January 2012

OB Mainstreet Association Makes Call to Save Special Events in the City of San Diego

January 25, 2012 by Source

Editor: The Ocean Beach Mainstreet Association has issued a call for OBceans to join a city-wide campaign to save special events in San Diego. There’s a press conference on Friday – see below – and also a petition to sign – also see below.

Action required to save special events in the city of San Diego!

By OBMA

The Ocean Beach MainStreet Association would like to get you involved in a critical movement to save special events throughout the city of San Diego. Make your voice heard today by signing the petition on the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce “Save Our Events Coalition” website.

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Ocean Beach Man a Hero to Fellow Passengers on Ill-Fated Italian Cruise Ship

January 24, 2012 by Frank Gormlie
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Nick Taliaferro of Ocean Beach was on the ill-fated Italian cruise ship with his girlfriend when it hit a reef and sank last week. Now some of the passengers are calling Taliaferro a hero for assisting them and their children getting into lifeboats despite calls by crews that everything was okay.

A website in Nick’s hometown of Hannibal, Missouri, ran a piece about him last week, see this: Hannibal.net :

A former Hannibal resident is being called a hero by some of his fellow passengers aboard the cruise ship Costa Concordia, which was carrying more than 4,200 passengers and crew when it hit a reef and sank last Friday off the tiny Italian island of Giglio.

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Irwin Jacobs’ Balboa Park Plan Dealt Legal Setback

January 24, 2012 by Source

Judge Faults Balboa Park Traffic Plan – A $40 million plan to take traffic out of the heart of Balboa Park has been dealt a legal setback

By Gene Cubbison / NBC San Diego / Jan 24, 2012

A $40 million plan to take traffic out of the heart of Balboa Park has been dealt a legal setback.

Critics say they hope the Superior Court ruling by Judge Judith Hayes will prod the plan’s backers — led by Qualcomm founder Irwin Jacobs — to consider other options. The Plaza de Panama project is among the preparations for the centennial celebration of Balboa Park’s 1915 Panama-California Exposition, which helped raise San Diego’s national and worldwide prominence at the time.

But historic preservationists say it’s misguided.

“There are probably ten really good alternatives that we could wholeheartedly support,” says Bruce Coons, executive director of Save Our Heritage Organisation (SOHO), which filed the lawsuit.

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Robert Reich: The State of Our Disunion

January 24, 2012 by Source
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The State of Our Disunion: A Globalizing Private Sector, A Government Overwhelmed by Corporate Money

By Robert Reich / RR’s Blog – RSN / January 24, 2012

Who should have the primary strategic responsibility for making American workers globally competitive – the private sector or government? This will be a defining issue in the 2012 campaign.

In his State of the Union address, President Obama will make the case that government has a vital role. His Republican rivals disagree. Mitt Romney charges the President is putting “free enterprise on trial,” while Newt Gingrich merely fulminates about “liberal elites.”

American business won’t and can’t lead the way to more and better jobs in the United States. First, the private sector is increasingly global, with less and less stake in America. Second, it’s driven by the necessity of creating profits, not better jobs.

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“Papa Doug’s” Got a Brand New Bag: the UT Goes All In For Big and Shiny Downtown San Diego

January 24, 2012 by Doug Porter
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There was little doubt in anybody’s mind that developer Doug Manchester’s purchase of San Diego’s daily newspaper would result in a new wave of grand plans and big box economic boosterism. And this last Sunday’s newspaper, replete with a front page editorial and a special opinion section (printed on higher quality paper for those who might want to preserve the words of wisdom contained therein) did not disappoint.

Clearly the visionaries in Papa Doug’s planning sessions for this outburst of expansionist thinking heeded the call to go Bigger, more Badass and Bolder at every turn. Take a look for yourself here.

New football stadium? Check. Bigger Convention Center? Check. New Sports Arena? Check. Concessions for Organized Labor? Check. Sops to the Coastal Commission? Check. New home for the San Diego ‘Wings’ sculpture that nobody seems to want on the waterfront? Check (I think). Vague promises about how this project will improve life for people living in communities of color? Check. The only two things I couldn’t find in the plan were a location for the urban SuperWalmart that we urgently needed so badly last year and a new City Hall building. I’m guessing if that City Council President Tony Young endorses this plan, they’ll find a place for the Walmart.

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The U-T Finds Politicos in South Bay Who Question DA’s Election-Year Prosecutions

January 24, 2012 by Source

Editor: Finally some pushback against DA Bonnie Dumanis’ persecution of the Democrats in the South Bay Sweetwater school district. U-T reporters Fry and Moran have spoken with people in the South Bay who are upset with what they see as Dumanis’ apparent election-year grandstanding and over-arching hypocrisy. Even the U-T poll showed this doubt with its readers. The U-T asked: Are Bonnie Dumanis’ prosecutorial decisions for elected officials affected by politics? “Yes” was the response of 86% with 334 votes, whereas “No” was received by 13% with 54 votes, for total of 388 votes (as of 9 am today).

by Wendy Fry and Greg Moran / U-T San Diego / Jan. 21, 2012

The elected official accepted hundreds of dollars of theater and opera tickets, all the while steering millions of taxpayer dollars to the people paying the bills.

A South Bay official charged with corruption? No.

Supervisor Pam Slater-Price accepted the tickets, while dispensing grants to the opera and the Old Globe Theatre. After The Watchdog revealed she failed to report the gifts on state forms, she was given a $2,000 administrative fine in 2010.

Slater-Price’s act — failing to report gifts on state-mandated forms — is what has four current and former officials of the Sweetwater schools in trouble with the District Attorney’s Office.

They are accused of taking meals (and theater tickets) from a contractor and then steering public money toward his contract. They have pleaded not guilty to perjury and filing false statements, 24 felonies total related to the failure to disclose the gifts.

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The San Diego Free Speech Centennial Continues

January 23, 2012 by Jim Miller
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Missed the opening of the San Diego Free Speech Centennial Exhibition in the Centro Cultural de la Raza on January 6th?

Not to worry. The celebration of the 100-year anniversary of the San Diego Free Speech Fight continues this Thursday, January 26th at the Saville Theatre (where 14th Street meets C in downtown) on the City College campus from 7:00-9:00 PM.

This event will feature music by Gregory Page and the Proles; a reading from my IWW novel Flash; a special Voices of Peoples’ History presentation focused on the free speech fight by City College students; and the premiere of a short documentary on this important piece of local history. Before and after the performances you can view Golden Lands/Working Hands, the California Federation of Teachers’ mobile labor history exhibit. This event is free and open to the public.

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What’s Up With All This Occupy?

January 23, 2012 by Ernie McCray
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Hey, there’s people
out there stressin’
going”What’s up with all this ‘Occupy?'”
Well, I tell you one thing
and this ain’t no lie.
Occupy
as a concept,
ain’t something
that just dropped from the sky.
Unh. Unh.
Not even a close try….

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Sweetwater District Political Indictments – An Historical Analysis

January 21, 2012 by Source

By Herman Baca, President – Committee on Chicano Rights / January 20, 2012

In Mexico they call it what it is, “Corruption, La Mordida.” In the U.S. especially in San Diego County they call it, “Campaign Contributions.”

District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis is the most anti-Mexican District Attorney in SD County’s history, a Republican with a political agenda, running for Mayor of San Diego. Dumanis has a long history of criminalizing, profiling, and defaming persons of Mexican ancestry (i.e. Chula Vista Councilman Steve Castenada), and entire Mexican communities such as Old Town National City.

“Old Town National City (OTNC) gangs, which has prowled National City streets since World War II and whose members, in some cases go back four generations in the same family, etc.”

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“New” U-T? Same as the old U-T: Local Daily Blacks-out Rally By Hundreds of San Diegans Against Corporate Money in Politics

January 21, 2012 by Frank Gormlie

When Papa Doug Manchester bought the San Diego Union-Tribune late last year, there was a hint that the “new” U-T would be different.

But with the daily’s total black-out of a rally on Saturday by hundreds of San Diegans against corporate monies in politics and elections, we can now see that the “new” U-T is the same as the old U-T: both ignore as best as they can progressive gatherings against causes the owners and editors like.

The “old” U-T was adept at ignoring rallies by several thousand labor supporters for example – all the while high-lighting a tiny gathering of tea party types. We documented this in the past.

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Hundreds Rally in Downtown San Diego Against “Citizens United” and for Campaign Finance Reform

January 21, 2012 by Frank Gormlie
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At least 250 San Diegans rallied on Friday, January 20th, in downtown San Diego against the US Supreme Court case known as “Citizens United”. It was the one year anniversary of the court decision that gutted campaign finance reform and that has eroded citizens’ rights of freedom of speech.

Organized by Women Occupy San Diego and Common Cause in conjunction with a national group called Move to Amend, the well-attended gathering next to the Federal Building was the largest protest in this city against the Supreme Court decision that has come to represent everything bad in modern American elections.

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Internet Dating: From Cougar to Cub to “Boy Toy” or What’s It All About?

January 21, 2012 by Judi Curry
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Married at the age of 17; divorced at the age of 27; remarried at the age of 27, didn’t give me much time to learn about dating in the modern world. Now, as a 72 year old widow that was married for 45 years, loneliness has driven me to the point that I am finding […]

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Reader Rant: ‘Why was mayoral candidate Bonnie Dumanis allowed to parade around Point Loma High as if she knows something about education?’

January 20, 2012 by Source
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By Gail Powell

D.A. DUMANIS, once dis-invited from the City College campus due to students irate over her perceived mishandling of the Diana Gonzalez murder case, has turned up again at a San Diego school.

This time, the Republican mayoral candidate managed to weasel herself into a class at Point Loma High School, alma mata of a number of people at the OB Rag including this author. Dumanis spoke in Room 301, according to the Point Loma High School Daily Bulletin, on Wednesday, January 11th from 12:30-1:30 with teacher Palmiotto hosting.

This bit of campaigning disguised as a school visit did not sit well with some parents. @Bonnie Dumanis on Twitter actually posted a picture of this adventure and it claimed, according to the caption, that Bonnie Dumanis was there to “meet with students at Pt. Loma High School and discuss her ‘Blueprint for America’s Finest Schools.’ http://twitpic.com/89b2nf

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Councilman Faulconer Cuts Ribbon to Open Ocean Beach Gateway Park

January 20, 2012 by Source

Editor: Our Councilman Kevin Faulconer joined with County Supervisor Greg Cox to cut the ribbon today, opening – officially – the new Ocean Beach Gateway Park. Here’s the Press Release from Faulconer’s office:

NEWS RELEASE

Office of San Diego City Councilman Kevin Faulconer

Ocean Beach Unveils Gateway as Unique as its Community

Park designed to feature “O.B.” character; funded by donations and grants

SAN DIEGO — Today, Council President Pro Tem Kevin L. Faulconer and County Supervisor Greg Cox joined Ocean Beach residents to cut the ribbon on the first phase of the Ocean Beach Gateway Park. The grand opening is the culmination of 15 years of planning and fundraising by local leaders and the non-profit Ocean Beach Community Development Corporation.

“The Ocean Beach Gateway Park is a beautiful entrance to the neighborhood, designed by the Ocean Beach community, for the Ocean Beach community,” said Faulconer. “I am proud to have collaborated with Ocean Beach residents to bring the vision of a coastal, pedestrian-friendly park to life.”

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Zapatistas: 18 Years of Rebellion and Resistance

January 20, 2012 by Source

By Marcela Salas Cassani / La Prensa / Originally published Jan. 13, 2012

La Prensa Ed.’s Note: Desinformemonos.org, an “autonomous, global communications project” and sister organization to the Americas Program, covers grassroots movements throughout the world and the ideas and aspirations behind them. Its team has been in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas reporting on an international seminar there to commemorate and reflect on the 18th anniversary of the Zapatista uprising. In collaboration with Desinformemonos, the Americas program presents this summary in English of their coverage of the event.

Hundreds of activists and academics from around the world gathered at the International Seminar “Planet Earth: Anti-Systemic Movements” to discuss the importance of the 1994 Zapatista uprising on its 18th anniversary. In the context of the popular insurrections that have emerged this year across the globe, the seminar held from Dec. 30 to Jan. 2 in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico, concluded, with Portuguese sociologist Boavent-ura de Sousa Santos, that seen in retrospect Zapatista influence has been so strong that “one cannot view the left or the struggle against capitalism without this point of reference.”

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Local Point Loma Videographer Arrested for “Interferring” with Rescue at San Diego River

January 20, 2012 by Source

By Pauline Repard / U-T San Diego / Jan. 19, 2012

San Diego police arrested a freelance news videographer last week after they said he interfered with officers while filming a rescue along the San Diego River.

Edward Baier of Point Loma, who sells breaking news and sports footage to television stations, was jailed Jan. 14 on six counts of interfering or resisting officers. His camera gear was impounded.

He posted bail, which was set at $30,000, and was released early the next morning.

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Volunteers Needed for Annual Homeless Count – for January 27th

January 20, 2012 by Staff

Mayor Candidates Filner and Fletcher Will Join Count – As Will Kevin Faulconer and Toni Atkins

The Regional Task Force on the Homeless seeks volunteers to help with its annual countywide point-in-time count of homeless people in our region. Titled the “We all County Campaign,” the count will be held on Friday, January 27 from 5 a.m. to 8 a.m. To volunteer, sign up here.

Forming teams is encouraged, but not required. Another 200 volunteers are needed to reach this year’s goal of 750 volunteers.

Training will be provided at locations throughout the County. Register by January 22. Homeless people will be counted on the streets as well as those living in cars. The count also includes an in-depth survey of about 1,000 individuals.

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SDG&E wants you to pay for wildfires

January 20, 2012 by Source
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by Lucas O’Connor / Two Cathedrals / Jan. 19, 2012

In 2007, massive wildfires swept through San Diego, destroying more than 1,000 homes and hundreds of other structures. Investigation into the cause of the Witch Creek fire found that SDG&E power lines were largely responsible for starting the second-largest wildfire in California’s history. The thing is, SDG&E’s insurance only covered $1 billion in damages, and it now looks as though SDG&E practices are leading to fire settlements totaling at least $2 billion.

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San Diego Radical Feminists Host Roe v. Wade Anniversary Rally – Jan. 22nd

January 19, 2012 by Source

On Sunday, January 22, 2012, the Radical Feminists of Occupy San Diego are hosting the Roe v. Wade Anniversary Abortion and Reproductive Rights Rally, March, and Speak-Out.

A rally with speakers will be held from 1-1:30 in the Civic Center Plaza (or Freedom Plaza – nicknamed by Occupy San Diego), followed by a march downtown and an open-mic speakout.

The event is to commemorate the 38th anniversary of the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion on a federal level in 1973, and to protest the many restrictions on abortion rights and access.

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Occupy Wall Street Descends on Congress, Says: Money Out of Politics!

January 19, 2012 by Source

by Ralph Lopez / truthout / January 19, 2012

It’s a quid pro quo. Only the most gullible rube ready to buy swampland in Florida could think otherwise. The citizen’s watchdog MAPlight.org found that congressmen who voted for TARP, the “Troubled Assets Relief Program,” received nearly 50 percent more in campaign contributions from the financial services industry (an average of about $149,000) than congressmen who voted no.

And House Energy and Commerce Committee members who voted yes on an amendment in 2009 favored by the forest products industry, to allow heavier cutting of trees, received an average of $25,745 from the forestry and paper products industry. This was ten times more than each member voting no. The pattern repeats itself over and over, ditto for why wars go on when polls show most of the population is against them.

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The Beat Goes On (Reflections in a Moment in Troubled Times)

January 19, 2012 by Ernie McCray

Sitting reflecting
on my lifetime.
And, man, I’ve ridden
the currents
of many kinds
of times:
times when I’ve danced in the street
like when Mandela was set free
as though he was ever really imprisoned,
if you hear me;
times when I didn’t want to open my eyes,
knowing the ugliness that was in front of me;
times when life was just a flatout mystery,
like George W. Bush
twice winning a presidency
in the land of the freakin’ free,
do you hear me?;
times when they played my song,
“Ernie, Ernie, he’s our man
if he can’t do it nobody can!”

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Special Activism Calendar for Thursday and Friday of this Week

January 19, 2012 by Frank Gormlie
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Lots goin’ on today Friday, so we made up a special calendar for these two days of activism.

Occupy the Courts – Move to Amend – protest vs Citizens United

_________________

San Diego Free Speech Fight Memorial

“1938: A Year in the Life of Three Women, Anarchists, Prostitutes,” performed by Dr. Emily Hicks and “The Wobblies,” a film screening and discussion. January 20, 2012, Centro Cultural De La Raza, 2004 Park Blvd. Balboa Park. Time 7:00PM.

_________________

Occu-Party Benefit Concert #2 – “Sounds of Occupation”

When Friday, January 20, 2012 7:30 PM – 1:00 AM , Location World Beat Cultural Center – 2100 Park Blvd.

Cost: $5. (100% of proceeds go to Occupy!)

Bands: Mark Boyce from G. Love & Special Sauce; The Rootstrikers Feat. ‘ Emily Richards; Liquid Blue;’ Justin Werner & Co

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Exposing San Diego’s Dirtiest Politician

January 19, 2012 by Source
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By Lorena Gonzalez

Local elections rarely matter to the rest of the state. We all are facing so many challenges in our own regions, that paying attention to another part of the state is often just an after-thought. But, once in a while, there is a local politician with such dangerous beliefs, tactics and immense corporate backing, that it warrants statewide attention. Such is the case in San Diego today.

I came of age as a young San Diegan at the same time Pete Wilson left our City Hall to become a U.S. senator, and then governor of California. And, as harmful and antagonistic as a Governor Pete Wilson was, he was mild compared to Carl DeMaio, one of four high-profile candidates vying for San Diego’s top spot this June.

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Wednesday’s Internet Protest Was A Really Big Deal

January 19, 2012 by Doug Porter
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The new media masters of the internet flexed their political muscle yesterday; galvanizing opposition to pending legislation (House version SOPA, Senate version PIPA) viewed as threatening to freedom of expression.

Google’s ploy of putting black tape over their logo was dramatic enough to garner 4.5 million signatures on their anti-SOPA petition. Another 1.458 million people signed a similar petition at the activist website Avaaz.org, and Fight for the Future said that its sites generated 350,000 emails to representatives in the House and Senate. A graphic put out by Google shows that 3 million Americans had already signed various petitions against the pending legislation even before the protests started.

The OB Rag’s ‘Uppity Women, Freaks and Politicos’ joined with twenty five thousand WordPress blogs by blocking content and urging our readers to write their Congresscritters. Our stat counter tells us that about three thousand people stopped by to see if we were serious about taking the day off.

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Closed for the Day: OB Rag To Join Internet Strike on Wednesday, January 18

January 17, 2012 by Doug Porter

There comes a time when you have to take a stand.

For twenty four hours, starting at midnight tonight, the OB Rag will shut down as part of a growing protest against Congressional schemes to place harsh and unnecessary restrictions on the flow of information on the internet. We’ve been reporting on this for a while now, warning that this proposed legislation sponsored by old media advocacy groups that will have a severely chilling effect on the freedom of expression on the internet.

Some in the mass media are reporting that these bills are already dead in the water. We wish that were true. President Obama did come out this weekend and said that the White House could not support key provisions in these acts. However, the U.S. Senate version is proceeding to a vote next Tuesday, January 24th. Democrat Harry Reid, long an errand boy for corporate interests is leading the way. And if his bill doesn’t make it, the folks over on the House side are marking up a “censorship lite” version for consideration later on.

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“Occupy Congress” Begins – Week-Long Demonstration Will Be the Largest Gathering of the Occupy Movement

January 17, 2012 by Frank Gormlie
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It has begun – “Occupy Congress” is in its first day – the first day in a week of demonstrations, lobbying and occupying Washington DC. It will be the largest ever gathering of Occupy Wall Street activists from around the country – including over a dozen from right here in San Diego. Tuesday, January 17th, is the day that Congress reconvenes. And the occupiers are ready to give them an earful.

Here’s from various news sources:

Occupy Protesters Swarm US Capitol in Washington

Hundreds of Occupy protesters rally at US Capitol

First Arrests at Occupy DC

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The End to SOPA? White House Opposes It and Congress Shelves It.

January 17, 2012 by Source

Editor: This could be the end to the current version of SOPA, as the White House has announced that it opposes major portions of it and its companion bill. And leaders of Congress are promising to shelve it. …

White House Says It Opposes Parts of Two Antipiracy Bills

By Edward Wyatt / New York Times / Originally pub. Jan 14, 2012

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration said Saturday that it strongly opposed central elements of two Congressional efforts to enforce copyrights on the Internet, …(More inside …)

Controversial online piracy bill shelved until ‘consensus’ is found

By Brendan Sasso / The Hill / Originally pub. Jan. 14, 2012

House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said early Saturday morning that Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) promised him the House will not vote on the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) unless there is consensus on the bill.

(More inside.)

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SDG&E, Please Don’t Take My Sunshine Away! – Protest January 18th

January 17, 2012 by Source
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SDG&E wants to impose a new fee (aka TAX) on homeowners, schools, businesses, and others with rooftop solar. This is a shameless effort by this investor-owned utility to increase profits and control renewable energy sources. It would be devastating to the local clean energy industry and jobs. Because of increased costs, public entities, like school and water districts, would have to make further cuts to essential services. Homeowners who bought solar systems they could afford would be stuck with higher bills. We need policies to shift us toward clean energy and a sustainable planet, not away from it.

Join us this Wednesday to say “No, you can’t take my sunshine away!

WHEN: Wednesday, January 18, 11:45 am – 1:00 pm

WHERE: SDG&E Energy Innovation Center , 4760 Clairemont Mesa Blvd

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Close Gitmo – the Guantánamo Gulag Now!

January 17, 2012 by Source
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By Marjorie Cohn / ZNet / Januay 16, 2012

Travelers to Cuba and music lovers are familiar with the song “Guantanamera”— literally, the girl from Guantánamo. With lyrics by José Martí, the father of Cuban independence, Guantanamera is probably the most widely known Cuban song.

But Guantánamo is even more famous now for its U.S. military prison. Where “Guantanamera” is a powerful expression of the beauty of Cuba, “Gitmo” has become a powerful symbol of human rights violations—so much so that Amnesty International described it as “the gulag of our times.”

That description can be traced to January 2002, when the base received its first 20 prisoners in shackles. General Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, warned they were “very dangerous people who would gnaw hydraulic lines in the back of a C-17 to bring it down.” We now know that a large portion of the 750 plus men and boys held there posed no threat to the United States. In fact, only five percent were captured by the United States; most were picked up by the Northern Alliance, Pakistani intelligence officers, or tribal warlords, and many were sold for cash bounties.

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More Fact-Checking From Mayoral Debate of Friday the 13th

January 17, 2012 by Source

By Lucas O’Connor / Two Cathedrals / January 17, 2012

The in-depth fact checking, parsing of policy, and search for substance will carry on here and elsewhere for quite some time following Friday’s first mayoral debate to feature all four leading candidates. In the meantime though, an initial round of horse-race impressions.

No love for Mayor Sanders

It was just hours before the debate that updated pension numbers narrowed the city’s deficit to $12.2 million, but nobody seemed to be in a laudatory mood with the mayor. Indeed, the new numbers were hardly acknowledged by candidates or panelists. There was little enthusiasm for public funds going to a Convention Center expansion or a new Chargers stadium (two Sanders priorities) and the closest the candidates came to full agreement was in their rejection of felony charges for Occupy protesters arrested at the State of the City address.

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