California

Scientists Find ‘Direct Link’ Between Earthquakes and Process Used for Oil and Gas Drilling

September 18, 2014 by Source
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By Emily Atkin / Climate Progress – News Investigation / Nation of Change / Sept. 17, 2014

The controversial technique of hydraulic fracturing is “directly linked” to the increase of earthquakes throughout the U.S. And the likelihood of these quakes getting stronger is in our future.

A team of scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey have found evidence “directly linking” the uptick in Colorado and New Mexico earthquakes since 2001 to wastewater injection, a process widely used in the controversial technique of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, and conventional drilling.

In a study to be published in the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America on Tuesday, the scientists presented “several lines of evidence [that] suggest the earthquakes in the area are directly related to the disposal of wastewater” deep underground, …

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Calendar for this Weekend Is Full : OB Pier Breakfast, Coastal Clean-up, Paddle for Clean Water, Earthdance and March for Climate

September 17, 2014 by Frank Gormlie

Have you checked your calendar for this weekend recently? Yeah, it’s full. There’s plenty happening in OB and around the City – so, here’s the short list:

Saturday, Sept. 20th

OBTC Pancake Breakf 9-20-14Annual OB Pier Pancake Breakfast – 7:30 am – Noon

The annual OB Pier Pancake Breakfast will take place from 7:30am – 12:00pm. Proceeds of this community event benefit the OB Town Council holiday events and the annual OB Toy and Food Drive, which helps over 80 local families and seniors in need during the upcoming holiday season. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children. Tickets are available at Dog Beach Dog Wash, Raglan Public House, and South Coast Surf Shop!

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Bill Fulton: Appellate Court Upholds Coastal Commission’s Tough Stance on Encinitas Seawall

September 16, 2014 by Source
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Editor: The following was written by Bill Fulton, San Diego’s former Planning Director. Fulton comments on the latest development in the ongoing saga between the California Coastal Commission and some cliff-side property owners up in Encinitas. The Court of Appeal here in San Diego (Calif 4th District) just ruled in favor of the Commission’s requirement about how long private sea-walls can remain without being re-approved. We reported on this two months ago.

By William Fulton / Calif. Planning & Development Report / Sept 13, 2014

In a split decision, the Fourth District Court of Appeal has upheld the Coastal Commission’s conditions on two property owners’ reconstruction of a seawall in Encinitas after it was destroyed in a storm, including limiting the new seawall’s permit to a 20-year term.

The majority ruling by Presiding Justice Judith McConnell is written much like a dissent, whereas the dissent by Justice Gilbert Nares reads like a majority opinion. This suggests that the third justice, Cynthia Aaron, may have switched her position during the writing of the opinion.

In any event, the ruling is a strong affirmation of the Coastal Commission’s muscular approach to permit conditions, …

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What really happened at the Battle of San Pasqual? Come to OB Historical Society Presentation – Sept. 18th

September 16, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Come to the OB Historical Society presentation, Thursday, September 18th for “the Battle of San Pasqual – Looking Through the Haze of Gunsmoke” – featuring local historian Richard L Carrico.

Ever wonder what really happened at the Battle of San Pasqual on Dec.6-7, 1846? Who really won the battle between Andres Pico and the Californios and General Kearny and the American forces?

What was Kearny’s objective? How many men did he lose in the ill-fated skirmish? What was the role of the Kumeyaay at the village of San Pasqual and who was the mysterious Indian Andre who accompanied Kit Carson to seek reinforcements? How can you visit the site of the battle and learn more?

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3-Foot Rule Between Bicycles and Cars Goes Into Effect

September 16, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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The 3-foot rule goes into effect today, Tuesday, September 16, 2014. A new California law – signed by Gov. Brown a year ago – called the Three Feet For Safety Act – requires vehicle drivers to stay three feet away from bicyclists while passing from behind or slow down to a “reasonable and prudent” speed. Then the driver must wait for a chance to pass safely. It also does not allow drivers to cross a double-yellow line to pass.

A $35 fine awaits the driver for a violation of the law which jumps to $220 if there is a collision and the bicyclist is injured. The California Bicycle Coalition says, however, that with court fees, fines are really somewhere between $230 and $960.

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OB Community Plan Will Not Go to Coastal Commission Till January

September 15, 2014 by Frank Gormlie

The OB Rag has heard that the Ocean Beach Community Plan will NOT be reviewed by the California Coastal Commission in October, as we reported, but instead will not go to the Commission until their January 2015 hearing. Their hearing is scheduled for somewhere in the South Coast area of the state.

According to emails from City staff, they were able to meet with Coastal Commission staff on August 29th. At that meeting, the two staffs agreed on all points except for three: …

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California Fish Stories – How Some Seafood Has ‘Come back’ and How San Diego’s Bluefin Tuna ‘Is On the Way Out’

September 12, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for California Fish Stories – How Some Seafood Has ‘Come back’ and How San Diego’s Bluefin Tuna ‘Is On the Way Out’

There’s mixed California fish stories right now. There’s good and bad.

Twenty-one species of commercial fish have just come off the ‘watch list’ and are no longer on the ‘avoid list’.

On the other hand, at the same time, the population of Bluefin Tuna – popular here in San Diego – has plunged to just 4% of its historic highs on a worldwide basis.

It was recently announced that 21 commercially important species of West Coast groundfish have been removed from the “Avoid” list. This was announced by the prestigious Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program. They were upgraded to either “Best Choice” or “Good Alternative”, and includes species such as sablefish, rockfish typical sold as “snapper,” and popular flatfish species caught by bottom-trawl and other methods.

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OB Community Plan Tentatively Scheduled for Coastal Commission Hearing in Newport Beach, Oct. 8 – 10

September 12, 2014 by Frank Gormlie

Right now, the Ocean Beach Community Plan is tentatively on the agenda of the California Coastal Commission for its October meeting. Each month, the Commission changes its location, and in October it will meet at the Newport Beach Civic Center. The dates are October 8 – 10th.

Where exactly the OB Plan is on their agenda is not known at this time.

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Who Runs San Diego? Six False Premises for Convention Center Expansion

September 12, 2014 by Source

Womans Democratic LogoBy Linda Perine /San Diego Woman’s Democratic Club

In 2009, then Mayor Jerry Sanders, the hotel industry, the Chamber of Commerce et al. decided that it was a really keen idea to expand the Convention Center.

They guessed that it would cost about $520 million to build and that there was a BIG market for expanded convention centers, and they warned us that Comic-Con would move on if we didn’t expand the Convention Center. They knew they could never convince enough people in San Diego to agree to pay for this idea so they created a special financing district comprised of just hoteliers.

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Extreme Weather Watch: August 2014 – Southwest May Face Megadrought

September 10, 2014 by Source

By John Lawrence / San Diego Free Press

Extreme Weather WatchThree new studies do not bode well for the future of the American southwest. California is in the midst of the worst drought in recorded history. However, this may be just the beginning.

There have been megadroughts before. And scientists are now 99.99% certain that climactic changes responsible for this extreme weather condition are caused by human activity which spews greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere.

And as the drought continues in California, record amounts of groundwater are being pumped by corporations which are bottling and selling it in other states.

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Got water shortage? Fill ‘er up at California’s first recycled water station for homeowners

September 9, 2014 by Source
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By Denis Cuff / Contra Costa Times

PLEASANTON — It’s not everyone’s idea of great swag, but Tri-Valley homeowners are lining up for a new drought freebie — recycled sewer water.

Toting empty milk jugs, tubs, buckets, even water tanks, residents have been lining up to fill ‘em up since mid-June at what sewer district officials say is the only plant giving away free treated effluent to residential customers.

Dublin San Ramon Services District officials say they weren’t sure there would be any takers, but about 60 eager do-it-yourselfers are now making regular runs to haul water to irrigate their yards and vegetable gardens, fill decorative fountains, wash off horses and control dust at stables.

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The Fishiness of Mayor Kevin’s Tax Giveaway to Illumina Corporation

September 4, 2014 by Source

salmon-dnaBy John Lawrence

San Diego’s Mayor Kevin Faulconer recently signed a deal with Illumina Corporation that was supposedly designed to keep the corporation from jumping ship and landing in another state or jurisdiction.

The City of San Diego agreed to rebate $1.5 million in sales and use taxes. In return Illumina promised to keep a number of jobs in San Diego for the term of the agreement. But the deal the City has entered into with Illumina is fishy on several levels.

With revenue of just over $1 billion last year, Illumina sells machines that sequence the human genome. The company leases 6 buildings in San Diego totaling over 560,000 sq. ft. and currently has 1500 employees.

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Fast Food Workers Set for Protest in San Diego and Across Nation on September 4th

September 3, 2014 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

San Diego is one of 100-plus cities targeted this Thursday as part of a nationwide protest of fast food restaurant workers aimed at low wages and working conditions.

Two new elements will be introduced into this latest round of protests, at least on a national level: acts of civil disobedience and a supportive presence by thousands of home-care workers joining the protests.

Workers are expected to strike at a dozen San Diego fast-food restaurants, including McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, and Jack in the Box. Clergy, elected officials and community supporters will join fast-food workers on the strike lines, according to local organizers.

The Interfaith Center for Worker Justice of San Diego County has emailed supporters inviting them to “pray with our feet” beside Fast Food Workers on Thursday morning. The communique from the social justice advocacy group says they expect up to 500 supporters.

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San Diego’s Minimum Wage: Which Side Are You On?

September 3, 2014 by Anna Daniels

Wanted: A Living Wage – Video by Pete Segeer

By Anna Daniels / San Diego Free Press

RaiseTheMinimumWageA

It is useful exercise to remind ourselves that the battle for an increased minimum wage/sick leave benefit in San Diego is not a new one. Peel back the right wing maker versus taker meme and you get Howard Zinn, placing today’s minimum wage struggle firmly in our collective history of bitter class conflict between the rich and the poor and working class.

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The Drought – Basic Q and A

August 19, 2014 by Source
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We Haven’t Come Close to Meeting Conservation: Water Supply Q & A with Waterkeeper Matt O’Malley

by Matt O’Malley / San Diego Coastkeeper

With the worst drought in recorded history parching the state, water and water sourcing options are hot topics. Join us in a chat with Waterkeeper Matt O’Malley, who discusses the Colorado River, future water prospects and more.

Why is water considered the lifeblood of the Southwestern US?

Water is vital to almost everything we do, in particular the Colorado River is vital to our everyday existence. The reality is that most of the Southwest is desert, but we don’t live as though it is. Instead we try to make it look and live like regions that get much more rainfall – such as Hawaii or Florida.

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“A Trail for Humanity’s” Final Walk Begins in Chicano Park

August 19, 2014 by Frank Gormlie

A Trail for Humanity's walkers and supporters march through Barrio Logan.

By Brent Beltran / San Diego Free Press

On the morning of Saturday, August 16 over 100 people gathered by the temescal (sweat lodge) in Chicano Park for a ceremony to honor the walkers of A Trail for Humanity.

On July 22 a group of women and children left Merced, California on a journey south to the US-Mexico border in San Ysidro to pressure the Obama administration to put a halt to its deportation enforcement only policies; call for an end to the use of police as immigration enforcement agents; demand an end to family separations; and stem the tide of racial profiling that has incarcerated so many migrants and African Americans.

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From San Diego, LA, to New York City – Americans Demand End to Police Shootings of Unarmed Black Men In Solidarity With Ferguson

August 15, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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From San Diego to Los Angeles and across the nation to New York City, Americans of all colors rallied and held vigils on Thursday, August 14th, in solidarity with the people of Ferguson, Missouri, in their struggle against local police who shot and killed a young Black man, Michael Brown.

The common issue and demand that are uniting Americans is a call to end police shootings of unarmed Black men.

In the City Heights neighborhood of San Diego, more than a hundred people gathered to show solidarity with the people of Ferguson and with the family of Michael Brown. Organizer Kim Moore yelled out:

“Put our hands up, don’t shoot!”

This refrain has become a rallying call for those in Ferguson and in San Diego and elsewhere. Reportedly, Brown, the teenager killed by police, had his hands up before being gunned down.

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San Diego Protesters in Mission Beach to Urge California Coastal Commission to Halt Offshore Fracking – Wed., Aug 13

August 12, 2014 by Source
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Hazmat-suit wearing San Diego protesters to highlight dangers of dumping fracking chemicals into the ocean

From San Diego 350:

As the California Coastal Commission meets in San Diego, hazmat suit-wearing protesters with SanDiego350 and the Center for Biological Diversity will urge commissioners to halt fracking to protect the state’s precious oceans, wildlife, and beaches.

Protesters want the Coastal Commission to stop oil companies from fracking offshore wells and dumping dangerous fracking chemicals directly into California’s ocean. Offshore fracking involves blasting water and industrial chemicals into the sea-floor at pressures high enough to crack geologic formations and release oil and gas.

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Isn’t the U.S. Pot Thing Frustrating? Great Success, Popular Support and Ugly Backlash

August 12, 2014 by Source

potprohibitionThe nation has a split personality when it comes to pot.

By Don Hazen, April M. Short, Jan Frel, Steve Rosenfeld, and Tana Ganeva / AlterNet

In the robust efforts to legalize and decriminalize cannabis in the U.S., a slightly modified line from Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities applies: “These are the best of times, these are the worst of times.”

Despite huge success on many fronts, including legalization in two states with boffo success in Colorado (and two more states likely on the way), pot arrests remain astronomically high across the country.

More than 750,000 were recorded in 2012, with pot arrests actually increasing in …

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Logan Heights Restaurant Owner Faces Hate for Supporting Refugee Children

August 8, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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“They’re not gonna make me not live. There not gonna make me stop what I’m doing. If anything they’re making my resolve harder and firmer.” – Mark Lane

By Brent E. Beltrán / San Diego Free Press

Last week I found out there’s a restaurant owner in Logan Heights who has been facing death threats from the people that have been hating on the refugee children from Central America. Mark Lane, owner of Poppa’s Fresh Fish, has received numerous phone calls and social media messages calling for his death and that of his family after calling for a boycott of Murrieta, Hate City USA, and for taking in a refugee family from Guatemala.

After hearing about the death threats and the attempted boycott of his business by hateful bigots I thought I’d contact him and see if he was willing to talk about his situation. He was and he had a lot to say. …

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Disappearance of Ocean Plastics Is Nothing to Celebrate

August 6, 2014 by Source

By Sarah “Steve” Mosko / San Diego Free Press-

fish plasticYou’d think that finding far less plastic pollution on the ocean’s surface than scientists expected would be something to cheer about.

The reality, however, is that this is likely bad news, for both the ocean food web and humans eating at the top. Ingestion of tiny plastic debris by sea creatures likely explains the plastics’ disappearance and exposes a worrisome entry point for risky chemicals into the food web.

Except for a transient slowdown during the recent economic recession, global plastics consumption has risen steadily since plastic materials were introduced in the 1950s and subsequently incorporated into nearly every facet of modern life.

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Reverberations from Historic City Council Vote on OB Community Plan

August 5, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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The reverberations from last week’s historic City Council vote July 29th to approve the OB Community Plan have yet to be felt – other than the celebrations -, either in OB or throughout the City, but the vote will have consequences – good ones – for two or three decades.

Plus the dust hadn’t settled after the unanimous vote, when the question was raised ‘What’s next? What is the next hurdle the Plan must take before it becomes a reality?’

The short answer is that the Plan goes before the California Coastal Commission in October, according to city staff.

Meanwhile, the vote was a clear victory for Ocean Beach but it was also a win for other communities around San Diego. Let’s examine this.

OBviously, with a new community plan, OB will be affected for the next 20 to 30 years. What else does the vote mean? For Ocean Beach, the vote did several things.

First, it vindicated the resistance by the OB Planning Board …

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Extreme Weather Watch: July 2014 – Record Flames, Record Drought

August 5, 2014 by Source

Extreme Weather WatchBy John Lawrence / San Diego Free Press

On the last day of July in California, Exceptional Drought – the highest category of drought – which covered 36% of the state the previous week, covered 58% of the state as August began.

With water reserves being at all time lows, a water main broke in LA spewing 20 million gallons of water into the UCLA campus, submerging 400 cars in an underground parking structure and flooding Pauley Pavillion so bad that a new floor has to be put in.

How ironic such a massive waste of water happened right in the middle of a colossal drought.

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John Ambert: “OB Is Classic California”

August 4, 2014 by Source
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Editor: The OB Rag has been publishing the speeches of the various OB planners and other village leaders given at the City Council hearing on the Ocean Beach Community Plan, Tuesday, July 29th. Here is John Ambert’s speech.

My name is John Ambert and I am an architect, I am the Vice Chair of the Ocean Beach Planning Board, and I am a born and raised as an Ocean Beach native.

There are three reasons why you should support the Ocean Beach Community Plan as presented to you today:

First, because OB is classic California

Second because FAR variances destroy the character of beach neighborhoods;

and third, because coastal redevelopment at this scale, pushes the residents out of their community.

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In Paradise – for the Time Being

August 4, 2014 by Jim Miller

Devils_Postpile_National_Monument_near_Mammoth_LakesBy Jim Miller

I recently had the pleasure of spending some time at Devils Postpile National Monument basking in the stunning beauty of that geological marvel and the accompanying reminder of the deep time that underlies the shallow surface history that we mistake for all that is.

Indeed, if there is a heaven, places like this are surely part of it. Nonetheless, while pondering the unintentional artistry of glaciers it was impossible not to notice how dry the mountains are now after several years of drought.

In and around Yosemite, the creeks, rivers, and waterfalls are drying up far earlier than usual, and the forests are perpetually vulnerable to fire.

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Mindy Pellissier: “We OBceans are a resilient and tenacious lot.”

August 1, 2014 by Source
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Editor: The OB Rag is publishing the speeches of the various OB planners and other village leaders given at the City Council hearing on the Ocean Beach Community Plan, Tuesday, July 29th. This is by Mindy Pellissier, long-time OB planner, Co-chair of Sub-committee on OB Community Plan Update, plus co-owner of the Dog Beach Dog Wash.

My name is Mindy Pellissier. I am a home owner and business owner — & a proud OBcean for more than 20 years.

I have also been a dedicated participant in the OB Planning process & several community organizations.

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Gio Ingolia: The OB Community Plan “Ensures Our Small-Town Feel”

July 31, 2014 by Source
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Editor: This is the first of several we hope to publish of the speeches given by OB planners at the July 29th City Council hearing on the OB Community Plan.

By Giovanni Ingolia

My Name is Giovanni Ingolia and I am the Co-Chair of the OB Community Plan update Sub-committee. I have also served 8 years on the OB Planning board and a former Chair.

This plan has been a collaborative effort from a myriad of community group and citizens of Ocean Beach.

Overall the plan meets the needs and desires of the community including but not limited to our transportation desires, historic preservation, and community character.

Unfortunately the Planning Commission has recommended more permissive language to the Community Plan when it comes to our community character as it relates to bulk and scale.

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San Diego For-Profit Universities Making Tons of Money Handing Out Worthless Degrees

July 31, 2014 by Frank Gormlie

Ashford University and University of Phoenix Worst Offenders Targeting Returning Vets

amPhxMagBy John Lawrence / San Diego Free Press

Everyone wants to better themselves, right, by getting a college education. Most of all the Iraq and Afghanistan vets transitioning into civilian life. To that end our politicians in Washington have crafted a GI Bill that allows them to do just that at taxpayer expense.

Problem is most of that money is being gobbled up by for-profit universities like the University of Phoenix and Ashford University which don’t even qualify for state financial aid. These universities attract and recruit students by advertising heavily and “selling” them on the value of one of their degrees.

When many of the students graduate, they can’t get a job based on a degree which potential employers say …

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City Council Unanimously Approves OB Community Plan

July 30, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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With a 9 to zip vote, the San Diego City Council approved the Ocean Beach Community Plan Update, yesterday, the 29th of July and in the middle of the afternoon. Immediately, the 150 plus OBceans jumped to their feet with whoops of delight and sustained applause that went on for minutes.

It was an emotional day for OB, with the Council vote culminating a very long process of updating the community’s urban design blueprint, a blueprint that will significantly affect OB for the next 20 to 30 years.

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A Saturday Well Spent at Comic-Con

July 29, 2014 by Source

ComicCon 2014 courtBy Court Allen

Saturdays have a special meaning for me. I’m not alone in this, to be sure. Saturdays are a universal holiday; a weekly respite.

My personal feelings about Saturdays are related to childhood. After a long week of school and the tribulations of growing up, Saturday was the prize – a day of freedom, adventure, parties, special events, or the ultimate possibility – a day spent exploring my imagination. Remember Saturday morning cartoons (better than the rest of the week’s cartoons), or Creature Feature in the afternoon (coolest. thing. ever.)?

Saturdays are the best day of the week, and how you choose to spend them is the real stuff of life. In fact, a few years back I attended a funeral service for a man whose primary tenet in life was to make the most of time away from work. He was famous among friends and family for his belief that there were only so many Saturdays in an average human life, so they must be spent well. A sentiment with which I agree.

I spent this past Saturday at Comic-Con. It was the ultimate Saturday, …

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