate student researchers. Such positions, if secured, reduce a graduate student’s tuition from roughly $5,200 a quarter to a mere $196. The action came on the eve of the two-day strike that will be held April 2nd and 3rd at UCSD.

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A Green Balboa Park Centennial Celebration for 2015

March 31, 2014 by Source

By Lori Saldaña / San Diego Free Press

green globeAs George Santayana famously observed: “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” But in the case of the Pan-American centennial planning, organizers need to learn from the history of the event to help them re-create its grandeur and appeal, and make the 2015 Balboa Park centennial a celebration of innovation, rooted in the first Exhibition’s origins.

Here’s a brief statement of the original events’ main theme: “The purpose of the Panama-California Exposition is to illustrate the progress and possibility of the human race, not for the exposition only, but for a permanent contribution to the world’s progress.”

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Love Transcends Borders and Legal Status

March 27, 2014 by Source

Juan and Alma in love.Shameful immigration policies separate loved ones

By Brent E. Beltrán / San Diego Free Press

Love doesn’t recognize borders. It doesn’t know if the person you love has papers or if they have done time for youthful indiscretions. None of that matters to love because love transcends all. My cousin Alma, who grew up on 29th St. near K St. in Grant Hill, knows about this kind of love. She and her children live it every day.

My cousin fell in love with, and eventually married, her husband Juan. Him not having legal status to live in the US didn’t bother her whatsoever. She was in love and her heart didn’t care if the man she wanted to be with was allowed to be in this country legally or not. Juan and Alma in love.

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Marijuana Legalization is Coming to California, But What Path Will it Take?

March 24, 2014 by Source

MJcaliflagA breakdown of the initiatives in the state

By Chris Conrad / The Leaf Online

With four marijuana legalization initiatives vying for the California ballot, one thing is clear: All four sets of reforms are better than the state’s current prohibition. The initials and names are confusing, but the core question is, which one or ones will voters get to vote on?

The California Cannabis Hemp Initiative (CCHI) has been gathering signatures the longest. TheMarijuana Control, Legalization and Regulation (MCLR) is the longest and took in the greatest amount of direct input from the public. A third version was drafted by a group of long-time reform activists, including remnants of the unsuccessful 2010 Prop 19 campaign. None of these has visible financial backing to make the ballot.

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Another Medical Marijuana Loss for DA Dumanis

March 20, 2014 by Source
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Jury Verdict- Victory in People v Dennis and Deborah Little

By Terrie Best / San Diego Americans for Safe Access /March 18, 2014

Dennis and Deborah Little were vindicated in Vista court – March 17th, each of one count of possession for sale of marijuana and one of cultivation. The happy moment was shared with several jurors who lingered and hugged the traumatized couple, their attorneys and supporters in the halls outside Judge Munroy’s courtroom.

The Little trial began in earnest when a jury was finally seated, on March 11, last week. It took quite some time for the judge to find and dismiss those potential jurors who said they would be biased – most of those dismissed directed bias toward prosecutions and one hopes it can’t be long before San Diego District Attorney stops bringing sick patients like the Littles to court.

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There is Still Time to Enroll in Covered California Health Insurance in San Diego

March 20, 2014 by Staff

The March 31st enrollment deadline for health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is approaching. The state of California is handling the insurance exchange and enrollment through Covered California. According to the state’s enrollment statistics in February, San Diego has already surpassed its target, reaching 105% of its goal by the end of December.

That doesn’t mean that everyone who is eligible has enrolled. Kaiser Permanente is hosting two events in San Diego, one on Saturday March 22 and the other on Saturday March 29 to assist people who want to enroll.

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San Diego Environmentalists Chartering Buses for Sacramento March 15th Anti-Fracking Protest

March 14, 2014 by Source

no frackingEnvironmental groups are mobilizing statewide for a big rally on March 15th in Sacramento to urge Governor Brown for a moratorium on fracking in California.

Organizers expect the March 15th event to be the largest mobilization against fracking ever seen.More than one hundred fifty environmental organizations will be represented at “Californians Against Fracking.”

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Extreme Weather Watch: February 2014 – Nowhere To Hide

March 6, 2014 by Source

Extreme Weather WatchBy John Lawrence

USA Today did a report: Nowhere to hide from extreme weather. As it turns out, the US is uniquely positioned for extreme weather whether it’s hurricanes in the southeast, tornadoes in the lower plains, noreasters along the eastern seaboard, wildfires in the west, earthquakes, volcanoes and possible tsunamis along the west coast.

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New Pot Dispensary Rules for San Diego: One of OB’s Own Will Have to Move

February 26, 2014 by Source
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Editor: The San Diego City Council just passed new zoning rules allowing for medical marijuana dispensaries to legally open throughout the City. The new plan only lets about 4 dispensaries for each of the city council districts.

One of the zoning rules is that the dispensaries cannot be within 1000 feet of each other – or schools, playgrounds, etc. This will mean that one of OB’s pot dispensaries on Voltaire Street will need to move as they are definitely within that limit currently.

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Not one drop of water for fracking in California!

February 26, 2014 by Source
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by Dan Bacher / Daily Kos

Apparently responding to recent articles written by Adam Scow of Food and Water Watch and others about the insanity of using water for fracking during an unprecedented drought, the oil industry has fired back with its standard response claiming that the oil industry uses insignificant amounts of water for fracking and is going out of its way to conserve and recycle the water it uses.

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The Dark Side of the 2015 Balboa Park Celebrations

February 24, 2014 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

A non-profit group set up by the city to create a world class year long celebration of the centennial of the 1915 Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park hasn’t produced much of anything concrete to date, despite spending millions of dollars in public monies. And they’re making the claim that their lack of progress is nobody’s business.

Citizen activist David Lundin’s inquiries into the machinations of the group responsible for planning the Balboa Park Centennial Celebration have stirred up quite a fuss. After reading reports about difficulties and missed deadlines by the entity (Balboa Park Celebrations, Inc) he filed a series of requests for documents (ala Public Records Act).

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A Legacy of Genocide: the San Salvador

February 18, 2014 by Source

422px-ROHM_D225_Noche_triste_aztecs_rise_against_the_conquistadorsBy Will Falk / San Diego Free Press

What do you see when you look out across San Diego and see the San Salvador being reconstructed?

Do you see the first wave of wave upon wave of white settlers who systematically dispossessed California’s indigenous people of their lands?

Do you see the beginnings of a process that reduced the indigenous population of California from 250,000 in 1800 to less than 20,000 in the matter of a century?

Do you see the face of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo grinning maniacally back at you?

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Mock Starbucks Opens in Los Angeles

February 10, 2014 by Source
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There’s a new Starbucks that just opened in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles – ho hum? But wait, it’s actually a mock Starbucks – calling itself “Dumb Starbucks” complete with barristers, mock menus, mock CD’s and free coffee. Lines have formed since its opening.

It works because … drum roll … it’s a parody of the real thing. And people are digging it.

And it’s all reminiscent of OB’s battle and boycott of its own Starbucks.

Here are a few reports: …

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The Water Crisis: Dealing With the Shower Police

February 7, 2014 by Source

xshower-curtain-By Will Falk / San Diego Free Press

I have a problem with some of the people I call the “shower police.” These are the people yelling about how we all need to take shorter showers because of the water crisis. They deem anyone a hypocrite who accuses corporations and the government of being the worst water offenders while not enthusiastically letting a night of the strongest urine fester in their bathrooms.

My problem with the shower police is not that they’re wrong that we all need to live as simply as possible. We do. My problem with that shower police is not that they’re wrong that we all must endure much more than funky bathrooms. We will.

My problem is that the shower police often confuse personal change with social change.

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Why does Sierra Club have its knickers all in a knot?

January 30, 2014 by Source

SCCalifLogyVBy Jay Powell / San Diego Free Press

The latest news coming out of the national Sierra Club office- at a time when there are major climate change initiatives underway and the City is about to elect a new Mayor- is just not funny. San Diego and Imperial County members are receiving letters from the chairman of the national Sierra Club, David Scott, informing them that they are considering a formal suspension of the Chapter Executive Committee due to “internal conflicts and divisions.”

In an update report, UT San Diego environmental reporter Deborah Sullivan Brennan outlines some of the recent history of changes …

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Locally-Made Drone Deliberately Brought Down 20 Miles Off Point Loma

January 29, 2014 by Staff
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Border Patrol Drone Ditched Due to Mechanical Problems

Late Monday night, Jan. 27th, a Border Patrol Drone was deliberated crashed into the ocean about 20 miles southwest of Point Loma. Its government operators decided that due to mechanical problems, the un-manned plane could not return to its base at Sierra Vista, Arizona.

The locally-made drone was on a border security mission. US Customs and Border Protection issued a statement Tuesday that read in part:

“The crew determined that the UAS would be unable to return to where it originated in Sierra Vista, Ariz., and put the aircraft down in the water. The cause of the failure is unknown.”

We now know from the Wall Street Journal via CBS8 :

“… the drone’s onboard generator failed, and the backup battery lacked the sufficient power needed to keep it in the air.”

General Atomics Aeronautical, a San Diego-based company, made the drone …

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Environmental Group Sues Feds for Downplaying Harm to Marine Life With Sonar

January 28, 2014 by Source
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Suit alleges National Marine Fisheries Service ignored ‘best available science’ in ruling against ocean wildlife during during sonar military exercises.

See Petition below to stop Navy from harming wildlife

By Louis Sahagun / LA Times / January 27, 2014

The National Marine Fisheries Service violated federal law when it authorized the Navy’s use of sonar in training exercises off Hawaii and California through 2018, an environmental group said in a lawsuit filed Monday.

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Fishing Restrictions in Southern California Marine Sanctuaries Look Like They’re Working

January 28, 2014 by Source
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The sanctuaries in SoCal coastal waters were created to curb steep declines in fish and other sea creatures.

By Tony Barboza / LA Times / January 26, 2014

Two years after the creation of marine sanctuaries in more than 350 square miles of Southern California coastal waters, state wildlife officials and environmental groups say the restrictions on fishing are largely being obeyed.

“All of the dire predictions of the collapse of the commercial and sport-fishing industries just aren’t happening,” said California Fish and Game Commission President Michael Sutton. “In general, people are respecting the boundaries.”

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A Personal Story: Anthem Blue Cross Profits by Denying Prescriptions

January 16, 2014 by Brenda McFarlane
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It’s happened again. I have been denied coverage for Modafinil yet again, this time by the exact same company who has already approved it.

I’ve been on a prescription medication that treats my Ideopathic Hypersomnia for several years now. It’s an extremely expensive drug, even the generic form can be more than a $1000 a month. I have been diagnosed by a esteemed sleep doctor in San Diego and he confirms that the drug is both medically necessary and that no effective (and non-narcotic) substitute exists.

Without the drug I suffer from sometimes overwhelming sleepiness. Without it I get a band of sleep deprived headaches, driving may be either impossible or require pulling over to take naps, even after 5 minutes on the road. I grew up with this condition – undiagnosed – and lost years of my life to sleepiness. Smoking cigarettes or eating sugar were the two things I could rely on to help stay awake especially to drive.

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Nuclear Power Plant Shutdowns in 2013

January 15, 2014 by Michael Steinberg
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Announcements of US nuclear power plant permanent shutdowns in 2013 came seemingly in a flurry.

Crystal River in Florida on February 13. Kewaunee in Wisconsin on May 4. San Onofre in Southern California on June 13. And Vermont Yankee in the Green Mountain State on August 27.

Together this comprises five nuclear reactors with an electrical generating capacity of nearly 4300 Megawatts.

Yet the lights haven’t gone out, or even dimmed, in any of the communities these plants served.

The causes of these nuclear plant closures are multiple. Ultimately, however, they all add up to an industry in decline, desperate to squeeze as much profit as it can out of aging, increasingly

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California Legislators Call for Fracking Moratorium

January 9, 2014 by Source

172174_inglewood-fracking_ALS_By Dan Bacher

Nine California Legislators on January 7 sent a letter to Governor Jerry Brown asking that he issue an executive order to prohibit the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) within the Department of Conservation from allowing fracking in the state until health and environmental concerns are addressed.

Legislators signing the letter include Marc Levine, Assemblymember, 10th Assembly District; Das Williams, Assemblymember, 37th Assembly District; Adrin Nazarian, Assemblymember, 46th Assembly District; Richard Bloom, Assemblymember, 50th Assembly District; Loni Hancock, State Senator, 9th Senate District; Bonnie Lowenthall, Assemblymember, 70th Assembly District; Noreen Evans, State Senator, 2nd Senate District; Phil Ting, Assemblymember, 19th Assembly District; and Lois Wolk, State Senator, 3rd Senate District.

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Scientists May Have Solved Sea Lion Sickness Mystery Along Southern California Coast

January 8, 2014 by Source

Scientists believe a dramatic drop off of a nutritious fish may be the root of an epidemic of sick sea lion pups along the SoCal coast.

Scientists believe they may finally know why up to 1100 lion pups have turned up sick on Southern California beaches over the last year, including in OB and San Diego’s coast.

The phenomenon seemed to begin in January 2013 when a large number of pups began washing ashore injured, dehydrated and malnourished. Scientists looked at environmental factors, such as algae growth and wind pattern changes. But they now believe a dramatic drop in the sardine population was the culprit.

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