San Diego

The New Democrats Crab-Walking with the Radical Right, San Diego Style

October 16, 2017 by Jim Miller

Last week in the second part of my review of Nancy MacLean’s “Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America,” I noted how the complicity of neoliberal Democrats with the aims of the Right is one of the reasons why fighting the Koch brothers of the world has been so difficult. Thinking they are reasonably compromising or engaging in a savvy war of position, these Democrats are instead simply crab walking us over a cliff.

More specifically, following MacLean’s argument, I observe that:

The key here was the embrace of privatization as the point of the spear, the starting point for their greater, unstated war on government and democracy itself. One of things that made this effective, of course, was the fact that many neoliberal Democrats were unwitting accomplices in this slow-motion demolition of democracy. MacLean again notes:

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SANDAG Reform Becomes Reality; Governor Brown Signs Assembly Bill No.805

October 13, 2017 by Doug Porter

I’m pleased to report some good news today. San Diego’s regional transportation agency is going to change the way they do business, thanks to AB 805, legislation introduced by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher and signed by the Governor on Wednesday, October 11th.

This is a big deal, even if most of the benefits are in the future. The balance of power is shifting to areas of the region where most people live. The old boy network’s influence over long-term planning for San Diego County has been diminished.

This is a good thing for the quality of the air we breathe, the needs of lower income and minority communities, and the future of transportation. No longer will the State of California’s environmental standards be relegated to a lower priority in planning.

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San Diego’s Dangling Participles

October 13, 2017 by Source

By Norma Damashek / San Diego Free Press

Dangling participle – a piece of a sentence in search of its true identity. Here’s an example: Sitting in the boss’s chair, deadly disease runs rampant among homeless people on the streets of San Diego.

What’s wrong with this sentence? Something’s missing. We can fix it this way: Sitting in the boss’s chair, Mayor Kevin Faulconer twiddles his thumbs while deadly disease runs rampant among homeless people….

An equally correct alternative might be: Sitting in the boss’s chair, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors lazily ignore their civic responsibilities as deadly disease runs rampant….

Once we get the grammar right, the picture becomes clear. Locally-elected officials – by choosing to ignore their political duty

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Is San Diego Councilman Chris Ward Catering to Airbnb?

October 3, 2017 by Source

By John Thickstun, Esq.

In February 2016, Senator Dianne Feinstein received a letter from a concerned San Diego resident about the growing number of short term vacation rentals in her neighborhood.

Senator Dianne Feinstein replied:

I believe that the growth of short term vacation rentals will also cause the already high cost of living to further increase and exacerbate the shortage of affordable housing, as homeowners and renters will leave their units to rent them out to hotel users.

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San Diego City Council Member Zapf Unacquainted With Cannabis Science

September 28, 2017 by Source

By Terrie Best /San Diego Americans for Safe Access / September 27, 2017

As the victory at City Council sinks in and a path to legitimacy will soon exist for San Diego’s cannabis supply chain, it is important to take a look at some of the city council members who made this happen and some of whom obstructed it.

In July, the city staff offered two options for opening zones, beyond retail, for the cannabis industry in the city of San Diego. Option One would

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Petition: Investigate Mayor Faulconer for Criminal Negligence in Hepatitis A Outbreak

September 20, 2017 by Source

Faulconer Has Ignored Calls for More Public Restrooms Downtown Since 2014

By Martha Sullivan / Change.org

The San Diego City government, led by Mayor Faulconer, has been told for three years that more public restrooms are needed downtown.

But the Mayor has consistently cried poor mouth — despite spending $2.1 million on an unplanned EIR for an upgraded Qualcomm Football Stadium during this time.

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Endangered Trees at Torrey Pines State Reserve Should Be Tested for Aluminum Poisoning

September 19, 2017 by Source

View of dead trees at Torrey Pines Reserve

By Dale Williams / San Diego Free Press

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve just north of San Diego is a majestic wilderness with views to the ocean, scenic sandstone cliffs and is home to one of the world’s rarest pine trees, the Torrey Pine. Anyone who has visited Torrey Pines Reserve in the past two years will have seen the large numbers of trees that died.

You see them along both sides of the main road to the visitor center, along Guy Fleming Trail, and several other locations. As I watched them die, I wondered why nobody was testing the soil, analyzing tree samples, or doing anything that might help determine the cause. I wanted to do something but didn’t know what. The media reported that the die-off was due to drought and beetles,

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The Long and Short of Why Short Term Vacation Rentals Are Prohibited in San Diego

September 11, 2017 by Source

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By John Thickstun

Short term vacation rentals fall into the Commercial Uses category, Visitor Accommodations – San Diego Municipal Code (SDMC) section 131.0112(a)(6)(K) which reads,

“Uses that provide lodging or a combination of lodging, food and entertainment, primarily to visitors and tourists.”

Hotels, motels and Bed & Breakfast Establishments are also defined in the Code as visitor accommodations. Visitor Accommodations is a use category in the Use Regulations Table for Residential Zones (SDMC section 131.0422).

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Doug’s Monster Calendar for Progressive Activists in San Diego, Sept. 9th – 18th

September 9, 2017 by Doug Porter

The Trump administration continues its assault on decency: immigrants are targeted, college rapists are protected, and a corporate crime wave of unheard of magnitude is sweeping the nation. Locally, the politics of disgust have fomented a Hepatitis A epidemic, in large part because making it hard to find a place to take a shit is part of the city’s program for the homeless.

So the struggle continues. Resist. Persist. Keep a song in your heart. And a smile on your face.

So what will you do? Check out this week’s Progressive Calendar listings below. Following those listings are upcoming events of national importance, along with opportunities for organizational involvement.

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Republican Dumanis Declares for County Supervisor

September 7, 2017 by Doug Porter

Fourth District includes Ocean Beach and Good Part of Point Loma

Former County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis has formally declared her intention to run for the Fourth District Supervisor seat. Finally.

The 2018 election represents an opportunity to begin changing that reality. As is true with any big institution, change will not happen overnight. But you have to start somewhere.

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San Diego Union-Tribune Editorial: A Spurious Attack on Teachers and Public Education

September 7, 2017 by Source

Banner on ground reading "WE ARE STUDENTS NOT CUSTOMERS"

By Thomas Ultican / Tultican

An editorial in The San Diego Union Tribune says that Democrats in the Trump era see themselves as protecting the disadvantaged but that’s not true when it comes to schools. The editorial claims, “When it comes to public education, however, there’s fresh evidence that state Democratic leaders are the ones siding with the powerful forces over the disadvantaged.”

Those powerful forces – in an era when billionaires like Carrie Walton Penner, Reed Hastings and Eli Broad flex their financial muscle to privatize schools – are teachers and their unions. The evidence presented is bogus and the conclusions reached are based on willful ignorance.

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San Diego Rallies in Response to Ending DACA

September 6, 2017 by Doug Porter

“I used to be in the shadows, and I refuse to go back into the shadows.”–Osmar Abad Cruz, DACA recipient

A Tuesday Sept. 5th night rally at the County administration building by immigration advocates and allies was part of a nationwide response to the announcement that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA program was finished.

The beauty of a San Diego sunset provided a vivid contrast to the ugliness being thrust upon nearly 8 million people in the United States brought in as children by undocumented parents.

In New York and Washington, Chicago and Los Angeles, along with dozens of other cities around the United States

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Settlement Reached Over San Onofre Nuke Waste

September 5, 2017 by Michael Steinberg

Nuclear Shutdown News August 2017

By Michael Steinberg /Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the nuclear power industry in the US and abroad, and highlights the efforts of those who are working to create a nuclear free world. Here is our August 2017 report.

San Onofre Nuke Plant’s Solution to its Megatons of Radioactive Waste–Make it Someone Else’s Problem

On August 28 the San Diego Union-Tribune broke the story: “Court settlement looks to move nuclear waste from San Onofre”

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The Miramar Air Show: Just Don’t Go

August 31, 2017 by Source

Aircraft on display at the MCAS Miramar Air Show.

By Dave Patterson, San Diego Veterans for Peace

The San Diego Veterans For Peace is now in its second year of working to influence the public away from attending the MCAS Miramar Air Show. We view American militarism as a clear and present danger to our society and the world, and the most visible symbol of militarism in San Diego is the annual Miramar Air Show.

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Running on Thoughts and Gasoline

August 31, 2017 by Source

By Bob Dorn / San Diego Free Press

Heading west in my car on University Ave.
tuned in to 88.3
in the heart of North Park, just past the emptied dollar Arab store
(a “for lease” sign posted, probably another craft brewery in the making)
and approaching that no-name street,
I see an average American four-door has its wheel aggressively cranked
to enter my lane.

Driven by a greybeard waving two American Flags

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San Diego Lifeguards Prevented from Going to Houston to Help in Rescues

August 29, 2017 by Source

Editor: The following is a letter to the governor of Texas, the mayor of Houston and the citizens of that city in crisis from Ed Harris, a San Diego lifeguard sergeant. Harris is part of a nationally-recognized River Rescue Team that went to New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. They packed this time in preparation to go to Houston – but were blocked from going. Read this disturbing letter.

Dear Governor Abbott, Mayor Turner and citizens of Houston:

I am sorry to tell you that we are not coming.

I am a San Diego Lifeguard Sergeant. We have a River Rescue Team that is nationally recognized. Our guards spent weeks rescuing people during hurricane Katrina.

We saw this storm approaching Thursday and packed our bags. The team hooked up the taxpayer funded CAL-OES trailer and boats that have sat in storage for this type of event.

They waited for the call to go that would surely come quickly.

It did not.

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Fear Mongering 101: Antifa as the New ACORN

August 26, 2017 by Doug Porter

Be prepared to be very scared. Mask-wearing people clad in black are reportedly coming to a neighborhood near you very soon. You’ll want to clutch your pearls as they snarl at puppies, menace children, and spray paint obscenities in the neighborhood. Fox’s Sean Hannity will curl his upper lip, calling on milquetoast mayors for law and order in the streets.

Somewhere in the United States as I’m writing this, faux documentarian James O’Keefe is undoubtedly planning his next ‘gotcha’ production. I’m sure it will involve implied violence with not-so-subtle overtones of racism.

Something called Antifa has made itself known to fright wing activists desperate for any counterpoint to the insanity of Fearless Leader and his feckless followers.

So it’s time for a little common sense discussion. Does anybody remember ACORN?

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12th Annual Suffrage Parade to Celebrating Women’s Equality Day- Sat. Aug. 26

August 26, 2017 by Staff

The Women’s Museum of California is holding its 12th annual Suffrage Parade Saturday August 26th, in Balboa Park.

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Community Groups to Oppose San Diego Mayor’s Secret Police Chief Panel

August 25, 2017 by Source

By Edward Sifuentes / ACLU San Diego

A coalition of community-based organizations gathered on Wednesday in front of City Hall to express their disappointment in Mayor Faulconer’s flawed plan to select our next chief of police. Specifically, the group called on the mayor to do away with a proposal for a secret selection panel and asked for additional community forums in Districts 8 and 9.

In attendance were representatives of Alliance San Diego, Earl B. Gilliam Bar Association, San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association, San Diego Organizing Project, Mid-City CAN, Center on Policy Initiatives, The San Diego LGBT Community Center, and Community Assistance Support Team, and the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties.

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Oppose San Diego Border Wall and Divest

August 25, 2017 by Source

By Kilian Colin, Member of the Committee for Better Banks

The resolution recently proposed by District 9 Councilwoman Georgette Gomez calls the border area “among the most unique, diverse and beautiful regions in the world,” and the wall plans “offensive and damaging symbols of fear and division that will increase tensions with Mexico.”

She also says the wall would damage the economy and disrupt joint tourism promotions between San Diego and Tijuana.

She also says the wall would damage the economy and disrupt joint tourism promotions between San Diego and Tijuana.

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Trump’s Suspension of Obama’s Desegregation Policy Impacts San Diego Housing Vouchers

August 24, 2017 by Source

On August 11, the Department of Housing and Urban Development suspended key components of an Obama Administration rule that addressed growing segregation in the Housing Choice Voucher Program. Only days later, the Trump Administration declared plans to target and dismantle affirmative action in universities.

Façade of Housing and Urban Development building

By Parisa Ijadi-Maghsoodi / UrbDeZine

In an effort to address our nation’s increasing levels of segregation, the Obama Administration implemented a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Final Rule that changed the way 23 metropolitan areas issued vouchers to low-income tenants.

The goal was simple: improve the health of low-income families by increasing access to areas of lower poverty and higher opportunity.

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Pillars of the Community: Seekers of Unity in a Climate of White Supremacy

August 23, 2017 by Ernie McCray

Group of people gathered in front of mural

I heard talk on TV about people being “stunned” that the president would say that both sides were at fault when he had “rebuked” (if you really want to call it that) the white nationalists’ stunningly violent and reckless behavior in Virginia just the day before.

Stunned about what? I would have been stunned if he hadn’t taken his words back. What happened was the dude desperately had to get back to his true self, back to speaking from the dark places in his mind.

And the way his mind works

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False Narratives Drive Charter School Advocacy in San Diego UT Op-Ed

August 23, 2017 by Source

Thomas Ultican / Tultican

Another editorial in the San Diego Union-Tribune attacks teachers and the California public education system. The author has a personal work history of harming California’s public schools by scheming to privatize them. The editorial was written by Rae Belisle. She is identified as a former member of California’s State Board of Education, but she is so much more than that.

Ms. Belise opened her attack,

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Update on DA Case Against San Diego Cannabis Attorney

August 11, 2017 by Source

From San Diego Chapter – Americans for Safe Access

Local cannabis attorney charged in the MedWest raid, Jessica McElfresh will be in court on Friday, August 11. The hearing is required in order to set search parameters in the prosecutor’s examination of Jessica’s documents and devices.

The devices were seized earlier this year when a warrant was served on Jessica’s law office and home. At that time, charges of conspiracy and a host of cannabis related criminal charges were filed against Jessica and several MedWest employees including the president of the organization, James Slatic.

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San Diego Sheriffs’ Inactions Toward Alt-Right Counter-Protestors at Impeachment March to Be Raised at Law Enforcement Review Board – Tues., Aug. 8

August 8, 2017 by Staff

You’re invited: CLERB Board Meeting – 5:30 PM, Tuesday, August 8th, SD County Administration Center.

The inactions of the San Diego Sheriffs Department at the July 2nd Impeachment March outside the County Administration Building will be discussed during the upcoming Community Law Enforcement Review Board meeting on August 8th.

Doug Porter at SDFP described it (go here for much more):

… Sheriff’s Deputies initially stood by idly and watched as members of the ‘Proud Boys’ disrupted, threatened and harassed attendees and speakers.

Several members of the Impeachment March SD planning group (and others) have been meeting on a weekly basis to address the concerns regarding the Sheriff Department’s response to the “Proud Boys’” aggressive behavior and attempts to incite violence at our July 2nd event. Former Assemblywoman Lori Saldana has been part of this effort.

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A Tale of Two Very Different School Board Meetings

August 8, 2017 by Source

By Thomas Ultican / Tultican

It’s not always pretty when the public gets a chance to voice its opinion, but it is democratic. Recently, I attended the Sweetwater Union High School District (SUHSD) and the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) school board meetings. It was reminiscent of Dicken’s depiction of Paris and London.

Sweetwater, which has been living a nightmare for most of the previous decade, was like being at camp sitting around a bonfire singing “John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt.” It wasn’t quite “Kumbaya,” but it was close.

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Vapor Beds and Other Non-Facts

August 3, 2017 by Source

Rows of institutional style beds with superimposed text: Vapor Beds

By Jeeni Criscenzo /San Diego Free Press

Let me start with an apology. At the San Diego Select Committee for Homelessness meeting on Monday, July 24, I made some comments in response to a report by the new CEO of the Regional Taskforce on the Homeless, Gordon Walker, which came out sounding critical and petty.

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Bombshell Report Details SANDAG Misdeeds, Cover-Up

August 2, 2017 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

The Board of Directors for the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) will be convening on the morning of Friday, August 4 to hear results from an investigation by the law firm Hueston Hennigan into reports published in Voice of San Diego concerning misrepresentations about revenue forecasts used to promote ballot measures.

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Summer Chronicles #4: Crossing Coronado Ferry

July 31, 2017 by Jim Miller

One of the great pleasures of San Diego in the summer is joining the gaggle of tourists and bike riders for the short trip across the bay from downtown to Coronado.

Like Allen Ginsberg who, in his poem “A Supermarket in California,” touches on Walt Whitman’s book and feels absurd–but wanders through the aisles dreaming nonetheless—I stand in line with young couples holding hands and whole families grinning and gabbing in the midday sun and muse about that which connects us all without our knowing it.

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A Brief History of SANDAG’s Climate Change Culpability

July 26, 2017 by Source

An agency incapable of change: the story of power, money, and deception in America’s Finest City

By Duncan McFetridge / San Diego Free Press

California has aggressively pursued policies to address climate change. Beginning with Assembly Bill 32, enacted in 2006, the state set in motion a set of regulations designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The most notable action is the cap-and-trade policy. Because automobiles create about 40 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, the legislature enacted Senate Bill 375 in 2008. This measure attacks greenhouse gas emissions by requiring regional planning agencies — such as the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) — to prepare long range regional transportation plans to reduce them.

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