Labor

June Vote Set for San Diego Minimum Wage Increase

February 11, 2016 by Doug Porter

Todd Gloria

By Doug Porter

Voters in the city of San Diego will get a chance to weigh in on an ordinance providing stepped increases in the minimum wage and up to five earned sick days annually in the June 2016 primary election.

A historic wrong will be righted with public approval of the measure, implementation of which was delayed by a deceptive petition campaign financed by out of town interests whose business model depends on government assistance to their employees.

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Quality Of Life Coalition Calls on SANDAG to Place Vision on Ballot

February 8, 2016 by Jim Miller

quality of lifeBy Jim Miller

In a recent interview, Naomi Klein discussed the reality facing anyone interested in promoting meaningful climate action.

The “structural problem” we face, according to Klein, is that people can “simultaneously understand the medium to long term risks of climate change” and still believe it is in their “short term economic [or political] interest” to continue business as usual.

This is precisely the situation concerned San Diegans face when dealing with the San Diego Association of Governments’ (SANDAG) limited vision when it comes to taking the actions needed to address the pressing threat of climate change at the local level.

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Lessons From 1965: Why Employment-Based Reform Is Xenophobia In Disguise

February 1, 2016 by Source
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By Carlos Batara

Politics is a game of unintended consequences. One needs to look no further than the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

As a San Diego / San Bernardino immigration lawyer, it is not uncommon to hear immigration activists praise the virtues of the Act. Yet, a retrospective review reveals that it was politics as usual. Benevolence was not the foremost consideration of most in Congress.

The Civil Rights Connection: Fact And Fiction

The Act was inspired by the Civil Rights Act as well as our nation’s quest for ethnic diversity and racial equality. In some political corners, the immigration bill was characterized as a progressive extension of the civil rights movement.

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Whither 2016 Ballot Measures?: The Oracle Jerry Brown Weighs In

January 25, 2016 by Jim Miller

Photo by Freedom To Marry

By Jim Miller

As I noted in my New Year’s column, many in California’s labor and progressive circles had high hopes for ballot measures extending Proposition 30’s taxes on the rich to fully fund education and for raising the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour.

But it did not take long for Governor Jerry Brown to rain on his presumed allies’ parade.

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Reader Rave: ‘Lets Recognize San Diego’s Good Samaritans’

January 15, 2016 by Source

medalBy Mic Porte

San Diego hosts many people. We advertise our world famous beaches, attractions and weather to the world. We invite people to come. We pay fancy advertising campaigns on the billboards of Times Square in New York City at New Year’s.

The police, fire-rescue, lifeguards and Coast Guard cannot patrol every inch of coastline, border, road, etc. It is a tribute to the Good Samaritans among us that there are not more tragedies along the coast, on the roads and in other public places.

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Baby Skylar Rae Arrives in Sedona

January 4, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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My grand-daughter finally arrived on January 2nd in the New Year – Skylar Rae Seguin was born at 4:50 a.m. Sedona, Arizona time.

She and mom – Michelle – and dad – Forrest – are all doing fine. Tired but fine.

Skylar came in and weighed 7 pounds 12 ounces, and was 20 inches in length.

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What’s Up With the OB Rag? – Editordude in Sedona Waiting for Daughter’s Baby

December 28, 2015 by Staff

Yeah, we know. The OB Rag has been down a number of days just recently.

And it’s all because Editordude took off for Sedona, Arizona last week – where his daughter, Michelle, is about to give birth.

December 28th is her “due date” but as anybody whose ever been a mother knows, the due date is a statistical figure and not every baby is big on statistics.

So, editordude is hanging out in Sedona – along with some other relatives – waiting for the birth.

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“Refugees, Late Summer Night” by Steve Kowit – An Excerpt From Sunshine/Noir II

December 22, 2015 by Source

By Steve Kowit

Woke with a start, the dogs barking out by the fence,
yard flooded with light. Groped my way to the window.
Out on the road a dozen quick figures
hugging the shadows: bundles slung at their shoulders
& water jugs at their hips. You could hear,
under the rattle of wind, as they passed,
the crunch of sneakers on gravel. Pollos. Illegals
who’d managed to slip past the Border Patrol, …

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News from Ocean Beach and Point Loma – Mid-December 2015

December 14, 2015 by Frank Gormlie

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

@ Will New Vegan Restaurant at Sunset Plaza Be a “Drive-up”?

@ OB Christmas Tree Has Given Twice But Why So Many Cops?

@ Lifeguards May Halt Rescues in Polluted Water Until Healthcare Coverage Improves

@ Midway Fatal Shooting by Cop – Victim’s Brother Speaks Out – ‘No way was he attacking the cop’

@ Three Surfers Rescued Dec. 12th – One With Head Injury – Another Surfer Rescued Off Ladera
@ Newport Ave to Get a Make-Over
@ OB’s Dave Martin Joins Pt Loma Association Board
@ Props for OB’s “Holiday Parade”
@ Short Term Rentals Ordinance Goes Back to the Drawing Board and Peninsulans Weigh in
@ Short Term Rentals Slip

@ OB Makes “Young and Single” Neighborhood List – Duh!
@ Hearing for Point Loma Man Charged with Human Trafficking
@ Homeless Guy in PB Protests McDonalds
@ “Grimace Rock” Off Tourmaline a Hidden Danger
@ Some Reminiscing About Point Loma During World War II

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In San Diego and Elsewhere, Increasing Demands for Police Reform

December 10, 2015 by Doug Porter

San diego police carsSDPD Union Contracts Under Scrutiny

By Doug Porter

Despite promises of increased transparency and action to prevent misconduct, the San Diego Police Department continues to draw criticism.

Law enforcement agencies around the country are under increasing scrutiny, as reports about use of excessive force, sexual assault, and abuse of power surface. Here, I’ll take a look at recent developments both locally and nationally.

Taking things one step further, activists associated with Black Lives Matter have broadened their Campaign Zero to include researching police union-negotiated labor agreements in many jurisdictions with the aim of flagging provisions delaying the interrogation of officers being investigated for use of force and used in erasing documentation of abuse.

San Diego is one of the cities under scrutiny.

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15 Years Ago Today – Dec 1 – Was a High Water Mark for OB Activism

December 1, 2015 by Frank Gormlie

In 2000 OBGO Held Its First ‘Coming-Out’ Community Forum

Grassroots activism has been in the air in OB of late, with a definite spike last year during the campaign to have the OB Community Plan approved, but it also has been seen this year around the Plan at the Coastal Commission. Prior to 2014, however, there had been many a lean year in terms of genuine local activism across the village, many a moon had passed without throwing shadows on such OBcean activity as petitions and community mobilizations.

And that’s the way grassroots activism is, it comes and goes – like the tides that lap OB’s beaches and cliffs.

Coincidentally or not, there has been some talk – also of late – of a former OB activist group. It was mentioned in an article about ‘why SeaWorld can’t build a hotel at its current location’, and it’s also been longingly mentioned at some meetings of another group, the OB Citizens Against Privacy Abuse.

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Sen Bernie Sanders on Democratic Socialism: Let Us Finish What FDR and MLK Started

November 27, 2015 by Source

The following are the prepared remarks for a speech given by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) at Georgetown University on Thursday, November 19th, 2015.

sanders_remarks.jpg

In his inaugural remarks in January 1937, in the midst of the Great Depression, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt looked out at the nation and this is what he saw.

He saw tens of millions of its citizens denied the basic necessities of life.

He saw millions of families trying to live on incomes so meager that the pall of family disaster hung over them day by day.

He saw millions denied education, recreation, and the opportunity to better their lot and the lot of their children.

He saw millions lacking the means to buy the products they needed and by their poverty and lack of disposable income denying employment to many other millions.

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Excerpts From Sunshine/Noir II: Excavating San Diego Noir — A Jumping-Off Place

November 24, 2015 by Jim Miller

san diego noir

By Jim Miller

In Mike Davis’s seminal discussion of noir in City of Quartz he defines the genre as “a fantastic convergence of American ‘tough-guy’ realism, Weimar expressionism, and existentialized Marxism—all focused on unmasking a ‘bright, guilty place.’”

Born in the minds of the “Depression-crazed middle classes” of southern California, the “nightmare anti-myth of noir” trafficked in alienation and a distrust of the morality of capitalism. More specifically, Davis notes how “noir everywhere insinuated contempt for a depraved business culture while it ….”

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America’s Same Old Sad Story: Why the White Working Class is Killing Itself

November 16, 2015 by Jim Miller

despairBy Jim Miller

Last week brought us the stark news that America’s middle-aged white working class is killing itself.

Princeton economists Angus Deaton and Anne Case released a report documenting that:

The mortality rate for whites 45 to 54 years old with no more than a high school education increased by 134 deaths per 100,000 people from 1999 to 2014.”

And strikingly, “rising annual death rates among this group are being driven not by the big killers like heart disease and diabetes but by an epidemic of suicides and afflictions stemming from substance abuse: alcoholic liver disease and overdoses of heroin and prescription opioids.”

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Fighting for More than $15

November 9, 2015 by Jim Miller

Teachers, Students, and Community Fight for $15 and More

3:00 Rally and March on Tuesday Nov. 10th at City College near Park and B

f4f strike poster nov 10By Jim Miller

For progressives it is the worst of times and the best of times. As I noted on Labor Day, the American labor movement faces an existential crisis in the form of a looming Supreme Court decision that may essentially make the whole country “right to work” as the trend toward greater income inequality continues unabated.

Our sitting Democratic President has made pushing a terrible neoliberal trade deal, the Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership, one of his legacy items, and the news on climate change seems to get worse by the day as our leaders bicker over half measures.

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The Fall of the Haggen Grocery Chain: A 21st Century Morality Story

November 4, 2015 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

The collapse of the Haggen grocery store chain just over month ago was a sad moment for neighborhoods and thousands of employees throughout California. More than two dozen stores in the San Diego region will soon be (or already are) closing, leaving some vacant properties behind and about a thousand employees wondering about paychecks as the holidays approach.

Now, thanks to reporting by the Seattle Times, we know the inside scoop on how this deal came down, and it ain’t pretty. Private equity investors flipped the real estate for cash, handed operations to an overwhelmed management team and will see their risks marginalized by the bankruptcy courts.

It’s all legal; another example of greed run amok. They win, we lose. And we’re supposed to accept this as the “natural order” of things in a market economy.

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The Only Licensed Medical Pot Shop in the Midway Has 5,000 Patients

October 22, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Hannah Steria showed me into the cramped back office of the only licensed medical marijuana storefront in City Council District 2, the Point Loma Patients Consumer Cooperative, one of the only places in the building where we could do an interview in private. The place was crowded with patients and staff – two friendly security guards were very visible. We were about 2 miles as the seagull flies from downtown Ocean Beach – and this was OB’s closest licensed pot storefront.

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“Sunshine/Noir II” Is for Bibliophiles

October 15, 2015 by Anna Daniels

San Diego City Works Press’ distinctive approach to book as object

Editor: Here is Anna Daniels’ intro to an anthology on the underside of the San Diego – Tijuana region, “Sunshine/ Noir II“, which was just published by City Works Press – and includes a work by Anna Daniels herself, plus works by Doug Porter, Brent Beltran and OB Rag editor Frank Gormlie. Daniels, Porter, Beltran and Gormlie are also editors at the San Diego Free Press, where this was originally published.

By Anna Daniels

Sunshine-Noir-II-WEB“Books are now obsolete, so the library bureaucracy has long sought to become a quasi adult education institution or after-school study venue or someplace in between.” – Former California Assemblyman Larry Stirling on the Central Library.

Contrary to former California Assemblyman Larry Stirling’s recent misinformed and exceedingly dull assertion that “books are now obsolete” the book publishing industry is doing quite fine. It is only doing so well because there continues to be people who want to own and read books, whether in hard copy, paperback or electronic form.

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Sunshine/Noir II: A Continuing Exploration of Literary San Diego and Tijuana

October 12, 2015 by Jim Miller

San Diego City Works Press Celebrates 10th Anniversary with Anthology:
“Sunshine/Noir II: Writing From San Diego and Tijuana”

Friday, October 16th at the Glashaus Mainspace
1815 Main Street in Barrio Logan
Sunshine Noir IIBy Jim Miller

This fall, San Diego City Works Press marks its 10th anniversary with the release of Sunshine/Noir II: Writing from San Diego and Tijuana, an anthology of local writing about San Diego edited by Kelly Mayhew and myself.

As we note in the introduction to the anthology:

It’s been ten years since San Diego City Works Press published its first book, Sunshine/Noir: Writing from San Diego and Tijuana and, much to our surprise in many ways, we are still here.

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One of the Most Dangerous Jobs in OB

October 7, 2015 by Staff
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Think you have a dangerous job?

Check this poor soul working his machine on Sunset Cliffs.

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OBceans at the San Diego School Board

October 7, 2015 by Staff
Thumbnail image for OBceans at the San Diego School Board

Here are the OBceans who attended the San Diego Unified School Board meeting yesterday, Tuesday, Oct. 6th.

They were there to protest the transfer of 2 teachers from OB Elementary.

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Tuesday, October 6th: OB and Point Loma Mobilize – OB Against Teacher Transfers and PL Against Flight Path Changes

October 6, 2015 by Frank Gormlie

Can you hear it? Or feel it?

The entire Peninsula is mobilizing today, Tuesday, October 6th. Both residents in Ocean Beach and residents in Point Loma are mobilizing – for different reasons.

OB residents upset about the transfer of 2 teachers from OB Elementary are planning on attending tonight’s school board meeting. And Point Loma residents upset with the flight path changes proposed by the FAA are planning on attending tonight’s Liberty Station meeting on the issue.

OB Residents to Attend School Board Meeting – 5pm

As OB Rag writer Matt Wood explained yesterday:

Kindergarten teachers Amie Frank and Katy Amberg will be reassigned to different schools in the San Diego Unified School District.

Wood also wrote:

A number of parents are planning to attend Tuesday’s School Board meeting …

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OB Elementary Parents and Students Protest Loss of Two Teachers

October 5, 2015 by Matthew Wood
Thumbnail image for OB Elementary Parents and Students Protest Loss of Two Teachers

By Matthew Wood

Dozens of teachers, students and parents braved the rain this morning – Monday, Oct. 5th – to protest the loss of two teachers at Ocean Beach Elementary School.

Kindergarten teachers Amie Frank and Katy Amberg will be reassigned to different schools in the San Diego Unified School District.

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San Diego Democrats to Progressive Base: We’re Just Not That Into You

October 5, 2015 by Jim Miller

via Facebook

By Jim Miller

Last week over at the San Diego Union-Tribune, Logan Jenkins had some fun pondering what might happen if the “Dems go dark” this upcoming mayoral election. His conclusion? It would push Faulconer to the top-tier of Republican candidates for Governor in 2018:

And, it should be deduced, a cakewalk sweetens Faulconer’s prospects in Sacramento.

In 18 months or so, Republicans will be looking for a governor candidate who can appeal to Latinos and independents as well as the conservative base. The Democrats have a long electable bench. Republicans? Not so much.

If Faulconer is re-elected by a landslide in a major Democratic city, he’s going to rise to the top tier of the GOP’s A+ list.

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Mexico City: October 2nd, 1968 – A Day Mexicans and Gringos Remember

October 2, 2015 by Source
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Editor: October 2nd of 1968 – the day of the massacre in Mexico City by the Mexican government. Every Mexican with a social conscience remembers that fateful and murderous day. Gringos – Americans need to remember that day as well for our government’s collusion in what happened and the cover-up afterwards.

The following was published a number of years ago, but obviously, is still very, very pertinent for all of us today and tomorrow and everyday until those responsible are brought to justice.

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OB Surf Camps Request for Extended Hours Meets Opposition

September 28, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Report of OBTC Meeting of Sept. 23rd

In an historic first – probably – the Ocean Beach Town Council held their monthly public meeting outside. Due to some kind of alarm problem at their usual venue – the Masonic Center – which made it impossible to meet inside, the Town Council met right outside using the blare of lights to illuminate their goings-on. Sixty audience members joined the ten or so OBTC board members.

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After One Year – the Disappearance of 43 Students in Mexico Still on the Minds of Chicano Activists

September 24, 2015 by Source

Ayotzinapa1yearmarch

Protests This Week in San Diego Mourn the Disappearance of 43 Mexican Students

By Elena Marques

Usually writing comes naturally to me, I love sharing the art and culture of our community of Barrio Logan and the words flow easily. However as I sit to write today, there is so much to say that I am at a loss for words.

It’s incredibly difficult to describe the emotions facing the one year anniversary of the mass kidnapping of the 43 students of Ayotzinapa. So much that I found myself putting off writing this because there just doesn’t seem to be sufficient words.

After a year of lucha, marches, protests, art shows, cultural events world wide, a nationwide tour of parents and students from Ayotzinapa creating a solid and intricate network of organizers across the nation, meeting and working with monumental people here in San Diego, across the nation, and across the border, including the spokespeople from the Escuela Normal, it weighs so heavy that we face a year with no answers, no justice.

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Weekly News From Ocean Beach and Beyond

September 23, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Pancake Breakfast Served 850 Mouths – a Great Success

Friends of OB Library Book Sale Sept 26

OB Residents Upset at Stench From Feral Cats in Apartments at Bacon and Santa Cruz

Kevin McKay Passes – Former Peninsula Beacon Editor

Boarded-Up Medical Building in Midway District Sold

Crash at End of I-8 Prompted Sig-Alert – Motorcyclist Loses Foot

Reporter Confronts Man With Stolen Bike from Animal-Rights Activist

Paddle Around OB Pier for Clean Water Expected to Draw Hundreds of Surfers – Sun., Sept. 27th

Fund Raising for Injured San Diego Lifeguard

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The Citizens’ Watch of Mission Valley: “Manchester Project” Approved and Work Begins on Valley’s Largest (and Only) Park

September 22, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for The Citizens’ Watch of Mission Valley: “Manchester Project” Approved and Work Begins on Valley’s Largest (and Only) Park

By Frank Gormlie

To outsiders, Mission Valley at times feels like it’s in its own intense universe. Other times, it seems like San Diego’s own “black hole”- once you enter Mission Valley, you immediately get swept into its traffic craziness and gird-lock.

But what happens in Mission Valley deeply affects the rest of San Diego, especially the coastal areas directly to the west – like Ocean Beach, the Peninsula, Mission Beach, PB – but also other nearby communities such as Clairemont and Grantville. Because of this close proximity these other communities are impacted by both the increases in population and density in Mission Valley and – due to the lack of infrastructure in the valley – are also impacted by strains on their infrastructure.

Because of these – let’s call them – interconnections – …

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Against Work: We Need to Stop Glorifying the Wasting of Our Lives

September 14, 2015 by Jim Miller

worked to deathBy Jim Miller

Recently the New York Times did a thorough exposé of life inside Amazon’s “bruising workplace” where the managers celebrate what they call “Purposeful Darwinism.”

The focus of the piece was not on the poor folks turning around the goods in the warehouses but on the presumably more privileged white-collar workers who are encouraged to regularly challenge and report on one another when they are not busy answering texts at 3:00 AM or pushing themselves to work 80 hours a week.

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