San Diego

Editor from ‘San Diego Free Press’ Named by CityBeat as One of Top 20 San Diegans for 2017

November 17, 2017 by Staff

Brent Beltrán is one of the seven editors of the San Diego Free Press – the online partner of the OB Rag. Well, this week, San Diego CityBeat named Brent as one of their top 20 San Diegans for 2017. We’re very proud of Brent and certainly agree that it’s time he received some public accolades.

Here is what CityBeat writer Torrey Bailey said about Brent:

Who is he? He’s the vice chair of the Barrio Logan Community Planning Group and sits on the Environmental Health Coalition board of directors. Oh, and he’s on the editorial board of the San Diego Free Press as well.

Why did we pick him?

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County Jail Deaths Don’t Matter in San Diego

November 17, 2017 by Doug Porter

The decision of the county’s police oversight group to not look into the deaths of twenty-odd human beings should serve as a reminder of how true justice is a much rarer commodity than most people realize.

As part of my research into the upcoming elections for County Sheriff and District Attorney, it’s been made clear to me that oversight of the agencies vested with the power of arrest and the administration of justice is largely an illusion.

On one level this is about the frailties of humans; peer pressure to maintain the integrity of the tribe in the face of constant threats. The unspeakable cruelties of injustice are seemingly compartmentalized away from public view so the ongoing–and often misguided–crusade against crime can continue.

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San Diego County Government Laid Bare

November 16, 2017 by Source

By Norma Damashek

Who knew the race for San Diego County Board of Supervisors could be so hidden, so mysterious?

County government leaders have gotten negative press lately with charges of complacency … neglect … elitism … callousness … and worse! But that hasn’t stopped a vigorous set of candidates from vying for a seat on the tarnished Board of Supervisors.

What an intriguing mystery! It’s time for girl-crusader-for-good-government Nancy Drew to do some sleuthing.

She’s got five big questions about county government. And she’s got a few question for the candidates whose eyes are glued on the June 2018 primary election. All she wants are the facts, ma’am.

Question 1: What’s County Government For, Anyway?

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‘Community Choice Energy’ Technical Study Finds Cheaper and Greener Benefits for San Diego

November 15, 2017 by Source

Conservative Assumptions Camouflage Benefits of this New Energy Option

By Tyson Siegele / San Diego 350 / San Diego Free Press

San Diego struggles under the yoke of the highest electricity prices in the state. Meanwhile, thousands of cities across the United States have executed a plan to reduce their electricity prices, called Community Choice Energy. City officials hired an expert to determine if Community Choice would work here too. The technical study, also known as the feasibility study, found that San Diego would benefit from Community Choice, just like thousands of cities before it.

In July, when the City released the technical study, several publications such as the San Diego Union-Tribune and the Voice of San Diego highlighted the main finding of the study:

San Diego could provide cheaper, greener energy than SDG&E.”

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2018: Time to Clean House in San Diego County Government

November 14, 2017 by Doug Porter

Western side of the County Administration Building

By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

Imagine, if you will…

A place in California where a single official believes he has the power to turn back the clock on same-sex marriage… A place where investigations into the deaths of people in jail are dismissed… A place where elected officials get to pick their successors…

… A place where a politician can pick up the phone and order police retaliation on people whose views he doesn’t share… A place where hundreds of millions of dollars sit undisturbed while homelessness spreads unabated, while a single elected official can pledge $150 million for a sports stadium.

Welcome to San Diego County

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What San Diego is Doing Wrong: Housing Law 101

November 2, 2017 by Source

By Parisa Ijadi-Maghsoodi / San Diego UrbDeZine / October 27, 2017

Instead of taking concrete steps to address the growing housing affordability crisis, San Diego has done nothing for years. Now, faced with nationwide criticism for its mishandling of a Hepatitis A outbreak that was caused by the mistreatment of a growing homeless population, City leaders are wondering what went wrong.

First, San Diego gave its public housing authority, San Diego Housing Commission, free reign to opt out of following federal laws aimed at protecting housing subsidy recipients. As a result,

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A Statue Honoring the Murderous Vasco Nuñez de Balboa in San Diego’s Balboa Park? No Way!

November 2, 2017 by Source

By Steven Newcomb / Indigenous Law Institute

On November 2, 2017, at 6:00 p.m., the Balboa Park Committee will meet at Balboa Park, in San Diego. During the meeting, the House of Spain is scheduled to ask the Committee for a decision regarding a proposal to build a statue honoring a Spanish conquistador named Vasco Nuñez de Balboa. The Committee ought to tell the House of Spain “No, it’s 2017.”

These days, at a time when many statues in the South are being taken down because they honor a legacy of slavery, the House of Spain wants to erect a statue in honor of a Spaniard

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Hierarchy of San Diego’s Elected Venerables

October 31, 2017 by Source

By Norma Damashek /San Diego Free Press

You and I – as ordinary voters living in greater San Diego – have a mindnumbing number of opportunities to elect scads of people to serve as our public mouthpieces.

We routinely go to the polls or mail in our ballots to select the “public servants” we believe will represent our personal and community interests and improve our well-being. Keeping up with who’s running for what is a daunting job.

In fact, if we built a totem pole made up of all our elected officials, it would surely reach the clouds, maybe even touch the sky.

Curious about how it might look?

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Republicans Try to Squelch Nathan Fletcher’s Bid for San Diego Supervisor With Jim Miller’s Old Quotes

October 30, 2017 by Jim Miller

 

By Jim Miller

Will Nathan Fletcher ride in on a magic carpet to the Board of Supervisors?

Tomorrow is Halloween. Are we in for something scary?

Not really.

While the vast majority of people in San Diego are not paying the least bit of attention to local races heading into 2018, there has been quite a bit of petty drama surrounding the San Diego Board of Supervisors District 4 race in recent weeks.

It appears that local Republican operatives have decided to kill Nathan Fletcher’s most recent political aspirations

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San Diego’s Democratic Party Leadership Needs to Take Its Head Out of the Sand

October 24, 2017 by Doug Porter

Last weekend’s San Diego County Democratic Convention was a success on many levels. Candidates spoke, networks were built, and the party faithful came away full of hope for the future. The mechanics of the event went smoothly.

But…

Ten thousand dollars bought a lot of silence at the Democratic Convention.

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Call to Action: We Need Transparency, Not Secrecy, in Selecting New San Diego Police Chief

October 24, 2017 by Ernie McCray

In the next few months we will have a new San Diego Chief of Police and I hope that whoever gets the job can do something, for me, no one has been able to do: create an environment wherein I don’t find myself squirming a bit every time a police officer rolls up behind me or next to me. I just can’t help it, though, with my life’s experiences.

Now, hey, don’t get me wrong, I’ve known some good police officers — parents at my schools, guys I grew up with, dudes I’ve toked and toasted with, played ball with — it’s just that the bad seeds among them can be downright scary at times.

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A Summary of Nuclear Waste Issue at San Onofre

October 23, 2017 by Source

By Gary Headrick

I was recently asked to clear up some confusion about our nuclear waste strategy in an email thread between some good friends. I thought it might be worth sharing a refined version of my reply with you.

Also if you have not signed and shared our Petition yet, please do.

Here is the basic objective:

Delay the date for silos on the beach to get loaded with extremely radioactive waste.

This allows time to consider better alternatives that make us safer while deadly waste remains here cooling off for perhaps decades before it can be moved. We must deal with the fact that they are using canisters that can’t be monitored to prevent leaks, can’t be repaired

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Televangelist Extremist Morris Cerullo Gets His Disneyland Park in Mission Valley

October 20, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

San Diego City Council Approves 18-Acre Christian-Themed Center

On Tuesday, October 17th, the San Diego City Council approved televangelist Morris Cerullo’s $130 – 160 million Legacy International Center project. The Center will replace the former Mission Valley Resort at 875 South Hotel Circle Drive on an 18 acre site at the west end of Mission Valley.

That’s the main headline.

But what the Council also did was approve a mini Disneyland-type of religious theme-park that will promote controversial religious tourism, owned by the head of a extremist Evangelical empire who is outspoken in his opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage,

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Special City Council Hearing on Vacation Rentals for Oct. 23rd Is Cancelled

October 20, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

A special hearing by the San Diego City Council set for Monday, October 23rd, on deciding policy on short term vacation rentals has been cancelled. The cancellation – or ‘adjournment’ – was basically due to a last-minute memo from the City Attorney’s Office that raised legal questions about elements of the proposed ordinances by various members of the Council.

Mrytle Cole, President of the City Council, issued a Memo on Thursday, October 19th, that stated in part:

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San Diego City Council Not Ready for Vacation Rentals at Monday Oct. 23 Meeting

October 19, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

It does not appear that the San Diego City Council will be ready to finally make policy on short term vacation rentals at their hearing set for Monday, October 23rd.

Said Councilman David Alvarez, a key player on the issue:

“The breaking news is there won’t be anything done on Monday.”

A front page article in today’s San Diego Union-Tribune quotes Alvaraz as saying he doesn’t see how the Council can move forward on the contentious issue after the City Attorney just released

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Sailboat for Peace Crashes Fleet Week

October 18, 2017 by Dave Rice

Golden Rule Sails In Peacefully

By Dave Rice /San Diego Reader / Oct. 15, 2017

On Saturday (October 14), Fleet Week was in full swing at San Diego Bay.

Crowds lined the waterfront from Tuna Harbor north along the Embarcadero to watch Navy and Coast Guard vessels and helicopters performing in and over the water. More waited in line to tour Broadway Pier, where sailors sporting sidearms and semiautomatic rifles guarded access to the amphibious transport ship USS Anchorage, troop transports, churro vendors, tanks, bubble tea stands, and pieces of heavy artillery on display.

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Why Councilman Cate Likely Won’t Be Prosecuted for Helping Out Soccer City

October 18, 2017 by Doug Porter

City Councilman Chris Cate’s admission of his decision to pass along a confidential legal memo to a lobbyist working for the backers of the Soccer City development proposal has been at the center of controversy in recent days.

Cate and his PR guy say the decision to share was a necessary part of gathering information to make an informed decision. Except it would appear the Councilman had already taken a stance since his photograph appears alongside a supportive quote with other project backers at GoalSD.com. And lobbyist Craig Benedetto, who received the memo–stamped “confidential”–donated to and raised funds for Cate earlier this year.

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How San Diego’s Transit Went from First to Worst

October 17, 2017 by Source

By Murtaza Baxamusa / UrbDeZine

The current leadership at San Diego’s regional transportation agency hates tax, except that they love to spend it.

This double-standard has become increasingly apparent in the recent months, as they are back-filling the shortfall in the local sales tax revenues and increase in project costs with $5 billion from a statewide gas tax that many on the agency’s board vehemently oppose.

With the failure of the local sales tax measure last year, and the gridlock in Washington D.C., the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG – in charge of planning and building transit in the county) is now far more dependent on the passage of transportation taxes by the California legislature.

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

October 16, 2017 by Jim Miller

Last week in the second part of my review of Nancy MacLean’s “Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America,” I noted how the complicity of neoliberal Democrats with the aims of the Right is one of the reasons why fighting the Koch brothers of the world has been so difficult.

Thinking they are reasonably compromising or engaging in a savvy war of position, these Democrats are instead simply crab walking us over a cliff.

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

October 13, 2017 by Doug Porter

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

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

This is a good thing .

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San Diego’s Dangling Participles

October 13, 2017 by Source

By Norma Damashek / San Diego Free Press

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

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

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

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

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Is San Diego Councilman Chris Ward Catering to Airbnb?

October 3, 2017 by Source

By John Thickstun, Esq.

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

Senator Dianne Feinstein replied:

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

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San Diego City Council Member Zapf Unacquainted With Cannabis Science

September 28, 2017 by Source

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

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

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

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

September 20, 2017 by Source

Faulconer Has Ignored Calls for More Public Restrooms Downtown Since 2014

By Martha Sullivan / Change.org

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

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

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

September 19, 2017 by Source

View of dead trees at Torrey Pines Reserve

By Dale Williams / San Diego Free Press

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

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

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

September 11, 2017 by Source

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By John Thickstun

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

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

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

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

September 9, 2017 by Doug Porter

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

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

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

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Republican Dumanis Declares for County Supervisor

September 7, 2017 by Doug Porter

Fourth District includes Ocean Beach and Good Part of Point Loma

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

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

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

September 7, 2017 by Source

Banner on ground reading "WE ARE STUDENTS NOT CUSTOMERS"

By Thomas Ultican / Tultican

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

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

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San Diego Rallies in Response to Ending DACA

September 6, 2017 by Doug Porter

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

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

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

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

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