San Diego

Utilities Commission Rejects San Diego Gas & Electric’s Pipeline

June 22, 2018 by Source

By Colleen Cochran

The California Public Utilities Commission placed the welfare of San Diego County citizens and wildlife ahead of San Diego Gas & Electric’s profits yesterday, June 21.

The 5-member commission voted unanimously to reject SDG&E and its partner Southern California Gas’ bid to install 47 miles of new pipeline from the Rainbow Metering Station near Fallbrook down through Miramar, mostly along Interstate 15. Another potential route these utilities were considering would have taken the line through Mission Trails Regional Park.

The rejected Pipeline 3602 would have been 36 inches wide and have had five times the carrying capacity of existent 16-inch-wide Pipeline 1600. In an effort to avoid making potential repairs to Line 1600, SDG&E’s plan was to reduce the operating pressure on that line and to run new Pipeline 3602 at high pressure.

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Despite Trump Signing His Executive Order, Actions in San Diego Are Still On

June 22, 2018 by Staff

The Overpass Light Brigade’s display on Tuesday evening:

Protest Actions in San Diego on Friday and Saturday Still On


11 AM
Keep Families Together With Senator Kamala Harris
Otay Mesa Detention Facility, 7488 Calzada De La Fuente

This Friday, US Senator Kamala Harris will be visiting the Otay Mesa Detention Facility to see firsthand what is happening at our border. Join the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties and Senator Harris this Friday in kicking off a series of local actions to speak up against this inhumane practice and demand that Trump stop separating families. Senator Harris has been an outspoken advocate against family separation but she needs our help in pushing against this atrocious practice.

3:00 – 4:30 PM
“Keep Families Together” Nurse-In
880 Front Street San Diego 92101

Hosted by Independent Indivisible and Together We Will, nursing mothers and their infants will gather with families and other supporters in opposition to the Trump policy of removing migrant children from parents seeking asylum in the United States. Speakers include a nursing mother, a pediatrician and a faith leader. Family friendly event will engage children in song. Event inspired by the reported removal by US border agents of a Honduran infant from her mother while nursing in a detention room in Texas.

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America’s Soul On the Line as Trump Moves to Set Up 4 Prison Camps for Babies and Toddlers

June 20, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

UPDATE: Under pressure from the entire country, Trump signed an executive order today, Wednesday, that is meant to keep families together at the border, halting a policy he instituted earlier this year.

13 Governors Pull Back their National Guard Units from Border in Protest of Trump Child Separation Policy

Rachel Maddow wept openly on TV as she struggled to read the last report of her nightly broadcast on MSNBC last night, June 19. It was an AP story about how the Trump administration was moving to set up a 4th prison camp for hundreds of babies and toddlers in south Texas, euphemistically called “Tender Age Centers”.

Maddow’s empathy matched that of most of the country, as America reeled under the horrifying images and audio recordings of small children wailing for their parents –

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Some San Diego Primary Election Results Are Changing – Pease Inches Closer to Campbell in District 2 Balloting

June 20, 2018 by Source

By Colleen Cochran

You know the 2018 San Diego County Primary Election is not officially over, don’t you? As of Tuesday evening, June 19, roughly 15,000 ballots are left to be counted.

The results first announced after election day, which was held June 5, 2018, reflected votes compiled from precinct ballots, as well as those from mail-in ballots received early by the San Diego County Registrar of Voters.

Tallies of mail-in ballots dropped off at the polls were completed late last week. Only the provisional ballots remain uncounted. Thus far, election results have changed in two races:

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This Is Not the America We Want

June 19, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

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Activists Rally in Mission Trails Park to Oppose SDG&E Gas Pipeline

June 19, 2018 by Source

By Colleen Cochran

This past Father’s Day, many San Diegans celebrated their dads amidst the green, rolling hills of Mission Trails Regional Park. One group, holding colorful signs, gathered for more than celebration; they were there to protect this 7,000-acre wilderness area.

SDG&E and SoCalGas would like to install a new gas pipeline to run approximately 47 miles through San Diego County. These utility companies are considering several potential routes for this pipeline, one of which cuts through the park.

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Save San Diego Neighborhoods Responds to Faulconer’s Short Term Vacation Rental Proposal

June 18, 2018 by Source

From Save San Diego Neighborhoods

On Thursday, June 14, without fanfare, Mayor Faulconer rolled out his proposal to change San Diego’s Municipal Code – residential zoning ordinances – to legalize the use of residential dwellings as Airbnb mini-hotels – short term vacation rentals.

There are over 10,000 homes in San Diego that have been turned into Airbnb mini-hotels for tourists. Faulconer wants to take even more San Diego houses and use them for tourist lodging.

He’s doing this despite the fact that San Diego’s residents and economy have struggled — for over a decade — under crushing housing costs because of a severe housing shortage.

Unbelievably, Faulconer proposes allowing everyone who has a “primary” residence in San Diego to rent that residence to tourists for 6 months out of the year – AND allow everyone who has a “primary” residence in San Diego, to own and operate another San Diego home as a short term vacation rental for tourists.

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Summer Chronicles 2018 #1: Scattering Ashes

June 18, 2018 by Jim Miller

In the summer of 1967, the great Brazilian writer, Clarice Lispector, began a seven-year stint as a writer for Jornal de Brasil (The Brazilian News) not as a reporter but as a writer of “chronicles,” a genre peculiar to Brazil. As Giovanni Pontiero puts it in the preface to Selected Chrônicas, a chronicle, “allows poets and writers to address a wider readership on a vast range of topics and themes. The general tone is one of greater freedom and intimacy than one finds incomparable articles or columns in the European or U.S. Press.”

What Lispector left us with is an eccentric collection of “aphorisms, diary entries, reminiscences, travel notes, interviews, serialized stories, essays, loosely defined as chronicles.” As a novelist, Pontiero tells us, Lispector was anxious about her relationship with the genre, apprehensive of writing too much and too often, of, as she put it, “contaminating the word.” It was a genre alien to her introspective nature and one that challenged her to adapt.

More than forty years later, in Southern California—in San Diego no less—

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America, the UnBeautiful: Otay Mesa Protest, Border Patrol Harassment, & Children in Cages

June 14, 2018 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

In what is likely the first in a series of immigration-related protests, several hundred people came to a rally outside the Otay Mesa Detention Center on Sunday, June 10, demanding the release of asylum seekers fleeing gang violence and state repression.

They were taking up the cause of asylum seekers who –for the most part–have voluntarily turned themselves at the border. Little did the protesters know their own participation in the event would lead to harassment by border authorities.

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Funky Homeless Count in San Diego

June 12, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Every year in San Diego, the numbers of homeless people are accessed in the annual point-in-time count. Those numbers – collected by volunteers working for the Regional Task Force on the Homeless – are then used as a measure for the area’s progress in ending homelessness and – importantly – the funds and other resources required and received from the State and Feds.

So, this year the count was on January 26 – and volunteers spread out all over the region with their census sheets. And as it turned out, fortunately for them, Mayor Kevin Faulconer, County Supervisor Ron Roberts and City Councilman Chris Ward all held their pressers and got to announce a 6% drop in homelessness, compared to last year. There was just one problem. The numbers were wrong.

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Former San Diego Slow-Growth Advocate – Now Trump Trade Advisor – Is Condemned for Attacks on Canada

June 11, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Former San Diegan Peter Navarro was on my mind this morning. Why, there he was – on the front page of the Los Angeles Times – being quoted about the raunchy views the White House now has of Canada and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Navarro said, “there’s a special place in hell” for Trudeau, that Trudeau engaged in “bad faith diplomacy”, and tried “to stab [Trump] in the back on the way out the door.”

This was all, of course, in the context of the G7 summit just held in Canada. Once Trump left for Singapore, Trudeau stated Canada would impose retaliatory measures in direct response to Trump’s tariffs on Canadian products, warning Canada would not be “pushed around,” and that Trudeau “will always protect Canadian workers and Canadian interests.”

“Canadians, we’re polite, we’re reasonable, but we also will not be pushed around.”

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SDG&E’s Proposed Pipeline at Odds with San Diego’s Climate Action Plan

June 8, 2018 by Source

SDG&E Seeks to Install Unnecessary Pipeline

By Colleen Cochran

San Diego Gas & Electric says San Diego County needs a new gas pipeline. I say that’s bunk, and I’m not the only one.

In May, California Public Utilities Commission administrative law judge Colette E. Kersten concluded that SDG&E and its partner SoCalGas “failed to demonstrate that there is a need for the proposed Line 3602 Project.” If her draft decision to deny certification to the applicants is approved by other commission members, the pipeline project cannot proceed.

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Bonnie Dumanis: Will She Fool San Diego Again?

June 5, 2018 by Source

By Timothy P. Holmberg

In 1998, as a cub reporter for the Gay & Lesbian Times, I was asked by then-publisher Michael Portantino to interview aspiring Superior Court judge candidate, and openly lesbian Republican, Bonnie Dumanis.

I arrived at Hamburger Mary’s (now Mo’s) dutifully on time at 11am sharp, with PR photo of Dumanis in hand, to find her already seated and waiting. Her signature hair was exactly as in her photo, and exactly the same as it is to this day.

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Crib Sheet and Progressive Voter Guide for June 2018 Primary

June 5, 2018 by Staff

Here’s a quick and easy way to vote in the June 5, 2018, primary election.

Many San Diego County races, including District Attorney, Sheriff, and Assessor will be decided in this election since any candidate getting better than 50% gets a pass on the November election. City and State races, on the other hand, allow the top two finishers to go on to November.

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A Few Last-Minute Reminders for the Procrastinating Progressive Voter

June 4, 2018 by Jim Miller

If you are part of that dwindling tribe who (like me) still prefer to show up at your polling place to vote in person, here are a few final reminders for the procrastinating progressives out there:

Defeat the Lincoln Club: There is only one way to foil the plans of the Lincoln Club in the San Diego County Board of Supervisors race and discourage them from spending big money to intervene in San Diego Democratic politics in the future: Don’t Vote for Lori Saldana. See Doug Porter’s column on this race here. See my column here.

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‘America’s Finest City’ Is Worst in Nation in Housing the Homeless

June 1, 2018 by Source

By Murtaza Baxamusa / SanDiegoUrbDeZine

San Diego does not have a homeless problem, it has a housing bed inventory problem in comparison to other large cities. The region’s homeless as a percentage of the total population is 12th in the nation, and the five-year trend is relatively flat when including both sheltered and unsheltered homeless. Yet, despite the public outcry, there are still about five thousand unsheltered homeless sleeping on our streets, sidewalks, canyons, riverbeds, parks and open spaces.

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Documents Suggest Favoritism on Property Tax Appeals by San Diego County Assessor’s Office

June 1, 2018 by Doug Porter

UPDATE: Matt Strabone Calls for DA to Investigate Dronenburg based on San Diego Free Press Article

It pays to have friends in high places, especially when it comes time to appeal property tax assessments in San Diego County, according to documents released via the California Public Records Act and provided to the San Diego Free Press. These documents, along with a careful analysis of campaign finance records and personal financial disclosures, suggest favoritism has been a factor in reducing the tax burdens of those with connections to County Assessor Ernest Dronenburg.

A major local corporation, along with a longtime campaign contributor’s family, were among the beneficiaries, thanks to a seeming lack of interest in challenging appeals

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Homelessness and Capitalism: Some Untold Truths

May 31, 2018 by Source

By Jeeni Criscenzo

According to the survey in the 2018 Point-in-Time Count (PITC) of homeless people in San Diego County, the four main reasons for becoming homeless are: Loss of Job; Money Issues; Cost of Housing, and Other. Abuse/Violence ranks lowest.

But this survey is missing input from thousands of families, as I explained in my prior column, so in reality, fleeing from domestic violence could be a major cause of homelessness. So too could deportation of the primary breadwinner be a factor, which is not even listed as an option, but is a contributing factor for some homeless families.

Underlying those four highest causes are specific failings in our current economic system, such as: jobs that don’t pay enough to cover the basics;

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San Diego – the Exceptional City

May 31, 2018 by Source

By Norma Damashek / Numbers Runner

Never before in human history have ordinary people – you and me – been able to peer into the quirky, submicroscopic genomic particles that direct traffic within our mortal bodies (hooray for our tenacious medical researchers) while simultaneously scanning the vast cosmos for the daunting mysteries of black holes (posthumous homage to Stephen Hawkings). ­­­­­­­­­­

By contrast, tackling the routine challenges of daily existence ­– love, work, family, politics – should be a piece of cake. Alas, not so. The scientific method, the intellect of experts… these tools are woefully inadequate in the realm of social and political affairs.

To illustrate, let’s look at our own city of San Diego.

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San Diego Coalition Seeks a Budget for the People from Police Reform to Playgrounds

May 30, 2018 by Source

By Susan Duerksen / Center on Policy Initiatives

San Diego’s Community Budget Alliance (CBA) has won approval of environmental, labor, police reform, and pedestrian safety projects this year, and will continue to push for more equitable spending throughout the final month of brewing the 2018-19 City budget.

The City Council has several chances in June to modify the proposed budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1. The CBA coalition, which advocates for budget equity to benefit low-wage working people and underserved communities, is asking the Council to fund these items:

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Feeling in Tune With ‘La Neighbor’ and Logan Heights

May 30, 2018 by Ernie McCray

By Ernie McCray

I just finished reading a collection of essays, “La Neighbor: A Settlement House in Logan Heights,” written by a longtime friend, Maria Garcia.

Maria and I go back a ways and we’re soulmates in so many ways. We’re writers, and activists, who’ve taken to the streets many a time in the pursuit of equality. We’re educators who modeled, in our schools, how to treat children with respect and

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Lori Saldaña and the Lincoln Club? Just Say NO

May 29, 2018 by Jim Miller

Campaign flyer showing funding sources

By Jim Miller

There’s been a lot of controversy lately about Lori Saldaña’s previously floundering County Board of Supervisors run getting a big money boost in the form of an independent expenditure campaign by the Lincoln Club, and while Doug Porter did a fine job of connecting the dots and explaining why both the Lincoln Club and the Working Families Council would be involved in a dark alliance to attack Nathan Fletcher and promote Saldaña, some folks wandering the barren landscape of social media still don’t seem to grok precisely how troubling these connections are for those inclined to support Saldaña, the self-proclaimed savior of the Democratic Party.

Thus, some history is in order.

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A Voter App for San Diego Progressives Now Available

May 25, 2018 by Doug Porter

From San Diego Free Press

A regular reader of this column has developed an app allowing voters to compare side by side recommendations of five organizations, make a choice, and generate a list to help in filling out the ballot.

The five groups included are San Diego Free Press (yay!), Democrats for Equality, the San Diego Democratic Party, Equality California, and Planned Parenthood. Further info on candidates and ballot measures, sans recommendations, is available via the SD Indivisible Voter Guide link on the left side of the page in the app.. (Full disclosure: I am one of the authors of the Indivisible Guide)

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Candidate for San Diego City Council District 6 Takes on Chris Cate for his Support From Airbnb

May 25, 2018 by Source

Editor’s Note: Matt Valenti is a lawyer and candidate for San Diego City Council District 6 and has been endorsed by Save San Diego Neighborhoods.

By Matt Valenti

As a candidate for city council in District 6, my top priority is to expose the ways our leadership has failed our neighborhoods and communities. Perhaps no current leader has proven to be more incompetent and corrupt than my opponent Chris Cate, yet others downtown share the blame for bungling so many of the most important issues facing us as a city.

Too often their malfeasance is glossed over by a bipartisan cheering squad downtown

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War Against Pot Continues in San Diego County

May 24, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Today in Spring Valley – an unincorporated community of San Diego County – sheriff deputies raided an unlicensed marijuana dispensary on Troy Street. This effort demonstrates that the war against pot continues in this area of California.

Twenty-two years after the voters of California legalized medical cannabis and a year and half after voters over the state voted to legalize recreational marijuana, the County of San Diego pushes on against the will of the people, cracking down on pot shops.

The current crop of County supervisors voted in March 2017 to prohibit any marijuana operations in the unincorporated areas of the County and phase out existing ones.

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Papa Doug Manchester Is Not Done With San Diego Yet – Not by a Long Shot – His Massive Waterfront Project Will Drastically Alter City Skyline

May 23, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Did you think Papa Doug was gone?

If you did, think again, for Doug Manchester is roaring back after disembarking from the good-ship Union-Tribune, and is about to install his latest and largest implant on San Diego yet. The shovels and cranes are about to start digging – for it’s Papa Doug’s Pacific Gateway project – a massive redevelopment of the Navy Complex at the foot of Broadway in downtown San Diego.

Lori Weisberg at the San Diego Union-Tribune calls it,”the single largest and costliest project in downtown San Diego history.”

Manchester, one of the kingpins of the San Diego hotel industry,

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San Diego Disabled Homeless Who Live in RVs Will Have Their Say in Court – Some Day

May 23, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

A class-action suit against the City of San Diego by a group of disabled homeless challenging the enforcement of parking laws that prevent homeless people from living and sleeping in recreational vehicles is winding its way through Federal court.

The suit was filed in November 2017 by 9 homeless men and women who say they have no other housing option except to live in their RVs – which forces them to park overnight in city parks or streets. Their disabilities make them unable to afford rent and that homeless shelters are unsuitable for the disabled.

Their lawsuit demands that the city immediately stop citing disabled people under its long-standing vehicle habitation ordinance and its relatively new RV ordinance. The RV ordinance, enforced by the city in 2014, prohibits such vehicles from parking on any San Diego city street or in any public parking lot between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m.

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Images of Obama and Filner Invoked as Primary Campaigns Get Down and Dirty

May 23, 2018 by Doug Porter

From San Diego Free Press

The intensity of political campaigning is rising as Californians have one week of mailing in ballots behind them.

Advertising aimed at creating uncertainty in those who don’t follow politics closely, along with messaging featuring deceptive claims is flooding airwaves and filling mailboxes.

The absentee vote tracker at, using information from the San Diego County Voter Registrar’s office, says roughly 10% of those receiving absentee ballots in the region had been returned as of Thursday, May 17.

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Why It Matters: Re-Electing Alicia Munoz & Rick Shea to the San Diego County Board of Education

May 21, 2018 by Jim Miller

Last week, after I wrote about the billionaire boys club behind the California Charter Schools Association pouring millions of dollars into Antonio Villaraigosa’s bid for governor, even more cash flowed into their campaign war chest the very next day.

As the New York Post reported:

Mike Bloomberg has plopped down $1.5 million to help elect former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa as California’s next governor.

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Protest Against Campaign Litter at Midway and Rosecrans – Today, Thurs, May 17

May 17, 2018 by Doug Porter

Meanwhile, Turmoil Rolls San Diego County Democratic Party

A protest against the visual pollution and littering throughout the region associated with the run-up to the June 5 primary is set for today, Thursday (5/17) at 11am.

Meanwhile, this dispute within the local Democratic Party is symptomatic of division between long-time stalwarts who often seem more concerned about major donors’ interests and activists demanding a more active organizational role in support of those being victimized by the current administration’s policies.

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