April 2011

With rally and petitions, Ocean Beach mobilizes to save its libraries

April 30, 2011 by Staff
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A good sized crowd showed up today – Sat. April 30th – in front of the Ocean Beach branch library, in what originally had been billed as a “meeting” to organize a rally in support of the library. It was a little after 12 noon, another perfect day in paradise.

Or was it?
The meeting, attended by over 50 people, was not really a meeting, at all. It was more like a “happening” – it was about signature gathering on petitions – over 150 collected, ….

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Join the ‘town hall meeting’ at the Ocean Beach Library today at noon.

April 30, 2011 by Frank Gormlie
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Let’s have a town hall meeting today in front of the Ocean Beach branch of the library, at noon. Why not?

Originally tagged as a meeting for those who wished to support the Friends of the OB Library and organize a rally, the gathering set for 12 noon today has morphed into a virtual rally itself. With Councilmember Kevin Faulconer’s office jumping on board, and with the San Diego U-T announcing it, it appears that the meeting is much more.

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Will the San Diego City Council Kill Your Library in Order to Save it?

April 30, 2011 by Anna Daniels

The Office of Independent Budget Analysis (IBA) came out with their 179 page analysis of the mayor’s proposed budget. As you know, the mayor has proposed to rip over 7 million dollars out of the library department budget by pairing libraries which will only be open 18.5 hours per week. This is the severest percentage cut of all general fund departments.

Here are the library options which the IBA has presented to the city council, which will vote to accept or reject the mayor’s budget. This is the option that we must demand that Councilman Faulconer and all other council members support:

Option 1. FULLY RESTORE BRANCH LIBRARY HOURS TO CURRENT SERVICE LEVELS.

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The racist birther movement is also a fascist movement.

April 29, 2011 by Frank Gormlie

Everybody – even yahoo news – now knows that the birther movement is a racist movement. We on the left of the center divide have been aware of the birther’s racism for some time now. Their unwillingness to accept a Black man as president has exposed the racist core of their two and half year campaign.

But the birther movement is something else, something else that no one is talking about: the birther movement is also a fascist movement. Yes, that’s right, I said “fascist”, and it’s not hyperbole. Let me explain.

First, with President Obama proving (again) his place of birth by handing out his long-f0rm birth certificate, the white supremacist underpinnings of the birthers has so been totally demonstrated that even mainstream corporate media are calling them racist.

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All out on May Day- International Worker’s Day!

April 29, 2011 by Staff
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Stand in solidarity with the workers of the world and demand respect for the rights of all workers on May 1, International Workers’ Day!

With unemployment still at record highs, and with union membership at record lows, it’s time for working people to take a moment, and contemplate what this day really means. We have published articles on May Day in the past and they are more relevant today than ever. With the anti-labor sentiment that is rocking our country it is important to stand together and be heard.

There are a few May Day events taking place in San Diego on Sunday, May 1. The participants at each event will march together to meet at Civic Center Plaza at 3 p.m. to hold a May Day Rally. Please feel free to attend an earlier event (see the full post for info) or join us at Civic Center Plaza for the closing rally and action.

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The San Diego County Green Party calls for the immediate closure of San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station

April 29, 2011 by Source
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San Diego County Green Party Press Release/Apr. 28, 2011

The NRC held a public hearing today in San Juan Capistrano to explain to the public the efforts they’ve been undertaking to increase safety at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS). This hearing was prompted by a history of multiple safety violations noted by the NRC on previous inspections and by the recent catastrophe in Japan at the Fukushima plant, a plant that is very similar in design to SONGS.

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Superman renounces US citizenship – is he tired of being asked where his birth certificate is?

April 28, 2011 by Staff
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Editor: Is it true? Is it true that because of Donald Trump’s racism, Superman has renounced his American citizenship? Or is he just tired of the questions about where his long form birth certificate is? Neither – for the Man of Steel has his other reasons.

Great Caesar’s ghost! The world’s most famous champion of truth, justice and the American way says he intends to renounce his US citizenship. Superman makes the shocking pronouncement in this week’s Action Comics No. 900.

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Obama’s MexicoGate

April 28, 2011 by Source

Gunwalking Across the Border Promises to Be the Next Scandal

By Laura Carlsen/ counterpunch

A secret operation to run guns across the border to Mexican drug cartels — overseen by U.S. government agents — threatens to become a major scandal for the Obama administration.

The operation, called “Fast and Furious,” was run out of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) office in Phoenix, Arizona. ATF sanctioned the purchase of weapons in U.S. gun shops and tracked the smuggling route to the Mexican border. Reportedly, more than 2,500 firearms were sold to straw buyers who then handed off the weapons to gunrunners under the nose of ATF.

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Woke up this morning, found we’re mentioned in the news …

April 28, 2011 by Frank Gormlie
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I knew it was coming. I’d seen it on SignOnSanDiego yesterday, so I knew it had to show up in the print version of the San Diego U-T. And there it was, on page 2 of the Local Section:

“Faulconer backs effort to prevent library cuts”

The short piece by reporter Hailey Persinger, as you can read above, is about Councilmember Faulconer ‘partnering’ with two Ocean Beach groups, us – the OB Rag – described as “a neighborhood publication”, which we are, – and the Friends of the OB Library, in efforts to “spar[e] city libraries from drastic budget cuts.”

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San Diego proceeds with outsourcing despite unknown costs and benefits

April 28, 2011 by Source

By Center on Policy Initiatives

Despite unanswered questions about costs, service quality, risks to public health and more, a San Diego City Council committee today sent the scope of work for outsourcing two city services to the full Council for a final decision.

The Center on Policy Initiatives is urging the Council to resolve serious issues before finalizing what will be required in contracts to run the City’s street sweeping and water customer service …

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Journalism noir meets San Diego’s labor history in “Flash” by Jim Miller

April 28, 2011 by Dixon Guizot
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Jim Miller is a professor who practices what he teaches.

Each semester, Miller guides dozens of students through his English and Labor Studies classes at San Diego City College. He has played key roles in literary projects such as the school’s International Book Fair as well as the San Diego Writers Collective. He serves as a political action vice president and does community outreach for the American Federation of Teachers Local #1931.

And as if he wasn’t busy enough already, Miller also finds the time to crank out the occasional book.

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Faulconer Calls for Help to Save OB Library

April 28, 2011 by Andy Cohen
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Councilman Kevin Faulconer will help to lead petition drive to save library funding

Councilmember Kevin Faulconer’s office is calling on Ocean Beach residents to join him in a petition drive to help save the Ocean Beach public library. As has been chronicled in the OB Rag, Faulconer is taking a leadership role in staving off massive budget cuts that will severely cut back operating hours for city operated public libraries across San Diego, including Ocean Beach.

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The Alternative Budget Plan No One’s Telling You About

April 27, 2011 by Andy Cohen
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Congressional Progressive Caucus seeks to solve our budget crisis in a balanced way that protects and preserves our social safety net.

By now you’ve probably heard of the official Republican budget plan, written and presented by Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin. You may have even heard of President Barack Obama’s budget plan—a plan he gave a major speech about nearly two weeks ago. But there’s a third plan out there that hasn’t received much attention.

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The Budget Deficit – How We Got Here

April 27, 2011 by Source
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by John Lawrence

Decrease spending on Defense and Corporate Welfare and Increase Spending on Job Creation and the Safety Net. Increase revenues from Corporations and the Wealthy.

Everyone is concerned about creating a 2012 budget that will get the US annual deficit and finally the national debt under control. Republican Paul Ryan has proposed one that would balance the budget on the backs of the poor and middle class while voucherizing Medicare and giving tax breaks to the wealthy.

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OB Convert: Confronting the Political Divide Across the Fence

April 27, 2011 by OB Convert
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Dear OB Convert,

I recently moved next to a pair of conservatives. While I wasn’t expecting everyone in OB to be fun-loving hippies, I certainly wasn’t expecting such a great political divide to form so close to home. Should I have that conversation, or should I look the other way?

Dear Politically Divided,

Oh, I so feel your pain! It is very dismaying to learn that even OB is riddled with more conservatives than we’d wish for. Unfortunately, instead of being frightened away by our eccentric little town, conservatives seem to want to sterilize it and make it into La-OB-Jolla.

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FUKUSHIMA: The Final Warning

April 27, 2011 by Michael Steinberg
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Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Three Mile Island and Chernobyl—and now Fukushima.

This latest and hopefully last nuclear disaster ironically has struck the very land first devastated by two US atomic bombs.

Unlike those first two horrors, however, those of late in Japan were never supposed to happen.

The six nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, like all others around the planet, were deemed safe and robust.

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Poll Finds Most Americans Uncertain of Donald Trump’s Birthplace

April 27, 2011 by Source
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by Nate Silver / New York Times / April 26, 2011

A new Gallup/USA Today poll finds significant doubt about whether Donald Trump, the real estate mogul and television personality who is considering a bid for presidency, was born in the United States.

According to the survey, just 43 percent of Americans believe that Mr. Trump was definitely born in the United States. Another 20 percent believe that he was probably born here. Some 7 percent of respondents told Gallup that Mr. Trump was probably or definitely born in another country, while 30 percent were uncertain.

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Anna’s Video Pick – Women Advocates Neuter American Men!!!

April 27, 2011 by Anna Daniels
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Congressman Allen West (R-FL) is on to the nefarious attempt of Planned Parenthood and Code Pink types to make men subservient. Just as we women were poised to become the Master Gender, our evil unnatural scheme of reducing men to meek yes ma’ams in between abortions has been ruined by this scholar- cum- congressman.

See inside for the video

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By Popular Demand – Other People’s Music Selections (vetted by Dave)

April 26, 2011 by Dave Rice
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For fear of overexposure, I’m hesitant to add an extra edition of this music thing. But I’ve gotten such a positive response, it’s tempting to make like Catherine Zeta-Jones in all those obnoxious T-Mobile commercials from the late ’00s and start throwing out more than one post every week or so. And you people that read me and watch my videos are coming up with some good suggestions that I don’t want to put on the back burner…and I don’t want to stop firing on all cylinders myself (at least not yet, because I’ve got a few months’ worth of ideas of my own). So with no further ado, I give you Green Day, a suggestion by the esteemed Andy Cohen.

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Giving Young Seekers of Peace and Justice their Due – Mission Bay High, MEChA

April 26, 2011 by Ernie McCray
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Posing in a picture on the desktop of my iMac are some of the most brilliant people I’ve ever known, members of MEChA, a Chicano student organization at Mission Bay High led by Luis Villanueva, a remarkable educator who constantly seeks ways to create learning experiences that are relevant to their lives. Each of them is a budding community leader and exemplary American citizen.

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Books, Doctors and Mayor Sanders

April 26, 2011 by Source
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By Lowell Waxman

In a recent New York Times story, Rx: Read to Your Baby we are reminded that “[i]ncreasingly, research has supported the idea that children should be exposed to a language-rich environment as soon as they are born because it can significantly improve cognitive and language development and readiness for school.

Remarkably, we also learn that some pediatricians in New York City are now writing prescriptions for books for parents to read to their babies “because … pediatricians know that one of the most important things they can do to impact the long-term health of their patients is to make sure their patients are literate.”

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Navy ends underwater bombs after dolphins’ deaths – including one found off Ocean Beach

April 25, 2011 by Source
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By Jeanette Steele / SignOnSanDiego / April 25, 2011

The Navy’s Third Fleet said it has halted use of time-delay underwater bombs for training in the waters off San Diego after a March 4 incident that killed at least three dolphins.

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OB: Put down the bong, put away the surfboard, close the laptop – your community needs you now.

April 25, 2011 by Source
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by OB Joe

The editors of this here blog liked my comment from the other day so much, they asked me to put together an entire article, so here goes.

I was responding to an article about how the youth need to step up and help save the OB Library. This is so true!

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San Diego “Uncut” Targets Bank of America

April 25, 2011 by Source
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A feisty group of “uncutters” raised a ruckus on the sidewalk in front of the Bank of America at 8th & University in San Diego on Saturday April 23rd.

Fifteen people picketed, chanted and distributed informational leaflets during busy noon-time Saturday traffic on the main street of San Diego’s Hillcrest neighborhood.

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They finally get their private military training camp

April 25, 2011 by Source
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Editor: The good folks of Potrero successfully blocked a BlackWater private military training facility a few years back out in their neck of the woods. Plus Blackwater attempted to open other facilities closer to the border. (Go inside for links to earlier articles.) However, apparently, former BlackWater VP Brian Bonfiglio has done an end run, and started a new business, signed a contract with Los Coyotes Indian Reservation, and has opened Eagle Rock Training Center out on the res near Warner Springs. Local residents are upset and complain about the 2 a.m. helicopter noise, among other things. Seems there are a few other flies in the training camp’s soup.

Marines, SEALs confirm training on Indian reservation

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California State University Sneaks Toward Academic Elitism

April 25, 2011 by Source
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by Kit-Bacon Gressitt / Excuse Me, I’m Writing

On Wednesday, April 13, campuses across the California State University system (CSU) hosted demonstrations — dubbed Take Class Action Day — to protest budget cuts to the Cal State system.

The rally was the first time, since landing at CSU San Marcos in January, that I sensed that protest high of my otherwise misspent youth. As I approached the gathering, shades of rhythmic rebellion synced with my beating heart as students, staff and faculty sang the praises of the inexorable right to higher education; of the state’s primal responsibility for equitable, affordable access; of rolling coins in a desperate attempt to pay steadily-increasing fees as the dastardly CSU Chancellor Charles Reed and legislators shirk that responsibility.

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Sustainability 101: Keep it Flowing

April 25, 2011 by Terrie Leigh Relf
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by Terrie Leigh Relf

While the title above may sound a bit clichéd, as does the proverbial “pay it forward”, etc. it is still a practice upon which cultures are created, sustained, disrupted, and otherwise meet their demise. When pondering this behavior, I often ask myself about various cultural practices—both simple and complex—and how they shape my daily life.

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One-Year Anniversary of March for California’s Future

April 25, 2011 by Jim Miller
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This week marks the one-year anniversary of the end of the March for California’s Future, a 48 day, 352-mile march through the Central Valley to the State Capitol. There, on a rainy day in Sacramento, I was one of many union folks, students, and religious and community leaders who spoke to a crowd of thousands gathered to protest the ever-more draconian cuts to education and social services.

All the way from Los Angeles to Sacramento we carried the message that California needs a government and economy that works for everyone, not just the rich.

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Anna’s Video Pick – The Egg & I

April 24, 2011 by Anna Daniels
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This video pick is in the key of quirky problem solving solutions. For those of you who will be facing a bumper crop of hard boiled eggs this weekend, here’s a novel way to shorten the time between egg and egg salad. Science! Projectiles! Yes!

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Mayor Sanders Blows Off Library Supporters at First Community Budget Hearing

April 23, 2011 by Anna Daniels
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Once again library supporters provided the majority of citizen input regarding the proposed budget, and once again, Mayor Sanders was dismissive of them. The mayor is holding two community budget hearings to explain the budget. The first one was held at Kearny High School. The fifty or so citizens who showed up were not given an opportunity to provide public testimony. We were handed a note card and told that we could ask the mayor a question about the budget.

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