San Diego

Update on DA Case Against San Diego Cannabis Attorney

August 11, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

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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Labor Solidarity in San Diego – Despite Our Differences

July 25, 2017 by Source

By Peter Zscheische / San Diego Free Press

For those who read Jim Miller’s recent articles recounting the unfortunate splits in the local Labor movement, it may seem they result from just personal differences among labor leaders. Jim reported the events that led the AFL-CIO, the parent organization of the Labor Council, to take over the council and restore it to functioning as it should.

However that came about, that is what the AFL-CIO as the parent organization is supposed to do. It will be hard work.

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A New Grand Pedestrian Promenade Through Downtown San Diego?

July 21, 2017 by Source

6 “Green Streets” Planned for Downtown

By Michael-Leonard Creditor / UrbDeZine

View south along 14th Street from Market, San Diego

The idea for grand pedestrian routes through downtown San Diego is not new.

In 1908, John Nolen famously had vision of a Promenade from Balboa Park to San Diego Bay along what is now Cedar Street.

Just imagine how that would be today if it had been implemented 100 years ago, with the beautiful County Administration Building at the bottom of the gentle hill from Park to Bay. Sometimes I think ‘so many opportunities lost’ should be San Diego’s motto.

But, in the fertile minds of planners, this idea hasn’t died. Now, they are being called Green Streets, and six are planned for downtown.

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Innocent People Don’t Need Preemptive Pardons – Progressive Activist Calendar for San Diego: July 21- 31, 2017

July 21, 2017 by Doug Porter

The first 44 Presidents of the United States didn’t contemplate pardoning their children. Now we’ve learned number 45 may be breaking this precedent.

The Washington Post is reporting that Trump is discussing the possibility of pardoning himself, his family, and his closest aides in response to news about investigators looking into his finances as well as his campaign’s complicity in Russia’s subversion of the 2016 election.

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Millennials Are a Beautiful Sight to See

July 20, 2017 by Ernie McCray

Millennials. So many of us see them as lazy, naïve, un-motivated “Me-Me-Me” kinds of human beings who somehow threaten to bring the world to an apocalyptic end – all while taking a selfie.

But from all I’ve ever seen, it’s the Millennials, the 20-year-olds and 30-year-olds — and to think of it, the 40-year-olds — of any time who are at the forefront of societal change.

I mean, Thomas Jefferson was thinking, “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” when he was 33.

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It’s Off to the Races at the Del Mar Death Track

July 20, 2017 by Doug Porter

It’s the time of year when the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club cranks up its well-oiled PR machine. Wednesday, the $100,000 Oceanside Stakes, with a 14-horse field of 3-year-olds competing on the infield grass race track, kicked off a 36 day summer season. Are you excited yet? Don’t be.

There were hats — outrageous hats, funny hats, and flamboyant head coverings–worn by people competing for a $5000 prize and 15 seconds of fame on local TV news. Later this year, the famed Breeder’s Cup, two days of racing moving from track to track each fall, will draw international attention to Del Mar.

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Official Neglect Fosters Wage Theft In San Diego

July 12, 2017 by Doug Porter

Study: Nearly 40,000 workers shorted on paychecks.

By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

What happens if voters approve an increased minimum wage ordinance and government can’t be bothered? Short answer–people get ripped off.

The Mayor’s office in San Diego fought an increase in the local minimum wage at every turn over a two year period. The City Council passed an ordinance raising the wage in steps along with a system for earned sick leave in July 2014. The Mayor vetoed it. The Council passed it over his veto.

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Community Choice Energy: The Power of Competition

July 11, 2017 by Source

By Mark Hughes / San Diego Free Press

Community Choice Energy — also known as Community Choice Aggregation — offers us the chance to bring about a historic event: the conversion of a monopoly into a competitive business.

This happened to the telephone business by breaking up Ma Bell, and to the postal system, when FedEx started up. Would we have the data plans and services, even the phones we have today, without

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San Diego Has $80 Million Worth of Promises for the Homeless

July 11, 2017 by Doug Porter

America’s Finest City isn’t really all that fine, sometimes. Especially if you happen to be a homeless human. Or a whistleblower. Or a woman. Or a protester. The same old, same old, keeps on happening, and like cartoon character Charlie Brown going after that football Lucy’s holding for him, we keep falling for it.

An $80 million commitment in funding for homeless services announced last week is just the latest in a series of moves designed to make people think something is being done by local officials.

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Trump and His Baja Resort Fiasco – ‘Just a Giant Hole in the Ground’

July 6, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

By Frank Gormlie

Ever since Donald Trump announced he was running for president, reports began circulating in the press about all the various failures of his businesses, which included the bankruptcy of his Atlantic City, N.J., casinos, the defunct Trump University here in San Diego where students successfully sued him, and particularly the troubles of his Trump Towers.

For instance, in the saga of the Trump Tower in Tampa, Florida, Trump sold the use of his name to developers of the $300 million condo project for $2 million. The developers collected down payments from investors but after the project went south in 2008, the snookered buyers sued Trump for misleading them.

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San Diego Sheriffs Stood By as Alt-Right ‘Proud Boys’ Disrupted Impeachment Rally

July 5, 2017 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

There were rallies calling for the impeachment of President Donald Trump in cities around the United States on Sunday. Supporters of the President turned out for counter protests in Austin, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and New York. Law enforcement officers in those cities worked to keep the groups separated, allowing each to express their First Amendment rights.

The situation in San Diego at the County Administration Building was different, as Sheriff’s Deputies initially stood by idly and watched as members of the ‘Proud Boys’ disrupted, threatened and harassed attendees and speakers.

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Join the March for Impeachment – Sunday, July 2nd

June 29, 2017 by Staff

There’s a rally and march for the impeachment of President Donald Trump this Saturday, July 2nd at the San Diego County Administration Building.

This March for Impeachment is one of many scheduled to be held in cities across the country as a way for Americans from every walk of life to come together in our collective demand for proceedings to begin as soon as possible for the impeachment of the current President of the United States.

Here’s a statement from the local Impeachment March organizers:

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San Diego Schools Embrace Untested ‘De-personalized’ Learning

June 29, 2017 by Source

By Thomas Ultican / Tultican

San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) is spending lavishly on technology despite their budgets being decimated by California’s unaccountable charter school industry. During the 2016-17 school year, SDUSD bought digital badging and 16,000 new Chromebooks.

“The district is struggling with a projected $124 million shortfall in its $1.4 billion budget, and have issued in the neighborhood of 1,500 layoff notices to full and part-time employees” reports the San Diego Union-Tribune.

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Suzie’s Farm: Gone, But Not Forgotten

June 28, 2017 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

Suzie’s Farm did all the right things over the past eight years, growing a wide variety organic produce, selling at farmers markets and direct to consumers, getting listed as a supplier on restaurant menus, always with an eye toward building community involvement. Above all, Robin Taylor and Lucila De Alejandro built a brand.

Now the farm is closed.

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San Diego DA Dumanis Targets Attorney for Cannabis Industry

June 27, 2017 by Source

In Chilling Move, DA Served Search Warrants on Attorney Jessica McElfresh’s Office and Home

By Terrie Best / San Diego Americans for Safe Access

Something outrageous is happening in our criminal justice system in San Diego. In a post proposition 64 world, after voters could not have sent a clearer message about acceptance of the cannabis industry, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis is busy making enemies of some of the most effective leaders who have emerged.

Bonnie thumbs her nose at voters while nearly dancing toward a seat on the county board supervisors. Particularly shocking in this prosecution is the targeting of cannabis attorney, Jessica McElfresh who has represented several of the newly-licensed collectives under the city’s ordinance.

The Med-West case began with a raid in January 2016, …

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Reader’s Rant: Stadium Sabotage — Mayor Faulconer Needs to Resign

June 27, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

By George Mullen / San Diego Free Press

qualcomm stadium photo

Whether you loved or hated the San Diego Chargers isn’t important.

What’s important is the flagrant public and political breach of trust surrounding the team’s departure, as well as San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s push for the FS Investors/SoccerCity redevelopment to replace them.

This breach of trust is a major concern that all San Diego citizens and NFL fans nationwide should be paying close attention to. It could very well lead to the Mayor’s resignation or recall.

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It’s Do or Die Time : San Diegans Joining Nationwide Trumpcare Protests

June 26, 2017 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter

This is the week that will determine the future of healthcare and a lot more in the United States for the foreseeable future. If there ever was a time to stand up and be heard on the topic the time is now.

There will be political actions aimed at pressuring elected officials nationwide. On Tuesday, July 27, local activists will add to the chorus against this abomination of a bill in San Diego and Vista.

Here are this week’s protests in anticipation of the Trumpcare vote in the Senate:

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Community Choice Energy Myths Debunked, SDG&E Misdirection Exposed

June 23, 2017 by Source

By Tyson Siegele / SanDiego350

burned light bulb photo

SDG&E and its parent company Sempra have been misleading customers about their stance on Community Choice Energy (CCE).

Sempra promotes itself as an upstanding community participant with only the best intentions for its customers, but in conjunction with SDG&E, it charges exorbitant rates and fights tooth and nail behind the scenes to maintain its monopoly. It does so at the expense of electricity consumers.

By reviewing Sempra marketing material and comparing Sempra’s statements to its actions, a clear pattern of misdirection and exploitation emerges.

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Solving Homelessness Can’t Wait Another Year

June 22, 2017 by Source

By Jeeni Criscenzo / San Diego Free Press

Is the Regional Task Force on Homelessness (RTFH) really expecting people in desperate situations to patiently wait another year while we work on yet another plan?

Do we have so little confidence in our own ability to assess a situation that we need to bring in an expert from Sacramento to tell us what to do? Or are we so hamstrung by the same old vested interests that we can’t accommodate new ideas unless they come from outside and we pay lots of money for them?

I really want to believe that we are getting closer to a coordinated plan for housing people who’re experiencing homelessness. But I’ve sat through enough of these meetings over the last decade to justify my skepticism.

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The Mickey Kasparian Scandal, Six Months Later

June 20, 2017 by Source

Update and Time Line of Scandal

By Sara Kent / San Diego Free Press

Six months ago news broke about Sandy Naranjo, a young mother, progressive activist, and passionate labor advocate filing a lawsuit against one of the most powerful men in San Diego.

Mickey Kasparian, President of United Foodservice and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 135 was named in the complaint, which included claims of gender discrimination and retaliation she experienced while working at the Union. Kasparian was then also President of the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council.

That litigation is ongoing.

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San Diego Is Not the Emerald City

June 16, 2017 by Source

Emerald City

By Jack Doxey / Veterans For Peace

When I pick up people at the San Diego Airport, I enjoy watching their reaction as they see, for the first time, the San Diego skyline. Most are impressed with the breathtaking views at night. The bright lights shine like beacons; especially the Emerald Shapely Building with its elegant architecture and its emerald green sparkling lights. San Diego is, indeed, a beautiful city.

However, there is more to the city than meets the eye. San Diego, for me, conjures up memories of the movie The Wizard of Oz in which Dorothy and her newfound friends skip along the yellow brick road and although they get to visit the castle and the wizard himself, they never get to the Emerald City because it is illusionary. It does not exist.

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Mayor’s Vindictiveness Trumps Solving Homelessness In San Diego

June 15, 2017 by Source

homelessness

Faulconer’s Veto Likely Dooms the Convention Center Expansion

By Jeeni Criscenzo / San Diego Free Press

June 5 to 9, 2017 will go down in San Diego’s history as the week Mayor Faulconer revealed the Trump wannabe lurking beneath his compassionate conservative disguise – tweets and all! From Monday to Friday, the San Diego mayor’s office went from sending out a press release declaring:

“Our homeless crisis is staggering and the struggles on our streets are growing as more people fall into homelessness. The time to act is now. Lives of so many men, women and children are on the line.”

….to vetoing the teeny line item to fund a half-time consultant to support the newly formed Select Committee on Homelessness.

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Faulconer’s Proposed Tourism Tax Increase: Perpetuating the Hourglass Economy

June 8, 2017 by Source

hourglass economy

By Lori Saldaña

I’ve been reviewing various reports about the proposed ballot measure and special election that seeks to increase the Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT). Proponents tell us this is needed to fund a Convention Center expansion, pave our streets, and provide shelter for homeless people — wow!

Impressive — if true.

I’ve shared these thoughts and research points with others, including a member of the Convention Center board, and wanted to include others in the conversation.

First: for 20+ years I’ve taught Business IT skills as part of the Community College’s Workforce Development program. Throughout that time I’ve been looking at what actual jobs result from different types of taxpayer “investment” and what that means for my students.

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Labor, Environment, Social Justice Groups Forge Coalition to Focus on Affordable Housing in San Diego.

June 7, 2017 by Source

By Murtaza Baxamusa / San Diego UrbDeZine / June 5, 2017

These are interesting times in the housing world. The unprecedented housing crisis statewide in California, and locally in San Diego, is forging unprecedented coalitions among affordable housing advocates, community-based organizations, labor unions and environmentalists.

These coalitions are galvanizing in response to the demand from their members to put all options on the table to tackle this crisis that is taking a significant toll on all of us.

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