Politics

The Dark Side of the 2015 Balboa Park Celebrations

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

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

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

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New Mayoral Vote Count Decreases Faulconer’s Percent Over Alvarez

February 24, 2014 by Doug Porter

Click Here for Alvarez vs Faulconer Runoff Election Coverage!By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

A New and Interesting New Mayoral Vote Count

The County Registrar of Voters released a follow up (although not final) report on Friday, showing the mayoral contest between city council members Kevin Faulconer and David Alvarez to be closer than originally announced. Faulconer’s win was apparently by six percentage points instead of the widely reported eight points(52.89% vs 47.11%).

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San Diego Council Likely to Approve Protection for Seals at La Jolla Children’s Pool

February 24, 2014 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

The San Diego City Council is expected to adopt a proposal prohibiting public access to the beach at the Children’s Pool during harbor seal pupping season.

A staff report saying municipal and other laws against animal abuse have not been effective in preventing harassment of the seals will be presented at today’s (Feb 24) council meeting.

The proposal before the council would bar people from using the Children’s Pool from Dec. 15 to May 15 each year, when the seals are giving birth and weaning their young. The report calls for this proposed action as the “the minimum step” in preventing the harassment of seals.

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Candidates Jockeying for Kevin Faulconer’s District 2 Seat – OB’s Newsom Picks Up Endorsement from Women’s Group

February 19, 2014 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

The dust hasn’t settled from the February special election, but the jockeying for a soon-to-be-open position on the San Diego City Council in District 2 is getting into high gear.

Run Women Run, the non-partisan group advocating for increased female participation in electoral politics, announced their support for Gretchen Newsom as the interim appointee this morning. Let the politicking begin!

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It’s Official: Gretchen Newsom In the Race to Be Appointed Interim-Councilmember for District 2

February 19, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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It is official. Gretchen Newsom, the president of the Ocean Beach Town Council, is in the race to be appointed the interim councilperson for the San Diego City Council seat being vacated by Mayor-elect Kevin Faulconer.

After receiving encouragement from a number of community leaders and resources, including the OB Rag, Gretchen decided to throw her proverbial hat in the ring for the appointment. She already has the endorsement of the advocacy group Run Women Run and she told the OB Rag that she anticipates the endorsement of the Point Loma Democratic Club.

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As Predicted: OB Voted for Alvarez and Point Loma Voted for Faulconer

February 17, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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This was as predictable as the change of the tides.

In the special mayoral election just held, Ocean Beach voted for Councilmember David Alvarez and Point Loma voted for Councilmember Kevin Faulconer – who won.

So, here’s a blow-up – inside – of the black and white maps provided by the U-T San Diego on the break-down of the vote.

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The Process to Replace Faulconer in District 2 – ‘Just the process, not the politics’

February 17, 2014 by Source
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Here is the replacement process to select whomever will fill Kevin Faulconer’s District 2 seat on the City Council:

From Chet Barfield / Office of Interim Mayor Todd Gloria

1. A 30-day clock starts on the day Kevin is sworn in as Mayor, which we think will be around March 3. The county Registrar of Voters has 28 days (from Feb. 11) to count the ballots and certify the results. Because the election wasn’t that close, it could take less than 28 days. Upon receiving registrar certification, the Clerk will ask the Council President to docket acceptance of those findings at the next possible meeting.

2. Council approves the election results and Kevin is sworn in as Mayor. This begins a 14-day application period (calendar days) for candidates wanting to fill the interim D2 vacancy. They must reside in the old District Two – as the boundaries existed before being redrawn last year – because that’s the pool from which Kevin was elected.

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The “Alvarez Effect” and the Future of San Diego

February 17, 2014 by Jim Miller

By Jim Miller

Alvarez14DNobody thought this was going to be easy.

Back in July, at the height of the Filner debacle, I predicted a dire outcome, noting that “in a recall or special election in an off year, the electorate is guaranteed to be more conservative and definitely not favorable” for a progressive replacing Bob Filner because, “Faulconer would have a huge fundraising advantage garnering support from all the usual suspects downtown and benefit from an energized base geared up to hand it to the liberals, unions, minorities, and other foul ‘special interest groups’ that they’ll blame for bringing us the evil that was Bob Filner. With the Democrats dispirited, humiliated and divided, it might not even be much of a fight.”

As it turned out, David Alvarez stepped up and offered progressives hope, and the labor movement surprised everyone by actually being able to raise more money than the Faulconer forces. Sadly, on Tuesday, many of us were crying in our beer instead.

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Alvarez vs Faulconer: It Ain’t Over ‘till You’ve Voted

February 11, 2014 by Doug Porter
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Here’s all you need to know: “Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.”

By Doug Porter

As the mayoral election campaigns enter their final hours of campaigning there is unanimity on one point- the election results will be determined by turnout.

After all the in-person campaigning, all the advertising and all the debates, it’s going to comedown to how motivated voters are. Media reports say the mail-in ballots already received (but not counted) seem to favor Kevin Faulconer (counting districts he carried in the last election).

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In the Battle for the Soul of San Diego David Alvarez Stands for All of Us

February 10, 2014 by Jim Miller

1658660_769012429793127_570456494_oBy Jim Miller

San Diego is on the national stage again.

As the final week of the dead heat mayoral showdown unfolded, Politico reported on “the battle for San Diego,” the Sacramento Bee’s Dan Walters pondered whether the race would be a harbinger of things to come in California politics, and the New York Times covered “a battle of ideology in a city unaccustomed to that sort of election,” astutely noting, as I did here at the San Diego Free Press during the primary, that this contest is “a test of whether yet another big-city Democrat can be elected by riding a wave of populism, much as Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York did last fall.”

And that test is happening because last November David Alvarez defied the pundits and political insiders and beat the prohibitive favorite, Nathan Fletcher, in the race to face Kevin Faulconer in the run-off to be San Diego’s next mayor. This was a seminal moment for San Diego—perhaps the biggest political upset in the history of the city.

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Saturday Bike Ride in Ocean Beach for David Alvarez

February 7, 2014 by Source

Some local OBceans have decided to organized a bike ride through Ocean Beach to get the vote out for mayoral candidate David Alvarez.

Date: Saturday Feb.8th

Starting Point: Robb Field Park, Ocean Beach
- specific location is the first parking lot to the right when entering via car.

Time: 12pm – 2pm ride.

Ride will begin soon after 12pm.

After ride gathering with music and beer

Everyone is welcome, family friendly. This is in support of David Alvarez’s bid for mayor with specific focus on GETTING OUT THE VOTE IN OCEAN BEACH! All are encouraged to vote regardless of choice or party preference.

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Honesty Apparently Not the Best Policy for Kevin Faulconer

February 5, 2014 by Andy Cohen

Alvarez 33

It can be demonstrated and proved that the Republican candidate for Mayor of San Diego lies in his latest campaign ad.

By Andy Cohen / San Diego Free Press

Source: Faulconer for Mayor Campaign Ad

I will certainly be grateful when this mayoral campaign is over and we can begin to move on to the 2014 midterms. That sounds weird coming from a reporter/columnist that thrives on these election cycles. This mayoral special election has certainly been the gift that keeps on giving, providing endless material for all of us San Diego political observer types to offer up to hungry readers.

Otherwise at this time of year we’d be struggling to find subject matter to fill our website with. For a weekly columnist that’s not always easy (but then again, as they say, if it were easy everyone would do it). For a daily columnist like my colleague Doug Porter, this mayoral special election is a godsend.

But what I’m tired of are the TV ads and the mailers that deliberately mislead their audience; the voters of San Diego. I’m absolutely disgusted by the TV commercials that attempt to rewrite history.

In other words, the candidate ads that LIE.

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Goldsmith’s Ploy to ‘Slut Shame’ Woman in Cop Sexual Assault Case Raises Calls for City Attorney’s Resignation

February 5, 2014 by Doug Porter
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Editor: Yesterday Doug Porter at San Diego Free Press raised questions – reposted below – about San Diego City Attorney Jan Goldsmith’s use of a private investigator to follow around and find dirt on a recent victim of a sexual assault case involving a San Diego Police officer. At the conclusion he offered his own “rant” calling for Goldsmith’s resignation – citing a host of other possible abuses by the Office of City Attorney.

Porter also reminded us that there is already a “Recall Goldsmith” Facebook page generated in the aftermath of Chalkgate.

But importantly, on top of all this hubbub – other calls have been raised calling for Jan Goldsmith’s resignation. Through comments to articles about this at various news sites, voices are expressing outrage and are joining Porter’s call for Goldsmith to step down. (Porter also has more on Goldsmith here.)

By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

“Jane Doe” is one of thirteen women who sued the City of San Diego following the arrest of SDPD officer Anthony Arevalos for sexually assaulting women while on duty by threatening them with arrest. It was her courage in filing a complaint that triggered an investigation leading to an arrest of the officer.

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Former Sierra Club President Weighs in on Proposed Suspension of San Diego Chapter

February 4, 2014 by Source

loriBy Lori Saldaña / San Diego Free Press

The current debate swirling within- and now outside- the San Diego Chapter of the Sierra Club reflects in large part a debate over the concept that “form follows function.”

In a nutshell: The San Diego Chapter’s Executive Committee, elected by local Sierra Club members, has struggled for 4 years to manage and grow a Chapter without adequate conservation and volunteer development staff. The national board and their employees in San Francisco have refused to listen to the local leader’s reasonable concerns to hire employees to support the Club’s core mission: to “Enjoy, Explore and Protect” the natural environment.

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

January 30, 2014 by Source

SCCalifLogyVBy Jay Powell / San Diego Free Press

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

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

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Marjorie Cohn: Will Court Beat Back NSA’s Police State Desires?

January 21, 2014 by Source
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By Marjorie Cohn / Common Dreams

Edward Snowden, who worked for the National Security Agency (NSA), revealed a secret order of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), that requires Verizon to produce on an “ongoing daily basis … all call detail records or ‘telephony metadata’ created by Verizon for communications (i) between the United States and abroad; or (ii) wholly within the United States, including local telephone calls.”

The government has admitted it collects metadata for all of our telephone communications, but says the data collected does not include the content of the calls.

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All the World’s a Stage – the State of San Diego

January 14, 2014 by Source

By Norma Damashek / NumbersRunner

Act I: the State of the City Address

emotion-masksSan Diegans are about to witness a full-dress reenactment of our town’s annual civic ritual known as the State of the City Address. Article XV of the City Charter lays it out: On or before the 15th day of January of each year, the Mayor shall communicate by message to the City Council a statement of the conditions and affairs of the City, and make recommendations on such matters as he or she may deem expedient and proper.

You can catch a live performance at 6pm this Wednesday, January 15th at downtown’s historic Balboa Theatre. Alternatively, you can kick back in the comfort of your own living room and watch it on City-TV.

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King of the Outcast Teens: Kurt Cobain and the Politics of Nirvana

January 10, 2014 by Source

nirvana_2

By Dawson Barrett / Portside

In recognition of the anniversary of the death of Nirvana leader Kurt Cobain, a host of retrospectives will recognize both the raw potency of Cobain’s songwriting and the tragedy of his heroin use and suicide. They will hide that Nirvana was a band of rebels.

This April marks twenty years since the death of Nirvana leader Kurt Cobain, one of the most iconic cultural figures of the late 20th century. In recognition of that anniversary, a host of retrospectives will recognize both the raw potency of Cobain’s songwriting and the tragedy of his heroin use and suicide. Echoing the tired, sexist tropes of “John and Yoko” and “Sid and Nancy,” many will also associate Cobain’s downfall with his wife, Courtney Love. These tabloid narratives will overshadow Nirvana’s political and cultural significance. They will hide that Nirvana was a band of rebels.

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Latest Ocean Beach “Monopoly” Board Game Not the First for OB

January 9, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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40 Years Ago OB Rag Cover Had First Ocean Beach “Munopoly” Board

On New Year’s Eve, we gathered at a good friend’s house and played the latest OB board game, “Ocean Beach-opoly” an OB version of the famed grandparent of all board games.

We had fun – I was fortunate to own the Gilmore Family store – not even noticing our late it had become. (I was one of the winners, by the way – sorry Doug.)

Later, I realized, hey, the OB Rag once ran a cover graphic way back in the Seventies with the first actual “OB Monopoly game board”. Nearly exactly 40 years ago, our version was on display.

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San Diego’s Unlucky 2013: The Year That Can’t End Fast Enough

December 30, 2013 by Jim Miller

2013 handsBy Jim Miller

…the emergence of the local plutocracy’s strategy of rule by ballot initiative is a genuine threat to our local democracy

Last year, I rang out the New Year with a list of the best in San Diego culturally and politically in 2012. This year begs for a grimmer assessment. Better yet, politically, 2013 deserves to be tossed from the house with the caveat that it not let the door hit it in the ass on the way out.

It would be tempting to do a bottom ten list as there are so many deserving candidates in all quarters, but let me just reiterate what I wrote last summer, that much of what we saw transpiring in our fair city brought to mind Mark Twain’s pithy assessment of “the damned human race”:

I have been studying the traits and dispositions of the lower animals (so-called), and contrasting them with the traits and dispositions of man. I find the result humiliating to me. For it obliges me to renounce my allegiance to the Darwinian theory of the Ascent of Man from the Lower Animals; since it now seems plain to me that the theory ought to be vacated in favor of a new and truer one, this new and truer one to be named the Descent of Man from the Higher Animals.

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Review of “Take to the Hills” by Former OBcean

December 27, 2013 by Source
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“Take to the Hills” by the Freewayblogger (AKA Patrick Randall)

by John Filthy

Take to the Hills: Clothing the Sierra Madres is a new e-book by the Freewayblogger. He tells an inspiring story about the thinking that took him from grading papers at SDSU to driving hundreds of pounds of donated clothes into the Sierra Madres mountains.

Some may know the Freewayblogger (AKA Patrick Randall) from the thousands of signs he has posted on the freeways of California and elsewhere. The first one I remember was visible coming into OB from the I-8. An upside down American flag with ‘RIP 1776-2001′ very shortly after the Supreme Court decision in the Bush/Gore election. But before Bush and he death of American democracy the Freewayblogger was doing something else.

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San Diego’s Shadow Government Steps Into the Spotlight

December 27, 2013 by Andy Cohen

political-puppetsFormer Mayor Jerry Sanders steps back into the spotlight to undermine San Diego’s elected government

By Andy Cohen / San Diego Free Press

We often hear, particularly when a government entity is seeking to raise revenues for an important project (or, on occasion, a not-so-important project) that the associated revenues amount to a “jobs tax,” or a “job killing tax.” It’s a favorite meme of those of a particular political persuasion or economic status. Ordinance ‘A’ is a JOBS KILLER! We must not allow it to pass! Requiring health care is a JOBS KILLER! Any ordinance requiring a living wage is a JOBS KILLER! The minimum wage is a JOBS KILLER! Increasing the sales tax by one-half of one percent is a JOBS KILLER!

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The Thought of David Alvarez as Mayor…

December 23, 2013 by Frank Gormlie

David Alvarez…Has More Than Him Smiling

By Ernie McCray

It was like walking in on a “Who’s Got the Sunniest Smile” Contest as the room in this “David Alvarez for Mayor” gathering, was full of them. I joined right in with my ages old grin.

My smile shone brightly because David is an answer to a dream of what a San Diego mayor should be like that I first conceived when I moved to town in late August of ’62. I was barely a few months over 24 years old, ready to change the world for the betterment of all humankind. For most of the years since then, my dream of a mayor like David has seemed just like that: a dream.

I mean when I showed up on the local scene I thought I had escaped the small-minded non-progressive kind of thinking I had been subjected to growing up in Tucson. That notion changed when I turned my TV on and saw two men, Frank Curran who would later become mayor and Allen Hitch who wanted so much to be the mayor.

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“Best of OB Rag” – 2008 – Part 1

December 21, 2013 by Staff
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Here’s the first part for “Best of OB Rag” in 2008 – a story of the disappearance of the “Peace Sign” off of Bird Rock, and more on the Iraq war, the peace movement, the 2008 elections, torture, nuclear power, video from an alien invasion of OB in the Seventies, San Diego foreclosures and health care reform :

Peace Sign Atop “Peace Rock” Disappears From Sunset Cliffs – Vandals? Thieves? Conservatives?

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What would Santa Faulconer do?

December 18, 2013 by Source
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Selling Kevin Faulconer: The Big Bamboozle

December 16, 2013 by Jim Miller

They want you to glare at the union worker asking for a cookie while they walk away with the whole jar.

By Jim Miller

free-cheese-trapLast week over at the SD Rostra they posted an interesting commentary entitled “Electing Kevin Faulconer: Make a Clear Distinction on Fiscal Conservatism” that outlined the path to a Republican victory. While not particularly surprising, the strategy suggested there is revealing in some important ways.

What, according to our friends on the right, needs to be done?

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The Race for San Diego Mayor Is in a Dead Heat

December 10, 2013 by Source

New Poll has Alvarez at 46% only 1% behind Faulconer

By Brent E. Beltrán / San Diego Free Press

The race for mayor has gotten a lot closer as a new 10 News/San Diego Union Tribune poll has big business friendly Republican candidate, and maritime industry minion, Kevin Faulconer at 47% with surging District 8 councilman David Alvarez coming in at 46% with 7% undecided.

The poll, conducted by SurveyUSA, has a margin of error of +/- 4.4% making this race a statistical dead heat. See full poll data here.

The question that the pollsters asked was: If the runoff election for San Diego mayor were today, who would you vote for? Kevin Faulconer? Or David Alvarez?

Though polls funded by 10 News and the SDUT have historically been inaccurate in favor of Republicans (see last year’s mayor’s race when they had Carl DeMaio up by 5% over Bob Filner) it is very interesting to see a poll by them that actually shows positive numbers for the Democratic candidate.

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On Black Friday: I Would Prefer Not To

December 2, 2013 by Jim Miller

walmartBy Jim Miller

As the Salon story reposted here on Black Friday noted there were about 1,500 protests around the country on our annual day of consumer madness mostly designed to shine a light on the horrendous corporate practices of Walmart, America’s beloved externalizing machine. While Walmart’s propaganda insists that the company is a provider of good jobs and many benefits to our communities, the facts suggest otherwise.

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Redemption Time: Alvarez Beats the Odds and Keeps Hope Alive

November 25, 2013 by Jim Miller

Alvarez megaphone

By Jim Miller

Last Tuesday, fortune favored the bold. David Alvarez defied the pundits and political insiders and beat the prohibitive favorite, Nathan Fletcher, in the race to face Kevin Faulconer in the run-off to be San Diego’s next mayor. This was a seminal moment for San Diego—perhaps the biggest political upset in history of the city.

It just wasn’t supposed to happen.

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Report – Point Loma Democratic Club Meeting: “After the Election”

November 25, 2013 by Judi Curry
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A Report of the Point Loma Democratic Club Meeting, held on November 24, 2013

“After the Election”

By Judi Curry

The Point Loma Democrats tried a new format for their regularly scheduled meeting, Sunday, Nov. 24th. It was, without a doubt, one of the best, if not the best, meeting held this year. It was standing room only.

Three panelists were invited to participate in a “What Now?” discussion of the special election held earlier this week for the mayor of San Diego. The panelists, all well known in their own right were:

  • Wendy Fry, from the NBC 7 I-team;
  • Daniel Munoz, editor of La Prenza, San Diego;
  • Dr. John Warren from the San Diego Voice and Viewpoint,
  • and Andy Cohen, from our very own San Diego Free Press.
  • The moderator was Patrick Schultheis.
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