Politics

Lessons for a New Gilded Age: Labor Studies Courses at City College

July 28, 2014 by Source

history-labor-unionsBy Kelly Mayhew

There’s been a lot of discussion of economic inequality recently in wake of Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century.

As many economists have observed, American workers are more educated and more productive than ever and are driving record profits for corporations while they’re seeing their wages stagnate or decline as the wealth accumulated by the top 1% of earners has skyrocketed. Robert Reich has been on a crusade to emphasize the historic importance of our current economic inequality crisis, and people like Paul Krugman have noted that we are living in “a new gilded age.”

Here in San Diego we are in the midst of seeing this writ large as the battle to raise the minimum wage rages on with a community-labor alliance advocating for the rights of low-wage workers while the city’s economic elite push back hard.

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Timeline and History behind the Che Cafe dispute at UCSD

July 25, 2014 by Source

Historical Timeline and Parties Course of Dealing

By Che Cafe Collective

A. Inception to 2008

The Ché Café Collective began approximately 34 years ago, on or about May 1, 1980. Since that time, the Ché Facility, 1000 Scholars Drive South, has been leased continuously by Plaintiff from Defendant, the Regents of the University of California. It has been and currently is used to operate a café, library, and a music-and-theater programming space, and to host other student organizations and events.

As one of the original buildings of Camp Matthews, the Ché Facility was originally used by the University of California, San Diego (“University”) as a diner and cafe in the 1960’s, called “The Coffee Hut.” It is known as the original student center. When there was an attempt to turn it into a faculty club, students argued that since student fees had paid for the building and its maintenance for many years, students should rightly take possession and operate it from that time forward.

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Who Runs San Diego? Introduction to a Series

July 24, 2014 by Source

Womans Democratic LogoBy Eva Posner & Linda Perine / Democratic Woman’s Club

Relationships and money trails tell us who wields the power in our community.

It is hard to imagine, that in the 5th largest county in the United States, only a handful of people have any real influence on the day to day decisions that effect the lives of over 3 million people. But it’s true. And a lack of voter participation isn’t helping.

In both the February 2014 election to replace Bob Filner as Mayor of San Diego and in the June primary voter turnout was abysmally low. Overall voting turnout in the County in June was an anemic 27.2%, but many precincts registered in the single digits.

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OB Property Owner Who Swore If Granted Variances He Would Live in House – Now Advertises It as “Vacation Rental” for $2500 to $3600 per Week

July 24, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for OB Property Owner Who Swore If Granted Variances He Would Live in House – Now Advertises It as “Vacation Rental” for $2500 to $3600 per Week

Back in 2011, a property owner on West Point Loma Avenue who while pleading for variances to build his 3-story McMansion, swore both to the OB Planning Board and to the Coastal Commission that if the variances were granted, he would live in the house as his home.

Alvin Cox swore it. So, he was granted the variances, and he built his mansion.

And now, Alvin Cox rents it out as a “vacation rental” for between $2,450 to $3,675 a week ($350 – $525 a day).

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More Bare Facts About San Diego Government: How We Got From There to Here

July 23, 2014 by Source

By Norma Damashek / NumberRunner

BoomOrBust-LargeAround this time last year San Diego’s former mayor Bob Filner was forced out of office. As it happens, he was the first bona fide “strong mayor” our city has yet seen.

We voters had no choice but to wield our black markers once again and fill in the ballot bubble to select a new mayor. The winner this time around was Mr. White Bread personified, Kevin Faulconer.

San Diego’s lead newspaper, the U-T, summed up the occasion in a neat sentence: “At least the day brought us one step further from our time of scandal and farce.”

The UT likes to play coy. They know perfectly well that scandal and farce are what make our city tick.

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The Shooting Down of Malaysian Airliner Reminds Us When the U.S. Shot Down an Iranian Airbuse in 1988

July 22, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for The Shooting Down of Malaysian Airliner Reminds Us When the U.S. Shot Down an Iranian Airbuse in 1988

Navy Ship Responsible From San Diego

The shooting down of the Malaysian airliner over eastern Ukraine on Thursday, July 17th – allegedly by separatists fighting the Kiev government – killing all 295 people on board, has shocked the world, and has intensified the demands for sanctions on those responsible.

But if no sanctions materialize, it wouldn’t be the first time a civilian plane carrying hundreds of passengers was shot down by combatants – with nothing happening to those responsible.

In fact, a lot of the general elements are the same. But the incident that I am reminded about is the day – back in early July 1988, when two US military missiles fired from U.S. Navy ship Vincennes hit Iran Air Flight 655, killing all 290 passengers and crew members on board.

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California Halts Injection of Fracking Waste, Warning it May Be Contaminating Aquifers

July 22, 2014 by Source

contaminatedwater[1]By Abrahm Lustgarten / ProPublica

California officials have ordered an emergency shut-down of 11 oil and gas waste injection sites and a review more than 100 others in the state’s drought-wracked Central Valley out of fear that companies may have been pumping fracking fluids and other toxic waste into drinking water aquifers there.

The state’s Division of Oil and Gas and Geothermal Resources on July 7 issued cease and desist orders to seven energy companies warning that they may be injecting their waste into aquifers that could be a source of drinking water, and stating that their waste disposal “poses danger to life, health, property, and natural resources.” The orders were first reported by the Bakersfield Californian, and the state has confirmed with ProPublica that its investigation is expanding to look at additional wells.

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Momentum Continues as OB Readies for City Council Showdown on July 29th

July 21, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Momentum Continues as OB Readies for City Council Showdown on July 29th

The momentum in support for the Ocean Beach Community Plan continues as the showdown at the City Council hearing nears. The OB Plan is scheduled to be before the Council on Tuesday, July 29th.

It’s estimated that activists now have close to 3,500 signatures on the petitions, with at least 60% from OB or the 92107 zip code, with the remainders being residents of the city of San Diego.

This is the last full week that OBceans can sign the Petition in support of the Community Plan – and it will be available for signing during Wednesday’s Farmers Market, as well as in certain businesses. Organizers have close to 3500 signatures at this point.

This is what’s going on:

Meeting tonight – Monday, July 21 – of Sub-committee on Draft Plan, 6pm, at Dog Beach Dog Wash, located at 4933 Voltaire Street. ….

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San Diego’s Overlords Seek Overturn of City Council Vote Raising Minimum Wage

July 18, 2014 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

Business interests opposed to raising the minimum wage in San Diego haven’t given up, despite a 6-3 city council vote on Monday, July 14, approving an ordinance boosting wages for an estimated 172,000 workers.

On Tuesday they launched a major public relations campaign seeking to portray the council vote as undemocratic and unfair to their interests. In closed door meetings led by Chamber of Commerce CEO Jerry Sanders, so-called business leaders are considering the logistics of mounting a signature gathering campaign to place an initiative on the ballot seeking to overturn the minimum wage increase.

Although meeting the August 8th deadline for inclusion on the November 2014 ballot is unlikely, a successful campaign completed …

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The World We’ve Constructed Is Far Beyond George Orwell’s Worst Nightmare

July 18, 2014 by Source

georgeorwell1984Orwell’s chilling vision of the future in ’1984′ is happening today in the form of media manipulation and unnecessary wars.

By John Pilger / AlterNet

The other night, I saw George Orwell’s 1984 performed on the London stage. Although crying out for a contemporary interpretation, Orwell’s warning about the future was presented as a period piece: remote, unthreatening, almost reassuring. It was as if Edward Snowden had revealed nothing, Big Brother was not now a digital eavesdropper and Orwell himself had never said, “To be corrupted by totalitarianism, one does not have to live in a totalitarian country.”

Acclaimed by critics, the skilful production was a measure of our cultural and political times. When the lights came up, people were already on their way out. They seemed unmoved, or perhaps other distractions beckoned. “What a mindfuck,” said the young woman, lighting up her phone.

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The Story of How Community Planning Came to O.B.

July 17, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for The Story of How Community Planning Came to O.B.

Staff: This is the second part of a 2-part series published this week. The series is loosely based on a talk by Frank Gormlie at the February 21, 2013 OB Historical Society monthly meeting. Here is Part 1

______________

The Twists and Turns of the Community Plan for OB

By Frank Gormlie

Last we left off was the Spring of 1972, when the City Planning Department canceled or postponed all its meetings or workshops on the Pen. Inc sponsored Precise Plan. This was due to the establishment of a substantial opposition to the plan, which was in the form of a damning survey of resident attitudes toward development, high-rise and density increases, and a petition calling for a building moratorium signed by thousands.

So, in the spring and summer months of 1972, the crisis was over – at least temporarily as Ocean Beach had awoken, and its residents had successfully halted the threatened onslaught of massive development.

There appeared to be a lull … for about 6 or 7 months.

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The Story of How Community Planning Came to Be in Ocean Beach – How Ocean Beach Was “Saved”

July 16, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for The Story of How Community Planning Came to Be in Ocean Beach – How Ocean Beach Was “Saved”

Part 1
By Frank Gormlie

I have a story, and it’s a story about urban planning in Ocean Beach during the mid-1970′s – and how community planning came to be here in OB. It is a story about how a crisis of over-development encrusted the village of OB – and then it’s a story about how OBceans responded to that crisis – a crisis that affected much of coastal of San Diego and of the rest of the Southern California.

It’s a story how the small village blocked a plan that would have literally paved the way for the community to be redeveloped into a San Diego version of Miami Beach.

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July 15 Is the Deadline for Comments to FCC on Net Neutrality

July 15, 2014 by Source

FCC tweet
Breaking news: Because of an overwhelming response from progressives fighting to protect an open and free Internet, the FCC just extended the deadline for public comments until this Friday, July 18.

By John Loughlin

According to John Oliver, the only two words that promise more boredom in the English language are “featuring Sting.” He went on to explain that Net Neutrality is “actually hugely important.“

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What Kind of City Is San Diego? It’s Time to Raise the Minimum Wage

July 14, 2014 by Jim Miller

By Jim Miller

raise min wageThe San Diego City Council will consider today whether to pass an ordinance or put forth a ballot measure to increase the city’s minimum wage and provide earned sick days for local workers.

Since the last time I wrote on this subject in late April, the original proposal of raising the minimum wage to the local Self-Sufficiency Standard of $13.09 with five earned sick days has been significantly lowered in order to address the concerns of opponents.

The current proposal keeps the initial five earned sick days but now only raises the minimum wage to $9.75 in 2015 …

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Judge Rules the UCSD Che Cafe Gets a Stay

July 11, 2014 by Source

… and the Struggle Continues

From Press Release from Che Cafe Collective:

The Che Café Collective, a world renowned cultural icon and UCSD landmark that operates as an all-ages music venue, performance space and cafe, will not be so easily uprooted by University officials after over three decades of continuous operation and huge support from students and the public.

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Central American Refugee Children Forced on a Dangerous Journey

July 10, 2014 by Source

refugeechildren4Socialist Worker

The arrival of Central American refugees, including many young children, has garnered much attention in the U.S. media and among the anti-immigrant right.

True to the dominant right-wing discourse emanating from Washington, D.C. over the last decade, the knee-jerk reaction has been to analyze this latest development through the “tough on enforcement” framework. human rights.

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District Attorney Dumanis Holds up Three Fingers, Tells Media to Read Between the Lines.

July 9, 2014 by Doug Porter

Three MonkeysBy Doug Porter

San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis appeared on KUSI-TV’s morning talk show today to release a copy of her letter of recommendation written for the son of indicted Mexican financier Susumo Azano.

A consortium of media organizations including City News Service, inewsource, KFMB News 8, KNSD/NBC 7, KPBS, KSWB/Fox 5, the San Diego Daily Transcript, San Diego Press Club, Society of Professional Journalists San Diego, U-T San Diego, and Voice of San Diego had made repeated requests for a copy of the document.

At 5pm yesterday a deadline passed for what was essentially a demand letter (the last thing you do before you sue somebody) written by attorney Guylyn Cummins on behalf of the media organizations.

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America Has a Koch Problem

July 8, 2014 by Judi Curry

Move-on sponsored movie “Koch Brothers Exposed: 2014 Edition” shown in households all over the nation.

By Judi Curry

Bill from the Swamp CrittersSenator Bernie Sanders sent out an email telling Move-on members that “ . . . our great nation must not be hijacked by right-wing billionaires like Charles and David Koch. For the sake of our children and our grandchildren, we must fight back, and we must do it now in advance of November’s elections.”

I had heard of the Koch brothers for months; I was somewhat aware of the dastardly deeds they were doing throughout our country, and decided to attend the showing of this documentary at “The Hippie House” recently with approximately twenty of our Pt. Loma/Ocean Beach neighbors.

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What the Supreme Court’s Harris v. Quinn Decision Means for Workers and American Democracy

July 7, 2014 by Jim Miller

David Sachs/SEIU via Equal Times

By Jim Miller

After last week’s slew of bad Supreme Court rulings much of the media attention rightfully went to the horrendous “Hobby Lobby” case where the rights of corporations were deemed more important than the rights of women.

But there was another big decision where the Supreme Court surprised some observers and ruled narrowly on Harris v. Quinn, the case which could have gutted public sector unions and virtually wiped out their ability to play in American politics by ending all public sector unions’ ability to collect agency fees. As the Daily Kos noted of the case:

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San Diegans Urged to Respond with Compassion to Humanitarian Crisis at the Border

July 3, 2014 by Source
Thumbnail image for San Diegans Urged to Respond with Compassion to Humanitarian Crisis at the Border

We are not only facing a humanitarian crisis, but a crisis of values as well

By San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium

The leadership of the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium (SDIRC), a coalition of nearly 20 community, faith, labor, and legal organizations released the following statement in response the current humanitarian crisis migrant families are facing in Southern California.

sdirclogoAlor Calderon, Chair of the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium and Program Director at the Employee Rights Center:

The issue of unaccompanied minors fleeing their home countries is a humanitarian crisis, not an immigration crisis, and should be treated as such.

Furthermore, we are not only facing a humanitarian crisis but a crisis of values as well.

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To Hell with Hobby Lobby

July 2, 2014 by Source

By Lauree Benton

womanseye44“Corporations are people, my friend.”

Women? Well… the jury is still out on that. Whether you are a person or not may depend on the religious views of your boss.

Makes sense I guess. The Constitution does say that all men are created equal.

I’m sure the ALL MALE majority who made this stirring decision is just looking out for us lady types. You know, we can’t be trusted.

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Fun and Games at the OB Town Council

June 27, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Fun and Games at the OB Town Council

You never know what you’ll learn or see at a OB Town Council meeting until you’re actually there. And this was true last Wednesday night at their monthly meeting as usual.

Nearly 60 people gathered in the Masonic Center to get in on the action of the Town Council that night. With 4 TV stations present for the marshmallow controversy, there was a certain tension in the air as President Gretchen Newsom gaveled the meeting to order. The marshmallows and the OB Community Plan were the big ticket items on the agenda, but there was lots else going on – not to mention the upcoming 35th Annual OB Street Fair.

OB Firefighters and Para-Medics Have Warnings

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Glenn Greenwald in San Diego: the Leaks of Edward Snowden

June 24, 2014 by Doug Porter
Thumbnail image for Glenn Greenwald in San Diego: the Leaks of Edward Snowden

By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

Journalist Glenn Greenwald came to town last weekend to promote his best selling book based on events surrounding former systems administrator Edward Snowden’s decision to go public with documents concerning intelligence programs run by the National Security Agency. It was a most unusual evening: part lecture, part political rally and part celebrity appearance.

Seven hundred people paid money to attend a book tour event in a theater in this day and age. His publisher set up a table in the lobby and sold hundreds of copies of “No Place to Hide.”

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More on UCSD’s Che Cafe: Alumni Appeal to Save the Historic Cafe

June 20, 2014 by Source

Dear UCSD Activist Alumni,

By Monty Reed Kroopkin

ucsd alumniThe OB Rag and San Diego Free Press have published a fine article, written by the Che Cafe Collective. Please circulate it widely. OB Rag / SDFP editor, Frank Gormlie, is an alum of UCSD. Alumni of the UCSD co-ops are mounting a call for all alumni to write to the University telling them we are cancelling the “planned giving” that we previously intended to do upon our demise, until and unless they back off and treat the Che Cafe and all the co-ops with proper respect.

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Few Are Left Fighting For The Ché Cafe at UCSD

June 20, 2014 by Source

che cafe logoBy Kyle Trujillo, UCSD Undergrad

On Wednesday of finals week, June 11, I cut short a study session and hurried across campus to Scholar’s drive to the Ché Cafe Collective. I knew it as the Che. Besides, it had recently been stripped of its “collective” status. It was the first time I was going to a meeting and not a show.

As I approached the colorful building I slowed down to listen. The walls could talk. The faces of Rigoberta Menchu, Malcom X, Martin Luther King Jr., Karl Marx, former student Angela Davis, and a prowling black panther.

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Ché Café Served 30-Day Eviction Notice, UCSD Cites Code Violations

June 19, 2014 by Source

Statement and press release from the Ché Café Collective

che-cafe[1]By Davide Carpano, student at UCSD and member of the Ché Café Cooperative

The Ché Café, a 34-year-old student-run cooperative at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), has been under attack by the administration for the past two months and was served with a 30-day notice of eviction on June 13, 2014.

The notice was given to the students and their lawyer during a meeting initiated by the University to discuss on the future of the Ché. The student members of the Ché were under the impression that this meeting was part of the informal mediation and dispute resolution process they had requested several weeks ago.

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Councilman Harris’ Office Abruptly Cancels Meeting With OB Planners Supposedly “On Advice” of City Attorney’s Office – Which City Attorney Denies Giving

June 18, 2014 by Frank Gormlie

Councilman Ed Harris’ office abruptly cancelled a meeting that had been scheduled with OB planners to discuss the OB Community Plan. The meeting had been set for Thursday, June 19th.

While the Plan goes before the full City Council on June 30th, OB planners had expected to be able to have a sit-down with the Councilman of OB before the hearing in order to explain in detail why the Community Plan is a good deal.

Harris had earlier met with the leader of the opposition to the Plan, property investor and owner, David Stebbins.

The two members of the committee responsible for the Plan Update and who have been working with City staff and who were expecting to meet with Harris, Gioivanni Ingolia and Peter Ruscitti, both were notified by Harris’ staff …

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Campaign to Support the OB Community Plan Gears Up

June 17, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Campaign to Support the OB Community Plan Gears Up

Petition Drive Spreads

At last night’s meeting of the organizers who are spearheading the campaign to rally the village in support the OB Community Plan, it was clear that organizers and volunteers were moving into high gear.

The goal is to show up at the June 30th City Council hearing on the Community Plan with thousands of signatures on petitions and to have hundreds of OBceans in the audience. All in support of the Plan and against the drastic recommendation of the Planning Commission.

Gio Ingolia, co-chair of the Sub-committee that has been working on the Community Plan Update, gaveled the gathering together, nearly twenty people meeting in the open room at the Dog Beach Dog Wash on Voltaire.

Mindy Pellissier – the other co-chair – said: “It has to do with the character of OB and our desire to keep its small scale,” she said.

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Everyone Invited to Special Meeting Tonight – Monday, June 16th – in Campaign to Support the OB Community Plan

June 16, 2014 by Staff

A 1000 signatures have been collected

A special meeting has been called for tonight, Monday, June 16th, as part of the campaign by OB planners to galvanized the community in support of t he OB Community Plan.

All OB villagers are invited – and especially OBceans who are highly concerned about what is coming down from the San Diego Planning Commission in terms of recommending that the OB Plan be de-clawed.

The meeting is at 6 pm and will be held at Dog Beach Dog Wash, located at 4933 Voltaire Street.

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Tipping Point: Now Even Congress Is Worried About SeaWorld’s Captive Orcas

June 13, 2014 by Source
Thumbnail image for Tipping Point: Now Even Congress Is Worried About SeaWorld’s Captive Orcas

By Melissa Cronin / The Dodo

“The interesting thing about tipping points is that you never know quite when you’re at the top — you need to keep pushing tenaciously until the momentum is unstoppable,” Louie Psihoyos, executive director of Oceanic Preservation Society said in reaction the Congress’ push to protect orcas.

“The momentum against cetaceans in captivity is now reaching that apex — when Congress acts quickly and unanimously on anything you know we are about to see the summit of that tipping point. SeaWorld investors should be running from the exits like rats from a ship.”

After 20 years of a failure to update regulations on captive marine mammals, a pair of Congressmen have successfully passed an amendment that will force the U.S. Department of Agriculture to update their rules that protect captive orcas and other marine mammals on Wednesday.

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