California

800 Hate Incidents Against Asian Americans in California During Pandemic

July 8, 2020 by Source

by Chris Jennewein / Times of San Diego / July 5, 2020

Asian Americans in California have reported 832 incidents of discrimination and harassment in the last three months as the coronavirus stoked racial tension, according to a summary by the coalition Stop AAPI Hate (Stop Asian American Pacific Islander Hate).

The incidents listed in the study released last week were self-reported and included 81 assaults and 64 potential civil rights violations.

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Genocide in California’s History

July 6, 2020 by Source

Junipero Serra1Originally published on August 15, 2008

by gjohnsit / DailyKos / August 14, 2008

What do you think of when someone says “California”? Beaches? Sunshine? Hollywood?

How about the largest act of genocide in American history?

“The idea, strange as it may appear, never occurred to them (the Indians) that they were suffering for the great cause of civilization, which, in the natural course of things, must exterminate Indians.”
– Special Agent J. Ross Browne, Indian Affairs

California was one of the last areas of the New World to be colonized. It wasn’t until 1769 that the first mission, Mission San Diego de Alcalá, was built.

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Disturbing Trends in San Diego County and California COVID-19 Cases

June 26, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Tracking coronavirus in San Diego County and across California

[Some of the following charts and graphs are by Los Angeles Times staff, and were updated June 26, 9:20 a.m. Pacific; others are from the New York Times]

San Diego County

Confirmed cases: 11,961
None yet today
+335 yesterday

Deaths: 352
None yet today
+5 yesterday

What we know

  • Over the past two weeks, San Diego County has recorded 2,963 new cases, failing one of the governor’s performance metrics.
  • In that time, it has reported 44 deaths.
  • Here are self-describing charts and graphs for San Diego County and for the State of California.

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Surfing Confronts Its Racist Past

June 22, 2020 by Source

“Behind the aloha vibe was the other vibe — a locals-only, whites-only vibe,” said Sharon Schaffer, the first African American female pro in the U.S.

By Dennis Romero / NBCNews / June 21, 2020

One day 40 years ago, actor and stuntwoman Sharon Schaffer returned to her SUV after riding the waves at Silver Strand Beach in Oxnard, California, to find a racial epithet written in dirt on its windows.

In surfing, “there was always the good, aloha vibe,” she said recently, “but behind the aloha vibe was the other vibe – a locals-only, whites-only vibe.” “I shrugged it off,” said Schaffer, of Los Angeles and celebrated as U.S. surfing’s first African American female professional. “But I don’t think I would shrug that off so easily today.”

U.S. surfing, still viewed as largely white and advantaged, may be undergoing a new awakening

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As San Diego County Reaches ‘Trigger’, Gov. Newsom Says ‘Put the Mask On’

June 19, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Just when many people thought it was safe to go back out … San Diego County reached the so-called “trigger” – or at least one of them – that could require public health officials to retract decisions that allowed a variety of businesses, parks and activities to reopen or restart.

County officials on Thursday reported that there are now eight community outbreaks that had occurred in the seven-day period from Thursday, June 11, through Wednesday, June 17. Sufficient to trip the trigger.

This was going on just as California Governor Newsom announced a statewide order requiring everyone to wear a mask in most indoor settings and outside when maintaining a physical distance from others is not feasible.

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Billionaires and the Origins of California’s Charter School Movement

June 17, 2020 by Source

Organized to Disrupt

By Thomas Ultican / Tultican / June 10, 2020

The New Schools Venture Fund (NSVF) is the Swiss army knife of public school privatization. It promotes education technology development, bankrolls charter school creation, develops charter management organizations and sponsors school leadership training groups.

Since its founding in 1998, a small group of people with extraordinary wealth have been munificent in their support. NSVF is a significant asset in the billionaire funded drive to end democratically run public schools and replace them with privatized corporate structures.

1990’s Silicon Valley was a Happening Place

Like elsewhere in America, every little strip mall in San Jose, California had a Blockbuster video rental store. In 1997, Reed Hastings and Netflix co-founder Mark Reynolds came up with a disruptive idea that put Blockbuster out of business. For a monthly fee, they offered DVD’s by mail with no late charges. Blockbuster did not adapt fast enough and went bankrupt.

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Hey California Democrats in Sacramento! Do the Right Thing and Tax the Billionaires

June 15, 2020 by Jim Miller

California Dems Need to Avoid Catastrophic Cuts to Education and Vital Social Services

By Jim Miller

The COVID-19 crisis and subsequent economic collapse along with the national uprising against police brutality and systemic racism have cast a glaring light on the nature of American inequality on the healthcare, criminal justice, and economic fronts. It has never been clearer that as most Americans struggle, the elite thrive. As a recent Forbes piece put it back in April, “Billionaires are Getting Richer During the COVID-19 Pandemic While Most Americans Suffer”:

According to the Institute for Policy Studies, billionaire wealth has boomed, while over 26 million people have filed for unemployment since mid-March. The percentage of taxes paid by billionaires has fallen 79% since 1980.

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Governor Newsom to Order All State Beaches and Parks Closed Again on Friday, May 1

April 30, 2020 by Staff

UPDATE: Around 12:30 pm Thursday Mayor Faulconer tweeted that San Diego beaches will stay open – with restrictions still. Here is what Faucloner said:

Great news: the Governor heard us. San Diego beaches WILL STAY OPEN under our plan approved by lifeguards and health officials. In a time of great crisis we don’t need knee-jerk policies. We need to keep a steady hand. It’s the only way to keep the public’s trust. Keep it up, SD!

It appears that California Governor Newsom will be ordering all state beaches and parks to close again on Friday, May 1. A memo sent to California police chiefs on Wednesday says Newsom will order all beaches and state parks closed starting Friday to curb spread of the coronavirus.

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Scripps Scientist Says ‘Don’t Go Near the Ocean’ as Beach Is One of Most Dangerous Places Right Now

April 7, 2020 by Source

UPDATE: Please see Kim Prather’s clarification on her position about staying out of the ocean here.

By Rosanna Xia / Los Angeles Times / April 2, 2020

Kim Prather, a leading atmospheric chemist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, wants to yell out her window at every surfer, runner, and biker she spots along the San Diego coast.

“I wouldn’t go in the water if you paid me $1 million right now,” she said. The beach, in her estimation, is one of the most dangerous places to be these days, as the novel coronavirus marches silently across California.

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Bay Area Doctors See Flatter Curve After 2 Weeks of Social Isolation

March 31, 2020 by Source

By Debra Kahn and Carla Marinucci / Politico / March 30, 2020

State leaders and doctors are cautiously optimistic that the Bay Area’s early moves to lock down residents two weeks ago have prevented surges of coronavirus patients from overwhelming the region’s health care capacity thus far.

Six Bay Area counties were first in the country to adopt aggressive tactics with an enforceable March 16 order requiring residents to stay at home.

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Governor Newsom: Provide ‘Drive-Through’ Testing for Staff at California’s Prisons

March 16, 2020 by Source

Governor Newsom: Make the Call Re: Coronavirus

California is one of the best educated, richest, most advanced states on the planet. In fact, we are really an “nation-state.”

We have the talent, the wealth, the high-tech labs and universities capable of leading the nation in innovative responses to the coronavirus pandemic. Ideas and discipline are required for success in any crisis.

So, here is one simple idea that can help stop an explosion of infections in an existing “petri-dish” environment.

These people cannot “stay home;” cannot “shelter in place” and cannot avoid probable infections. Yes, these are the front-line responders—firefighters, nurses, doctors, and other health care providers. That is common knowledge.

However, often overlooked are their less popular clients—the homeless and prisoners. California has the largest populations of these individuals as well. Local governments will provide necessary care for their homeless populations — some greater than others.

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American Fecklessness in the Time of Pandemic

March 16, 2020 by Jim Miller

By Jim Miller

After waiting a week for California’s and San Diego’s glacial election returns, I had planned to write a post-election column. Then the COVID-19 pandemic got real and everything changed. As a professor at San Diego City College and as the father of a high school student, I was thrust into the chaos that “social distancing” brings to educational institutions and family.

In between planning for teaching virtually for three weeks (or perhaps the rest of the semester) and dealing with the contradictory stew of confusion, panic, fear, hostility, sadness, as well as with the personal courage, compassion, and community solidarity that arose all around me, I talked to friends and family who were slow to respond and watched their retirement and/or college funds collapse before they had time to act as the stock market went on its manic roller coaster ride.

Poof! the markets were gutted. Would they come back in time? Nobody knows.

As for my working-class students, mostly of color, the scary thing was not the stock market, but their lack of healthcare and their need to work

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Gov. Newsom Calls for Closure of All Bars, Clubs, Wineries and Brewpubs

March 15, 2020 by Source

From LA Times:

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sunday significantly ramped up California’s response to the coronavirus, calling for the closure of all bars, nightclubs, wineries and brewpubs, and urging people 65 and older and those with chronic health conditions to stay indoors in an effort to slow the virus’ spread.

The governor also called on much greater social distancing measures for restaurants. They will be directed to reduce their occupancy by roughly half and ensure that tables are at least six feet apart, he said.

“We recognize that social isolation for millions of Californians is anxiety inducing but we recognize what all the science bears out and .. we need to meet this moment head-on and lean in,” Newsom said.

The governor said the request of older Californians was made in hopes of limiting their exposure to the virus, given that health officials have pointed out higher dangers for those who are older. “We are prioritizing their safety,” he said.

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Could San Onofre Nuke Demolition Cause Catastrophe?

March 12, 2020 by Michael Steinberg

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2020

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the nuclear power industry in the US and beyond, and highlights the efforts of those working to create a nuclear free world.

As San Onofre nuke demolition begins Watchdogs assert it could cause a nuclear catastrophe.

On February 6, Coastal News, from Solana Beach in San Diego County, reported, “Public Watchdog, a nonprofit (San Diego-based) advocacy group filed a petition with the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission” to put the kibosh on that action.

Coastal News continued “The advocacy group claims that if the facility if flooded with rain or ocean water, the proposed method of disposing of nuclear waste could lead to an explosion of a radioactive steam geyser.”

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Super Tuesday: The Story Out of California Will Be ‘The Delay’ in Ballot Counts

March 3, 2020 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter/ Words&Deeds / March 3, 2020

The horse race metaphor will reach peak silliness over the next day or so as election results are presented in the media. I get it that this method is a useful construct for reporting; using it as the sole measure of a political process falls short of presenting the bigger picture.

There are more people voting in California than ever before, and more of us are voting in advance of election day. We have wisely encouraged voter participation, making it easy as possible for casting a ballot, and backed it up with systems –we’re told– prevent fraud.

While we’ll have an idea of the overall outcome on presidential candidacies late on election night, the final count may take days or weeks. Each of the 58 counties in California could be processing its own ballots until April 3. The secretary of state then has until April 10 to certify those statewide results.

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Is ‘Ranked Choice Voting’ in the Future for California?

February 19, 2020 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / Words&Deeds / Feb. 11, 2020

Congratulations, California. The legislative and executive branches of our state government have worked hard to make the process of voting easier in a world where 9 to 5 and Monday thru Friday jobs are disappearing faster than big name brick storefront retailers.

Republicans, generally speaking, hate this concept, as their roads to victory involve voter suppression. Whether it’s repeating the oft-debunked tales of voter fraud or scheduling a presidential visit on election eve in the hope of disrupting polling place access (yes, Trump just did this!), the GOP’s ideal democratic republic involves the entitled ruling the roost.

The Golden State and the voting districts within are facing a governance dilemma of a different sort, namely one party rule. Many of our elections in San Diego are little more than personal popularity contests, where a smiling face and the bucks to get it in front of people mean more than actual ability. Take our mayoral contest, for instance.

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Surfrider and Local Leaders Push for Plastic-Free California at Ocean Beach

January 6, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

The Surfrider Foundation and local San Diego political leaders held a press conference in Ocean Beach on Saturday, Jan. 4, and pushed for a plastics-free California. A beach cleanup followed the presser.

Assemblymembers Lorena Gonzalez and Todd Gloria – who is running for mayor – and County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher joined San Diego’s Surfrider is this renewed battle against single-use plastics. And they pushed for support of a new law that, if passed, would require plastic manufacturers in California to drastically reduce production over the next decade. The new bill, Senate Bill 54

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It’s Time to Pay Attention! California Primary Two Months Away

January 3, 2020 by Doug Porter

California’s Primary is just two months away – March 3. In just over a month a supermajority of California voters will begin voting by mail for candidates and issues in the 2020 primary.

We citizens get the opportunity to vote twice in 2020. Traditional polling places will be open on March 3 (Primary) and November 3 (General election).

Our state has made it incredibly easy to perform the action of casting a ballot. What’s not so easy is deciding who to vote for, particularly once you get past the big name contests.

First off, you need to ask yourself:

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California Waters Are Acidifying Twice as Fast as Global Oceans

December 17, 2019 by Source

By Rosanna Xia / LA Times / Dec. 16, 2019

Waters off the California coast are acidifying twice as fast as the global average, scientists found, threatening major fisheries and sounding the alarm that the ocean can absorb only so much more of the world’s carbon emissions.

A new study led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration also made an unexpected connection between acidification and a climate cycle known as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation — the same shifting forces that other scientists say have a played a big role in the higher and faster rates of sea level rise hitting California in recent years.

El Niño and La Niña cycles, researchers found, also add stress to these extreme changes in the ocean’s chemistry.

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Nativity Scene Has Jesus, Mary and Joseph as Refugee Family Separated in Cages

December 9, 2019 by Source

A Southern California church flipped the lights on its outdoor manger scene Saturday evening to reveal Jesus, Mary and Joseph as border detainees, each figure isolated in its own chain-link cage with a barbed-wire top.

The nativity display from Claremont United Methodist Church, a suburban congregation east of Los Angeles,

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Bomb Cyclone that Hit Northern California Had Record 75-Foot Wave

December 7, 2019 by Source

From KTLA / Dec. 6, 2019

The bomb cyclone that pounded the West Coast last week brought with it some of the tallest waves ever recorded off the California coast.

A monstrous 75-foot wave was recorded about 20 miles off the coast of Cape Mendocino in northern California, according to the University of California, San Diego’s Coastal Data Information Program.

In the 15 years the program has operated a station in that location, the significant wave height — or the average height of the tallest third of waves that occur over 30 minutes — typically doesn’t exceed 10 feet tall during the winter.

The 75-footer was the tallest of the waves recorded in that period, which averaged around 43 feet tall.

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As We Watch California Burn Yet Again It’s Time to Say Yes to ‘Save Our San Diego Countryside’

October 28, 2019 by Jim Miller

By Jim Miller

California’s burning (again) with Governor Newsom declaring a state of emergency for Los Angeles and Sonoma Counties in the wake of twelve fires raging across the state. Smoke swept throughout the Bay Area and parts north and delayed flights into San Francisco. Schools were closed in the affected regions, and close to two million people suffered through pre-emptive power shut-offs to try avoiding yet more blazes.

In Los Angeles, residents agonized through hellishly hot fall temperatures and respiratory problems while blazes in San Diego county broke out in Valley View and Ramona, reviving traumatic memories of apocalyptic fires past for many. In San Diego county, the damage has been minor so far, but the hot, dry, windy conditions ensure that another firestorm is always just around the corner.

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California Families Go Hungry While a Third of State’s Crops Rot in Fields

October 22, 2019 by Source

By Manuela Tobias / The Fresno Bee – Times of San Diego / Oct. 19, 2019

Maximina Molina Sanchez is worried about going hungry this winter. She depends on a food bank in Huron to feed her husband and two kids. But with most agricultural workers out of jobs during the winter, demand is bound to increase, so she worries there won’t be enough food to feed everyone who needs it.

The Sanchez family is among the 22% of people in Fresno County who couldn’t afford the groceries they needed in the past year. Fresno ranks third in the country for food insecurity, according to the Food Research and Action Center.

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The World We Want

September 13, 2019 by Source


The University of California Has Been Shaped by Market Value
By Niall Twohig

One thing I noticed in my decade studying and teaching at UCSD is that we—students, teachers, and our academic programs—rarely define the principles we want to live by in our university and society. By principles, I’m referring to what critic George Monbiot calls a “description of the world as we would like to see it.”

I see a risk in not defining our principles. If we do not describe the world we would like to see, we risk accepting the world we see as the only possible world. We risk accepting what is valued in that world as what is most valuable to us.

What is valued most in our current world is market value. This value is determined by how much profit one makes when one sells one’s product on the market. All that matters in the marketplace is whether

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Southern California Grocery Contract Approved for 47,000 Workers – Strike Averted

September 12, 2019 by Brent Beltran

Kroger and Albertsons Workers Ratify New Contract That Raises Hourly Wages, Improves Benefits, and Protects Customer Service – All With Strong Customer Support

This week, members of the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) from Ralphs, Albertsons, Vons, and Pavilions voted overwhelmingly in favor of a new contract that improves the lives of hard-working grocery workers and their families across Southern California.

Marc Perrone, the President of the UFCW International, released the following statement:

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An Homage to ‘Wetbacks’:  Marla’s Story

September 3, 2019 by Staff

By Joni Halpern

Dear Ohio,

Today Americans are asked to support government conduct that imperils adults and children who have the temerity to ask for asylum from the raging violence or desperate poverty ravaging them in their home countries.

Our country now wants to broadcast far and wide that we are no longer in the market for the “poor and huddled masses yearning to be free.” We are not interested in their sad stories of abuse, deprivation, or torture. Look us up, however, if you are among the well-educated, well-trained, healthy, affluent, select few who want to take advantage of new opportunities in an American venue.

Americans have been told this change of focus is necessary, because immigrants of a lesser god are sucking us dry, committing serious crimes, and

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Do Colder Waters Off West Coast Mean a Return to ‘Normal’?

August 28, 2019 by Source

By Deborah Sullivan Brennan/ San Diego Union-Tribune / Aug. 27, 2019

Record high Pacific Ocean temperatures recorded off the West Cost in recent years have receded to near normal, according to a report on the California Current.

That cool shift marks the end of “the blob,” the mass of warm water that dominated the West Coast, and of the El Nino event that followed. It’s unclear, however, what that means for fish and marine mammals, scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration stated in the 2019 ecosystem status report for the California Current Ecosystem.

“The big thing is that a lot of the physical conditions of the ocean here off of our coast are beginning to return to normal,” said

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NASA Lends a Hand to Southern California on ‘King Tides’

August 27, 2019 by Source

From Aero Tech News / August 26, 20190

NASA in cooperation with the U.S. Geological Survey is helping emergency planners in Southern California get a more complete picture of the increasing risk of coastal flooding by looking at the highest of tides —”king tides.”

“King tide” is the informal term generally used to describe an exceptionally high tide, which most often occurs when the Moon and the Sun are aligned and their gravitational pull on the Earth is at its strongest. King tides can be just a few inches higher than normal, but when combined with other factors, they can have damaging effects.

That’s what happened in the winter of 2018-19 when a king tide occurred

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Much Needed Prop 13 Reform Is on It’s Way with ‘Schools and Communities First’ Ballot Measure

August 26, 2019 by Jim Miller

By Jim Miller

There is a movement afoot to reform Proposition 13, with community organizations aligned with labor promoting the Schools and Communities First ballot measure. Why would anyone want to touch the third rail of California politics? The answer is simple: we can keep its central benefit to homeowners while closing an unnecessary corporate loophole that will help our schools, cities, and counties across California.

Ever since its passage in 1978, Proposition 13 has starved California’s schools and local governments of funding. While the measure was pitched as a way to keep individual homeowners from being buried by taxes, the real beneficiaries of Prop. 13 were not elderly folks or other vulnerable groups struggling to hang on to their homes, but super rich corporate property holders.

What most voters don’t know about Proposition 13 is that it gave huge commercial property owners like Disneyland the same tax break as your grandmother.

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The Billionaire Drive to Privatize Public School

August 16, 2019 by Source

By Thomas Ultican / Tultican / August 10, 2019

The New Teachers Project (TNTP) is one of several organizations that only exist because billionaires have financed them. Wendy Kopp founded TNTP in 1997. She assigned Michelle Rhee, who had recently finished a two year Teach For America (TFA) tour, to run TNTP. Along with TNTP and TFA there are also the uncertified Broad Superintendents Academy and the fake school for professional educators called Relay Graduate School forming a significant part of the infrastructure instilling a privatization mindset into the education community.

TNTP says it mission is to partner with educational entities to:

  • “Increase the numbers of outstanding individuals who become public school teachers; and
  • Create environments for all educators that maximize their impact on student achievement”
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