Politics

Nuclear Shutdown News – July 2015

July 29, 2015 by Michael Steinberg
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Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and all of the US nuclear industry, and spotlights those who are working for a nuke free future.

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

In this issue of Nuclear Shutdown News we continue our summer travels in pursuit of no nukes stories… Of course we’d love to be in Greece, checking out the unfolding “Brother can you spare a few billion drachmas” melodrama. But Greece doesn’t have any nuclear reactors to shut down, or nuclear weapons to dismantle.

1. Germany

Not so in Germany, one of Greece’s major predators, uh, creditors, that is.

The Associated Press reported on June 28, “Germany’s oldest remaining nuclear reactor to shut down.”

The AP stated that the Grafenrheinfel nuclear plant in Bavaria “would be taken offline as scheduled authorities and operator E.ON said.”

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Lies and More Lies: Planned Parenthood as the New ACORN

July 28, 2015 by Doug Porter

planned-parenthood-scandal-leadBy Doug Porter

The Republicans appear to have settled on their wedge issue for 2016. You know, the thing that drives fear and/or disgust in a certain class of voters so they’ll ignore all those pesky economic policies they’re likely to get screwed by.

In 2008 a loosely organized entity named ACORN fit the bill. Manufactured imagery of brown people doing something wrong was perfect for an election where the leading candidate was a person of color. Most people still don’t realize the charges brought against the community organizing group turned out to have been false.

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The Party of Death is Dying

July 28, 2015 by Source

dead_gopBy Bob Dorn / San Diego Free Press

For years now the Republican Party has been the party of death. Now it may itself be dying. More about that later. For now, some numbers.

In 2014, 1,100 of 1359 executions performed by the states were the work of “Republican-dominated states,” according to Republicanviews.org on Oct. 26 of that year. Just more than 508 of those executions were in Texas, according to the Death Penalty Information Center, which did the report.

Last May, the Quinnipiac poll taken on attitudes toward the war in Iraq, asked the question, “Do you think going to war with Iraq in 2003 was the right thing to do or the wrong thing?” Overall, 59% of Americans responded that it was wrong and 32% said it was right. Among the Republicans those numbers were more than reversed; 62% of them said it was right to go there and kill, while only 28% said it was wrong.

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Pride and a Whole Lot of Rain

July 28, 2015 by Ernie McCray

Pride in the Rain

By Ernie McCray

I will forever remember “The San Diego Pride Parade of 2015,” not just because of it’s history, but for the rain. And I’m talking some serious rain. I mean Mother Nature just flat out let it all hang out.

And there I was, along with hundreds of other waterlogged folks in every kind of colorful regalia known to man, standing and walking and practically treading in that downfall for a good three hours or so. Soaked to the skin and bones!

When my group got the go ahead to march in the puddles and streams and through a “mini-lake” just around the corner, a man said over a microphone “It’s raining on our parade and we’re loving it.”

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Reader Rant: “We Should All Take Notice of What Is Truly Going On in Mission Valley”

July 24, 2015 by Source
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By Carole Thompson

The river in Mission Valley exists even though few San Diegans have really looked at it.

I served on the Mission Valley Community Council for more than five-years and sat through many discussions on the river and Mission Valley as a concerned San Diegan.

More people should take notice of what is going on in Mission Valley before we wind up with a situation much like New Orleans, because the valley is at or below sea level.

In a time with so much attention given to drought why are those in charge so tempted to mess with one of our water sources? Although, much of it is underground the San Diego River is more than 60 miles long and part of the water table. The water table is part of the cycle of water.

Most people in San Diego are aware of the flooding in Mission Valley, but they do not know why the river floods here.

It floods in Mission Valley because they have taken an aquifer and tried to manipulate it by paving over it, tucking it under roads, and small passages on its way to the ocean.

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PETA Opposes SeaWorld Orca Habitat Expansion at Coastal Commission

July 24, 2015 by Source
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by James Sullivan/ Science Recorder / July 24, 2015

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has asked that the California Coastal Commission reject SeaWorld San Diego’s efforts to expand its killer whale tanks.

The project is estimated at $100 million, to be completed in 2018, but has yet to received endorsement from the Coastal Commission.

“This item has been postponed because of all the information submitted,” said commissioner Alex Llerandi.

“The coastal staff is taking the time to ensure all potential issues and viewpoints are considered in any final recommendations.”

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Numbers Game at San Diego Anti-ALEC Protests

July 23, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Looks Like San Diego Union Tribune Is Up to its Old Tricks In Downplaying Dissent

A hell of a lot of people came out to protest ALEC’s convention yesterday in downtown San Diego. Local demonstrators had their numbers bolstered by bus-loads of union members from Los Angeles.

There were the labor locals, the environmentalists, the Democrats, the progressives and social activists – and many people energized to protest ALEC because they’ve been educated in just what it is and what it does.

There were a lot of demonstrators. Just how many is a good question. And now we’re in a numbers game in trying to determine just how many people were protesting against the right-wing lobby and legislative powerhouse – with all its corporate sponsors.

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San Diego’s Two Borders Can Be Challenging

July 23, 2015 by Source
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By David Helvarg /Blue Frontier / July 16, 2015

I lived for a decade in San Diego and reported on its two borders, the Pacific and Mexico. I recently returned to spend a few days in my old haunts including Ocean Beach, La Jolla and the border.

I visited with Margaret Leinen, director of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at its meandering cliffside campus in La Jolla. She told me of many new initiatives taking place there including a soon-to-be-created center for climate impacts and adaptation, a center to look at more traditional hazards such as earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis, ongoing work with creating ocean observation systems and a center on the ocean and human health that will go beyond our traditional focus on seafood safety and harmful algal blooms – or even bio-prospecting for the next cancer cure.

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What’s the Future of Short Term Rentals ? Panel Discussion – Sunday, July 26

July 23, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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From Pt Loma – OB Dems / July 21, 2015

Earlier this month the Democratic Woman’s Club hosted a great presentation by (and discussion with) Sarah Saez (United Taxi Workers of San Diego) on Making a Living Wage in the 1099 Economy. The focus was on taxi drivers, the rise of Uber and Lyft, and the move to contracted (1099) labor.

The ability to use internet services for alternative transportation, delivery services and accommodation may (at least in the short-term) be great for (some) consumers, but the longer term effects are likely to only benefit the corporations who rise to dominate each space. We only have to look at the $40 billion valuation given to Uber, by a salivating Wall Street, who sees in it the future of cash generation and wage control.

The short-term vacation rental market poses many similar challenges and has made strange bedfellows of San Diego hoteliers and progressives.

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Confronting ALEC’s ‘Everybody Does It’ Defense

July 22, 2015 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

Mike Huckabee, Scott Walker, Ted Cruz. How can you lose?

If the spinmeisters at the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) hoped media coverage would focus on the three GOP presidential candidates genuflecting before their annual gathering of corporate lobbyists and state legislators this week in San Diego, they may be proved wrong.

A barrage of press releases and public statements from a wide spectrum of public interest organizations combined with the growing certainty that San Diegans would actually show up in large numbers to protest the closed-door right wing strategy meeting has begun to shift coverage away from the celebrity angle to questions about just what might be going on inside the Manchester Grand Hyatt hotel.

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San Diego Activists Go All Out for Anti-ALEC Protests

July 21, 2015 by Doug Porter

Alec Mtg

Labor, Environmental and Community Groups Plan Multiple Actions

By Doug Porter

A wide range of organizations, some of whom rarely get involved in non-electoral politics, are calling upon San Diegans to put on their protesting shoes during the upcoming annual meeting of the American Legislative Council (ALEC).

Protests, press conferences, teach-ins, rallies and guerrilla theater will be happening throughout the coming week commencing on Tuesday, July 21st as ALEC delegates are checking in. Buses will coming in from the Los Angeles/Long Beach areas on Wednesday for what organizers expect will be the largest events of the week.

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‘It’s Not Socialism, It’s Democratic Capitalism’

July 16, 2015 by Source
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By Jeeni Criscenzo

In a recent interview about the groundswell of popularity for Bernie Sanders, Richard Wolff, author of “Democracy at Work, a Cure for Capitalism,” opined that we are seeing a new form of socialism that doesn’t give the power to the government, but rather focuses on –

“changing the way we organize enterprises, so they stop being top-down, hierarchical, where the board of directors makes all the decisions, and we move to this idea which is now catching on: cooperation, workers owning and operating collectively and democratically their economy and their enterprise.”

Instead of looking at this as a new kind of socialism, I like to think of it as a new kind of capitalism—democratic capitalism, where workers are actually free.

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ALEC and Sempra Energy: the Attack on Rooftop Solar in San Diego

July 16, 2015 by Source

Solar Panels, Navy, Old Town

By Jay Powell / San Diego Free Press

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is lead on attacking rooftop solar by working to end “net energy metering” (NEM), where homeowners and businesses are paid for (net) energy they generate above their own use. Their role in states like Arizona is outlined in The New Yorker Article “Power to the People” (Why the rise of green energy makes utility companies nervous) by Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org.

NEM is now the subject of intense proceedings at the California PUC which so far this past year hasn’t seen a fossil power plant or utility rate restructuring scheme they don’t like. This is the same PUC which is under investigation by the State Attorney General for improper communications between regulators and the regulated utilities.

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Sign a petition calling for John Oliver to be Jon Stewart’s replacement on the Daily Show.

July 15, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Comedian John Oliver has just shown that he is the best person to replace Jon Stewart on the Daily Show what with his recent pieces on the public monies being spent on privately-owned football stadiums, on ALEC, on visiting Edward Snowden in Russia – and the list is much longer.

His humor and wit and incisive, cutting insights and satire demonstrate that Oliver is the guy to continue the tradition that Stewart started – and besides that, John Oliver became famous on Stewart’s show, so he’s a graduate. Currently Oliver is on weekly on HBO.

COME INSIDE FOR THE PETITION

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San Diego’s Agreement With Airbnb to Collect Tourist Taxes Gave Them Huge Windfall

July 15, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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If you are one of those people who are keeping track of the short-term rental issue here in San Diego, you’re probably aware that Airbnb – the largest online short-term rental company – has just made an agreement with the City to begin collecting tourist taxes from visitors and remit them to the City.

And July 15th is the day that Airbnb will begin collecting those taxes on behalf of the hosts that sign up with them for rentals within the City.

This is great if you’re longing forward to see more money pour into the City’s coffers.

But guess what – this agreement includes a huge win-fall for Airbnb.

Okay, you ask, just what did our “Number 2″ city just give away to the online rental agency, worth an estimated $20 Billion?

Okay, what just happened in our town?

Comic-con, of course, which just ended after a 4-day bonanza.

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The Day – One Year Ago – that the San Diego City Council Unanimously Approved the Ocean Beach Community Plan

July 14, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Editor: On July 29, 2014, the San Diego City Council took an historic vote and unanimously voted to approve the Ocean Beach Community Plan Update. This is a repost of the report of last year’s City Council vote .

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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Chargers Stadium Financing Plan: Sell City Owned Unicorns and Fairy Dust

July 14, 2015 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

This whole deal with using public money to build a stadium for a privately owned football team just keeps getting stranger.

Yesterday we learned the idea of using funds from developments adjacent to the Mission Valley site to fund the project was off the table. Ancillary development has been part of every stadium plan proposed over the past 15 years. That’s $225 million just vanishing. Gone. Poof!

Then where’s the stadium construction funding coming from? Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s spokesman, Craig Gustafson, emailed Scott Lewis at Voice of San Diego: “The plan the City/County team is developing is based on negotiations and discussions with the Chargers and the NFL.”

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Open Letter to San Diego City Council: Vote “No” Today on Stadium EIR

July 14, 2015 by Source
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Editor: The views expressed in the letter do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors and staff of the OB Rag.
_________

Dear San Diego City Council:

As a sports writer and stadium activist, I urge you to vote ‘NO’ with regard to ITEM-S500: Establishment of Stadium Reconstruction Project CIP and Amendment to AECOM Agreement for Environmental Review Services. (Mission Valley Community Area. District 7.)

In 2009, I broke the story for SanDiego.com that the Chargers had re-engaged city officials and the focus for a new stadium had turned to downtown. Since then, I have built a strong relationship with the team and spent three seasons (2010-12) as the Chargers beat writer for CBSsports.com.

With deep knowledge of the stadium issue, I am extremely concerned that a ‘YES’ vote will cost the city

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California Should Be a “No ALEC Zone”

July 14, 2015 by Source

ALEC American Legislative Exchange CouncilBy Francine Busby / San Diego Democratic Party

Sometimes we just need a little sunshine. That shouldn’t be too much to ask here in Southern California. Unfortunately, a dark cloud is headed our way in the form of a shadowy lobbying organization that buys loyalty from state legislatures with untraceable corporate dollars and threatens the very fabric of our democracy.

Exaggeration? Not even a little. Concerned yet? You should be.

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How to Fix California’s Housing Affordability Crisis

July 14, 2015 by Source

housing-construction

California should require developers to include affordable housing for a fifth of all new projects

By / San Diego UrbDeZine

As the economy improves, California’s affordable housing crisis is worsening. The average rent in California ($1,240) is almost fifty percent higher than the national average. This is pricing out our state’s low-wage blue collar workers, who have flat incomes and rising commutes. It would take a service worker in San Jose 20 years to save up enough to buy a home.

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A Critique of the Austerity Proposal for Greece

July 13, 2015 by Source
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A Critique of the July 10th, 2015 Austerity Proposal for Greece from Syriza; There is an Alternative!

by Peter Bohmer / July 11, 2015

It is increasingly likely although not a done deal that Greece will come to an agreement with the 19 European Union countries that use the Euro, the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (the troika) in the next week or so.

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More Memories of “Red House” of Ocean Beach

July 13, 2015 by Source
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Editor: Since we were alerted to the Centennial of OB’s famous “Red House”, we asked fellow travelers who once lived there or lived in OB during the Seventies who had memories of the political house and its residents. Here is another “memory” of Red House, by Dickie.

By Dickie

I moved into Red House on March 1, 1973, one of 6 activists to take occupancy beginning a long stretch of time when Red House was identified as a center of the OB community movement.

We were community and antiwar activists and we had been living for a month across the street on Cape May in the little 4-in-a-row fourplex we called the “Barracks” because it was all activists living there.

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“My Memories of Red House and Its Surrounding Community”

July 10, 2015 by Source
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Editor: As we approach the Centennial of the Red House, we asked friends who were in OB during the heady days of the Seventies for their memories. Our good friend, Bob, responded with the following:

By Bob

In the early Seventies I lived across the street at 5132 Cape May in the four-plex known as “The Barracks”. Our two bedroom apartment rented for $160 a month. My share was forty bucks to live a half block from the beach!

In those days, Red House, The Barracks, Little Red House (right on the beach at the end of the block) and several other apartments on the block housed probably 50 hardcore activists, progressive hippies, Lefty musicians, and fellow travelers, all dewy-eyed and hopeful at the possibility of changing America from the white bread blandness of the Fifties and early Sixties.

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Centennial Celebration of OB’s Famous “Red House” – Sat., July 11th

July 10, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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This Saturday, July 11, is the celebration of the centennial anniversary of a house in OB. It’s not your ordinary 100-year-old house at the beach – for this is OB’s famous (some say ‘infamous’) “Red House”.

What is the “Red House” you ask?

The Red House is an old craftsman-type single-story house on Cape May Avenue that was the home to a bevy of radicals during the 1970s.

Painted red, the house was lived in by some of OB’s most notorious leftists and anti-Vietnam war activists. Beginning in 1972, the large, roomy house – a half block from the sand – at 5113 Cape May, became a type of leftwing movement and social center. Some of the leaders of San Diego’s anti-war movement lived there during that heady decade, as well as some grassroots activists who were instrumental in helping to cause a shift in local community politics.

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Sign the Petition to Stop Nightly Fireworks at SeaWorld

July 10, 2015 by Source
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Hit the link and sign the Petition that calls on the San Diego City Council to ban the nightly fireworks at SeaWorld.

From Petition:

SeaWorld is damaging the quality of life of hundreds of thousands of San Diegans on a nightly basis,every day for 3 months straight during the summer season alone. They are damaging the overall physical well-being of the citizens of San Diego who live within a 20 mile radius or larger.

The fireworks at SeaWorld constitute animal cruelty. Dogs, cats, and other companion animals don’t understand that the terrifying loud bangs are a celebration. Humane societies across North America report that after firework displays they are swamped with calls about lost dogs and cats. Dogs are brought to shelters with paws bloody from running or torn skin from tearing through a backyard wooden fence or, worse, crippled from being hit by a car.

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Calendar for Green Activists for July 2015

July 8, 2015 by Source
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July Events at the Ocean Beach Green Center

July 9th Thursday 7 p.m. Film Night “I Am” – is a 2010 documentary by commercially successful director Tom Shadyac.

July Events NOT at the Ocean Beach Green Center

July 9 Thursday 11:30 a.m. -1:30 p.m. Solar for Homeowners

July 11 Saturday 10:00 a.m. Climate Mobilization Coalition Come help plan for the upcoming events in San Diego on climate action. Meetings on Saturdays at People’s Co-op in the community room, 4765 Voltaire St.

July 11 Saturday 1:00 – 3:00 1oo Year Centennial of the Red House – OB’s famous activist house from the 1970s has been preserved by the Gawronskis, and they’re having a celebration at the place itself.

July 11 Saturday 9:00 a.m. Friends of Famosa Slough work parties . Meet along W. Pt. Loma Blvd about 200 feet east of the corner of Famosa Blvd. and W. Pt. Loma Blvd Nature and Bird Walks July 18 Saturday 1:00 p.m. .

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An Inside Look at ‘A Green Alternative’ in Otay Mesa – San Diego’s First Licensed Medical Pot Shop

July 8, 2015 by Source

AGreenAlternativeAn Interview With CEO, Dr. David Blair

By Barbara Zaragoza / South Bay Compass

Eye On The Locals: I’m a curious person and when I see something historic happening in my community, I feel an urgent need to document and ask questions. When A Green Alternative opened in Otay Mesa on March 20, 2015 — only two blocks from a major U.S.-Mexico port of entry — I couldn’t help but find out more.

(Editor: The OB Rag covered its opening back in March.)

A Green Alternative is the first medicinal marijuana dispensary that has legally opened in the City and County of San Diego. It’s a historic moment, highly controversial and located in my neck of the wood–the South Bay. So I walked right up to the storefront security guard and asked for an interview.

As the CEO, Dr. David Blair, later told me: he asks his staff not to treat people the way they would like to be treated, but to treat people the way …

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Councilwoman Lorie Zapf Main Event at Sunset Cliffs Natural Park Meeting

July 7, 2015 by Staff
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Councilwoman On Hand to Announce Funding for 2 Park Rangers for Area

By Lois Lane

When the Sunset Cliffs Natural Park Advisory Committee held their July 6th meeting, District 2 Councilwoman Lorie Zapf was the main event. Elected more than a year ago, she stated she had “waited until she had good news” to visit us.

Before 25 attendees, Zapf announced the addition of two park rangers for the park from the recently-approved City of San Diego budget. One ranger will cover Ocean Beach and Sunset Cliffs; the other will be assigned across all city beach parks.

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Frye, Alvarez and Faulconer Lead in OB Rag Poll for San Diego’s Next Mayor

July 6, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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In the latest OB Rag poll of our readers on who they’d like to see in San Diego’s mayor seat, Donna Frye, David Alvarez and Kevin Faulconer took the lead.

Of the top three, Donna Frye came out ahead with 26%. David Alvarez had 23%, barely nudging out Kevin Faulconer who received 22%. Frye – a former City Councilwoman and top contender for mayor a few years ago, was the top choice of all the possible candidates.

Other well-known Democrats were in the single-digits, with Toni Atkins with 7%, Lorena Gonzalez at 4% and Nathan Fletcher at 1%.

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Hugs Offered to Hating Hecklers at Murrieta Immigration Rally

July 3, 2015 by Doug Porter

Murrieta mural July_1_15

Editor: The following is an update on the one year commemoration in Murrieta held on July 1.

By Doug Porter

The 75 or so people who came to Murrieta, California on July 1st to commemorate resistance to last year’s bus blockade gathered around a stage in the Town Square park under the watchful eyes of a dozen or so police officers. Situated just few yards away behind yellow caution tape, anti-immigration types screamed obscenities and racist insults through multiple bullhorns.

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