Politics

U-T San Diego’s “Ways to Conquer Drought” Protects the Big Guys

April 20, 2015 by Frank Gormlie

U-T SD Drought 4-19-15In a huge spread in it’s “SD In Depth” section of the Sunday paper on April 19th, the U-T San Diego announced its “Five Ways to Conquer Drought” in large headlines. This drought relief was accompanied by shorter op-ed pieces and a decent map of “Our Water Infrastructure”.

Yet, after a perusal of all 4 newspaper-sized pages devoted to the drought and water, there was not one word about “fracking” – not one word – in fact, neither “fracking” nor big oil were even mentioned in any of the articles. The U-T has ignored the threats posed by fracking and is trying to turn us away from this horrible destruction, a threat posed …

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Gov. Brown with his water hogging buddies – Mr. Big Oil and Mr. Agro Business.

April 20, 2015 by Source
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Junco’s Jabs by Junco Canche

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Taxes and Inequality in California: Who Pays a Bigger Share?

April 20, 2015 by Jim Miller

cal tax formBy Jim Miller

Last week was Tax Day and with it came the annual ritual of bemoaning our ever-rising taxes and complaining about the endless growth of big government.

Indeed just a few days after Tax Day, I gave a talk at a local college on the history of income inequality and workers’ struggles in which I made a comparison between the stark odds workers face today in the Fight for $15 with the similarly steep hill they faced 100 years ago before the rise of the American Labor Movement and the reforms that came with the New Deal.

As is usually the case, however, a few folks in the audience just could not get their heads around the idea that it was not all government’s fault.

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California water restrictions must include Nestlé, Big Ag and Big Oil!

April 20, 2015 by Source

by Dan Bacher

CA orders water restrictions

The mainstream media, state officials and corporate “environmental” groups have for years tried to portray California as the “green” leader of the nation.

In reality, California suffers from some of the greatest environmental degradation of any state in the nation, since corporate agribusiness, the oil industry and other big money interests control the majority of the state’s politicians and exert inordinate influence over the state’s environmental policies.

California is currently in a state of emergency, with NASA scientists saying that California has only about one year of water left in reserves, according to Food and Water Watch. This is largely due to the gross mismanagement of California’s reservoirs, rivers and groundwater supplies, during a record drought, to serve the 1 percent.

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Eduardo Galeano, Sacrilegious Women

April 17, 2015 by Source

Editor Note: Acclaimed author and champion of social justice Eduardo Galeano died on April 13, 2015. Democracy Now! provides a tribute here.

From TomDispatch.com

south americaHis book Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent came out in 1971 and proved to be the first vampire thriller of our American imperial age. Its blood-sucker of a plot was too outrageous not to be mesmerizing: a country called the United States declares a “good neighbor” policy for those living in its hemisphere because they just look so tasty, and then proceeds to suck the economic blood out of country after country.

Hollywood never topped it. “True Blood” and “The Vampire Diaries” couldn’t hold an incisor to it; Buffy was a punk by comparison.

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Super Sized #Fightfor15 Protests, Value Meal Press Coverage

April 16, 2015 by Doug Porter

ff9By Doug Porter

I spent most of yesterday traveling around San Diego with roughly three dozen fast food workers. The local version of the nationwide Fight for 15 movement made a statement at ten locations around town, taking to the streets both in North Park and downtown.

The mostly brown and black workers on the bus were those who’d committed to taking a day off from work (there were others that came and went) to let the world know they wanted a better life. Two were older, having spent more than two decades in the business. Some had families to support. Some brought their kids along. Others were trying to go to community college on a fast food paycheck. All of them believed they could make a difference, even if they were just paying it forward.

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Legal Complaint Filed against Civic San Diego in Superior Court

April 16, 2015 by Source

Plaintiffs seek community benefits and oversight of public funds

accountabilityEditor: Yesterday, April 15, our online partner, the San Diego Free Press, published a copy of the news release on the legal complaint just recently filed against Civic San Diego in Superior Court by the San Diego County Building and Construction Trades Council and Dr. Murtaza Baxamusa, a CivicSD Boardmember. We are – as SDFP did – providing their news release and a link to the complete filing below without analysis at this time.

SAN DIEGO, CA – A legal complaint was filed April 10th in the San Diego Superior Court against Civic San Diego (CivicSD) and the City of San Diego

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Going All in for $15 Today! All Day Coverage by San Diego Free Press

April 15, 2015 by Staff

good jobs fair wagesSan Diego Free Press editor Doug Porter – from the OB Rag’s online media partner – will be spending the day at the locations listed below.

Doug will be tweeting throughout the day, so check our twitter feed at the San Diego Free Press.

Here’s the list of times and locations for protests on Wednesday:

7 am – Fast Food Worker Strike: 2345 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego, CA
8:30 am – Fast Food Worker Strike: 2829 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego, CA
11 am – Security Officer Event:750 B Street San Diego, CA
Noon – State Workers Event: 1350 Front St, San Diego, CA

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Buy Now Pay Later: How San Diego School Districts Were Hoodwinked by Wall Street

April 15, 2015 by John Lawrence

cab-picBy John Lawrence

In 2009 then Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law AB 1388 which eliminated prudent controls over how much debt school districts could enter into. Wall Street bankers then swarmed all over the state promoting Capital Appreciation Bonds (CABs), the equivalent of payday loans for school districts.

One fantastic advantage of these loans was the “buy now, pay later” aspect. School districts could get their money now and not have to raise taxes on current residents. Easy money. There would not have to be any payments made for 20 years. Current residents would be off the hook. But their children and grandchildren would enter an era of crushing debt when the bill became due.

And Wall Street is patient, very patient.

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Let’s Make History: Going All in for $15 on April 15th

April 14, 2015 by Doug Porter

SD Fight for 15By Doug Porter

On Wednesday, April 15th, while much of the traditional news media is camped outside post offices trying to interview the vanishing breed of Luddites using snail mail to file their taxes, these modern-day fighters for fair wages will be protesting in over 200 cities nationwide.

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Civic San Diego – ‘like a hole in the head’

April 13, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for Civic San Diego – ‘like a hole in the head’

By Norma Damashek

We need it like a loch im kopf. A hole in the head. It’s what people in the old days would say about a bad situation. It’s what I say about Civic San Diego –the reincarnation of our former downtown redevelopment agency.

We need Civic San Diego like a hole in the head. It’s time to get rid of it.

A quick backtrack: It’s been three years since redevelopment agencies throughout California were terminated and instructed to wind down their uncompleted redevelopment projects and make good on their financial obligations. Other cities complied by doing the job in-house, under public supervision.

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Teachers and Students Fight for 15

April 13, 2015 by Jim Miller

faculty forward

By Jim Miller

I have noted in this column that, “most colleges in America run on the backs of adjunct instructors who don’t receive the same pay for the same work as do the shrinking pool of full-time faculty” and that the “Exploitation of contingent labor is not just a problem for employees at Starbucks, Walmart, and fast food chains where workers are fighting for $15 an hour; it is an epidemic in the academy as well.”

Fight for 15 organizers will be at 4 PM at Scripps Cottage on San Diego State University’s campus, we will stand with them as teachers and students from across the city will come together with workers, community activists, people of faith, and others to call for basic fairness and economic justice for all working people.

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Lawsuits Filed Against San Diego and One Paseo Project Developer

April 9, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Suits Contend Project’s Environmental Impact Report Flawed

Two lawsuits were filed on April 8th in efforts to halt the controversial One Paseo Project. In the first, three community groups sued the City of San Diego over the flawed environmental impact report (EIR).

The second suit was filed by the owner of Del Mar Highlands Town Center against the City and Kilroy Realty Corporation, the project’s developer. It also challenges the validity of the EIR prepared for the development. Both suits contend that the vote of approval of the project was based on an EIR that was not adequate.

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Can John Oliver Do for Mass Surveillance What He Did for Net Neutrality?

April 9, 2015 by Source

John Oliver

By Joan McCarter/Daily Kos

On Sunday [April 5], John Oliver had what is easily the most educational and fun half hour of journalism on the surveillance state that you’re ever likely to see, including an interview with Edward Snowden.

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Chicano Leader Takes “U-T San Diego” to Task for Negative Reporting of Chicano Community

April 8, 2015 by Source
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Open Letter By Herman Baca – President of Committee on Chicano Rights

April 8, 2015

As the Chicano community and the Chicano Park Steering Committee (CPSC) prepares to celebrate the 45th Anniversary of historic Chicano Park, Ms. Tommie Camarillo, Chairperson of the CPSC, and longtime Chicana activist has raised issues of the U-T’s historical negative reporting of the Chicano community.

Ms. Camarillo responded to a 3-29-15 U-T article on Barrio Logan and accused the U-T reporter of not doing his homework, research and history on Barrio Logan.

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City Council Votes to Sign Controversial Belmont Park Lease

April 8, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for City Council Votes to Sign Controversial Belmont Park Lease

By a vote of 7 to 2 on Monday, April 6, the San Diego City Council approved the controversial amended lease agreement for Belmont Park. With only Sherri Lightner of District 1 and David Alvarez of District 8 voting against it, the approved lease covers the long-term operation and maintenance of Belmont Park, Plunge pool, and Giant Dipper, the wooden roller coaster.

District 2’s Lori Zapf voted for it and then later made this statement: …

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Ocean Beach Planners Blast Councilwoman Zapf for Her Vote for One Paseo

April 8, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Ocean Beach Planners Blast Councilwoman Zapf for Her Vote for One Paseo

In a letter to Councilwoman Lori Zapf, the OB Planning Board blasted her for her vote to approve the controversial project One Paseo slated for Carmel Valley. In the letter approved at the Board’s recent April 1st meeting, the Board expressed that it is “extremely disappointed” by her vote.

The letter – dated April 1 – also cites that a number of local planning groups voted to deny the project – a project that was approved by a majority of the Council, and that it “does not meet the requirement of City and local community plans.”

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Californians Won’t Take the Drought Seriously Until Government Takes the Drought Seriously With These 5 Measures

April 7, 2015 by Frank Gormlie

Californians want immediate action from their government

The citizens of California will not take the drought seriously until they see that their government is taking the drought seriously. Until government at all levels – from the state to the smallest township – shows Californians that it is enacting measures to immediately deal with the drought – now in its 4th year – people in this state won’t face up to the drought themselves.

And until government enacts these 5 measures – at a minimum – , government is not taking the drought seriously: …

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What Does “One Paseo” Have to Do With Ocean Beach?

April 6, 2015 by Source
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OB Planning Board Takes a Stand Against Carmel Valley Project

By Lois Lane

On Wednesday, April 1, the Ocean Beach Planning Board had a somewhat mystifying item on the agenda when the opposition to One Paseo, a Carmel Valley project, requested a slot. One Paseo lies in the Northern reaches of the City of San Diego, not quite to Del Mar, at Del Mar Heights Road and El Camino Real. This project was described by Jeff Powers as the largest mixed used project in California without public transit – 608 units.

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California’s Drought of Ideas: Why Jerry Brown’s Executive Order Misses the Mark

April 6, 2015 by Jim Miller

texas-farm-droughtBy Jim Miller

California’s epic drought has finally made its way to the front page. Last week, Jerry Brown signed an executive order mandating the first-ever water restrictions in our state.

At the press conference announcing the move Brown observed that, “People should realize we are in a new era. The idea of your nice little green lawn getting watered every day, those days are past.”

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Crushing the Occupy Movement – How Wall Street Used Government Forces to Suppress Political Dissent

April 3, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for Crushing the Occupy Movement – How Wall Street Used Government Forces to Suppress Political Dissent

by gulfgal98Follow / DailyKos /March 28, 2015

It has been over two years since the Occupy Movement was brutally destroyed by a coordinated national effort led by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security. Since that time, much documentation has been released under the Freedom of Information Act. Even though they are heavily redacted, these documents provide a frightening window into how far corporate America along with the federal, state, and local governments acting as their agents were willing to go to destroy a populist social movement like Occupy.

Despite all the documentation we have, there are still many out there who are in denial about these facts. After reading some recent comments that misrepresent what happened to the Occupy Movement, I decided to review how Occupy was so brutally squelched by Wall Street and corporate America using government forces as their agents acting upon their behalf.

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This Land Is Our Land? Not If Republicans Have Their Way

April 3, 2015 by Source

By Joan McCarter / Daily Kos

Vermillion Cliffs, NM

One of the 43 amendments passed by Senate Republicans in Thursday’s (3/26/15) vote-a-rama was a sop to extremist state legislatures in the west who have been pushing states’ rights bills that would allow the states to sell off the federal public lands within their borders. That’s right, congressional Republicans—federal representatives—want to allow states to seize and sell off the nation’s heritage.

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Court: Navy Sonar Training Injures Whales, Dolphins and Other Sea Animals

April 2, 2015 by Source
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by Big Island Now Staff

A U.S. District Court judge has ruled that the National Marine Fisheries Service wrongly approved U.S. Navy training exercises in the Pacific Ocean that would cause widespread harm to whales, dolphins, other marine mammals, and endangered sea turtles.

The Navy’s planned exercises involved the use of explosives, sonar, and vessel strikes over a five-year period, causing an estimated 9.6 million instances of harm to ocean mammals and other marine life.

It was concluded that the training exercises would impact millions of marine animals with injury, death, and disrupted essential habits like mating, rest, and communication.

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SeaWorld Steals a Page from the Scientology Playbook

April 2, 2015 by Doug Porter

…And Meanwhile Easter Sunday SeaWorld Protest Gains Momentum

Pink Protest Poster

By Doug Porter

A book tour by a former SeaWorld trainer critical of the company’s treatment of Orcas has led to the theme park releasing a five year old cell phone video depicting the author using racial slurs during a drunken conversation.

Critics of SeaWorld are saying this action is just another example of …

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Lena Horne: A Great Lady Who Broke the Color Line

April 2, 2015 by John Lawrence

Lena Horne was the first black woman to get a contract with a major Hollywood Studio

lena horrne 1By John Lawrence

Born into a black bourgeoisie family in 1917, Lena Horne was signed up in the NAACP by her grandmother, Cora Calhoun Horne, a college graduate, at the age of two. The Hornes owned a four-story residence in the Bedford-Stuyvesant area of Brooklyn.

The distinguished Horne family included teachers, activists and a Harlem Renaissance poet. Lena’s uncle became dean of a black college.

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Video From 1990: Why Some People Don’t Like Ocean Beach

April 1, 2015 by Source

Here is a must see! It’s a 1990 video about Ocean Beach, just discovered in Paul Avery’s VHS archives. It’s all about why some people don’t like OB. It also contains wonderful – yet grainy – video footage from the summer of 1970 battle against the jetty that the city wanted to build.

The vid also displays some of the attitudes which you, dear reader, will find currently expressed in today’s social media about OB.

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A Public Interest Message About the San Diego City Charter

April 1, 2015 by Source

sandiegocityhallBy Norma Damashek

Maybe you missed the story in the NYT a couple of months ago that characterized certain San Diegans as “aggressively bland…scrubbed of their character… command(ing) so little attention…”

Yes, the description is a dead ringer for our current mayor Kevin Faulconer. But no, the story wasn’t about him.

It was about a new No.1 starter for our hometown baseball team– left in the lurch three years ago by a wily real estate developer who amassed mega-millions through canny downtown redevelopment deals with obliging city officials and then headed off to Texas with his publicly-subsidized loot. For former Padres owner John Moores, the public good was hardly the point of his business plan.

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Nuclear Shutdown News – March Edition

March 31, 2015 by Michael Steinberg
Thumbnail image for Nuclear Shutdown News – March Edition

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the continuing decline of the US nuclear industry, and highlights efforts of those who are democratically working to bring about a renewable energy future. As nuclear plants in the US are approaching or surpassing their 40 year operating life, their ability to operate properly and safely lessens, creating more and more problems across the nation.

Here’s our March report:

Diablo Canyon – Last Nuke Plant in California

On February 20 a Federal Court of Appeals in Washington DC rejected an attempt by Pacific Gas & Electric and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to quash a lawsuit filed by environmental group Friends Of the Earth (FOE). According to FOE, the suit alleges that the “NRC illegally allowed PG&E to alter Diablo Canyon’s nuclear plant license.” …

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Peninsula Planners Win Appeal of Carleton Row Homes

March 31, 2015 by Source
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Election Results and Debate Over the Controversial One Paseo Project

By Tony de Garate / Special to the OB Rag

The agenda at the monthly March meeting of the Peninsula Community Planning Board (PCPB) called for matters of neighborhood importance: a house remodel gone haywire on Plum Street and a plan to renovate a bridge on Voltaire Street.

But not long after the meeting was gaveled to order, accusations were flying, and heads in the audience were spinning — all because of a project nowhere near Point Loma – more on that later. But first …

PCPB wins Carleton Row Homes appeal

Board members reveled in their successful appeal of Carleton Row Homes, four residential units at 3015-21 Carleton St. in Roseville, earlier in the day.

Rejecting the recommendation of its own staff, the San Diego Planning Commission voted 5-1 to deny a “map waiver” request to classify the units as condos.

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Ocean Beach Planners Agenda for Wed., April 1 – New Officers, a South OB Crosswalk and the One Paseo Project

March 31, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Ocean Beach Planners Agenda for Wed., April 1 – New Officers, a South OB Crosswalk and the One Paseo Project

The OB Planning Board will hold its monthly meeting Wednesday night, April 1st, over at the OB Rec Center. The Center is located at 4726 Santa Monica Avenue and the meeting starts sharply at 6pm.

The Board needs to certify its recent election, elect new officers and review an update on the “Crosswalk Project”. And there will be a “forum” on the very controversial One Paseo Project.

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