‘End of an Era’ at Ocean Beach – Or Just a Lull?

June 5, 2020 by Source

Here are pics that depict the “end of an era” – a time before many of the restrictions on the beach were lifted, before you could put your tush back on the sand – and perhaps the beginning of a new normal – getting back to surfing and being responsible on the beach and water – captured by Charles Landon the weekend of May 30.

But, is it the end of an era, or just a lull? Here’s hoping there’s not a second wave.

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Polls: Most Americans Support George Floyd Protests and See Racism as Large Problem

June 5, 2020 by Source

By Giovanni Russonello / New York Times / June 5, 2020

Beyond the scenes of protest and resistance playing out in cities across the country, a movement of a different sort has taken hold.

The American public’s views on the pervasiveness of racism have taken a hard leftward turn over the past few years. Never before in the history of modern polling have Americans expressed such widespread agreement that racial discrimination plays a role in policing — and in society at large.

Driven by the Black Lives Matter movement, this shift has primed the country for a new groundswell — one that has quickly earned the sympathy of most Americans, polling shows. As a result, in less than two weeks, it has already forced local governments and national politicians to make tangible policy commitments.

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Veterans and G.I. Rights Groups Condemn Use of National Guard in George Floyd Protests as Some G.I’s Refuse to Go

June 5, 2020 by Source

The people who do G.I. hot-line counseling across the country, veterans’ groups and G.I. rights organizations are condemning the use of the National Guard in the George Floyd protests occurring nationwide. Meanwhile, some G.I.s are telling these counselors they will refuse to comply with orders directing them to go to the cities where protests are happening.

Here is the statement by the the Military Law Task Force of the National Lawyers Guild:

Statement opposing use of National Guard against anti-racist protests

The Military Law Task Force of the National Lawyers Guild strongly condemns the use of National Guard and active duty troops to police anti-racist protesters. The use of the military as a domestic police force is contrary to the United States Constitution which places the military under civilian control – not the other way around. Military policing of civilian demonstrators who are protesting to urge their government to abolish racist police policies and tactics is a direct threat to First Amendment rights of speech and assembly,

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Martial Law or Sopas?

June 1, 2020 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

Sunday was the Feast of the Holy Spirit. Pentecost Sunday.

The morning started off at 2 a.m., with 11 fire trucks (lights and sirens blazing) and 9 police cars, speeding down Rosecrans to Shelter Island.

Fear and courage addressed the billowing smoke and flames that could be seen from downtown to the coast.

That afternoon, hundreds of vehicles backed up for blocks on those same streets, surrounding Portuguese hall. With popped trunk lids, drivers waited patiently in line, for hot plates of homecooked Sopas.

Great expectations and faith motivated them. For over 700 years, Portuguese worldwide have celebrated this Festa de Espirito in thanksgiving to the Holy Spirit for help in “times of danger or calamity.”

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More Thoughts From My COVID-19 Diary

May 28, 2020 by Source

More COVID-19 Thoughts for These Past Weeks

By Steve Zivolich

The morbidly obese, with a heart condition, in my elder at risk group, liar in chief, wants us to take hydroxychloroquine, mmmmm well, think I will wait for the science.

Pretty cool, due to working at home, I don’t have to wear pants to work.

Just saw a hog farmer say she was distraught about having to euthanize her stock that she cannot sell. Well, what does she think happens when she sells it to the slaughter house? Pass the faken bacon.

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Barrio Logan’s Beat Box Records Re-Opens With Curbside Pickup

May 28, 2020 by Source

By Roberto ‘Rob’ Camacho

After closing to the public nearly two months ago, Beat Box Records, located on Logan Avenue in the middle of Barrio Logan’s cultural district is re-opening its doors with modified hours for weekend curbside pickups – as the state loosens restrictions on businesses throughout California.

Since first opening its doors in 2015, Beat Box Records has served as one of San Diego’s premier record shops. Stocked with vintage Funk, Soul, Jazz, Hip-Hop, and Oldies records/cassettes, the shop has gained the reputation of carrying rare and obscure music difficult to find anywhere else in the city.

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Barbara Bry: ‘Why Is the SDSU Deal Really Taking So Long?’

May 27, 2020 by Source

By Barbara Bry

Here’s the story insiders don’t want to be told, but you deserve the facts:

In November 2018, San Diego voters approved Measure G, authorizing sale of the Mission Valley stadium property to San Diego State University.

Measure G set clear guidelines for that sale: The price to be determined by fair market value, SDSU to build a regional river park along with neighborhood parks, trails, and a multi-purpose stadium and SDSU to conduct a comprehensive environmental impact report and perform appropriate mitigation.

Rather than a rushed process, as has occurred on many recent city transactions, there has been over a year of intensive negotiations and hundreds of thousands of dollars spent by the city on outside attorneys and consultants.

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San Diego Airport Expansion Ignores COVID-19’s Cost in Demand and Finances

May 27, 2020 by Source

By Anthony Stiegler / Pt. Loma – OB Monthly / May 24, 2020

First and foremost, Quiet Skies San Diego wishes everyone good health and safety during this unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic.

Much has happened in the last several months. Since our last update in February, the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority has been whipsawed, experiencing a huge reduction in demand for air travel after setting another passenger record in 2019 with 25 million. The airline industry is in serious financial trouble, projecting route cancellations, layoffs and other cost-cutting measures and “right sizing.”

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The Swedish Government Didn’t Enforce Social Distancing — and Now It’s Paying the Price

May 27, 2020 by Source

by Blake Fleetwood / Washington Monthly / May 26, 2020

In late March, when every other European country was in a lockdown to stop the spread of the coronavirus, Sweden remained the outlier. Instead of imposing strict shelter-in-place orders, officials decided that Swedes could be relied upon to follow sanitation guidelines themselves. Restaurants, shops, and recreational spots stayed open.

After all, Sweden has an excellent national health care system that ranks third in the world (the U.S. clocks in at a dismal 44). And with the Swedes’ low levels of obesity and diabetes, their generally good health and ample supply of hospital beds offer far better odds against COVID-19. But even with these advantages, many Swedes did not stay at home. Sweden’s experiment in waging a lax battle against COVID-19 cost the country dearly.

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Trump Won’t Unveil Official Portrait of Obama in White House – So Here’s One

May 27, 2020 by Source

President Donald Trump will not be unveiling his predecessor Barack Obama’s official White House portrait, a report says. So, taking the cue from others, we are posting one official portrait of Obama (but not the “official White House” one).

NBC first reported that the event to unveil Obama’s official portrait wasn’t currently on the calendar, and may not even occur while Trump is in office, including potentially throughout the duration of a second term if he wins re-election. This would mean “it could be 2025” before Obama’s portrait unveiling happens, the report states, despite Obama leaving office in 2017.

Here’s one portrait of Obama also shared on social media as if it were the portrait scheduled to be unveiled at the White House in 2020.

This painting of Obama was done by Kehinde Wiley and was unveiled at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in February 2018. While this an official portrait of Obama, it is not the official White House portrait that would have been unveiled at the White House ceremony in 2020.

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Joe Biden Should Stop the Vice Presidential Beauty Pageant

May 26, 2020 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor / Times of San Diego / May 25, 2020

What is with the silly auditions for the vice-presidential slot on the Democratic ticket?

Sheltered in place, anyone interested can already recite the contenders’ names and chances from memory. And the fact that at least a dozen women are “under consideration.”

First are those who already ran the primary gauntlets for the Presidential nod: Senators Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar and Kirsten Gillibrand.

Then there are the governors, House members, and ex-office holders: “That woman” from Michigan, Governor Esther Whitman; Representative Val Demings of Florida; and Georgia’s Stacey Abrams.

These are the women now participating in a rather unseemly and unnecessary parade of interviews laced with praise for Biden, contempt for President Trump and a coy nod to their own formidable resumes.

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Nearly Half of San Diego County COVID Deaths Linked to Nursing Home Type Facilities

May 21, 2020 by Source

Nursing Home Advocate Asks ‘Where are our elected leaders?’ – Not Enough Is Being Done

By Lemor Abrams / CBS8 / May 20, 2020

New numbers show about a half of San Diego County’s coronavirus deaths are linked to congregate living facilities, like nursing homes.

California advocates for nursing homes are urging the state to step up testing and enforcement of safety measures at those facilities.

“We have all these so called elected leaders. Where the hell are they?” said Patricia McGinnis, founder of California’s Advocates for Nursing Home Reform.
Three months into the pandemic, McGinnis is losing patience.

“Look enough is enough. Forty-percent of the people in nursing homes have died,” she said.

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Does This San Diego Curve Look Like It’s ‘Flattening’?

May 20, 2020 by Source

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CDC: San Diego County Deaths from COVID Higher than Number Reported

May 20, 2020 by Source

Experts are confident that the numbers of deaths from COVID-19 are higher than reported; death rate 10% higher than average

By Mari Payton, Dorian Hargrove, Tom Jones and Jay Yoo / 7SanDiego / May 19, 2020

Data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) indicates the death rate since COVID-19 arrived in San Diego County is far higher than in previous years. The data provides a hint that the deaths for COVID-19 are likely far higher than the 209 confirmed COVID-19 deaths in San Diego County. And while the numbers from the CDC do not reveal the cause of death,

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Results of OB Town Council Poll on Parking Lot Limits: Nearly 50% Want Un-Paid 4-Hour Limit

May 20, 2020 by Source

Here’s the recent poll the Ocean Beach Town Council conducted on time-limit restrictions on OB beach parking lots. They received 407 responses with nearly half (47%) wanting to see a 4 hour time limit (no cost) to the lots.

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High-Rise, High-Density, High-Risk – Lessons from the Pandemic

May 20, 2020 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

Who are these people? And where do they come from?

What is it about newcomers to San Diego that get in positions of power and proceed to try and re-make the city in the image of New York? Overcrowded, densely population and dwarfed by sunless high-rises and wind tunnels – are a recipe for disasters in the future.

Has the COVID-19 pandemic taught us nothing about such urban nightmares?

If not listening to New York’s Governor, Andrew Cuomo, repeat day after tragic day that “density” is what overwhelmed his city, then consider Dutch architect, Rem Koolhaas, the Pritzker prize–winning author and academic, with a new exhibition at the Guggenheim.

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CREDO’s New Study Biased against Public Schools

May 19, 2020 by Source

By Thomas Ultican / Tultican / May 14, 2020

The Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) started releasing the results of its new Cities Study Project in mid-2019. It is not a coincidence that the cities chosen for the study have long been targeted for public school privatization.

The ten cities selected are: Indianapolis; Baton Rouge; Camden; Kansas City; Memphis; New Orleans; Oakland; St. Louis; San Antonio; and Washington DC. This CREDO study is even more opaque and biased than its previous efforts.

Who is CREDO?

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Don’t Expect to See Trump’s Tax Returns Before the Election

May 15, 2020 by Source

By Marjorie Cohn / TruthOut / May 14, 2020

Donald Trump claims that while he is president, his pre-presidency financial records can’t be subpoenaed and he can’t even be investigated for criminal conduct. The Supreme Court will decide by the end of June whether Trump is indeed beyond the reach of the law.

On May 12, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments about whether Trump can block subpoenas for his tax and other financial records that predate his presidency. Although prior presidents made their tax returns public, Trump has steadfastly refused to reveal his. In 2016, he promised to release them when the purported “audit” is complete. But they remain under wraps.

In April 2019, three committees of the House of Representatives and the New York district attorney issued subpoenas to banks and financial institutions to obtain Trump’s records. Trump sued to prevent the disclosures. Even though all four lower courts that considered the issue ruled that the records must be produced, Trump continues to stonewall, claiming in essence he is above the law.

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Who Does Has Access to the Beach? Recent San Diego Commentaries

May 14, 2020 by Source

Who does have access to the beach and the coast? What’s with the protests to reopen our sandy parks?

Here are some recent commentaries from local San Diego media.

You couldn’t go to the beach? People of color have had access issues for centuries.

By Anela Akiona & Kayla Wilson / San Diego Union-Tribune / May 14, 2020

As Southern California beaches have opened and closed at various points in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic, there have been widespread protests by members of predominantly white,

Reopened Beaches Remain Out of Reach for San Diego’s Poor

By MacKenzie Elmer / Voice of San Diego / May 12, 2020

Early in the pandemic, officials debated when and how to close beaches.

Coverage of anti-lockdown protests in San Diego is ignoring one glaring fact

By Andrew Matschiner / San Diego Union-Tribune / May 13, 2020
To put it plainly, these protests attract predominately white San Diegans.

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San Diego Should Spend Federal COVID-19 Aid Now, Ask Questions Later

May 13, 2020 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor / Times of San Diego / May 12, 2020

Here we go again. No matter the year, the danger, or the outlook, the most popular city services get cut the most.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer are about to unveil another massive spending proposal—of “Rooseveltian” proportions—to counter the national COVID-19 economic collapse.

Meanwhile, San Diego’s politicians are debating how to proceed with their own deficit. Mayor Kevin Faulconer is considering drawing down about $80 million of its reserve funds to offset revenue losses—while simultaneously sitting on a $248 million pile of federal monies cash courtesy of the earlier COVID-19 Relief and Economic Security Act.

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Coronavirus Diary Thoughts – 9 weeks

May 13, 2020 by Source

Via Steve Zivolich

Has this been an elaborate plan by our dogs to get us to stay home with them more and take daily walks?

Strangest mothers day ever. Sent my wife an ecard; the third try went through and arrived one day late.

Thinking of contacting all the women who told me they would not touch me with 10 foot pole; and asking if the would consider modifying it to a 6 foot pole?

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Kudos to Mara Elliott for Saying SDSU / Stadium Deal Is Seriously Flawed

May 11, 2020 by Source

BRAVA! Mara Elliott

By Colleen O’Connor

Kudos to City Attorney Mara Elliott for doing what is in the best interest of San Diegans. She has made several clear, lucid and legally cogent arguments against the sweetheart developer/SDSU deal. All of them legitimate.

(https://www.voiceofsandiego.org/topics/politics/politics-report-city-not-united-on-sdsu-deal/)

First of all, the bidding for the largest piece of prime real estate in San Diego should have gone to open, competitive bidding. Not restricted to two ballot propositions between San Diego State and its need for some housing and a new, larger football stadium and Soccer City.

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Michigan Lawmaker Escorted to State Capitol by Armed Black Citizens

May 8, 2020 by Source

By Lois Beckett / The Guardian / May 7, 2020

A black lawmaker came to Michigan’s capitol with an escort of armed black citizens on Wednesday, days after white protesters with guns staged a volatile protest inside the state house, comparing the Democratic governor’s public health orders to “tyranny”.

The state representative Sarah Anthony, 36, said she wanted to highlight what she saw as the failure of the Michigan capitol police to provide legislators with adequate security during the protest, which saw demonstrators with rifles standing in the legislative chamber above lawmakers. “When traditional systems, whether it’s law enforcement or whatever, fail us, we also have the ability to take care of ourselves,” she told the Guardian. Anthony became the first African American woman elected to represent her district in Lansing, Michigan’s capital, in 2018.

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Councilwoman Campbell Calls for the Closure of Sunset Cliffs ‘Natural’ Park

May 8, 2020 by Source

In a statement that San Diego City Councilwoman Jen Campbell just released, she calls for the closure of Sunset Cliffs Natural Park due to San Diegans not following public health orders around Sunset Cliffs, and how the park is more of a regional attraction and not just a neighborhood park.

Here is her statement:

“Since our parks and beaches have been opened San Diegans have, for the most part, done an excellent job following public health orders while returning to public spaces for passive use. Unfortunately, this has not been the case in Sunset Cliffs Natural Park or in the greater Sunset Cliffs community.

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‘I was in a sit-in at UCSD when we heard about the killings at Kent State.’

May 4, 2020 by Source
Thumbnail image for ‘I was in a sit-in at UCSD when we heard about the killings at Kent State.’

Originally posted May 4, 2009.

By Dr. Anonymouse

May 4th, 1970, is forever etched in my brain and memory cells. I was a student at UCSD, and we had just taken over the 5th floor of Urey Hall – a Science building – in protest of the University’s complicity in the Vietnam War, when we heard the bad news from Kent State. It came over a small radio someone had perched on a chair out on the balcony overlooking the Quad. …

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The Virus of Sextortion

May 4, 2020 by Source

By Richard Riehl / The Riehl World / May 4, 2020

It’s Cocooning Day 50, with no Covid -19 cases so far, in our Château Lake San Marcos community. Karen and I wear facemasks when we leave our condo to take daily walks. We discovered how to fashion a mask by using two rubber bands to hook over our ears to hold a hospital sock over our nose and mouth. We tried everyday socks, but discovered their thickness hindered our breathing. The thinner hospital sock souvenirs, if less fashionable, are more comfortable.

Thanks to Netflix, Prime Video, our “Social Distance Singers” YouTube production, and ongoing writing projects, we’ve been able to fend off the boredom of social isolation.

An unexpected benefit in our daily lives has been the unusual absence of scam telephone calls. But that hasn’t kept the online predators away. Yesterday I received this email

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COVID-19: Re-Imagine Everything, Including Democracy

May 4, 2020 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

COVID-19 proves we no longer live in the age of “Readin, ‘Ritin and ‘Rithmetic.” Rather, the present includes the 4th Industrial Revolution; the equivalent of World War III; a replay of the Gilded Age; and the Great Depression; all occurring simultaneously.

Pandemics make history. And this pandemic is no exception. What kind of history COVID-19 leaves in its wake is still in question. Success or failure.

Most of history’s failures can be attributed to a lack of imagination. History’s triumphs, by contrast, sprung from fabulous imaginations.

Sometimes, real talent and artistry break through even in the darkest of hours. For example, the New Deal; the end of colonial rule; the rise of democracy; plus inventions, inventions, and more inventions. All the way from the light bulb to the Moon shot. From robotics and AI to the Internet.

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Effective Friday, May 1 San Diego County Orders Everyone to Wear Face Coverings in Public While with Non-Household Member

April 30, 2020 by Source

Effective Friday, May 1 everyone must wear face coverings whenever they are in public and expect to come within 6 feet of a non-household member. Face coverings provide a layer of protection that allows us all to stay safe from the spread of COVID-19.

All persons two years of age or older who are present in the County shall be in possession of a face covering when they leave their home or place of residence and shall wear it when they are in a business or within six feet of another person who is not a member of their family or household.

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Numbers and Graphs on COVID-19 Cases in San Diego County

April 29, 2020 by Source

Here are some sobering graphs and numbers on county COVID-19 cases from the San Diego County health department and one from the San Diego Union-Tribune. Does that curve look likes it flattening out?

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Harvard Has Released the Testing Plan That America Needs to Safely Reopen

April 29, 2020 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor / Times of San Diego / April 26, 2020 – Updated April 29

Elizabeth Warren may not be running for President anymore, but “a plan” is still very much in vogue and demand. Especially given the still virulent nature of the COVID-19 pandemic gripping the world.

Fact. We cannot stay in lockdown forever—especially with the predictions of second and third waves of the virus.

Fact. We cannot “defeat the invisible enemy” by listening to the President, who has called it a “hoax,” promised a miracle, and recommended dangerous treatments.

Fact. There are better, faster, and more intelligent ways to defeat COVID-19.

Simply put, we are not doing enough of anything; hence, slowly failing at everything.

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