San Diego

Let Them Eat Rocks

June 27, 2016 by Source

police ticket homeless

By Jeeni Criscenzo / San Diego Free Press

Last week was a helluva week for those of us helping people without a place to live.

There were plenty of tweets and Facebook posts about the heatwave, as well as the Border fire that was threatening several communities out in East County. But unlike the all-out effort to help residents, pets and livestock in the path of the fire, there was no effort to help the residents of downtown under direct assault from a relentless sun.

Except for access to the library which, for those living on the street, would entail leaving all of your few meager possessions outside, unattended, there was no Health and Human Services program to help them.

The week actually began last Friday for me when my friend Martha Sullivan called asking for help to provide a Cooling Station offering lifesaving hydration and shade for homeless people during the predicted heatwave.

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Point Loma Residents Protest Structure in Violation of 30-Foot Height Limit

June 26, 2016 by Matthew Wood

PL emerson protest 6-25-16 mw 01

Point Lomans Rally in front of Eyesore Building at Emerson and Evergreen

Nearly 100 Point Lomans gathered Saturday morning, June 25th, to protest the development of a pair of duplexes they say violates the area’s 30-foot building limit.

The building in question, at the corner of Emerson and Evergreen streets in the Roseville neighborhood, measure upwards of 41 feet.

Opponents of the structure say the developer, Pacific Enterprise General Contractor, is skirting the zoning rules by filling in space between the garage and the end of the property with dirt, then measuring height from that spot.

“The goal is to get a stop order, which can be done,” said Jon Linney, chair of the Point Loma Planning Board and an outspoken opponent of the building.

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Socks for Homeless Vets Being Collected for Stand Down San Diego

June 24, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for Socks for Homeless Vets Being Collected for Stand Down San Diego

By South OB Girl

Victor Brown, Field Representative for Speaker Emeritus of the Assembly, Toni Atkins, had his hands full of socks at Wednesday night’s OB Town Council meeting – all donated by local OBceans.

Socks for Stand Down was started in 2015 by State Assembly Member Toni G. Atkins, Speaker Emeritus, after local Stand Down organizers expressed a need for socks and underwear for homeless veterans attending Stand Down.

Under the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Stand Down events are one to three-day events providing supplies and services to homeless veterans.

Homeless veterans receive food, shelter, clothing, health screenings, dental care, VA Social Security benefits, and counseling.

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Overpassing the Value of Public Space

June 24, 2016 by Source

FreewayOverpass Public Space

By Howard M. Blackson III / SanDiego.UrbDeZine.com

“Caltrans does not restrict the right of free speech with handheld banners, but attaching flags or banners is not allowed,” a Caltrans-Spokesman told the San Jose Mercury News.

He added, “We are concerned that people waving handheld banners could cause driver distraction — putting their safety or that of the motoring public at risk.” Today, we have prioritized the ‘motoring public’ over all other aspects of public life.

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The High Costs of Policy Shortfalls in Housing

June 24, 2016 by Source

Close-up View of Garden HoseBy Murtaza Baxamusa / Rooflines

The high cost of housing is one of the most challenging planning issues of our time.

The meager supply of affordable housing is a major contributor to the problem, yet the policy tools to address the shortfall often seem to worsen the problem.

But this is because they ignore the underlying infrastructure and financing to support growth.

Housing affordability is really about two things: income and cost. The building industry is doing very little about the former, oftentimes opposing prevailing wages for construction workers. On the latter, the key question (being debated in California now) is whether deregulation of market rate housing projects will somehow “trickle down” to households, enabling them to afford rising rents and mortgages.

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‘The Emerson and Evergreen Project in Point Loma Is Where We Have to Draw the Battle Line for the 30 Foot Height Limit’

June 23, 2016 by Source

PL Emerson Project gp 05

City Planners Allow Developer to Measure 30 Feet From Top of Retaining Walls – the Call Goes Out to Shut the Project Down

By Geoff Page

This is it folks, this is where we have to draw the battle line for the 30-foot height limit.

Our own city, in the form of the Development Services Department, is leading the assault on the 30-foot limit. They are working for developers, not the citizens who pay their salaries. The project on Evergreen and Emerson in Roseville is a huge raspberry from the DSD to the community and here is why.

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Nuclear Shutdown News June 2016 – Diablo Canyon to Close in Decade

June 22, 2016 by Michael Steinberg
Thumbnail image for Nuclear Shutdown News June 2016 – Diablo Canyon to Close in Decade

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the nuclear power industry at home and abroad, and highlights the efforts of those who are fighting to create a nuclear free future,

California Announces Last Nuclear Plant in State – Diablo Canyon – to Close by 2025

The really big news is that on June 21, PG&E, the utility that owns Diablo Canyon, announced that it had agreed to a proposal endorsed by environmental groups and labor unions to shutter California’s last operating nuclear power plant, Diablo Canyon, by 2025.

This is a major victory for environmentalists – California is going nuclear-free, ending atomic energy’s more than half-century history in the state. For years, anti-nuclear activists had called for the plant’s closure because of safety concerns over its precarious location near several major earthquake fault lines. Friends of the Earth, for example, has been fighting for the plant’s closure since the 1960s.

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OB People’s Organic Food Market – Worker-Owned Co-op – in the Gig Economy

June 21, 2016 by John Lawrence
Thumbnail image for OB People’s Organic Food Market – Worker-Owned Co-op – in the Gig Economy

The Gig Economy: Okay If the Profits Went to the Giggers

By John Lawrence

There’s nothing inherently wrong with the idea of working a job here and a job there according to the worker’s convenience and other activities.

The problem is that the profits go to some centralized corporation rather than being spread out among all the giggers in proportion to their participation in the system.

gig economy

If Uber or Lyft were a co-op, the profits would go to all the worker/owners instead of a handful of investors.
Then the gig economy would offer not only a technique for working at one’s convenience and fitting into one’s schedule whether that schedule might be educational or child care or surfing or whatever.

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Another Ten Minute Acquittal Against DA Dumanis in Medical Cannabis Trial

June 21, 2016 by Source

By Terrie Best / San Diego Americans for Safe Access

cannabis logoThe thin-as-air manufacturing case against medical cannabis patient and collective operator, Shaun Smith swept so quickly through trial that, before we knew it, Attorney Michael Cindrich had queued up his third cannabis-related not guilty verdict in four months.

The Cindrich winning streak started with defendant John Mazula in El Cajon, moved north to LA and then touched down in San Diego County’s Vista yesterday – surely making waves in District Attorney’s office and changing the landscape for medical cannabis patients.

Shaun’s arrest occurred May 13, 2015, near his Oceanside home. He had been running a small legal cannabis collective out of his residence, providing flower, bubble hash, cannabis butter, tinctures and ointments to his members.

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League of Women Voters Talks Trash to San Diego Rules Committee

June 20, 2016 by Source

trash canBy Anne Haule / San Diego Free Press

Last Wednesday – June 15th – the League of Women Voters of San Diego called for a revote of a hundred year old law.

Representing the League was Beryl Flom, who addressed the city of San Diego’s Rules Committee regarding the overhaul of a law called the People’s Ordinance. She requested the measure be placed on the November ballot.

Originally enacted in 1919, The People’s Ordinance allowed the city to take over food waste and trash collection from a private company that sold it to pig farmers. It was amended in 1986 to prohibit the city from imposing a fee for trash hauling service.

The People’s Ordinance only applies to single-family households who put their bins on public streets — not multi-unit buildings, businesses or commercial establishments — and requires $47 million from the General Fund to operate. Twenty-three percent of the city’s trash is collected from about half of the city’s households through the People’s Ordinance.

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Lori Saldana: Ask Mayor Faulconer to Stop Downtown “Cleansing” of Homeless

June 20, 2016 by Source

June 20th Is World Refugee Day and Day Mayor Authorized Sweep of Homeless Possessions

Today – June 20 – is World Refugee Day. It is also the day that Mayor Kevin Faulconer has authorized a massive “sweep” to clear tents, tarps, and other personal belongings from areas downtown.

Whether from economic or political crisis, displaced families with no safe, permanent housing face increased health risks on a daily basis. They are more likely to be victims of violent crime. Women and young people are more vulnerable to rape and sexual assault.

Forcing people away from shelter, and/or to pack up their belongings and move on the hottest day of the year, will add to physical and emotional stress that may result in more emergency responders being called to manage their care. That cost falls on all San Diegans- both in economic and humane ways.

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Baseball’s All-Star Game in San Diego: Rocks for the Homeless?

June 17, 2016 by Doug Porter

anti homelessBy Doug Porter

The infamous rockscaping in and around East Village was installed as part of the city’s preparation for Major League Baseball’s 2016 All-Star game on July 12.

The wishes of the surrounding community, the supposed reason for the installation, were actually not considered.

Even as emails on the situation were made public on Wednesday by Kelly Davis at Voice of San Diego , local gendarmes were rousting homeless people who’d moved to surrounding neighborhoods as a result of the city’s actions.

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We Need a New Public Use of the Old Central Library

June 17, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for We Need a New Public Use of the Old Central Library

By Joe Flynn

“Planning? We don’t need no stinking planning!” No, I am not talking about The Treasure of Sierra Madre, I’m talking about the treasure of our old Central Library. One would think after decades of working to build a new central library, some thought would have been given to a new use for the old library.

And it is not just another old building; this one has a lot or treasured memories for many San Diegans, especially those who spent hours there doing school projects and term papers or just for the pure enjoyment of literature.

Many of us look back with nostalgia on digging through the card catalogues using the Dewey Decimal system, and going to the stacks for a needed reference.

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Elevated Surf and Strong Rip Currents Remain Hazards for San Diego Beaches

June 16, 2016 by Staff
Thumbnail image for Elevated Surf and Strong Rip Currents Remain Hazards for San Diego Beaches

The National Weather Service – San Diego – is keeping in effect a “Beach Hazard” warning for San Diego County beaches, and it will remain in effect through 10 pm today, Thursday evening, June 16th.

Elevated surf and dangerous rip currents are expected through today. Surf is expected to gradually lower on Friday, although, the weather service warns, rip currents will remain strong.

The warning states:

“Strong longshore currents will accompany the surf at all area beaches.”

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Democracy in Action at City Council Rules Committee

June 16, 2016 by John Lawrence

By John Lawrence

City Council Rules CommitteeOn Wednesday, June 15, 2016, there was a well-attended meeting of the Rules Committee of the San Diego City Council.

Many diverse topics were covered, some at exhaustive lengths. The meeting lasted over three hours with a dozen or more speakers pleading their causes.

Most were asking the Rules Committee to take issues to the full City Council for consideration on the November ballot.

There was a discussion of the nature of the voting system.

The way it is right now someone running for office who gets 50% of the vote plus one in the June primary is considered elected.

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The San Diego U-T Looks at Short Term Vacation Rentals – and Still Misses Major Point

June 14, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

SD U-T stvr 3

By Frank Gormlie

The San Diego Union-Tribune had veteran reporter Lori Weisberg write an extended piece on short term vacation rentals in Sunday’s “SD In Depth” entitled “Opportunity or Nuisance” (June 12, 2016). Weisberg looked at the impact of short term rentals on San Diego’s housing market and wrote based on her research into who exactly was profiting “from the rise of the home sharing.”

Two of the immediate take-aways from her article are that more and more commercial rental agencies are dominating the short term market and that the available housing stock in San Diego is being affected.

Yet, she still has not focused on one of the key effects of the short term vacation rental industry: the loss of community.

Weisberg’s piece showcases Ryan Scott, who – as Weisberg explained – owns or sublets a dozen STVR dwellings and manages another 10 – many in the beach area and including Ocean Beach.

“The reality is,” he told Weisberg, “you’re leaving money on the table if you’re renting to a long-term tenant.”

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How Did Ocean Beach and Point Loma Vote in 2016 Primary?

June 13, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OB Vote Mayor Primary 2016

How did OB and the Peninsula vote in the Primary held last week? What was the breakdown in the mayoral race in Ocean Beach?

Check out these maps that show the winners in each precinct in OB and Point Loma for the various races.

Go to the original map site, and you can click on individual precincts to see the vote tallies and percentages for each candidates.

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3-Level Dwelling Planned for 4700 Block of Del Mar

June 13, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for 3-Level Dwelling Planned for 4700 Block of Del Mar

The City of San Diego has sent out notice that the construction of a three-story dwelling unit is being planned for 4768 Del Mar Avenue in Ocean Beach. A process 2 Coastal Development Permit has been applied for by Justin Salbato for the project.

The permit calls for the demolition of a “non-habitable accessory structure”. The site contains an existing single family residence at the front of the lot, which is 0.16 acres. The new dwelling unit design includes a garage, with the unit having 2,226 square feet.

Plus – following a new trend – the new building design incorporates a roof-mounted photovoltaic system with solar panels “sufficient to generate at least 50-percent of the project’s projected energy consumption”, in conforming to the City’s new, so-called Affordable / In-fill Housing and Sustainable Buildings Expedite Program.

There appears to be several trees on the property, including a large pine tree (possibly Torrey Pine) in the back portion of the lot. It’s assumed that if the project is given the go-ahead, this tree will also be demolished.

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City of San Diego Ballot Proposals Promote Police Transparency, Human Services

June 13, 2016 by Anna Daniels

Women Occupy San Diego address Citizens Review Board
on Policy Practices inadequacies (again);

Democratic Woman’s Club advocacy for City of San Diego
Department of Public Health and Social Welfare

Women Occupy San Diego

By Anna Daniels / San Diego Free Press

Keep an eye on some of the new ballot proposals that have been filed recently with the San Diego City Clerk.

These proposals reflect focused citizen participation that offer correctives to the city’s Citizen Review Board on Police Practices (CRB) and the county’s meager health and human services. These small “d” democratic efforts also happen to be spearheaded by women.

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New State Bureau that Regulates Medical Cannabis Sounds Like an Advocate

June 10, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for New State Bureau that Regulates Medical Cannabis Sounds Like an Advocate

State Medical Marijuana Officials Hold Hearing in San Diego

By Terrie Best /San Diego Americans for Safe Access / June 9, 2016

San Diego, CA – The Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulations held a hearing June 9th as is required when crafting commercial regulations in the State of California. The trio of women who currently make up the bureau had already held events in Oakland, Humboldt and Riverside among other places. They were wrapping it up with San Diego.

The event was called a pre-regulation hearing. There were about 100 people in attendance and newly appointed Chief of the Bureau, Lori Ajax began the meeting at 11:19 in the Garcia Room at the Caltrans building on Taylor St. in Old Town.

The head of Narcotics at the District Attorney’s Office, Steve Walter sat in the front row.

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Sore Loser!

June 10, 2016 by Source

By Jeeni Criscenzo / San Diego Free Press

chess game chanceSore losers! you sneer,
because they question the way the game was played.
Cheaters! they cry,
because it just doesn’t make sense
the way it went down,
compared to what they saw with their very own eyes.
Just politics.
That makes it all OK,
As if this was just a game of chess,
With nothing lost but the round,
unless you waged a bet.

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Options for Neighbors of the Controversial Froude Project

June 9, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Options for Neighbors of the Controversial Froude Project

Neighbors of the controversial project coming in at 2257 Froude Street and the Peninsula Community Planning Board recently lost an appeal of the project at the San Diego Planning Commission.

Here, then, are some thoughts on the various options that those neighbors have.

  1. Appeal the decision of the Planning Commission; §112.0508 of the San Diego Municipal Code allows for appeals of Process Four decisions of the Planning Commission to the City Council. This is the most likely option to be pursed by the Peninsula planners. Yet we don’t know when or even if an appeal has been made.
  2. Change the zoning in that area of the Peninsula Plan to match or reflect the floor-area-ratio of the adjoining neighborhoods of Ocean Beach, which are 0.70. This could occur through a concerted effort by the neighbors working through the Peninsula Community Plan update process to make those changes.
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San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association Responds to Trump’s Attacks on Judge Curiel and on an Independent Judiciary

June 9, 2016 by Source

By Luis O. Osuna, San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association President

San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association logoIn recent days our organization and Judge Curiel have become the targets of Donald Trump’s attacks. The comments made by Trump have been misleading, blatant lies and even racist in nature.

Given the amount of attention that Trump’s remarks have produced, this statement seeks to clarify who we are as an association, our purpose and the abject impropriety of Trump’s criticism of Judge Curiel and his attacks on the independence of the judiciary.

A part of the general public has made assumptions about our organization based on our association’s name. It is important to note that while the term “La Raza” literally translates into “the race”, its literal translation does not reflect its cultural meaning. In that context La Raza refers to the concept of the power of the people working together in the name of justice in the face of adversity. It is in this sense in which our association’s name invokes “La Raza.”

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2016 Primary Election Results and Analysis for San Diego

June 9, 2016 by Doug Porter

Election Returns

Editor: The following election results and analysis were put together by Doug Porter on Wednesday, June 8th, for his column at San Diego Free Press – and all vote tallies are as of yesterday’s numbers.

By Doug Porter

It ain’t over ‘till it’s over. But it’s mostly over in San Diego. Most of the ballots for the June 2016 primary election have been tallied. The remaining 285,000 ballots uncounted as of Wednesday morning are provisional and late arriving mail-in ballots. A few close races may change, but if history is any guide, what you see in the way of results the day after the election is what you get.

A multi-year campaign for an increase in the local minimum wage came to a close as voters overwhelmingly approved City Proposition I. For me personally, and for tens of thousands of San Diego workers, the last item on the ballot was the most important one.

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Calif Parks Dept Wants to Ban Off-Trail Hiking or Climbing in Cuyamaca and Anza Borrego Parks

June 7, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for Calif Parks Dept Wants to Ban Off-Trail Hiking or Climbing in Cuyamaca and Anza Borrego Parks

From East County News Service

The California Department of Parks and Recreation proposes prohibiting public access off designated trails. [Ed.:The public had until June 6 to comment.]

In San Diego County, that would include Rancho Cuyamaca and Anza Borrego Desert state parks.

California State Parks Map

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DA Bonnie Dumanis Loses Another Marijuana Case

June 7, 2016 by Source

Medical Marijuana Raid

Medical Marijuana Patient Dad Found Not Guilty of Child Endangerment

By Terrie Best / San Diego Americans for Safe Access

Almost a year ago this week San Diego police officers stormed past medical cannabis patient Micah Wojnowski’s organic vegetable farm in Golden Hill and into the home he shared with his teenage son and a couple of roommates.

The police entered the urban home with guns drawn on a tip from a confidential informant. They did not find what they were looking for but decided not to accept defeat. Instead, they searched Micah’s house and garage and set a stage to paint Micah as a child abuser because he is a medical cannabis patient, an industry expert and a parent.

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Reader Rant: “Don’t Vote for Kevin Faulconer Because He Has Repaired 300 Miles of Roads”

June 7, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for Reader Rant: “Don’t Vote for Kevin Faulconer Because He Has Repaired 300 Miles of Roads”

By Geoff Page

If you are going to the polls today and are thinking of voting for Kevin Faulconer because he has “repaired” 300 miles of roads, as he is telling everyone, he has been successful in fooling you.

This doesn’t mean you are not smart, it just means that paving is not something you know much about and you think this is true because of all the new black streets and new stripes. I’ve been in the construction business for 43 years. I know paving and the mayor is not being honest.

The vast majority of what has been done is called slurry seal. This is not a “repair,” slurry seal is a maintenance operation designed to prolong the life of good asphalt. It is something the city should have been doing all along.
.

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Militarization of San Diego Police Bubbles Up in Mayoral Race

June 6, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Militarization of San Diego Police Bubbles Up in Mayoral Race

Ed Harris Criticizes Police Management for Ordering “Storm-troopers” to March into Barrio Logan

The race for San Diego’s mayor just became a little more relevant and interesting over the weekend – mere days before the California Primary.

In a debate Friday night on NBC San Diego, mayoral candidate Ed Harris made comments critical of the way San Diego Police were utilized after the anti-Trump protests on May 27th at the Convention Center. Police with riot gear were ordered into Barrio Logan and made over 30 arrests in a massive display of militarization. Many have criticized this action by police and Chief Zimmerman – including this writer.

During the debate, Harris said:

“It’s not responsible, it’s not respectful marching into Barrio Logan when people come out of their house because they hear the storm troopers coming down the street.”

By Sunday, the San Diego Police Officers Association was fuming and called on Harris for an apology in referring to their members as “storm troopers”.

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It’s the Primary – Progressives – and Time to Vote!

June 6, 2016 by Doug Porter

ballot box san diegoProgressive Primary Voting Guide for San Diego

Endorsements by OB Rag and San Diego Free Press

By Doug Porter

If you haven’t voted in San Diego yet, now is the time to get focused, and I’m here to help.

While there are many candidates and issues on the ballot, let me remind readers that a Yes vote on Proposition I will have the most immediate impact locally. More than 170,000 hard-working San Diegans will get a badly needed, overdue raise and access to five earned sick days a year.

What I hope to do here today is offer one-stop shopping for those of you just getting around to making your ballot box decisions.

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Good Things Progressives Can Do Down-Ballot

June 6, 2016 by Jim Miller

Pro-Tip: Start at the Bottom of Your Ballot

Down-Ballot

By Jim Miller

While most of the attention is on the Presidential race this primary season, there are still some important things progressive voters can weigh in on down-ballot here in San Diego on June 7th that will do some good.

Here is a short list:

Vote Yes on Proposition I: Sure, $15 an hour is coming soon in California, but voting yes on Proposition I in San Diego will immediately lift the local minimum wage to $10.50 an hour (and eventually $11.50), giving a well-deserved raise and providing five much-needed sick days to over 170,000 hard working San Diegans. It will also right the wrong that was done by Mayor Faulconer and the Chamber of Commerce crew when they screwed local workers out of this necessary hand up.

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