San Diego

A Call for Councilwoman Zapf to Do the Right Thing by Lori Saldaña

December 16, 2014 by Source

occupy-SD-lincolnclubinviteDear Councilwoman Zapf:

When you were elected to the San Diego City Council 4 years ago, to represent my Clairemont neighborhood, I was willing to give you a chance.

After all, you claimed to be sensitive to working class issues, as asmall business owner. And you have mentioned having Mexican-American family members, which made me hopeful you would find common ground with the growing Latino community in my native Clairemont.

But this week, your staff’s comments about how she “wanted to shoot” the “… idiot” protesters at a City Council event displayed a shocking lack of awareness about public safety, civil disobedience, efforts to achieve social justice, and the constitutional right of Americans to use peaceful protest to communicate with elected officials.

And what makes this latest situation even worse: it was the SECOND time a member of your staff displayed this tone deaf, cavalier disrespect towards public protest.

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Vacation Rentals In San Diego Under More Scrutiny

December 15, 2014 by Source

Vacation rental property owners targeted for missing tax payments

meet-the-5-biggest-airbnb-hosts-being-targeted-by-new-yorks-top-lawyerBy John P. Anderson / San Diego Free Press

I have a small cottage that I rent out to visitors via the vacation rental website Airbnb. The cottage is on the same property as my home and I did not think that vacation rental taxes in San Diego applied to my situation.

The taxes in San Diego for vacation rentals are the transient occupancy tax (TOT) and tourism marketing district (TMD) assessment. The rates for a property like mine from these taxes total 11.05% of gross rent – 10.5% TOT and .55% TMD, there is also a higher 1.45% TMD rate that applies to lodging businesses with 30 or more units.

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SDSU Students Fight Fraternity Rape Culture

December 11, 2014 by Doug Porter
Thumbnail image for SDSU Students Fight Fraternity Rape Culture

By Doug Porter

Students at San Diego State University participated in a march and sit-in on Tuesday, demanding the school take action in response to sexual assaults and harassment. The protest was triggered by reports of people associated with fraternity houses yelling obscenities, waving dildos and throwing eggs at a Nov. 21st anti-rape march called Take Back the Night.

Their demands included an open forum with SDSU President Elliot Hirshman during the spring semester, along with the resignations of fraternity members of the Sigma Phi Epsilon and Delta Sigma Phi from various posts on the campus.

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The Silliness of the Council President Selection Drama

December 10, 2014 by Source

Purple SmileBy Norma Damashek

San Diego can be such a silly city. For proof, consider the oddly loopy hubbub that surrounds this year’s annual City Council ritual of choosing a council president.

People (many of whom should know better) have been turning themselves inside out over the roaring-hot question: will Todd Gloria be awarded a third term as council president or will another council member (presumably Sherri Lightner) get a turn to be the council’s presiding officer?

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San Diego’s Canvass for a Cause–A Cause to Support

December 10, 2014 by Source

Strictly radical, always queer

canvas for a cause

By Anna Prouty

Canvass for a Cause was founded in 2009 as a queer canvassing organization focused on marriage equality. It quickly grew into the intersectional queer safe space and radical activism community it is now.

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A Couple of Heartless Transactions at Union Bank

December 10, 2014 by Source

union bank logoBy Bob Dorn / San Diego Free Press

So, this 71-year-old with the income of a teenager walks into an uptown branch of Union Bank. He had just $28.75 in his checking account following his open heart surgery two weeks before on Nov. 17.

This was his first chance to get to the bank to take up some issues.One reason he had so little money had nothing to do with the bank’s operations. He’d had an angiogram and an EKG earlier in the month – stuff the medical world must do before doctors can open everything up to repair floppy heart valves – and the upfront co-pays were about $160 more than he’d anticipated. Those and smaller amounts for medicine accounted for the couple of hundred he hadn’t factored into demands on the checking account. …

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What a Difference a Few Decades Make – An Interview with Kevin Beiser, President of School Board

December 9, 2014 by Judi Curry
Thumbnail image for What a Difference a Few Decades Make –  An Interview with Kevin Beiser, President of School Board

By Judi Curry

I spent a delightful morning with Kevin Beiser, the San Diego Unified School Board President and he had many positive things to say about what has happened in the district since he has been on the board.

As a public school teacher beginning my career in the early sixties, I have seen the pendulum swing many ways in the past fifty years. (Fifty Years! My God!)

Perhaps one of the biggest swings was from the Professional Organizations of the California Teachers Association (CTA) and the National Education Association (NEA) to the American Federation of Teachers – AFT –and other labor organizations. As a member of “management” later in my career, I have been disillusioned with professionals (educators) belonging to labor organizations, …

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SEAWORLD WATCH: Protests for Corky’s Retirement on Dec. 5 – 6 – and ‘Jackass’ Star Gets Infraction for “Sucks” Stunt

December 5, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for SEAWORLD WATCH: Protests for Corky’s Retirement on Dec. 5 – 6 – and ‘Jackass’ Star Gets Infraction for “Sucks” Stunt

There is lots to report in this “SeaWorld Watch” column, an occasional post at OB Rag.

First, there will be protests outside San Diego SeaWorld this weekend, as activists pressure the aquatic zoo in protests advocating the retirement of the longest-held orca in captivity, Corky, captured 45 years ago.

Second, “Jackass” star, Steve-O, who pulled off a successful stunt last spring when he taped “Sucks” next to SeaWorld’s name on a freeway sign, was charged only with an infraction – no criminal charge – and faces a fine – which PETA has agreed to pay.

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In Solidarity With Ferguson, San Diego Protesters Shut Down 2 Freeways

November 26, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for In Solidarity With Ferguson, San Diego Protesters Shut Down 2 Freeways

Over the course of about 12 hours, protesters in San Diego blocked two freeways in solidarity with people in Ferguson, Missouri, upset with the decision by the Grand Jury not to indict officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown.

Last night, Tuesday, demonstrators in City Heights of San Diego moved down from University Avenue and blocked I-15 for a few minutes. Some arrests were made by police.

Then this morning, Wednesday, about 50 protesters from UCSD shut down I-5 northbound for about a half hour. No arrests were made in this action.

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Students Fear that UCSD Administration Will Evict CHE Cafe During Thanksgiving

November 21, 2014 by Source

From Media Advisory – CHE Cafe

On Wednesday, November 19, UCSD administrators decided to seek a writ of possession to enforce an earlier unlawful detainer judgment and evict the CHE Cafe Cooperative and any students from the cafe space it has continuously occupied for over 34 years.

Despite a resolution by the UCSD Associated Students Council asking the Chancellor to not proceed with posting a 5-day notice to vacate, and 14,000-signature petitions and open letters demanding that UCSD stop the eviction actions against the C.H.E. Cafe, delivered to the Chancellor earlier this month, action by the administration to evict the CHE Cafe continues rather than negotiations for a new lease agreement with the Co-op.

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National Scrutiny of Fatal Police Shootings Reminds Us of Two OBceans Killed By Cops

November 20, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for National Scrutiny of Fatal Police Shootings Reminds Us of Two OBceans Killed By Cops

There is a soul-searching national scrutiny going on right now about fatal shootings of civilians by police officers.

In a LA Times article, published Nov. 16th, the issue of police killings of civilians is raised and it describes how the ranks of families are expanding “who demand answers about why lethal force was used, and who decides what is reasonable use of force.”

The key and central question is : What’s reasonable force?

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Lessons Learned from What Was Lost at Sunset Cliffs Park

November 20, 2014 by Source
Thumbnail image for Lessons Learned from What Was Lost at Sunset Cliffs Park

By Bruce Coons

Sunset Cliffs Park was originally landscaped in 1915 by sporting goods magnate Albert Goodwill Spaulding at the cost of two million dollars. It was to be given to the City of San Diego with the provision that they maintain it.

This bequest consisted of landscaped walkways along the cliffs with rustic railings, pebbled steps and stairways, palm thatched shelters with benches, Japanese-style rustic arched bridges, caves with stairway access, even a 15 x 50 foot saltwater swimming pool carved into the natural rock that cleaned itself with every high tide. This was a major tourist attraction of which there are many postcards from the time around today that attest to its popularity.

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Too Much Salt Delays Ribbon-Cutting at OB Entryway Park

November 20, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Park’s Walkway Does Not Enter Adjacent Robb Field

Reporter Tony de Garate in an excellent Nov. 17 piece in the San Diego Reader, has informed us that the much-ballyhooed ribbon-cutting on the Ocean Beach Entryway Project – Park is being delayed – once again.

De Garate reports that “there’s too much salt in the soil” at the planned park at the intersection of West Pt Loma Avenue and Sunset Cliffs Boulevard, according to the City, and that the November 20th opening of the new park will have to be pushed back into next year. The city’s latest estimate of the completion date – as of Nov. 1st – is now February 2015.

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Are You Ready for the 2016 Political Shuffle in San Diego?

November 17, 2014 by Doug Porter

startinglinelogoBy Doug Porter

The results have yet to be certified for this year’s election results, but that hasn’t prevented various political players around town from lining up support for the next step in their careers. There’s already some action and plenty of rumors to share today.

City Councilman Ed Harris was first out of the gate yesterday, by way of a story in the OB Rag announcing his intention to seek termed-out Assemblywoman Toni Atkins position representing the 78th District in 2016.

Hey, there’s plenty more. …

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The United Taxi Workers Victory and the Struggle for a New Labor Movement

November 17, 2014 by Jim Miller

IMG_0767By Jim Miller

Last Monday’s victory for the United Taxi Workers of San Diego provided a much-needed boost for local labor.

After a year that has included some tough losses at the polls and the effort to save the minimum wage ordinance, it was inspiring to see the taxi drivers (largely East African immigrant workers) burst into celebration and pour out of Golden Hall chanting “USA!” as they embraced each other, mounted the planter boxes, and cheered for joy.

It was the kind of genuine expression of collective exuberance that comes when workers feel, perhaps for the first time, that they have taken ownership of their lives and destinies.

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Flap Over “Competing Ribbon-Cuttings” for OB Entryway All a Big Misunderstanding

November 10, 2014 by Frank Gormlie

A member of Councilman Ed Harris’ office has egg on his face, is eating crow – (throw in your own fave idiomatic phrase) – and is a tad embarrassed these days.

It seems that our favorite member of Harris’ staff, Chet Barfield, mistook a two-year old press release about a ribbon-cutting for the OB Entryway Project for an event scheduled for this mid-December, after his boss leaves office.

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November 2014 Election Analysis and Results

November 6, 2014 by Doug Porter

sf minum wageBy Doug Porter

History repeated itself last night. Going back to Franklin D Roosevelt, where the party of Herbert Hoover picked up seven US Senate seats and eighty-one US House seats, the political party of a second term president usually gets its ass kicked in the final mid-term election of that administration. It happened to Presidents Eisenhower, Reagan, and Bush.

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The Day after the Elections: Same as It Ever Was?

November 6, 2014 by Anna Daniels

By Anna Daniels

bilingualvoteWednesday dawned in City Heights much like every morning here, with the cough and sputter of cars starting, the occasional twitter of birds, a siren shrieking on El Cajon Boulevard. Kids will pass by the house on their way to school. …

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What’s Not to Like? Gas Prices Down, Solar Energy Production Up

November 5, 2014 by John Lawrence

Wikimedia photo circa 2006

By John Lawrence

Gas prices have dropped below $4.00 a gallon for the first time in several years.

Every one-cent drop in gas prices means a $1 billion annual decline in energy spending by Americans. Consumers can use the savings to eat out more often, buy more goods or pay down debt. That’s good for US motorists and consumers, but that’s not the whole story.

Part of the story has to do with the fact that …

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While DeMaio ‘Burns Inside With a Desire’, Another Sexual Misconduct Claim Materializes

November 4, 2014 by Doug Porter

Carl Demaio Allegations-300x168“Carl DeMaio burns inside with a desire to change things for the better. We could use far more elected officials with such passion and drive.”
UT San Diego, October 4th

By Doug Porter

On the eve of the election a Navy veteran has come forward to add a second voice to accusations regarding sexual harassment by congressional candidate Carl DeMaio.

Coincidence? I think not. …

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Where Is My Polling Place? And Other Last Minute Election Questions in San Diego

November 4, 2014 by Anna Daniels

By Anna Daniels

vote 2014This is for all you super busy people and procrastinators out there who haven’t turned in your mail ballot yet or figured out where you need to vote on Tuesday.

If you are still figuring out which way to vote for candidates and propositions, check out our SDFP Progressive Procrastinators Guide. You can find all of our November 2014 election analysis and coverage in the SDFP Voter Guide for Progressives. And if this is your first visit to the San Diego Free Press, we hope you’ll bookmark this site and come back for more grassroots news and progressive views.

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November 2014 Progressive Procrastinator’s Voting Guide: OB and San Diego Edition

November 3, 2014 by Doug Porter
Thumbnail image for November 2014 Progressive Procrastinator’s Voting Guide: OB and San Diego Edition

By Doug Porter

A big deal is being made over the large percentage of California voters who’ve opted to use the vote-by-mail ballots. While right-wing efforts in other states are focused on Voter ID laws and other variants of Jim Crow, the don’t vote effort here on the left coast is focused on spreading doubt about the reliability of the mail in system.

A mistake in mailing out ballots in Sacramento becomes evidence of a state-wide “glitch ridden ballot system”, according to Breitbart.com. Their “concern” is sooo touching. They’d like you to be afraid of mail-in voting, mostly because they’re afraid that other-than-Republican voters are discovering how easy it can be to use.

Sadly, a disturbing large percentage of those ballots will be left out of the count because people never got around to filling them out. If you’re one of those people who’ve put off filling out your ballot, here’s a handy-dandy cheat sheet

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3 Critical Votes Where You Can Make a Positive Difference on November 4th for California and San Diego

November 3, 2014 by Jim Miller

go voteBy Jim Miller

Most political observers are predicting bad results for the Democrats at the national level, but there are a few important races where progressives might be able to win key victories that will have a real effect here in California and a number of largely ignored down ballot contests where we can elect solid people while keeping some dangerous, incompetent characters out of public office.

More specifically, tomorrow we can:

1) Take a significant step away from the colossal stupidity of the last several decades of the war on drugs, senselessly draconian three strikes laws, a ballooning prison industrial complex, and surging economic inequality by passing Proposition 47. …

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MTS Ad Policy: Incoherent, Inconsistent and Anti-Democratic

October 30, 2014 by Anna Daniels

San Diego’s publicly funded transit system bites the hand that feeds it

By Anna Daniels / San Diego Free Press

MTS Poster3MTS – you are a craven, pathetic mess. When Alliance San Diego launched a non-partisan effort to increase awareness about elections in communities with historically low voter turnout like my community of City Heights, they approached San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) with the intention of buying printed bus ads.

The ads would include the message Vote for San Diego, along with the date of the election. Images of native San Diegans were included with motivational messages such as “Vote for what’s best for your community.”

Did I say that Alliance San Diego’s intention was to buy bus ads? They weren’t asking for a public service freebee. MTS declined the request and herein lies the tale of how our publicly funded, public benefit agency proceeded to simply make sh*t up. …

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The San Salvador Project: Ignoring Genocide

October 29, 2014 by Source

Editor: In the interests of continuing the public debate around the San Salvador, an historical replica of the original flagship of Juan Rodíguez de Cabrillo, we offer the following:

By Steven Newcomb / Indian Country / March 4, 2014

In A Legacy of Genocide: The San Salvador, published by the OB Rag and San Diego FreePress , February 14, 2014, Will Falk, an attorney and poet, precisely pinpoints what is wrong with the nearly completed reconstruction of the Spanish designed ship San Salvador (“Holy Savior”).

Once completed, the vessel is to be a replica of a ship built under brutal conditions with Indian slave labor under the command of the conquistador Juan Rodíguez de Cabrillo. In September of 1542, Cabrillo sailed the San Salvador into the vast bay of the Kumeyaay territory. …

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Debate Heats Up Over San Salvador “Historic Replica”

October 28, 2014 by Source
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Editor: Ever since the OB Rag first published articles about the reconstruction of a replica of the San Salvador, the flagship of Juan Cabrillo, the Spanish explorer who was the first European to land on San Diego’s shores, a debate has ensued over how modern society views and values the new ship which represents so much of the past. The ship is docked right off Point Loma, in Spanish Landing.

By Will Falk

As a settler, I think it’s my responsibility to say this: The San Salvador was a weapon of genocide and, today, is a symbol of genocide.

“A Historically Accurate Replica”

How accurate are we going to get with the San Salvador? Are we going to use African and indigenous slave labor to build it? …

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San Salvador Replica Progress

October 28, 2014 by Judi Curry
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Building a Historically Accurate Replica of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo’s Flagship

By Judi Curry

There are not many times in life that you meet a person you don’t want to say goodbye to. This was not a romantic endeavor, but rather a person that is so genuine, so humble that you obtain energy just from being with him.

I recently met one of those extraordinary men – a Sicilian, who has worked in the boat business for 50-odd years, learning the trade as a teen in Sicily. He is a wonderful craftsmen and you can’t help but marvel at the finished product he creates.

Who is this man, you ask? A little background first. A while ago I did a story of the “Women volunteers of the San Salvador.” This is the ship that you can see being built just west of the airport on Harbor Drive. I was going to go back and do a story of the men volunteers but never got around to it.

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Who Runs San Diego? Co-opting an Icon in Hillcrest

October 28, 2014 by Source

pride flagIt’s a Gay Thing

By Linda Perine / Democratic Woman’s Club

As you may have noticed, October has not been a happy month for the San Diego LGBT community.

Earlier this month the Harvey Milk American Diner in Hillcrest closed abruptly, bouncing checks to workers and simply failing to pay others, including the Harvey Milk Foundation.

At an October 8 press conference an LA Times reporter began asking questions about allegations of sexual harassment against Republican Carl de Maio. He is an openly gay candidate for the 52nd congressional district.

Both stories have grown into full-fledged embarrassments for the LGBT community.

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Malin Burnham and the U-T San Diego Idea Factory

October 24, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Part Two

By Frank Gormlie

As we delve more now in Part Two into Malin Burnham, “the last Corte Maderan” as Mike Davis calls him, and his possible take-over of San Diego’s only daily newspaper, longtime City Heights community activist, Anna Daniels, one of the editors at San Diego Free Press, cautioned:

When the news broke that Malin Burnham was interested in purchasing the U-T San Diego with the intent of turning it into a non-profit, the main and often only description of him was as a San Diego “philanthropist”. And it is true–Burnham is known for his extensive philanthropy.

He is also known for his role as a local real estate developer, as chairman of First National Bank at San Diego and as a former Director of San Diego Gas and Electric. It might prove useful in the future to keep these other interests in mind.

Which pretty much sums up Part One for me. As City Hall veteran, Norma Damashek, reminded us:

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UCSD’s CHE Cafe Facing Eviction Next Week

October 23, 2014 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter

A ruling by Superior Court Judge Katherine Bacal on Tuesday, Oct. 21 may well mean the end of the road for the C.H.E. Cafe, a student run cooperative at UCSD.

The co-op will have five calendar days to vacate once a written order is signed by the judge and the university files a writ of possession, meaning the group could be evicted by the middle of next week.

Supporters of the C.H.E.were vague about their future plans when speaking with the news media following the court decision, saying they were considering further legal actions and promising to continue protest activity and lobbying.

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