San Diego

A Pictorial of the Ocean Beach Paddle Out in Solidarity with Black Lives Matter

June 8, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Join us in a pictorial view of the historic Ocean Beach Paddle Out in solidarity with Black Lives Matter, held Sunday, June 7. We have photos from a number of sources.

First, people started gathering at the foot of Newport on the grass. Many brought signs … and surfboards.

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National Guard Withdrawn From San Diego County – Finally!

June 8, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

After demands from local elected officials and others, and after a week of peaceful protests, the California National Guard has finally withdrawn from San Diego County.

Two hundred Guard troops were deployed Thursday, June 4, in the county to ostensibly support police officers in La Mesa and sheriff’s deputies across the region. It was a request from Sheriff Bill Gore that brought the Guard here.

Their withdrawal comes a day after San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher requested the National Guard leave the area and two days after the San Diego City Council President, Georgett Gomez, did the same. Both Gomez and Sarah Jacobs are running for Susan Davis’ Congressional seat and both came out against the Guard’s presence.

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A Voice from the Frontlines of the George Floyd Protests – Interview with Khalid (Paul) Alexander of Pillars of the Community

June 8, 2020 by Jim Miller

Alexander Is the Founder and President of Pillars of the Community

By Jim Miller

As the activism and protests in response to the murder of George Floyd intensified both nationally and locally last week, I thought I would check in with my City College colleague and community activist Khalid (Paul) Alexander, whose work with Pillars of the Community (insert link: https://www.potcsd.org) puts him in the heart of the struggle to break down institutional racism in the criminal justice system and elsewhere in San Diego on a daily basis. Here he speaks to the work of his organization and the deep inequities Pillars of the Community is struggling to address.

Question: Tell me about Pillars of the Community? What kind of organization is it? What inspired you to found it? What kind of work do you do in the community?

Answer: Pillars of the Community is an organization dedicated to advocating for people who are negatively targeted by law enforcement. We do this advocacy through community building and policy work.

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Coalition of Groups to San Diego Mayor and City Council: Black and Poor Communities Need Action Now!

June 6, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

There’s a coalition of San Diego organizers who are organizing in response to the police violence and disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on black and poor communities. The Community Budget Alliance.

A big part of their platform is the People’s Budget and they’re asking people and groups to email the Mayor and City Council this weekend. See the letter here.

Also, here’s their introduction:

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

June 5, 2020 by Source

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

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

Statement opposing use of National Guard against anti-racist protests

The Military Law Task Force of the National Lawyers Guild strongly condemns the use of National Guard and active duty troops to police anti-racist protesters. ,

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Thousands March From Downtown to North Park in Latest George Floyd Protest

June 4, 2020 by Staff

Check out these photos, taken around 7:15 pm tonight in North Park. Thousands marched from downtown near the SDPD station up to North Park and along University Avenue.

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After Protests, County Sheriffs and Most San Diego Law Enforcement Now Ban the Carotid Restraint

June 4, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

After six days of protest in San Diego and a week and half across the nation, the San Diego Sheriff’s Department and many local law enforcement agencies up and down San Diego County announced Wednesday they would immediately ban the use of the carotid restraint. Two days earlier the San Diego Police Department stated its officers would no longer use the chokehold or neck hold.
Those agencies are:

  • Carlsbad Police Department
  • Chula Vista Police Department
  • Coronado Police Department
  • El Cajon Police Department
  • Escondido Police Department
  • La Mesa Police Department
  • National City Police Department
  • Oceanside Police Department
  • San Diego Community College Police Department
  • San Diego County Sheriff’s Department
  • San Diego Harbor Police Department
  • San Diego Police Department
  • San Diego State University Police Department
  • San Diego Unified School District Police Department
  • University of California San Diego Police Department
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Port to Begin ‘Replenishing’ Sand at Kellogg Beach in Point Loma June 8 – Where’s the Sand Coming From?

June 4, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

UPDATE: Tracy Spahr – Public & Media Relations Principal, Marketing & Communications for the Port, responded: “The Port reviewed a variety of sands and selected a sand of a quality, color and texture that closely matches the current sand at Kellogg Beach. The sand will be coming from East County Sand, LLC based in Lakeside, CA. The Port also received a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and a water quality certification from the Regional Water Quality Control Board for this project.

We just received a press statement from the Port of San Diego announcing the Port will begin to replenish the sand at Kellogg Beach beginning on or near June 8. They expect the project to be completed by July.

Okay. Well, the main question residents and environmentalists should be asking is “where is the sand coming from?”

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Sixth Day of George Floyd Protests in San Diego – Including in Midway, OB, Mira Mesa, Broadway Heights – and Paddle Out in Encinitas

June 4, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Wednesday, June 3 was the sixth straight day of protests in San Diego County over the George Floyd murder. All were peaceful and all were respectful of this local and national moment of push for needed change.

The protests included a march from the Midway area into Ocean Beach, one in Mira Mesa, a vigil in Broadway Heights and a massive paddle-out at Moonlight Beach in Encinitas.

A mostly young crowd rallied in the Midway Area for Black Lives Matter and several San Diego Police officers joined them in prayer; the crowd chanted, “SDPD! SDPD!” and the officers actually led the marchers through the area. The marchers continued into Ocean Beach and down several streets around Newport Avenue, past boarded up windows of businesses, some of whose owners sprayed supportive statements (some would call them “graffiti”) onto those boards.

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Why Is the California National Guard in San Diego?

June 4, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

The California National Guard deployed 200 troopers in San Diego County over the last 20 hours or so. One hundred are assigned to La Mesa and another hundred to the County Sheriff’s Department. Sheriff Bill Gore is the one that requested them. Governor Newsom authorized their deployment.

From my knowledge of San Diego history, this could be the very first time National Guard soldiers have been assigned to San Diego County. They weren’t deployed during the infamous San Diego Free Speech fight in 1912-1913, the labor strife during the thirties, nor were they deployed in San Diego during the social turbulence of the sixties and 1970s, and not during the May 1970 student rebellion, which in part shut down the gates to the Naval base on Catalina Boulevard.

So why are they here now?

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San Diego Protests for George Floyd Continue for 5th Day

June 3, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Protests in San Diego for George Floyd continued for the fifth day in a row on Tuesday, June 2, with the largest demonstration in downtown San Diego.

Dozens of people had been protesting in the afternoon, then joined others for a short rally at Sixth and Laurel in Balboa Park. There they spread out on the grass and listened to a few speeches, keeping proper physical-social distance.

Around 6 pm the crowd marched into downtown, where they were joined by another group. After marching down Broadway and through downtown streets, the combined crowd of at least 500 then rallied at the County Administration Building. At one point on Broadway, the marchers were being pushed along by a phalanx of police SUVs. Participants said the crowd was larger than the day previous,

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La Mesa Grandmother Out of Coma After Being Hit by Police Projectile at Protest – Calls for Officer to Be ID’ed and Charged

June 3, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

In all the initial stories and reports of what happened in La Mesa at the George Floyd protest in front of the police department, the subsequent bank burnings and lootings, and then the clean-up afterwards, a key story of a La Mesa grandmother almost being fatally injured or blinded by a police projectile wasn’t present.

Now, it has emerged. Leslie Furcron, a 59 La Mesa resident was hit between the eyes by a police rubber bullet and severely knocked momentarily unconscious. She was on her cellphone when the incident occurred and was not engaging in anything but peacefully protesting. Bystanders rushed her to the hospital where she was at first placed in an induced coma. Police did not call her an ambulance or otherwise respond to her injury

Furcon has now come out of the coma and her family called Tuesday for the officer involved to be publicly identified, fired and charged with attempted murder. There is a gruesome cell phone video

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George Floyd Protest in San Diego – Today, June 2 – Balboa Park

June 2, 2020 by Staff

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In Response to Protests San Diego Police End Use of Choke-Hold, Sheriffs Continue to Use It

June 2, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

The San Diego Police Department announced Monday, June 1 that it is immediately ending its use of the chock-hold or carotid restraint, a move motivated by the George Floyd protests, both locally and nationally.

San Diego Sheriffs will continue to utilize it on suspects, as Sheriff Bill Gore told KUSI Tuesday.

The San Diego Union-Tribune quoted numerous elected officials and the police chief praising the decision. Mayor Kevin Faulconer, at a press conference Monday, stated SDPD officers “will be stopping the use of the carotid technique, effective immediately.”

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The Future of America Is Protesting and Demanding an End to a Racially-Based Justice System – We’d Better Listen

June 1, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

It is one week ago exactly that George Floyd died. Since then his death had brought the country – in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic – to the brink of a new reality.

Over the weekend, at least 4400 Americans were arrested. Sixty cities – including La Mesa and San Diego – experienced protests. The National Guard has been called out in 20 states. Curfews have been laid down on many municipalities – too many, as in Poway where a small demonstration of 50 people was enough for local leaders there to enact a curfew. More lock-downs.

Yet, what has become clear is that the young of this country – the future of America – have been marching and protesting since Floyd’s death, and the singular demand they have shouted in many different ways coast to coast is an immediate end to the racially-based criminal justice system in this country.

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

May 28, 2020 by Source

By Roberto ‘Rob’ Camacho

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

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

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

May 27, 2020 by Source

By Barbara Bry

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

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

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

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

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More Charts to Worry and Think About – San Diego County COVID Cases and Deaths as of May 21

May 22, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Here’s more charts to worry and think about – some negative, at least one positive. They’re all from the San Diego Union-Tribune tracking program current as of May 20, and one from today’s issue, current as of May 21.

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Most Citations Issued by San Diego Police for Violations of COVID Orders Were in 92107 Zip Code Area

May 22, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

The most citations that San Diego Police officers have issued for violations of the orders put in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic were in the 92107 zip code area – which include Ocean Beach and Sunset Cliffs.

In an article in the San Diego Union-Tribune Friday, May 22, writer David Hernandez reported that San Diego police issued 157 citations between April 2 and May 6. And most of them – 55 – were issued in the 92107 area. In comparison, 35 were for the 92101 zip code area – downtown, and 9 for 92109, which includes Mission Bay and PB. Most citations were issued in April.

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

May 21, 2020 by Source

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

By Lemor Abrams / CBS8 / May 20, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

May 20, 2020 by Source

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

May 20, 2020 by Source

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

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

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

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

May 20, 2020 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

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

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

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

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

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‘What a Difference a Week Makes During COVID’ in San Diego County: 962 New Cases, 35 More Deaths

May 15, 2020 by Staff

The above SDU-T chart is from today, Friday, May 15, 2020, with the data good through Thursday, May 14. Compared with last week’s chart published Friday, May 8, with data good through the 7th, we can see the increases in total deaths, total cases and new positive cases. With increased testing, the numbers are bound to go up. Yet, in one week in San Diego County, there were 962 new cases of COVID-19 and 35 additional deaths.

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Will These Be on the November Ballot? Thirty Foot Height Limit, Ranked Choice Voting, Clean Elections, Project Labor Agreements

May 15, 2020 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / WordsandDeeds / May 14, 2020

The San Diego City Council’s Rules Committee met on Wednesday and advanced six ballot measures under consideration for the November 2020 general election.

A measure making San Diego Unified School District board elections district only affairs will be considered by the full council.. Currently, school district voters make their choices in a primary; the entire city gets to vote on those choices in the general election.

Five other measures will get a second hearing before the rules committee in June after further analysis and preparation.

  • Authorizing outside legal counsel for the city auditor
  • Public campaign financing for city offices
  • Ranked choice voting for city offices
  • Removing a ban on Project Labor Agreements
  • Removing the 30 foot height-limit in the Midway District.

All these potential measures are controversial in some respect. And there are other measures under consideration for the November ballot.

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

May 14, 2020 by Source

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

Here are some recent commentaries from local San Diego media.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May 13, 2020 by Source

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

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

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

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

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

May 11, 2020 by Source

BRAVA! Mara Elliott

By Colleen O’Connor

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

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

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

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Empowering America to Death

May 11, 2020 by Jim Miller

The American Legislative Exchange Council’s Agenda is on Full Display

It’s easy to stay outraged these days, whether it’s reading about the COVID-19-infected leader of the “ReOpen NC” protests whining about her “rights” being violated by quarantine, the “COVID Mary” of Louisville being arrested after going to the grocery store while knowingly infected, or the knucklehead owner of the Orange County bar who defied state pandemic restrictions, opened up, and told the TV news that everyone would be OK because, “on a sunny day like this, I don’t feel like anybody’s at risk.”

At present, it appears there is an endless well of dangerous idiocy.

And when you watch the Trump Administration ignoring their own guidelines as White House aides get sick and the national response slides into a chaotic patchwork quilt of ineffective policies, one might just conclude that we are dealing with a tragic case of national incompetence.

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UCSD Student George Winne Burned Himself to Death in Protest of the War – May 10, 1970

May 8, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

George Winne, 23, a History major at UC San Diego strolled out to the middle of Revelle Plaza on Sunday, May 10, 1970. It was about 4 o’clock in the afternoon. A huge anti-war protest had occurred earlier that weekend in downtown San Diego. It’s not known whether Winne attended it, but it’s unlikely.

President Nixon had invaded Cambodia and the campuses across the nation blew up in protests. One protest at Kent State University in Ohio ended in the deaths of four students shot by National Guardsmen.

When Winne came out to the plaza, he carried a sign, which read, “In God’s name, end this war.” It was a simple message. He also carried rags which he had saturated with gasoline.

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