San Diego

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


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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Words for the Freeps on Our Fifth Anniversary

June 7, 2017 by Source

The New York Times Could Only Take ‘One Outrage a Week From San Diego’

Editors’ Notes: The OB Rag staff launched the San Diego Free Press five years old this week. This is one in a series of posts reflecting on the paths we’ve traveled.


By Bob Dorn / San Diego Free Press

Many of us Freeps were born at the simultaneously best and worst of times. We came into the world during or just after World War II, which itself is probably the best war these so-called United States ever fought.

Our parents had been rescued from the Great Depression by Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal thinkers, a class not afraid to be called intellectuals because they combined brains with a conscience, a combination that produced programs like Social Security and a set of banking laws that are still in operation

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Real Estate Interests, Hoteliers Triumph in Special Election Showdown

June 7, 2017 by Doug Porter

You could say that special elections are actually a form of voter suppression. And you’d be right.

By Doug Porter

The absurdities of politics in American’s Finest City never cease to amaze me. Monday’s battle of the budget was a perfect example, complete with surprise ending(s). There were dueling press conferences, grueling hours of public testimony, some public fuming, and a mayoral overruling.

Given the number of players involved–and some won’t get mentioned for the sake of brevity–it’s best to lay out a timeline of events.

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Downtown Protest Today – June 1st – in Response to Expected Trump Decision to Abandon Climate Agreement

June 1, 2017 by Staff


Grassroots climate advocacy group SanDiego350 is calling for people to protest President Trump’s widely expected decision to pull the U.S. out of the international Paris Climate Agreement.

A demonstration is set for 5:30-7pm today (Thursday, June 1) at the Federal Building (880 Front Street) in downtown San Diego.

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What’s the Matter with San Diego Labor (Part 2): Rank and Who?

May 22, 2017 by Jim Miller


It was a palace civil war and nobody in the break-away group even bothered to ask their members what to do.

By Jim Miller

Last week I outlined why the ill-conceived Mickey Kasparian-driven split in San Diego labor was such a bad idea, citing the recent history of the failed attempt of several national unions to form a break-away organization outside of the AFL-CIO called Change to Win (CTW) that eventually fell apart under its own weight accomplishing not much of note in the long run.

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More Photos … and Cartoons … Found of Charles Lindbergh

May 16, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

Dr. Seuss Knew a Thing or Two About Lindbergh

By Frank Gormlie

A week and a half ago or so, the San Diego Union-Tribune published a bunch of “rare, never-before-published photographic images of Charles Lindbergh on his way to becoming Charles Lindbergh,” while he was training in San Diego, photos that had been “hiding in storage for 90 years.”

It was of course in mid-May, 1927, that Lindbergh made the first-ever nonstop solo airplane flight across the Atlantic Ocean from New York to Paris, a total of 3,610 miles and he made it in 33 hours. The flight certainly “turned him into one of the most famous and admired people on Earth,” … for a while at least.

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‘My Way Or the Highway’ Isn’t a Rallying Call for San Diego Labor Activism

May 16, 2017 by Doug Porter

In a not-so-improbable dystopian future, forces loyal to fearless leader Donald Trump will have rounded up local labor leaders, only to be surprised to learn of a faction demanding a separate firing squad…

By Doug Porter

A breakaway group –the San Diego Working Families Council– led by deposed Labor Council President Mickey Kasparian includes seven local branches of some big-name unions.

The San Diego Free Press and the OB Rag have offered up three perspectives of what this split means for local activists.

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10 San Diego Progressives Who Brought Down Mickey Kasparian

May 16, 2017 by Source

Mickey Kasparian

By Marcus Bush / San Diego Free Press

After nearly 6 months of controversy and tumult stemming from lawsuits on hostile work environment, retaliation, and sexual harassment, on Monday, May 8th, Mickey Kasparian was removed as President of the San Diego Imperial-Counties Labor Council by the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO).

The shocking announcement rocked the regional political climate, as Kasparian was one of the most powerful leaders of the Labor Movement and Democratic Party in San Diego County.

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San Diego Indivisible Pricks National GOP Bubble in Coronado

May 12, 2017 by Doug Porter


By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

Nearly 400 activists with the network of 88 Indivisible-affiliated groups in Southern California took to the beach on Thursday, aiming to send a message to the Republican National Committee’s Spring Meeting at the Hotel Del Coronado.

Inside the building, it was business as usual for GOP delegates from around the country.

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Mickey Kasparian Removed from San Diego Labor Council by AFL-CIO

May 9, 2017 by Staff

In Act of Defiance, Kasparian Forms New Labor Group

Voice of San Diego reports:

Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, a federation of national labor unions, ordered the removal of leaders of the local San Diego Imperial-Counties Labor Council on Monday [May 8] and put it under a receivership. The move prompted several local unions, including two of the largest, to leave the Labor Council and announce the formation of a new entity, the San Diego Working Families Council.

The dramatic moves follow months of turmoil in the local labor movement following allegations of sexual harassment against Mickey Kasparian, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 135 and now ousted leader of the Labor Council. …

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Workers, Students and Adjuncts as Disposable People in the Trump Era

May 8, 2017 by Jim Miller

By Jim Miller

Last week will live in infamy as the time when the American House of Representatives consciously voted to take away health care from millions of Americans, potentially threatening the lives of countless numbers of our family members, friends, and neighbors. It was also the week when May Day rallies happened across the country, including here in San Diego.

At San Diego City College, my friend and colleague, Christy Ball, delivered the following speech that tells the story of the very Americans who are now at great risk, and it shares the anger that more and more Americans are feeling at the cruelty of the current regime. For my column, then, I yield my soapbox to her.

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Need for Police Accountability and Transparency After La Jolla Shooting

May 8, 2017 by Anna Daniels

“It is possible to be in debt, to be lovelorn, and to be racist. They are not mutually exclusive.”

By Anna Daniels / San Diego Free Press

The recent shooting rampage at the La Jolla Crossroads apartment complex in University City left one person dead and seven persons wounded. This is indisputable.

We also know that the dead victim and wounded were all African Americans and the shooter, who was subsequently shot by the police, was white.

Local news coverage of the event has unsurprisingly focused on the possible motives for San Diego’s scene of American Carnage.

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There’s No Hiding It. There’s No Place for Homeless San Diegans to Go

May 4, 2017 by Source

Press conference atop the MTS parking garage at the 12th and Imperial Transit Station

By Jeeni Criscenzo / San Diego Free Press

The numbers of homeless person in our region counted during the annual Point in Time Count (PITC) conducted January 29, 2017 were recently released.

This is the data that will be sent to HUD to determine how much funding will be provided to the County of San Diego for homeless issues, including emergency shelter and efforts to get people into permanent housing. Last year that amounted to $18 million but under the Trump administration those funds could be significantly reduced.

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Coverage of May Day Protests in San Diego, North County, and Nationwide

May 2, 2017 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

May Day, historically a day of protest, took on a sense of urgency this year in response to the Trump administration’s continuing assault on just about everybody who isn’t poised to benefit in an era of officially-sanctioned kleptocracy.

In cities from coast to coast, thousands of labor and immigrant rights activists took to the streets. The protests began locally with morning teach-ins at college campuses throughout San Diego County. Organizers say roughly 2000 students participated in events at City College, Mesa, Grossmont, Cuyamaca, and Miramar.

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May Day in San Diego: Downtown Marches, SDSU Walk-Out, Campus Teach-Ins and More

May 1, 2017 by Doug Porter


There are actions on eight college campuses, a big rally downtown, a hotel picket line, a march from downtown to Chicano Park.

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San Diego’s April 29th Climate March: Why It Matters

April 28, 2017 by Source

By Mark Hughes, SanDiego350

In the recently published book, “The Knowledge Illusion”, authors Steven Sloman and Philip Fernbach assert something rather disturbing: we rarely think for ourselves. Instead, we patch together our understanding of the world by taking a bit from over here and a bit from over there. If they are correct, it’s pretty easy to see that it’s whose bits we incorporate (the IPCC or Trump? Hmm.) that create our worldview.

Person holding sign: Pipelines Leak, It's Not If, It's When

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A Freeway Runs Through It: How City Heights and Barrio Logan Fought Local Political Machines to Save Their Neighborhoods

April 25, 2017 by Anna Daniels

chicano park parque chcano

Editor: The following is a retelling of how the San Diego communities of Barrio Logan and City Heights fought CalTrans and the local political machine to save their neighborhoods. (Originally published April 24, 2013.)

Resistance, Vision and Community

By Anna Daniels

During the month of April, San Diego Free Press has been providing extensive coverage of Barrio Logan. Much of that coverage has focused upon Chicano Park–its history, its national historical designation and its deep spiritual and community connections.

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Islamophobes Angry at San Diego School Board Over Anti-Bullying Policies

April 25, 2017 by Doug Porter

school boardBy Doug Porter

The San Diego Unified School District Board of Trustees meeting this week may see an exercise in bombastic bigotry, thanks to articles published at Breitbart News and other outlets suggesting policies aimed at preventing bullying are actually implementing Sharia law.

An article in the Union-Tribune says the district is hearing complaints from people drawing misinformed conclusions stemming from the lead-in to the article at Breitbart, which strongly suggests the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is a terrorist organization.

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Dumanis to Ease Out of DA’s Office amid Call for Independent Investigation into Her Ethics, Yet Considers Supervisor Seat

April 24, 2017 by Doug Porter

Democratic chair calls for independent investigation

By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis has informed her staff she’ll be leaving the position as of July 7, and is considering a run for County Supervisor.

In a letter distributed to the DA’s office on Thursday morning Dumanis says, although not committed as of yet to run for office, she believes her experience, along with the Board’s involvement in public safety and policy issues, would make her an effective member.

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Why the People’s Climate March Matters Now More Than Ever

April 24, 2017 by Jim Miller

Climate March

By Jim Miller

In the lead up to Earth Day, Elizabeth Kolbert, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sixth Extinction, accurately observed that this year there wasn’t much to celebrate.

She’s right. An administration that can’t seem to stop stepping on its own feet in nearly every other area has been pretty darn good at gearing up to kill the planet. As Kolbert writes in the New Yorker:

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Present at the Creation: Walter Cronkite and the ‘Environment Story’

April 21, 2017 by Source

By Ron Bonn/ SanDiego350

You could say I was present at the creation.

Looking back in our lives, we rarely know exactly when something started. But regular television news coverage of man-made climate change, with all it implies, started on New Year’s Day, 1970.

The staff of “The CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite”: producers, writers, technicians; a couple dozen of us in all, were sitting around the newsroom waiting for something to happen—because nothing happens on New Year’s Day—when the man himself stormed in. “Goddamn it,” he said to us, “we’ve got to do something about this environment story.”

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Proposed San Diego Budget Bad News for Urban Forestry

April 21, 2017 by Source

By Anne Fege / San Diego Free Press

The City’s FY 2018 budget was released on April 13, with a proposed cut of $880,000 for shade tree pruning—a grave disappointment.

With the City’s commitment to the Climate Action Plan, existing and large trees provide the most canopy cover, and they need to be managed and protected to maximize their health and life span.

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It’s Spring: Time to Save the Planet

April 20, 2017 by Source


March for Science San Diego – Saturday, April 22, 10am

People’s Climate March San Diego – Saturday, April 29, 10am

Upcoming weeks offer several opportunities to join the fight against global warming. And in the age of a Donald Trump administration, the environment needs all the friends it can get.

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Call to Action: San Diego’s Congressional Delegation Lunches with Chamber of Commerce Fri., April 21st

April 19, 2017 by Doug Porter

Chamber – Congressional Luncheon Targeted for Protest – Fri. April 21

By Doug Porter /San Diego Free Press

The San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce is hosting a luncheon on Friday, April 21 featuring all 5 members of our Congressional delegation.

Representatives Susan Davis, Duncan Hunter, Darrell Issa, Scott Peters, and Juan Vargas will participate in a panel focused on ‘issues that matter most to our region’s economy’, moderated by Carla Marinucci – a senior writer for Politico’s California Playbook daily newsletter.

A coalition of organizations led by Indivisible chapters is calling for a demonstration late Friday morning outside downtown’s Manchester Grand Hyatt.

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