Post image for Barrio Bits: Will East Village Chargers Stadium Bring Ethnic Cleansing to Barrio Logan?

Plus, Barrio Loganites Seek Crosswalk, Barrio Art Crawl Returns, Barrio Seed Bank Opens, Chicano Park Day Fundraiser y Más!

By Brent E. Beltrán

With all of the talk around town about the Chargers and their demands for a new stadium something has been overlooked: Barrio Logan. If the city acquiesces to the demands of the Chargers (which they have done in the past) and gives them a brand new stadium in the East Village what happens to the community that sits just south of there?

The impact on Barrio Logan residents would be tremendous… in a bad way.

For the most part the residents of Barrio Logan are renters. A new stadium so close to a community of renters would raise property values up to the point where they could no longer rent in the community they love. Thus, forcing many longtime community members out and changing the socio-economic and cultural character of Barrio Logan.

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Post image for Environmental Lawyer Cory Briggs: Saint or Sinner?

“The case put forward to this point just doesn’t seem right, kind of like a badly fitted toupee on an otherwise well-dressed man.”

By Doug Porter

There’s no doubt about the fact that attorney Cory Briggs has made his fair share of enemies in San Diego. His actions in court have made Briggs the bane of corporate interests, providing what I believe to be a necessary counter-balance in a region where it seems as though the “people’s advocates” express concern about issues only after exposés appear in the press.

So it’s ironic that San Diego’s City attorney is now responding to an investigative series focused on Briggs. And the suggestion is being made that the source for these stories may have been somebody connected with the city’s legal offices, which have made no secret of their disdain for the attorney in the past.

Over the past few days inewsource  has published three stories questioning Briggs’ ethics. Liens filed by the attorney on properties may have been fraudulent efforts to shield assets. Briggs wife’s employment with an environmental planning company used by local governments may represent a conflict of interest, given the nature of many of the legal actions he has pursued against various agencies.

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Post image for President Gandalf Vetoes the Keystone XL Pipeline

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Post image for Justice Comes to Mississippi

Sentencing begins for the ten white teenagers who beat and murdered African-American James Craig Anderson in 2011

By Federal District Court Judge Carlton Reeves

Editor Note: James Craig Anderson was attacked and murdered by a mob of teenagers who went out for the purpose of terrorizing African-Americans. They surrounded Anderson in a parking lot and ran over him with their pick-up truck. His death has been described as a Jim Crow style lynching. In the words of William Faulkner, “The past is never dead. It is not even past.” The following is Judge Reeves’ complete remarks at the sentencing of the first three of the teenagers on February 10, 2015.

One of my former history professors, Dennis Mitchell, recently released a history book entitled, A New History of Mississippi. “Mississippi,” he says, “is a place and a state of mind. The name evokes strong reactions from those who live here and from those who do not, but who think they know something about its people and their past.”

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Post image for Joining Spirit with the Billions of Us Human Beings

By Ernie McCray

I was driving and turned my radio to 89.5, KPBS, and there was a conversation going on about “7 Billion Others,” an exhibit that’s opening in the U.S. for the first time – at San Diego’s Museum of Photographic Arts (MOPA): February 21 to September 13.

I liked what I was hearing and googled around and found, on the MOPA website, 45 questions written for visitors to the exhibit to answer so that they can find in themselves that spark that resides in us all and connects us to the journey of human beings featured in the video project.

My answer to the first question was: Ernest Charles McCray; age 76; retired school principal; widower; American as in United States of America.

Here are my replies to the other questions, based on what first came to my mind:

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Post image for Gas Prices Rise in San Diego as Refinery Strike Spreads

By Doug Porter 

The average price of a gallon of regular gasoline reached three dollars in San Diego this week, roughly seventy cents more than a month ago. The primary cause of this steep increase is the largest refinery strike in 35 years, a walkout that’s continuing to spread as negotiations have stalled out. 

A total of 6,550 workers represented by the United Steel Workers are on strike at 15 plants, including 12 refineries accounting for one-fifth of U.S. capacity. The central issue in this labor dispute is safe working conditions for the USW members at more than 200 oil terminals, pipelines, refineries and chemical plants in the U.S. 

The American Automobile Association says the steep increase in prices comes on the heels of a record 123 consecutive days of declines. 

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Post image for The Old Hippie Gets a Medical Marijuana Card

The Ol’ OB Hippie Writes / The OB Rag

I’m finally going legal after 50 years – or at least almost 50 years. I started smoking pot when I was a freshman in college. And I still smoke – but the other day, I went legal and obtained my medical marijuana card, and now I can smoke legally for the first time in a half century. And god I need it – for all my genuine ailments, from chronic back pain to insomnia to other problems whose symptoms are relieved by the inhalation of the medicinal gift from nature.

Actually my very first joint was during my first year’s Christmas break – I was going to college on the East Coast and had flown home for the 2 week break. Pot smoking literally exploded here in OB and Point Loma in 1966-67. It blew up in OB. And of course, PLHS was called “Pot Loma” after that large bust behind the church – I think – in 1968. Plus we all thought it would be legal by 1976. Seriously.

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Thumbnail image for Firing a Mom Because She’s Breastfeeding Is Sex Discrimination

Firing a Mom Because She’s Breastfeeding Is Sex Discrimination

by Source 02.25.2015 Courts, Justice

By Galen Sherwin, ACLU Blog of Rights

A few months ago, I posted about Angela Ames, the Nationwide Insurance worker who alleged that she was denied a place to pump breast milk when she returned to work from maternity leave. When she protested, Angela was coerced into resigning by her supervisor, who told her she should “just go home and be with your babies”.

In January, the Supreme Court sent her the same message – go home ­– rejecting her petition for a review of the dismissal of her case. The denial of her petition effectively means the end of the line for her case.

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Thumbnail image for Why We’re All Becoming Independent Contractors

Why We’re All Becoming Independent Contractors

by Source 02.25.2015 Business

By Robert Reich

GM is worth around $60 billion, and has over 200,000 employees. Its front-line workers earn from $19 to $28.50 an hour, with benefits.

Uber is estimated to be worth some $40 billion, and has 850 employees. Uber also has over 163,000 drivers (as of December – the number is expected to double by June), who average $17 an hour in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., and $23 an hour in San Francisco and New York.

But Uber doesn’t count these drivers as employees. Uber says they’re “independent contractors.”

What difference does it make?

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Thumbnail image for The War on Terror Comes Home: Crime and Punishment in the 21st Century

The War on Terror Comes Home: Crime and Punishment in the 21st Century

by Doug Porter 02.24.2015 Columns

By Doug Porter

A report in today’s Guardian about a “black site” used by the Chicago police department to keep suspects off the grid for extended periods of time provides the starting point for today’s column. I’m going to weave three ongoing stories together to try to better understand what’s going on.

Yesterday’s Los Angeles Times says next to nothing is happening with a promised crackdown on the use of excessive force with the US Border Patrol. 

And the prison industrial complex in California is pushing back against reforms instituted through Proposition 47, which essentially decriminalized drug possession for personal use and reduced other petty crimes from felony to misdemeanor status. 

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Thumbnail image for Conversion to Renewable Energy is Going Too Slow to Avoid Catastrophe – Part 4

Conversion to Renewable Energy is Going Too Slow to Avoid Catastrophe – Part 4

by John Lawrence 02.24.2015 Environment

By Frank Thomas and John Lawrence

While many positive advances in renewables are being made, rising coal, natural gas and energy demand outweigh any reductions from recent strong growth in renewables in a few countries. Renewables and hydro are still a TINY 9% of primary energy consumption today They are forecast to be a TINY 20% of energy consumption in 2030 and no more than 25% in 2040.

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecasts the same weak growth in renewable electrical generation shares reaching a miniscule 22% in 2015 and 25% in 2040.These weak shares explain why EIA and others expect CO2 emissions to soar ahead from 36 billion tons today to over 50 billion tons in 2050.

This week (Part 4) we address how FAR we have to go to reach a hydro-renewables mix of 70% of global energy consumption by 2050. Cataclysmic global warming can only be stemmed by considerably speeding up practical community-based and disruptive technically-based solutions for sustainable fuels, energy efficiency and lifestyle adaptations (that reduce energy demand) like Scandinavia, Germany, and California are remarkably doing in their own way – without disturbing economic growth.

Part 3 can be found here

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Thumbnail image for A Close Encounter With a Coyote at Laguna Ojo de Liebre

A Close Encounter With a Coyote at Laguna Ojo de Liebre

by Lori Saldaña 02.24.2015 Culture

By Lori Saldaña

The moon was waning that night at Laguna Ojo de Liebre, and clouds from a freakishly warm winter storm still blocked the stars. The sunset was beautiful, but all day heavy rain had fallen in towns near the camp: roads near Vizcaino were flooded, Ejido Benito Juarez had mud running through its streets. Yet here at the water’s edge, only a few drops had made it to the ground.

For all these reasons- chance of rain, clouds blocking the stars- most of us camping near the whales went to bed early. We could hear the whales breathing across the lagoon, but the clouds made it impossible to see their backs shining in the moonlight and determine where the loud exhalations were coming from. Not much to see- good night to read in bed and get to sleep early.

I slept soundly the first few hours, then was awakened shortly after midnight by the jingle of the poodle’s dog collar. She was scratching, and restless, then scratching some more. Between scratches she panted, as if anxious or ….poisoned?

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Thumbnail image for Some Things Never Change: A Review of Perry’s Café

Some Things Never Change: A Review of Perry’s Café

by Judi Curry 02.24.2015 Culture

By Judi Curry

It has been years since I have had breakfast at Perry’s. It was a place that my husband and I used to go to frequently and always enjoyed the meals we had there. However, since he passed away, I find it difficult to frequent those places that we patronized, because it always brings back memories that I would just as soon forget.

However, one of the members of my widow support group – Ro – had a birthday today that we wanted to celebrate, and she chose “Perry’s” as the place she would like to go. Interesting enough, all of us had been there with our spouses, with the exception of Candy. We asked the very nice waitress when Perry’s opened, since we all had recollections of our previous visits there and she said it was about the middle 1980’s.

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Thumbnail image for The Unnecessary Parts of the ‘Chargers Are Going to Leave’ Narrative

The Unnecessary Parts of the ‘Chargers Are Going to Leave’ Narrative

by Doug Porter 02.23.2015 Columns

By Doug Porter

The prospect of San Diego losing its beloved football team provides an opportunity to examine the worst of what the local media does in terms of misleading people about the relative importance of news.

Many stories in the local news media outlets seem based upon the belief this potential business decision (by an entity dependent on taxpayer largess for its profitability) is of critical importance for San Diegans. While I certainly appreciate the emotional connection between fans and sporting organizations, much of what I’ve read in the last few days is simply not connected to any reality that I’m aware of.

Putting this in perspective, the Chargers “fan base” ranks in the bottom half of National Football League, according to data compiled by Nielsen Scarborough, who looked at the percentage of adults who have watched, attended or listened to the NFL team in that market in the past year. Despite what team boosters say, San Diegans are decidedly lukewarm about most pro sports.

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Thumbnail image for A Call to Action on the Labor Crisis in Higher Ed: Colleges Are Running On the Backs of Underpaid Part-Timers

A Call to Action on the Labor Crisis in Higher Ed: Colleges Are Running On the Backs of Underpaid Part-Timers

by Jim Miller 02.23.2015 Columns

February 25th is National Adjunct Walkout Day

By Jim Miller

As I have noted here recently, the successful assault on public sector unionism has marched hand in hand with the surge of income inequality and the erosion of the American middle class. Of course, central to this is the ongoing war on teachers’ unions and the nationwide trend toward austerity budgets in state capitols across the country.

In the world of higher education, what this means is that as we have seen taxes go down for the wealthy and corporations over the last thirty years, budgets for education from K-12 to the university have suffered.

And while the growing student debt crisis has received significant attention, far fewer people are probably aware that in addition to gouging students, colleges across the country are increasingly relying on an exploited army of highly educated part-time teachers in the classroom to help keep their budgets in line.

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Thumbnail image for Can Eve Get Elected?

Can Eve Get Elected?

by At Large 02.23.2015 Activism

We do not need a gun-toting warrior with a vagina

By Dr. Carol Carnes 

You may know her as Hillary or Carly or Elizabeth but her real name is Eve. All women carry that label in the subjective realm of our collective unconscious.

The allegorical tale of Adam and Eve has been misinterpreted, misunderstood and accepted as an irrefutable condemnation of the Feminine, which has resulted in the subjugation of women in almost every culture on earth. The rights of women were not included in the founding documents of America because we were considered creatures, not full humans.

Eve represents the bitch, the temptress, the siren that caused the Fall of Man (men). She listens to the serpent (the devil). She makes it impossible for men to control their impulses. Therefore, at the risk of oversimplification, she is the cause of her own rape. Some cultures will stone her to death for it while in the west she is humiliated, not believed and portrayed as a whore or a careless twit.

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Thumbnail image for Have You Been To a Foreign Country In the Past Few Weeks?

Have You Been To a Foreign Country In the Past Few Weeks?

by Judi Curry 02.23.2015 Culture

By Judi Curry

That seems to be the question everyone is asking since the Ebola epidemic started affecting people in the United States. My usual answer would be “no” but I now have changed that and say, “I’ve been to North Dakota in the past few weeks. Does that count?”

It’s obvious that I know that North Dakota is not a “foreign country” in the true sense of the meaning, but I’ve learned so much about the State that was foreign to me before.

How many of you know what a “sun dog” is?

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Looking Back at the Week: Feb 15-21

by Brent E. Beltrán 02.22.2015 Looking Back at the Week

Compiled by Brent E. Beltrán

This week at SDFP, during Black History Month, we focused on Race & Racism thus this week’s edition of Looking Back at the Week features articles by San Diego Free Press and OB Rag regulars, irregulars, columnists, at-large contributors and sourced writers on talking about race, why racism matters, SD’s hurtful racial narrative, how racists from the south have ruled, black girls matter too, being almost white, imagining an all female POC SCOTUS, a chosen path, the San Salvador and Junipero Serra’s domination, whites fighting racism, a poem on being brown unlike others, lots of videos on race, plus a bunch of other great articles and columns like the Chargers flipping SD the bird, Syrian Kurd leftists’ victory in Kobani, music and theater reviews and the usual plethora of OB goodies.

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Thumbnail image for The History of Neighborhood House in Logan Heights: The Lives of Girls

The History of Neighborhood House in Logan Heights: The Lives of Girls

by Maria E. Garcia 02.21.2015 Culture

By Maria E. Garcia

Families in Logan Heights faced grim financial hardship during the 1930’s and early 1940’s. Childhood entertainment and opportunities were limited. Neighborhood House provided classes, programs and outings that are remembered sixty and even seventy years later by the many people that I have interviewed.

While hard economic times affected everyone, there were different societal expectations about what were considered appropriate activities for boys and girls during this time period. Boys participated in the popular sports programs at Neighborhood House. Team members played in other parts of the city and even other parts of the country. Boys were also given a much greater freedom to explore their environs singly or with other boys.

Girls were raised in a socially conservative environment that emphasized marriage and raising a family. Their activities were often restricted or required a chaperone.

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Thumbnail image for Brown unLike Me

Brown unLike Me

by At Large 02.21.2015 Books & Poetry

By Emmanuel Ortiz

In Venezuela I watched
As the people of the nation
Stood at the plate
Swung out
In defense of their president,
Who won a democratic referendum
By a majority of the majority
(Unlike our own president that same year).
In defense of Chávez,
Millions of hands upon a single bat
Swing for the fences,
Un jonrón over the wall of the White House lawn.

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Thumbnail image for Plastic Handgun: Experimental Dream Pop with a Rock Blasting Cap

Plastic Handgun: Experimental Dream Pop with a Rock Blasting Cap

by Layla Marino 02.21.2015 Music

By Layla Marino

Plastic Handgun is a solo project dreamed up by Toronto artist Mark Di Giovanni, with the emphasis on “dream.”

The impression most listeners will have upon first listen is of a heavy dream pop vibe, but there is much more going on in Plastic Handgun’s sonic world. Somewhat like Mogwai smashed into Ratatat but with a sound all its own, Plastic Handgun may be the new thing in 2015 that hipsters crave.

Involuntary Memories is the name of the most recent Plastic Handgun album, self-released by Di Giovanni in early January. Not much is known yet about this project, nor its creator but the music says quite a bit on its own.

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Thumbnail image for Chargers Hold Up Three Fingers: Read Between the Lines, San Diego

Chargers Hold Up Three Fingers: Read Between the Lines, San Diego

by Doug Porter 02.20.2015 Business

By Doug Porter

The drama surrounding the San Diego Chargers’ pursuit of a stadium–somewhere, anywhere–is turning out to be much more entertaining than much of the action on the field in recent years.  Today I’ll look around at what’s been said and do my best to provide some insight.

Yesterday the team let it slip–as a story in the Los Angeles Times was going to press–that they were working on a joint stadium deal with the Oakland Raiders for a facility in Carson, California, a city of less than 100,000 people with a history of shady dealings.

The coverage at ESPN included a nugget from an unidentified source saying the teams had been working together on this deal for the past nine months. The Chargers, by the way, denied inquiries from the St. Louis media about a deal in LA just a few weeks back.

Nobody was unhappier about the stadium news than Mayor Kevin Faulconer, who’d like the public to believe he’s been making a serious effort towards keeping the team in San Diego. After all, nobody wants to run for reelection with “lost our beloved Chargers” as a signature accomplishment.

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Thumbnail image for Old Town Time Trip

Old Town Time Trip

by At Large 02.20.2015 Culture

By Nat Krieger

Late at night in Old Town it’s not hard to time travel. The cars lining the narrow streets have turned out their lights and gone to sleep. Human activity is reduced to three women walking together. They are wearing white blouses with multicolored skirts synced by a red sash.

If you don’t see the cars or buses or trolleys the women are heading for San Diego’s past clings to their rapid steps. With straight black hair and features that cover the distance between Cortez and the Kumeyaay the women are actors leaving a set where they have been playing the sartorial and biological roots of San Diego as imagined a century and a half later.

Along the eastern side of La Plaza de Las Armas in the heart of Old Town the thick adobe walls of Casa Estudillo release the heat of the day into the night, as they have for 185 years. The casa’s tall wooden doors are shut and the courtyard garden within, visible only through a skeleton key shaped hole, dreams again of the corn and beef flavored smoke that once poured from the outdoor clay oven.

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Thumbnail image for Geo-Poetic Spaces: Esslingen

Geo-Poetic Spaces: Esslingen

by Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes 02.20.2015 Books & Poetry

By Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes

Hope is half-timbered
across the Neckar River

Minds float into eyes
before the miracle
named Esslingen

A 500 year old story
preserved as a city
talking out on
a limb

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Thumbnail image for Whites Fighting Racism: What It’s About

Whites Fighting Racism: What It’s About

by Source 02.20.2015 Activism

By Ricardo Levins Morales  / Ricardo Levins Morales Art Studio Blog

Note: I was asked by SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice – a group which organizes white folks against racism) to write a few paragraphs offering a perspective on white solidarity. It was to open a national organizing conference call. What I wrote follows:

White people are taught that racism is a personal attribute, an attitude, maybe a set of habits. Anti-racist whites invest too much energy worrying about getting it right; about not slipping up and revealing their racial socialization; about saying the right things and knowing when to say nothing.

It’s not about that. It’s about putting your shoulder to the wheel of history; about undermining the structural supports of a system of control that grinds us under, that keeps us divided even against ourselves and that extracts wealth, power and life from our communities like an oil company sucks it from the earth.

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