‘Why I Founded the California Innocence Project’ — OBcean Justin Brooks

May 23, 2023 by Source

By Justin Brooks / SD U-T OpEd / May 19, 2023

In 1995, I read a newspaper article about a young woman in her early 20s named Marilyn Mulero. Marilyn was awaiting execution in Illinois after being convicted of a double homicide.

The article said she was sentenced to death on a plea bargain, but I didn’t think that could be accurate. How could anyone be sentenced to death on a plea bargain? A plea bargain is supposed to be a bargain — meaning you give up your right to a trial in exchange for a lesser sentence. Death is the most severe punishment the government can dole out.

At the time I read about Marilyn, I was a law professor teaching and living in Michigan.

I felt a deep need to find out more about her case, so I set up a meeting with her and drove hundreds of miles to the prison where she was housed in rural Illinois.

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Kudos to Senator Diane Feinstein, Nancy Pelosi and Her Daughter

May 22, 2023 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

All your enemies
Have opened their mouths wide against you;
They hiss and gnash their teeth.
They say, “We have swallowed her up!
Surely this is the day for which we waited; (From the Bible: Lamentations 2:16)

But, they have not swallowed her up.  Not Senator Diane Feinstein, not Nancy Pelosi, her neighbor of 30 years, and not Pelosi’s eldest caregiving daughter, Nancy Corinne Prowda.

For months, the GOP, many self-important, ineffectual politicians and op/ed columnists have railed against Senator Feinstein, demanding her resignation and heaping scorn on those who protected, sheltered, and cared for a woman who is elderly, recently recovering from shingles and its maladies.

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How Reagan’s Decision to Close Mental Institutions Led to the Homelessness Crisis

April 25, 2023 by Source

By Divya Kakaiya, Ph.D., M.S./ San Diego Union-Tribune Op-Ed / April 24, 2023

As a psychologist who began practicing nearly 40 years ago, I’ve seen a significant shift in the care of the mentally ill since the mid-1980s — and it hasn’t been for the better.

After the deinstitutionalization movement began in California in the 1960s, many state mental health hospitals closed, forcing many folks who needed a lot of care onto the streets.

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Long-Term Loss of Coastal Cliffs Has New Tool

April 19, 2023 by Source

A new method for estimating cliff loss over thousands of years in Del Mar, California, may help reveal some of the long-term drivers of coastal cliff loss in the state.

By Danielle Torrent Tucker / Stanford News / April 17, 2023

In parts of California’s iconic mountainous coasts, breathtaking beauty is punctuated by brusque signs warning spectators to stay back from unstable cliffs. The dangers of coastal erosion are an all-too-familiar reality for the modern residents of these communities. Now, with a new tool, researchers are bringing historical perspective to the hotly debated topic of how to manage these disappearing coastlines.

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Senator Diane Feinstein’s Worth is Priceless

April 18, 2023 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

Let’s be blunt.  Senator Diane Feinstein is worth more than a dozen GOP Senators. Worth more than millions of California votes that elected her to office decade after decade.

And worth more than all the naysayers popping up on talk shows and opinion pieces attempting to drive her from office.

Feinstein’s worth is priceless. And I, for one of multi-millions of California admirers want her to STAY PUT.  PERIOD. She can do more for the state than any replacement on the horizon.  And she only needs to stick around for about a year.

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California Is Losing Licensed Pot Farms By the Hundreds

April 7, 2023 by Source

By Lester Black / SFGATE / April 7, 2023

California’s legal pot market has lost hundreds of pot farms a month as farmers opt to quit the legal market. And signs indicate the industry is only continuing to shrink.

The state has lost 1,766 cultivation licenses since the beginning of last year, according to data reported by the California Department of Cannabis Control and the Cannabis Business Times. Low wholesale prices and high taxes have made it almost impossible for operators to run a profitable small business, pot industry insiders say.

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State-Wide Group Pushes Initiative for 2024 Ballot to Return Voices to the Neighborhood

March 31, 2023 by Source

The group Neighbors for a Better San Diego have of late been tooting the horn of a state-wide organization, Our Neighborhood Voices – in fact just recently NBSD held an online town hall meeting with Voices. Here’s what ONV says about itself:

The politicians are taking away our ability to speak out when developers damage and gentrify our neighborhoods.

We are a coalition of thousands of California neighborhood leaders creating an initiative to be put on the 2024 ballot that would bring back our ability to speak out about what happens in our own neighborhoods.

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The Promise of California’s Climate Roadmap

March 28, 2023 by Source

The Golden State can only stand up to its formidable climate disasters if it fully commits to its climate initiatives.

By David Helvarg / The Progressive / March 23, 2023

Ten years ago, I wrote a book called The Golden Shore: California’s Love Affair with the Sea. Back then, I suggested that California, with almost forty million people and the world’s fifth largest economy, was proof that you could grow a progressive society while protecting your coast and ocean—and that the two are intrinsically linked. The San Francisco Chronicle wrote that the book “just might make you feel optimistic about the future.”

Well, that future has arrived and I’m less optimistic.

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The Innocence Project: Stories of Exoneration

March 27, 2023 by Source

By Camden Painton / The Point / March 22, 2023

Marilyn Mulero was 21 years old when she received her execution date.

On May 12, 1992, two members of the Latin Kings gang were shot and killed in a bathroom in Humboldt Park in Chicago. There was one eyewitness to the shooting. The witness claimed to see a woman hand Mulero a gun, who then shot a man dead at midnight. Mulero was picked up by police the next evening and brought into the station, where she was denied legal representation and questioned for over nine hours.

Without counsel or sleep, Mulero signed a prepared statement that implicated her for both murders.

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Reader Rant: ‘How California Set Up the Licensed Marijuana Industry to Fail’

March 24, 2023 by Source

By Midnight Toker

Very briefly, here is how the State of California set up the licensed marijuana industry to fail.

Here is the receipt I received after purchasing an eight of an ounce (3.5 grams) of decent cannabis flower recently at a licensed dispensary (not in the city of San Diego):

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If All California’s Homeless Lived in One Place, They’d Make Up the 32nd Largest City in the State

March 17, 2023 by Frank Gormlie

California is now home to more than 171,000 homeless individuals, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, a 6.2% increase since 2020.

Roughly 67%, or more than 115,000 are unsheltered meaning that they’re living outside.

If all the state’s homeless individuals lived in one locale, they’d make up the 32nd largest city in California. This may not seem so much. But consider this.

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Lake Oroville March 14 – A Picture Is Worth a 1,000 Words

March 16, 2023 by Source

California’s second largest reservoir was down to its lowest levels ever recorded in September 2021 (628’).

Incessant parades of atmospheric rivers have almost refilled the 3.5 million acre-foot reservoir by March 2023 (845’).

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Bless California Farmers and the Governor and Water Boards for Helping Them

February 27, 2023 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

My grandmother and great aunts were all farmers in North Dakota.  Most were homesteading land in their own name.  They rode horseback while brandishing rifles to shoot their dinners.  Then plucked, hacked, and ate their game and grew farm vegetables and fruits.

These pioneer women would be shocked to learn that their granddaughter/grandniece has never grown anything edible yet made a living standing in front a classroom and talking.

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Live Cam at Big Bear’s Eagle Nest

February 25, 2023 by Frank Gormlie

This is a screen grab from Big Bear’s eagle nest.

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Critics: July 4th Fireworks Damage Southern California Environment; Are Demanding Action in Court

February 13, 2023 by Source

By Grace Toohey / Los Angeles Times / Feb. 9, 2023

A growing debate over the possible environmental damage caused by fireworks shows, especially over waterways, recently erupted in federal court where climate activists are pushing for stronger regulations of a popular Independence Day celebration in Southern California.

While fireworks have for years been known to cause significant air pollution — with July 4 and 5 recording some of Southern California’s worst air quality days — activists and attorneys with the Coastal Environmental Rights Foundation want officials to help minimize the damage fireworks pose to waterways

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After Weeks of Rain, California Reservoirs Still Not Full

January 25, 2023 by Source

By Jamie Joseph / Epoch Times / Jan. 24, 2023, Updated Jan.25

Most of California’s major reservoirs failed to reach full capacity after more than two weeks of rainstorms, according to the latest data from the state water department. As of Jan. 23, among the 17 major reservoirs, only the smallest one—the Cachuma Reservoir northwest of Santa Barbara—was nearly full, at about 1.5 times its historical average level, according to the California Department of Water Resources.

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OBcean Is ‘Officially Over Disneyland’

January 23, 2023 by Source

An OBcean has just posted on facebook: “I’m officially over Disneyland!” Then the person posted a time and expense chart to show their grief. We thought it timely and funny and and not so-funny and reposted it.

I think I’m officially over Disneyland. I’ve gone so many times that I have hit my lifetime limit of waiting in line for minimal amounts of entertainment value.

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David Crosby, at 81, Is Now ‘Long Time Gone’

January 20, 2023 by Source

By John Dolan and Andy Greene / Rolling StoneReader Supported News / Jan. 20, 2023

David Crosby, the singer, songwriter, and guitarist who helped shape the sound of Sixties rock and beyond, died Wednesday night at the age of 81. A source close to Crosby confirmed the musician’s death to Rolling Stone, but did not disclose a cause.

Crosby was a founding member of the Byrds, playing guitar and contributing harmony vocals to their most enduring songs, including “Eight Miles High,” “So You Want to Be a Rock ‘n’ Roll Star,” and “Turn! Turn! Turn!” Shortly after being forced out of the group due to personality conflicts with frontman Roger McGuinn, he formed the supergroup Crosby, Stills, and Nash with Buffalo Springfield’s Stephen Stills and Graham Nash of the Hollies.

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Thousands of Stoned California Elders Are Heading to Emergency Rooms

January 13, 2023 by Staff

According to researchers at UCSD, 12,167 California elders — people over the of 65 — made trips to emergency rooms in 2019 for cannabis-related issues.

Reporter Eric Page at 7SanDiego cited the study conducted by the University of California San Diego School of Medicine that “just 366 Californians over the age of 65 visited ERs in 2005 for cannabis-related concerns. By 2019, that figure had skyrocketed nearly 3200%, when 12,167 seniors made trips to emergency rooms for that reason.”

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Brilliant Move by Katie Porter to Secure Diane Feinstein’s Senate Seat

January 11, 2023 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

Once you have witnessed a comet streak across the sky or a double rainbow stretch across a mountaintop, you never forget the sight.

Once, you have seen Rep. Katie Porter deliver a takedown of corporate and political bigwigs during Congressional hearings, using just a small white board and some numbers, you never forget that moment. And now, after just being sworn in for her third term, Porter has just delivered another memorable moment by stealing the march on multiple competitors and announcing her run for Senator Diane Feinstein’s seat.

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Long Beach’s Site of 1938 National Surfing Championship Nominated as California Historic Point

January 4, 2023 by Source

From Save Our Heritage Now – Jan-Feb 2023 Newsletter

The nonprofit Sea of Clouds (a San Diego preservation group) together with Surfrider Foundation, Long Beach Chapter, have nominated Long Beach’s former site of the 1938 National Surfing and Paddleboard Championships as a California Point of Historical Interest to commemorate the area’s pre-World War II surfing history.

Held adjacent to Long Beach’s famed (and since demolished) Rainbow Pier, the contest was Los Angeles County’s first surfing and paddleboard competition billed as a national event.

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New Laws in California Beginning January 1, 2023: Abortion Rights, Minimum Wage, CARE Courts, Parking Cut Near Transit …

December 29, 2022 by Source

Here are new laws that will take effect in California on January 1, 2023.

Abortion (AB-2223) —  It protects a woman or pregnant person who chooses to end a pregnancy from prosecution, even if the abortion is self-induced or happens outside the medical system. It also abolishes the requirement that coroners investigate stillbirths and protects someone who helps a pregnant person end their pregnancy voluntarily from criminal or civil liability.

Minimum wage (SB-3) — The statewide California minimum wage will rise to $15.50 per hour for all employer sizes.

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New Traffic Laws Set to Take Effect in California Jan. 1 2023

December 29, 2022 by Source

Public Service Announcement

With the new year just a few days away, here are new traffic safety-related laws that will take effect Jan. 1, 2023.

The laws include:

SB 1472 expands the criteria for “gross negligence” to include drivers involved in sideshow activity, exhibition of speed or speeding over 100 mph resulting in a fatality.

AB 2147 prohibits police officers from stopping pedestrians for certain pedestrian-specific violations such as crossing the road outside of a crosswalk, unless there is an immediate danger of a crash.

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Post-Thanksgiving COVID Spike in California Seniors

December 5, 2022 by Source

Today’s San Diego Union-Tribune reports that there is a “troubling spike in coronavirus-positive hospital admissions among seniors in California, rising to levels not seen since the summer Omicron surge.

Hospitalizations have roughly tripled for Californians of most age groups since the autumn low. But the jump in seniors in need of hospital care has been particularly dramatic. Still, there is optimism that any winter surge will not be as bad as those of the last two years.

Rising hospitalization rates are a reason health officials are urging people, especially seniors, to get the updated COVID-19 booster shot and, if they test positive and are eligible, to access therapeutic drugs that probably will reduce the severity of any illness.

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University of California Strike Enters 3rd Week — Some Tentative Agreements Reached

November 30, 2022 by Source

By Amy Graff / SFGATE / Nov. 29, 2022

After a grueling 15-day labor walkout by 48,000 academic workers at the University of California, two of the four groups striking announced Tuesday that they reached a tentative agreement that includes wage increases, officials said.

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California First in Nation to Ban Plastic Produce Bags

October 14, 2022 by Source

By Olivia Rosane / Nation of Change / Oct. 13, 2022

Much of the movement to reduce ocean plastic pollution has focused on the single-use plastic bags used to cart purchases away from the supermarket.

But there’s another type of plastic bag that is ubiquitous in grocery stores across the country: the handleless plastic bags typically on offer by the produce or meat sections for shoppers to tear off and use to separate their apples or cold cuts from the rest of their haul.

In California grocery stores, however, these other plastic bags will soon be a thing of the past. The state became the first in the nation to ban them in grocery stores

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Cleaning up the Mess that John Deasy Left at Stockton Schools

August 24, 2022 by Source

By Thomas Ultican / Tulican

The infamous John Deasy resigned his post as Superintendent of Stockton Unified School District (SUSD) on June 15th, 2020. That made his tenure two weeks more than two years which further exacerbated the longtime administrative instability at SUSD.

He apparently steered the district budgets toward deficit spending and left a decimated finance department in his wake while other administrative positions multiplied. Concurrent with his two years in Stockton, money and leaders from organizations bent on privatizing public education were bolstered and became more active.

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The Deadly Logic of CARE Courts

August 23, 2022 by Source

By Mat Wahlstrom

We’ve been dealing with many attacks on our rights lately.

From above, the activist Supreme Court has gutted the right to privacy that underpinned the right to reproductive freedom as well as non-normative sexuality, allowed tax dollars to be transferred from secular public to private religious schools, and endorsed performative public prayer in the name of someone who specifically rejected making a show of praying in public (Matthew 6:5).

From Republicans, who almost universally support the January 6 insurrection, it’s the freedom to mass murder so long as it’s with bullets, and continued voter disenfranchisement.

But while these have been dominating headlines, we’ve lost sight of the single most dangerous one yet: the plan touted by state and local Democrats to create a separate legal system through what are perversely called “CARE Courts.”

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Keeping the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant Open Is a Dangerous Waste of Effort and Money

August 17, 2022 by Source

By Michael Hiltzik / Los Angeles Times / Aug. 16, 2022

The Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant lies on the coast near San Luis Obispo within 20 miles of four active earthquake faults.

The faults were apparently unknown to the plant’s owner, Pacific Gas & Electric, which certified during the construction period that no such faults existed within that distance. Unit 2 was built in accordance with flawed blueprints.

There have been efforts to close the plant for years, gaining intensity as PG&E’s atrocious safety record came to light.

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Recall of Banana Boat Sunscreen in California

August 4, 2022 by Source

California residents and visitors spraying on sunscreen to protect themselves from the sun’s rays should check which product they’re using because of a recent recall.

The parent company of Banana Boat sunscreen products has issued a voluntary recall of several batches of the brand’s hair and scalp sunscreen spray because it may contain a cancer-causing chemical known as benzene. The recall impacts the following products:

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