Politics

An Analysis of Ballot Measures for the June 2016 Primary

May 13, 2016 by Doug Porter

ballot sampleVote ‘Aye’ on San Diego’s Proposition ‘Eye’

By Doug Porter

If there one issue symbolic of San Diego politics, it’s the fight for a bump in the local minimum wage. Almost two years after a majority of the city’s elected representatives voted for a measure increasing wages (in baby steps) and allowing for earned paid sick leave, the voters will have a say on the issue.

I won’t mince words here. If you live in the City of San Diego, vote YES on the referendum on Earned Sick Leave and Minimum Wage, which will appear on the June 7th ballot as Proposition I.

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Don’t Be Bored by Board of Education Races

May 12, 2016 by Doug Porter
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Ignore those school board races on your 2016 primary ballot at your own peril. The County Board of Education, with its half-billion-dollar budget and influence over the 42 school districts in San Diego, is the target of Republicans reportedly funded by charter school businesses.

Now I don’t have a problem with the concept of charter schools as an option for parents seeking differing educational approaches. I do have a problem with the charter school industry, which all-too-often has hidden financial malfeasance and an exploitive working environment behind the banners of “choice” and “opportunity.”

Most of all, I believe that a robust public education system is fundamental to democracy. Public education has been the primary battleground for a cultural war going back decades and now it has become fair game for hedge fund operators and profiteering.

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An Old Scumbag’s Take on Bernie and Hillary Unifying Their Party

May 12, 2016 by Ernie McCray

Sanders and Clinton at the Democratic Presidential debate from St. Anselm College in Manchester, NH, airing Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015

By Ernie McCray

For not supporting Hillary Clinton, people like me, including millions of young people, millennials, our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, have been described as naive-unrealistic-shallow-thinking-delusional-idiotic-scumbags – and we’ve been compared to followers of Trump.

I didn’t see it coming, at all, as the insults have come from the kinds of people with whom I’ve been associated politically my entire voting life: 57 years.

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Faulconer Supporters Swamp OB Rag Mayoral Poll – Republicans Out Vote Democrats 2 to 1

May 11, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

Mayor candidates Kevn Lori Ed

Mayor Beats Both Harris and Saldana Combined in Apparent Spike in GOP Visitors to OB Rag

In an unusual – but not unknown – twist for an OB Rag poll, it appears that supporters of the main Republican candidate for San Diego mayor – incumbent Kevin Faulconer – swamped the mayoral poll over the weekend, skewing the results. In the final tally for the week-long poll, Faulconer had a higher total than both other major candidates combined.

Kevin Fauloner, in the end, had 59% of the votes, while Ed Harris had 18% and Lori Saldana 13%. Harris is a liberal Democrat and Saldana is a progressive independent.

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Backlash Grows in Ocean Beach Against City Cutting Down Trees

May 11, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

Ocean beach beachfront

There appears to be a growing backlash in Ocean Beach against the City’s cutting down of trees in the public right-of-way around the community. The backlash also includes negative reactions to the severe trimming of trees along commercial streets.

Three recent examples of OBceans exhibiting opposition to the downing or harsh trimming of trees illustrate this backlash.

The City is responsible for trees in the public right-of-way, and, of course, the City itself doesn’t cut down or trim trees – it contracts with private companies to do the dirty work. Signs of the backlash trend include, …

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Feminism Is Alive and Well in San Diego . . . but the Fight Is Getting Harder

May 11, 2016 by Source

rapture at lyceumBy Anne Haule / San Diego Free Press

On Mother’s Day, a group of about 30 women (and a couple men), some of the women mothers and some not, gathered at the Lyceum Theater to celebrate with champagne and listen to a panel of experts discuss “The (True) History of Feminism in San Diego”.

The panel, assembled by the Women’s Museum of California, preceded a viewing of “Rapture, Blister, Burn”, a contemporary Pulitzer-nominated play by Gina Gionfriddo – a funny and poignant feminist play running for another week that I highly recommend.

The panel, consisting of a politician, a research psychologist, both a professor and a masters student in women’s studies was moderated by Ashley Gardner, the Executive Director of the Women’s Museum.

First up was former United States Congresswoman, Lynn Schenk.

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From 1969 Original SD Free Press Article on San Diego’s Critical Housing Shortage – ‘So What Is New?’

May 11, 2016 by John Lawrence

housing fistJL: This article was originally published in the 1969 print edition of the San Diego Free Press. It follows on to our 4 part series on affordable housing in San Diego. So what else is new? Nothing except the price of real estate. [Items in parentheses are my updated comments.]

Rent Going Up? Planning to Move? Welcome to the Street

By John Lawrence

The housing situation in San Diego, especially for people with low incomes, bears all the earmarks of a terminal illness. The condition is grave and seems destined to get worse. The City will tell you that 1968 was a year in which San Diego experienced a record boom in housing construction, but their figures are completely misleading.

It is true that there were 12,525 units of housing begun in 1968, as compared with 6,100 units in 1967, and that while city building doubled, rural building was up 47% in 1968 over the previous year.

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Are San Diego Superior Court Judges Adverse to Open Seat Contests?

May 9, 2016 by Doug Porter

San Diego CourthouseBy Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

Nobody cares much about judicial electoral contests. And apparently the current batch of judges in Superior Court would like to keep it that way. At least that was the conclusion I drew after talking with more than a dozen local attorneys and prosecutors.

The 2012 judicial elections, where birther lawyer Gary Kreep upset Deputy District Attorney Garland Peed, were a national embarrassment. Since that time, “open seat” judicial contests have all but vanished in San Diego.

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Wild and Wooly

May 9, 2016 by Source

By Sloanranger

ee3db50f2ff31c3e81584d04ee44408be273e4d71cb8184093f7_640_politicsWell here it is, wild and wooly. We thought it was already crazy — obstructional, destructional — dysfunctional to the ‘nth degree. Tea parties, three parties — and the mob finally playing their Trump card. But no trustbusters, not yet – maybe because the trust of the people had long gone, anyway.

Nuclear options, up and down votes, heck, just stop everything. And inside the beltway, the people’s business — or rather lack of it, went on as usual. Our representatives listening only to lobbyists and extremists, corporate paid pundits and media, not much was said about us…to us or for us.

The talking heads blathering on, like nothing’s going on – at first. And then — quelle surprise! Look everyone, at what’s going down… and I do mean down.

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Transportation Justice for San Diego

May 6, 2016 by Source

By Environmental Health Coalition

A recent KPBS article reports that The San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), the organization responsible for planning the transportation in San Diego County, spent close to $1.5 million on a publicity strategy for the regional transportation plan.

The plan, passed last October, put freeways before people, ignoring recurring community requests for improved transit, biking and walking infrastructure before expanding freeways.

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The OB Green Activist Calendar for May 2016

May 5, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for The OB Green Activist Calendar for May 2016

UPDATED – More Events Have Been Added

Events in
Ocean Beach or in Point Loma

May 12th Thursday 7 p.m. Film Night “Bitter Seeds” at the OB Green Center, 4843 B Voltaire in OB. –

May 14 Saturday at 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 68th Annual OB Kite Festival – at Dusty Rhodes Park,

May 20th Friday 6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. OB EXPOSED Ocean Beach Historical society presents Photographic Impressions of Ocean Beach and Point Loma Masonic Center, 1711 Sunset Cliffs Blvd. OB

May 21st Saturday 1:00 p.m. Friends of Famosa Slough Nature and Bird
May 25th Wednesday 7:00 pm – Monthly meeting of the OB Town Council, Masonic Center.

FOR MORE INFO – COME INSIDE

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1983: Proposal to Increase Density in OB Met by Community Meeting of 400 – Most Opposed

May 5, 2016 by Source

OB CPG Broc Graf2
Editor: Today, we showcase a personal account of a density battle in 1983 by Steve Wimmers, who was on the Board during the Eighties, was its Chair in 1983 and still lives in the area:

By Steve Wimmers

There was another historic vote that affected, and still affects, the future development of Ocean Beach. It was a vote by the Ocean Beach Planning Board that occurred in 1983.

The composition of the Planning Board at that time consisted of seven environmentalists and seven realtors and pro developers. The realtors and pro developers supported a proposal that would change the density in the OB Precise Plan area.

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Is Affordable Housing in the City of San Diego an Oxymoron? – Part 3

May 5, 2016 by John Lawrence

The City Needs to Build and Own More Affordable Units

SD Housing CommissionBy Katheryn Rhodes and John Lawrence

According to a recent Zillow report: “Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, and San Diego are unaffordable for both renters and buyers. … Looking forward, the picture doesn’t look bright for renters.

Rents will likely keep rising at roughly their current pace for at least the next few years, which will lead to a continued affordability crunch unless wage growth significantly improves.”

Enter the San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC) whose job is to redress the balance of unaffordable rents to make it possible for San Diego to be inhabited by other than rich folks.

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Marijuana Legalization Looks Like It’s Headed to the California Ballot

May 4, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for Marijuana Legalization Looks Like It’s Headed to the California Ballot

Initiative Has Enough Signatures to Appear on November Ballots

By Emily Gray Brosious / Extract Sun-Times / 05/04/2016

Adult Use of Marijuana Act powers forward in California.

The group leading efforts to legalize recreational marijuana for adults in California will announce Wednesday, May 4, that it has collected enough signatures to put its legalization initiative before voters on the November ballot, as reported by the Sacramento Bee.

The Adult Use of Marijuana Act has gathered more than 600,000 signatures, far exceeding the 350,000 needed. It has also received backing from billionaire Facebook co-founder Sean Parker and California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, in addition to the support of many other marijuana policy reform groups.

The Act would establish a regulatory system for recreational cannabis, modeled after the state’s medical marijuana regulatory system that passed in 2015.

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Memories of the Great OB Election of ’76

May 4, 2016 by Source
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Editor: We are continuing our celebration of the 40th anniversary of the popular vote in OB that established the Ocean Beach Planning Board with “Memories” by Doug Card. Doug was a member of the very first Planning Board and played a key role in the days up to and after that election on May 4, 1976.

By Doug Card

With the current bizarre national presidential election campaign, it’s good to reflect upon a true grassroots election in OB just 40 years ago – today – Wednesday the 4th.

To recall how, during a time of great national upheaval, a dedicated band of idealistic activists managed to create a permanent structure to maintain the integrity of the character of Ocean Beach in the face of heavy developmental pressure. And how the cooperation between OB’s traditional rival organizations and facets of San Diego City government ended a long-running conflict and worked together for the sake of the people and the future.

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May 4th: We Can’t Forget the Massacre of Students at Kent State – 46 Years Ago

May 4, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

Kent State, Ohio, May 4, 1970In Response to Nixon’s Invasion of Cambodia, American Campuses Exploded in Protest in May 1970

Today, May 4th, 2016, is the 46th anniversary of the infamous Kent State Massacre – where 4 students were shot to death by National Guardsmen during anti-Vietnam war protests on the Ohio campus.

Protests at Kent State were part of a wave of demonstrations that swept the country right after President Nixon’s invasion of Cambodia. Ten days later, 2 Black students were shot to death by police during an anti-war protest at Jackson State.

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America’s Finest City Preparing for a Visit from Donald Trump

May 4, 2016 by Doug Porter

trump logo

Presumptive Republican Nominee May Descend on San Diego on Sunday, May 8th

By Doug Porter

Officials in San Diego are preparing for an as yet unannounced visit on Sunday, May 8th by presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump, according to a report broadcast on 10News Tuesday night.

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Celebrating 40 Years of the Ocean Beach Planning Board and OB Community Plan

May 3, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

party hats balloon

All this week we will be celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the popular vote that established the Ocean Beach Planning Board and the first OB community plan.

It was on May 4, 1976 that thousands of OB residents, renters, property owners and business-owners voted in the very first panel to sit on the very first Planning Board for the community. It was truly an historic occasion because nothing like that had ever occurred in San Diego before.

So, to highlight this history, all week we will be publishing comments, notes, stories and accounts of the May ’76 vote and memories of those who served on the Board back then as well as over its 40 year history.

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Whose University? UCSD’s Racial Climate and the Making of Student Minorities

May 3, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for Whose University? UCSD’s Racial Climate and the Making of Student Minorities

By the Lumumba-Zapata Collective

On the night of Friday April 8th, the University of California, San Diego campus was covered with anti-Mexican slogans chalked by supporters of presidential candidate, Donald Trump. Following a string of throughout the country (including incidents at UC Berkeley, Santa Barbara, and Riverside), slogans supporting Trump have persistently coincided with xenophobic attacks against underrepresented communities, specifically Latino, Black, Arab and Muslim students.

The recent chalking incident at UCSD specifically targeted incoming admitted students of Mexican descent. The perpetrators chalked “Build the Wall,” “Deport them All,” and “Fuck Mexicans” …

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Coastal Commission Still to Rule on Huge 63-Unit Project Slated for Mission Beach School Site

May 3, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Coastal Commission Still to Rule on Huge 63-Unit Project Slated for Mission Beach School Site

There’s a whole bunch of Mission Beach residents who have been questioning and challenging a proposed 63-unit development project being slated for the community’s former elementary school site. As the LA Times reports, they are now pinning their hopes of blocking it with the California Coastal Commission, which still has not finalized any decision on the 2 acre project.

With the Coastal Commission raising some issues about the development, the stakes just got higher for the developer, Chris McKellar, who is currently resting his laurels on the fact that the City Council voted 6 to 2 in favor of the project. Residents are banking that the Commission will overturn this decision in early 2017.

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Wealth Gap in America with Jeoffry Gordon, M.D.

May 2, 2016 by Staff
Thumbnail image for Wealth Gap in America with Jeoffry Gordon, M.D.

Here is a video of Dr. Jeoff Gordon speaking on the wealth gap in America using lots of slides and graphics. In the vid, he is introduced by Derek Casady, of People’s Food Store Co-op.

Dr. Gordon practiced medicine for decades, and until retirement a few years ago had a thriving office in Ocean Beach.

Before coming to OB, Dr. Gordon had an office in Pacific Beach, and was one of the founders of the very first Free Clinic in Mission Beach in the early Seventies.

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Nuclear Shutdown News – April 2016: Chernobyl + 16 – It’s far from over

May 2, 2016 by Michael Steinberg
Thumbnail image for Nuclear Shutdown News  – April 2016: Chernobyl + 16 – It’s far from over

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the nuclear power industry in the US and beyond, and highlights the efforts of those who are working to create a nuclear free world. Here is our April 2016 issue.

Chernobyl + 16: It’s far from over

On April 26, 1986, a nuclear disaster began at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the Ukraine, then ruled by the USSR. Thirty years later, that disaster is far from over.

In their 1990 book, Deadly Deceit: Low Level Fallout, High level Cover-Up, authors Jay Gould and Benjamin Goldman devote an entire chapter to the Chernobyl debacle. The doomed Chernobyl nuke was one of 4 reactors operating at the site at the time. It took until 2000 for the other 3 to be permanently shut down.

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Getting Sandbagged by SANDAG: San Diego’s Failure of Imagination

May 2, 2016 by Jim Miller

soon san diego traffic

By Jim Miller

Last week Kevin Faulconer got some good press when, “under pressure from environmental groups,” he voted no to putting SANDAG’s deeply inadequate tax measure on the ballot citing San Diego’s Climate Action plan as one of the factors in his decision. Faulconer’s opponent, Ed Harris, was quick to point out that Faulconer’s vote was less about climate change and more about pleasing his anti-tax Republican base.

In a press release the Harris campaign observed that:

“Kevin Faulconer is using the environment as a prop to cover up his real reason for voting against SANDAG’s proposed infrastructure plan today,” said mayoral candidate Ed Harris. “He claims the reason for his no vote is the plan’s incompatibility with the city’s Climate Action Plan, but in October of last year he said just the opposite.”

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Daniel Berrigan Dead at 94

May 2, 2016 by Source

Jesuit priest lived life of peace activism

By Andrea Germanos / CommonDreams

Dan Berrigan visit 1982

Daniel Berrigan—Jesuit priest, peace activist, poet, author, and inspiration to countless people—died on Saturday. He was 94 years old.

When America magazine asked a then-88-year-old Berrigan if he had any regrets over the course of his long life, he replied, “I could have done sooner the things I did, like Catonsville.”

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The 2016 Mayoral Contest: Lori Saldaña Aims to Offer a Choice, Not an Echo

April 29, 2016 by Doug Porter

Lori Saldana official picBy Doug Porter

If you buy into the notion, currently in vogue with supporters of Senator Bernie Sanders, of Democratic party orthodoxy as being little more than Republican lite, then Lori Saldaña would the logical choice to vote for in the upcoming San Diego mayoral primary.

The former assemblywoman has an activist pedigree, a history of hard-fought grassroots campaigns, and the enmity of the local political establishment.

In January Saldaña launched an independent campaign to challenge Kevin Faulconer, undaunted by a million dollar war chest (including PACs) and the advantages accompanying incumbency in America’s Finest City. The current mayor’s single greatest accomplishment thus far, in my opinion, has been directing the public relations players at his disposal in a non-stop symphony of praise for their leader, so it ain’t gonna be easy.

Environmental Activism, Plus

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County Board of Supervisors Extends Moratorium on Medical Marijuana Projects

April 29, 2016 by Source
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By Terrie Best / San Diego ASA / April 28, 2016

San Diego, CA – The County Board of Supervisors met Wednesday to vote on staff recommendations to extend a moratorium against new medical marijuana activity in San Diego County. The 45 day moratorium was put in place on March 16 and was largely a knee-jerk reaction to a group of community members from Julian and Ramona.

At the March meeting the Board instructed staff to come back with options including a ban on medical cannabis; enhanced enforcement and more zoning restrictions among other things. Instead, staff returned with a request for more time which was ultimately granted.

While the moratorium was extended to ten and a half months, the vote came with instructions to give consideration for those medical cannabis projects already in the building and permitting pipelines.

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San Diego Homeless Advocates Rock the City Council

April 29, 2016 by Source

Screenshot of Channel 8 video on San Diego using rocks to drive away homeless

Anatomy of a Successful Press Event in Protest of City Placement of Rocks to Displace Homeless

By Jeeni Criscenzo

Some days I marvel at the value of the network of good people that has grown in our community—people involved in so many different areas, all so critical, who come together to support one another in our various efforts. Without that, we could have never pulled off the very successful action on Tuesday April 19 in protest of the City’s reprehensible decision to fill an underpass in Sherman Heights where homeless people take shelter with rocks.

PLAY VIDEO INSIDE

This was a case where all systems were running at peak performance. For the sake of all of those younger people who are just starting to dip their toes in the art of community organizing, here’s how it goes when you have a cadre of like-minded friends to call upon for a cause.

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“This Mayor Has Got to Go!” Faulconer Opponents Say at Town Council Debate

April 28, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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Mayor Kevin Faulconer wasn’t too popular at last night’s Ocean Beach Town Council meeting during the “mayoral dialogue”.

First, he didn’t show.

Second, both his opponents, former-Assemblywoman Lori Saldana, and San Diego Lifeguard leader Ed Harris, trained their sights on Faulconer and not on each other.

And third, this was Ocean Beach – the liberal bastion of the city – which usually votes Democratic; Kevin Faulconer is a Republican.

But still, Faulconer used to represent Ocean Beach – and the rest of District 2 – when he sat on the City Council. And the crowd of the 80 or so good-natured souls in attendance probably would have applauded him if he had showed. But he didn’t and neither did his aide, John Ly.

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Rule By American Dynasty Sinks Deeper Into Our Democracy

April 28, 2016 by Source

idealismBy Frank Thomas

I’ve always thought it would be nearly impossible for Bernie to ultimately win over the establishment status-quo Democratic forces so typically fearful of genuine progressive change … so caught up in an incremental rear guard progress and presidential nomination campaign that is manipulatively, simplistically characterized as one of ‘idealism’ versus ‘realism. So, the message in short seems to be, vote for the candidate of “lowered expectations.”

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The 2016 Mayoral Contest: Ed Harris Takes a Stand Against Business as Usual

April 28, 2016 by Doug Porter

“The City is a huge landlord. It has to quit giving away our own assets.”

By Doug Porter

Ed-Harris-camp-fotoEd Harris wasn’t supposed to ruffle any feathers during his appointed term on the San Diego City Council.

The former marine and lifeguard union leader was supposed to be a bookmark, holding down the Second District seat vacated by now-Mayor Kevin Faulconer until election day rolled around. The city charter terms for this temporary tenure included a proviso barring him from actually running for the seat in fall 2014 election.

Then it came time for the kind of wink, wink, nod, nod agreement involving trading off public assets for political gain considered normal in America’s Finest City. Harris surprised a lot of people by taking a principled and public stand against what he believed was a sweetheart deal involving proposed lease terms of Belmont Park to Pacifica Enterprises.

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