San Diego

Homelessness Can’t Be Solved with Fines and Arrests

October 19, 2018 by Source

By John Tharp & Maria Foscarinis / OtherWords

When San Diego resident Gerald Stark’s rent increased and he couldn’t afford another apartment, the retired union pipefitter moved into his RV.

But because he lacked an address, San Diego law made it almost impossible for him to park his RV legally. Soon the city confiscated it, leaving him out on the streets.

There, he was ticketed for violating another law prohibiting sleeping in public. Faced with thousands of dollars in fines and fees he was unable to pay, Stark lived every day in fear of being arrested — for simply trying to survive.

He’s not alone.

There isn’t a single county in the United States where you can rent a two-bedroom, market-rate apartment working a full-time, minimum-wage job. Many of our neighbors are just one emergency or missed paycheck away from losing their homes.

Unfortunately, law enforcement is often used as a first response to address homelessness. Many communities essentially criminalize it.

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The How and Why of Measure YY, the San Diego Unified School District Bond Ask

October 18, 2018 by Doug Porter

Back in the old days before Proposition 13, local schools were funded locally. School boards had the authority to raise property tax rates, constrained by the understanding that the electorate would vote them out come election time if they went too far.

In practice, this meant school districts with lower property values ended up with inferior education facilities and programs. Court cases in the 1970’s began the erosion of local control in the cause of rectifying these inequities; Prop 13 put the state in the driver’s seat.

School boards can no longer levy property taxes. They can, however, ask voters to support local funding for schools through parcel taxes and bond measures. And in the majority of cases, voters have agreed with this method of filling the holes blown through local education budgets.

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Some Big Developments – My Reporter’s Life, Part Two

October 18, 2018 by Source

Here’s Part One

By Bob Dorn

I didn’t know that the police beat was one of the tests normally applied to newcomers until the San Diego Evening Tribune editors released me from it after six months and, to my surprise, had me cover the County Board of Supervisors.

Developers had been pumping out two-story stuccoes amidst the chapparaled and original Spanish land grants to the east and the north of the city. The collapse of C. Arnholt Smith’s US National Bank was at this time the largest bank failure in US history, so I was a bit surprised to be assigned to cover the Board of Supervisors; after having been in town only 12 months or so I figured I didn’t know f-all about the county.

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A Look at Voter Guides for San Diego

October 17, 2018 by Doug Porter

I don’t know if there’s Blue Wave building, but I can tell you I haven’t seen such engagement and interest in an election in recent memory. An indication of voter interest is the proliferation of voter guides. Not that long ago, the term ‘voter guide’ either meant a handout from a political party or a slate mailer from a pay to play outfit.

Given that I worked on two such efforts this year, I thought I’d take a few minutes to catalog and comment upon some of what I’m seeing in the way of election-related compendiums and endorsement lists.

Vote Smart offers up a wealth of information on elections around the country, with details on 13,849 congressional, gubernatorial, state legislative, statewide, and state judicial contests, along with ballot measures. …

Voter’s Edge works by having you to plug in your address to see research on those candidates and propositions appearing on

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My Reporter’s Life, Part One: Pain and Suffering at the San Diego Police Department

October 16, 2018 by Source

By Bob Dorn

I worked for the San Diego Evening Tribune for approximately eight years and 11 months. I was just 13 months short of being vested in the retirement program when I quit. That’s okay.

If I’d stayed on at the paper I might have gone fully crazy.

I was 28 when the Trib hired me out of a small-town daily in New Jersey’s rural northwest.

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Progressive Activist Calendar, Mid-October 2018

October 16, 2018 by Doug Porter

Vintage photo taken by Henry Miller

The following Progressive Calendar is based on Doug Porter’s weekly calendar at San Diego Free Press. It has been edited and shortened to include only City of San Diego events and exclude out-of-date events.


Help Light Up a busy Freeway Overpass with #YesOn10! https://twitter.com/hashtag/YesOn10?src=hash

It’s easy and fun — we will be on a different overpass each week through November 5th, the night before Election Day.
October 20

"VOTE" button

Ballot Measures 2018 Pro & Con
Saturday, October 20, 1pm
Point Loma Branch Library
3701 Voltaire Street

Hosted by League of Women Voters of San Diego

Confused about the Midterm ballot measures? Come hear our Prop Talks, where we review the ballot propositions and take your questions. Always nonpartisan; only the facts. Bring your ballots and take notes!

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San Diego City Council Votes to Ban Styrofoam

October 15, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

On Monday, October 15, the San Diego City Council voted 5 to 3 to ban Styrofoam, also known as polystyrene. The tentative ban is on the use and distribution of products, such as egg cartons and food service containers, that use Styrofoam.

The ban would also prohibit the use and sale of items made partially or completely of polystyrene foam such as:

  • coolers,
  • ice chests,
  • pool or beach toys,
  • mooring buoys and
  • navigation markers .
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A Letter to Duncan Hunter from the Aspirationally Corrupt

October 15, 2018 by Source

WARNING: The following article is satire.

By Brett Warnke

October, 2018

Dear Dunc,

May I call you Dunc? I want to be familiar with you. I want to know you. I’ll tell you the straight stuff: I want to be a crook.

As it stands, I’m a greedy teacher. I know! Children, facts, unions, books!

It’s all so frightfully boring, so paperwork-y and tedious. Some of my children are homeless. They live in vans. Sometimes I show them pictures of your sprawling Alpine home just to make them feel bad about not being born rich, like you.

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Two New Books Explore San Diego’s Impact on the Psyche – Release Reading at Tiger! Tiger! Oct.21

October 15, 2018 by Jim Miller

San Diego City Works Press, a project of the San Diego Writers Collective, is proud to present the release reading for local novelist Josh Turner and San Diego poet, Joe Medina on Sunday, October 21, at 4:30 at Tiger!Tiger! in concert with Verbatim Books,

Baxt and Medina’s works continue the tradition of SD City Works Press of birthing first books by homegrown authors. In fact, Fall 2018 marks 13 years of publication by City Works Press. The San Diego Writers Collective is a group of San Diego writers, poets, artists, a

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San Diego Progressive Voter Guide – 2018 General Election

October 10, 2018 by Staff

Here is the Progressive Voter Guide for the 2018 General Election in San Diego County, published by the San Diego Free Press and now republished by the OB Rag. A few words about our process are in order. The OB Rag and the San Diego Free Press are online siblings. The OB Rag has been publishing since October 26, 2007, and the SDFP, as an all-volunteer group, has been publishing daily since June 4, 2012.

A commitment to activism and progressive politics is what drives our dedication to these projects. We’ve been researching the candidates and causes on the general election ballot for the past 18 months. You can see the various articles the SDFP has published at our archive of 2018 election coverage.

The editorial board includes Brent Beltrán, Anna Daniels, Frank Gormlie, Patty Jones, Rich Kacmar, Annie Lane, and Doug Porter. We met on September 24 to vote on endorsements,

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Donna Frye Makes the Case for Vivian Moreno as San Diego City Councilmember in District 8

October 10, 2018 by Source

By Donna Frye

Last week I officially endorsed Vivian Moreno to serve as the next Council District 8 City Councilmember. Vivian is someone who has strong core beliefs and values that will not change based on politics. She is honest and straightforward- she tells it like it is and I appreciate that.

Vivian and I agree about what it takes to be a public servant. It means listening to others with an open mind….

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San Diego’s Early Liberal Oligarch George Marston Celebrated

October 9, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

San Diego’s best historical group, the Save Our Heritage Organization, is organizing a big shindig later this month in honor of George Marston and his family. There’s a permanent exhibit called The Marston Legacy: Progress and Preservation and SOHO is having a Preview Reception on October 25 in the 1905-built Marston House Museum in Balboa Park.

So, what’s the big deal? Why should we care about some old, dead rich dude?

Well, for one, SOHO describes Marston as “forward-thinking” who made “lasting contributions of one of the region’s leading families.” SOHO continues:

Marston’s department store founder, visionary civic leader, and philanthropist George W. Marston set a high bar for the city and his progressive family

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Three Candidates You Should Avoid Voting for on Nov. 6: San Diego County’s Bottom of the Political Barrel

October 9, 2018 by Doug Porter

Mail-by-vote ballots will be arriving at homes in California next week and, after posting more than three dozen articles about candidates and issue since the June primary, it’s time to wrap up this phase of our election coverage. There were lots of contests I wanted to cover, but couldn’t for lack of time.

My parting shot in this series involves a short-but-sweet essay warning folks about some people NOT to vote for. There are people running for office who you shouldn’t vote for, and then there are candidates are so bad you should consider crossing the street to avoid them if you see them coming your way.

Very soon, we’ll be posting the San Diego Free Press Progressive Voter Guide. The editorial board met last week to consider endorsements; those will be announced in the guide. We endorsed 14 ballot measures and 37 candidates. Three candidates were so bad they deserved special mention.

Office: Judge of the Superior Court

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San Diego Gaelic Football Club Wins North American Championship for Second Year in a Row

October 3, 2018 by Source

Setanta San Diego Gaelic Football and Surf Club Does It Again!

By Nate Bazydlo

“To win the second championship is infinitely harder than the first.” Magic Johnson. Fending off angry competition, keeping satiated players hungry, and maintaining laser-like focus in the
midst of fanfare all mount in opposition to the conquest for a back-to-back championship. In the face of substantial obstacles, the men of San Diego Setanta Gaelic Football Club entered the
2018 campaign with their sights set high on the Junior A North American Cup.

Last year, San Diego went to San Francisco and ended a 7-year drought

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It’s Nathan Fletcher vs. Bonnie Dumanis in San Diego County Supervisor D4 and It’s a Critical Contest

September 26, 2018 by Doug Porter

Editordude: The following post about the District 4 County supervisor race explains why it’s a critical contest. Ocean Beach, much of Point Loma, the Midway and other beaches – plus most of the City are in District 4.

Tuesday, November 6 should be the beginning of the end of a status quo situation in San Diego that is just. plain. wrong.. All you have to do is vote.

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San Diego’s City Council District 8 – Martinez vs Moreno: It’s Complicated

September 20, 2018 by Doug Porter

The district is a bi-polar political entity. Geography and long-standing loyalties both exert a significant influence on elections in the city’s southernmost political sector.

City Council District 8 is bisected by National City & Chula Vista. The north and south ends have a majority Latino population in common, but the external realities differ.

The forces of gentrification weight heavily on neighborhoods connected to the core city like Barrio Logan. The border with Mexico, along with the militarization that goes with it, looms over the southern end.

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City Council District 6: How Can Hough Hew His Way Around An Incumbent’s Advantage?

September 19, 2018 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

I’ll let you in on a little secret: San Diego is a lot bluer city than most people realize, meaning–as one politico told me recently–if you run the right Democrat, they can win just about everywhere.

Democrat Tommy Hough is challenging incumbent Republican Chris Cate in District 6 for the November elections. Nobody thinks it’s going to be easy to turn his seat blue.

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San Diego City Council District 4 – Cole vs. Montgomery: How to Make Black Lives Matter?

September 18, 2018 by Doug Porter

At the heart of District 4 are San Diego’s historically black communities, created in large part by property deeds limiting where people of color could buy or rent homes.

In 1969 a coalition calling itself BOMB: Black, Oriental, Mexican Brothers called a public meeting in Southcrest Park and began advocating for a civil rights advocate to be appointed to a vacated City Council seat.

The appointment and subsequent election of Leon L. Williams began a tradition of the District 4 seat being held by African-Americans.

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China Doesn’t Want Our Trash Anymore and Now We Have a California Recycling Crisis

September 14, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

It’s a sad fact of our Californian recycling world – China no longer wants our trash.

China used to be California’s — and the world’s — largest overseas market for recyclables, but in January, China began not accepting “contaminated” material it once brought to its shores. For China, now, if the recycled material is one-half of 1% contaminated, it’s too impure for recycling.

An official for Recology, a curbside hauler that does San Francisco Bay Area trash for recycling, stated:

“There’s no market for a lot of stuff in the blue bin. What we can’t recycle we take to a landfill.”

Back in 2017, Recology was getting $100 a ton for newsprint. Now they are averaging about $5 a ton.

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San Diegans in America’s Finest Tourist Plantation Struggle to Make It … But Nobody’s at the Barricades

September 10, 2018 by Jim Miller

Speaking to the Anger Beneath the Postcard?

It should come as no surprise to anyone who ventures outside San Diego’s hermetically sealed and relentlessly marketed image of itself as a carefree paradise by the sea that the reality of our city is quite different than the happy fantasy.

A recent study by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) confirmed this when it released a report that noted of America’s Finest City, “45% of San Diegans fall into an auspicious category: people who work full time and still struggle with poverty.”

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‘I Have a Dream’ at the San Diego-Mexico Border and Reflections on 1968

September 7, 2018 by Source

By Rev. Richard Lawrence / San Diego Free Press

1968 came back to me when I stood with Martin Luther King, III, at the Border on August 28 and listened to folks on the other side of the Border holler in pure delight that the day had finally come when a black leader stood tall in the fight for a just immigration policy.

King, III, took us back to his father’s “I Have a Dream Speech” fifty-five years ago and reminded us that there’s no room for leaders who separate children from their parents in the world his father envisioned. No. Dr. King wanted to build bridges, not barriers, to freedom.

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The Ocean Beach Green Center’s Calendar for September 2018

September 7, 2018 by Source

September Events from the Ocean Beach Green Center

The following event is at the Ocean Beach Green Center,
4843 B Voltaire Street, Ocean Beach 92107 oceanbeachgreencenter.org 619.225.1083

September 21st Friday 7:00 p.m. In honor of International Peace Day the Peace Resource Center and Ocean Beach Green Center are proud to present an introduction to the film series of “Women, War & Peace”. This 2011 KPBS series challenges the conventional wisdom that war and peace is men’s domain. With depth and complexity, the series spotlights the stories of women in conflict zones from Bosnia to Afghanistan and Colombia to Liberia, placing women at the center of an urgent dialog about conflict and security, and re-framing our understanding of modern warfare. We will be showing “PRAY THE DEVIL BACK TO HELL” which tells the powerful and uplifting story of

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Rise for Climate March – San Diego: Sat. Sept. 8

September 6, 2018 by Source

By Jake Johnson / Common Dreams

Change only happens when people rise up to demand it. That is one of the principal

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San Diego Trader Joe’s Files Suit Against Aggressive Pro-Airbnb Signature Gatherings

August 30, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

It has come to this: Trader Joe’s in San Diego filed suit on Friday, August 24 against the aggressive tactics by pro-Airbnb signature gatherers after all kinds of complaints by shoppers at local stores came in.

The company is asking a judge to halt the gathering of signatures for petitions in front of its stores, after customers complained of overly aggressive signature solicitors at stores in Point Loma, Pacific Beach, Hillcrest and Mission Valley. Trader Joe’s is asking for a restraining order against Airbnb and the firm that’s collecting the signatures, PCI Consultants.

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Matt Brower for Judge – Candidate Profiles for the November 2018 Ballot

August 29, 2018 by Source

By Matt Brower

I am challenging Gary Kreep in the upcoming November election for Seat 37 – California Superior Court Judge. This race stands out as the only one of six county-wide races from the June primary to advance to the general election in November. No matter where you live in San Diego County this race will appear on your ballot.

I began running for this seat when I saw the Commission on Judicial Performance had censured Judge Kreep in August of 2017 for committing over two dozen violations of the Cannons on Judicial Ethics that govern the behavior of judges in our local courts. Though these ethical violations were varied the ones that caught my attention were those involving unprofessional and disrespectful treatment toward women and minorities in court by Judge Kreep.

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August Has Been a Cruel Month for San Onofre Nuke Plant

August 28, 2018 by Michael Steinberg

By Michael Steinberg/ Blackrain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the nuclear power industry in the US and abroad, and highlights the efforts of those working to create a nuclear free world. Here is our August 2018 report.

More Scandals Rock San Onofre

The eighth month of the year saw additional scandals erupt at Southern California’s San Onofre nuclear plant, which has been shut down since 2013.

Another potentially catastrophic accident occurred, a previously unknown whistleblower spoke out,

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San Diegans in Downtown on Sunday Join Protests in All Fifty States Objecting to Trump’s Supreme Court Choice

August 27, 2018 by Doug Porter

One hundred ninely+ locations in all fifty states hosted events protesting the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court on Sunday, August 26.

Led by Move On, NARAL, and the People’s Defense Coalition, more than 70 activist organizations endorsed the rallies and marches.

The event in San Diego was held at Waterfront Park on the west side of the County Administration Building. Roughly 300 people attended, cheering on speakers and marching thru downtown afterward.

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Duncan Doubles Down on Deep State

August 24, 2018 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

Now that Congressman Duncan Hunter and wife Margaret have been indicted, Republicans are working hard on formulating a strategy to keep his District 50 seat red.

While the Representative from Alpine has been full of bluster, anybody who’s actually read the 60 counts against him knows he’s a dead man walking. All that’s left for him to do is work out a plea deal that is consummated after November 6. Oh, and hope his wife doesn’t escalate expression of her rage beyond the stony silence on display at their arraignment.

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Local Vets Encourage San Diegans Not to Attend Annual Miramar Air Show Sept. 29-30

August 23, 2018 by Source

By Gilbert Field / Veterans for Peace

Local veterans, friends and supporters from the San Diego Veterans For Peace are in their third year of a five year educational outreach encouraging the public to stay home and not attend the annual Miramar Air Show.

Veterans believe that the Miramar Air Show glorifies war with an exciting show of speed, power and noise. It celebrates the skills and machinery that exist to kill, maim and destroy. The show is very dangerous …. 10% of all Blue Angel pilots have been killed in shows or accidents.

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Duncan Hunter and Spouse Both Indicted for Campaign Finance Crimes

August 21, 2018 by Source

Rep. Duncan D. Hunter, R-Alpine, and his wife, Margaret, were indicted Tuesday for allegedly misusing hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign funds and filing false campaign finance records.

Hunter and his wife were indicted by a federal grand jury on charges that they allegedly used more than $250,000 in campaign funds for personal expenses, including multiple family vacations, school tuition, dental bills, theater tickets, and domestic and international travel for almost a dozen relatives. The indictment also accuses them of filing false campaign finance records with the Federal Election Commission.

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