The Starting Line – Technology breakthrough at UT-San Diego allows website to post news before it happens

Local Public Radio reporter Katie Orr was the first to spot the new technology in use yesterday, but failed to grasp its significance when she tweeted at 2:50 pm about the story up at the UT-San Diego’s website: “Is it me, or is this story confusing? It makes it sound like Romney’s already given his speech, which happens at 7 PST”.  Others, including local scribe Seth Hall, noticed another story posted Thursday morning featuring a photograph and video of lightning in the East County with a headline and lede indicating that the images were captured on Thursday evening.

Of course, what really happened in the first instance was that editors in Mission Valley had jumped the gun, running an Associated Press story written by reporters with access to an advance copy of Romney’s speech.   [Read more…]

Whatever Happened to Downtown Artists? The Experiences of Three Creative Souls Who Survived

By Jim Bliesner

It is a familiar story to hear about how artists settle in unwanted areas of major cities, occupy unused space, and begin to create excitement and a sense of uniqueness and a creative spirit. Eventually developers arrive to capitalize on the aura. What happens to the artists who were the urban pioneers? I interviewed three artists who are downtown or were there in the past. Their experiences cover a period of twenty or thirty years and provide lessons for artists today.   [Read more…]

BOOK REVIEW: Devil Said Bang by Richard Kadrey

By Kit-Bacon Gressitt

Sandman Slim, otherwise known as James Stark, thinks of himself as a monster. But for fans of Richard Kadrey’s Sandman Slim supernatural revenge series, Stark is a beloved monster — half angel, half human, and avenger through and through. And fans will be thrilled with the release this week of the fourth novel in the series, “Devil Said Bang.”
  [Read more…]

Theater Review: An Iliad – Surely this was, is happening now

By Karen Kenyon

As we begin to leave the theatre space after seeing “An Iliad,” we leave in silence — after a standing ovation.

After all, it is finished — Hector is dead, Achilles has lost his rage, and the Poet has left the stage with his suitcase of war.

On a mostly bare set (with a sink, cleaning tools, and other backstage clutter toward the back) one chair, and a table, the “poet,” performed by Henry Woronicz, tells us the story of The Trojan War, focusing on the conflict between the half-god warrior, Achilles of Achaea (Greece), and Hector, Prince of Troy and Commander of the Trojans.   [Read more…]

Field of View: Museum Roadshow at Cuyamaca College

Each year, the Heritage of the Americas Museum holds a “Museum Roadshow” on the Cuyamaca College campus. Craig Helm, a certified appraiser who has worked in the field for more than 50 years, specializes in Native American, pre-Columbian and Asian artifacts, as well as western memorabilia and antique pictures.

There was a $5 charge to have each multiple of three items appraised–the money was donated to children’s programs hosted by the nonprofit museum.

This museum is really worth a visit. The staff is not only extremely knowledgeable, but they are there because they want to be and that shows. If you go, don’t forget to ask to see Brutus, the very-docile female Chilean Rose-haired tarantula.

All photo by Annie Lane.   [Read more…]

The Starting Line — The GOP Jobs Program: More Fact Checkers

Day 2.5 of the Republican National Convention brought out more big guns for the TV cameras and the party faithful. There were the usual failed attempts at partisan humor (a bipartisan affliction) including rim shots at the President’s golf game, which seemed a bit odd in a hall dominated by the country club set. Oh wait! Maybe the jokes were there because he was the black guy on the golf course…. nah, the Republicans wouldn’t do that, would they?

 The crescendo of the convo’s evening was the speech by Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan.  This is the guy on the ticket who is supposed to be everything that Mitt Romney is not. A decisive leader with unquestionable credentials that appeal to the core conservatives and the tea party activists that makes up the bulk of the GOP’s committed voting block. His “white bread” quotient makes him a good bet with uncommitted voters; he’s no grizzly mamma, having crafted a persona going back to Jack Kemp that gives the perception of just enough wonkiness wrapped around a mid-western sensibility to make him a safe choice. And his willingness to play fast and loose with facts and history make him an ideal pairing with the GOP’s Main Man of the moment.

The “liberal” media of the East Coast was all over Congressman Ryan’s lack of command of the facts in his speech. What they didn’t get, apparently, is that facts don’t matter here. Having spent four years buying into the alternative reality crafted for them by their party’s leadership, the party faithful in Tampa and the vast majority of those watching Ryan’s speech on television were certainly not going to be troubled by mere facts. Sally Kohn at Fox News said it, but nobody was listening. The roar of crowd, the sense that, finally, “we” can “take America back” was all that mattered…   [Read more…]

Sex In San Diego: Who Gets to Say Vanilla Is Boring?

by Catherine Scott/Bitch Magazine

If we bemoan the oversexualization of culture, should we also be concerned about the kinkification of culture? As BDSM blogger Clarisse Thorn writes, “Being a sex-positive feminist, I worry that other women will read my work and it will increase their performance anxiety … that it will lead other women to feel like, ‘gosh, is this something liberated sex-positive women do? Is this something I should be doing?”. Thanks to a prescriptive media, the competition to be having the most out-there, kinky, freaky, dirty sex keeps escalating, with “Ultimate Perv” engraved on the winner’s medal. Fantastic if you’re antsy to compete, but what if you’re just not into all that stuff? What if you think you secretly might be…[whisper it, now!]…vanilla?

One of the reasons I didn’t dare join a fetish community website, or go to a play party, ’til years after I was first curious about BDSM, was a subconscious sense that I was probably “too vanilla.” I didn’t dress head-to-toe in latex or own any seven-inch heels, and I didn’t take my partner down to the local shops on a dog leash. I’ve since realized that the scene is open to anyone who feels their sexual tastes land outside the mainstream—there’s no test you have to pass. However, by labelling every non-kinky person as effectively the same, is the BDSM community just as judgmental as those who judge us?   [Read more…]

Companies You Need to Avoid That are Giving Money to Stop Proposition 37 (GMO Labeling)

The next time you take a swig of Odwalla’s Organic Carrot Juice, or munch on a bowl of Orville Redenbacher’s Organic popcorn, take note: A lot of popular organic and all-natural brands are made by companies that are spending thousands of dollars to defeat Proposition 37, the California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act.

Donations are pouring into the campaign to defeat Prop 37. Among the big donors are companies like J.M. Smucker, Hormel Foods, Kellogg Co., Coca-Cola North America and PepsiCo. – companies that make a fortune marketing ‘natural’ and organic brands with slogans like “We’re good to the earth.”

All of these companies are members of the powerful Washington, DC-based Grocery Manufacturer’s Association (GMA), a multi-billion-dollar trade association which represents America’s $1.2 trillion “Big Food” industry. The GMA itself has already pitched in $375,000 to the anti-labeling campaign. And it’s still early in the game.
  [Read more…]

Looking Into Google News: A Week’s Worth

by Bob Dorn

Like the news industry on which it depends, Google News is a big, sprawling mess. There’s little consistency in what it chooses to emphasize hour by hour, day by day, week to week. But, lurking not far beneath Google’s aggravating, aggregated news site is the larger industry’s basic conservatism.

This year Google News intensely chased, first, the Romney/GOP nomination, and secondly the Romney vs. Obama mini‐series as slavishly as the news industry itself did ‐‐ not saying much given the fact that Google News doesn’t originate stories; it reprints them. The media’s obsessive preoccupation with Romney began to sag by mid‐summer along with his polls. But then the August 11th nomination of Paul Ryan by the Romney gave the national press corps something to believe in again, sending them hyperventilating down to Florida to cover Ryan‐‐ “the next president of the United States,” in the Romney world – where the new guy appeared with his mother at campaign stops ‐‐ a kind of Immaculate Perception that gripped the media as if something had happened.

Then the Missouri man, Todd Akin, took the top spot away from the Romney/Ryan and Obama.   [Read more…]

San Diego for Free – Salk Institute for Biological Studies – An Architectural Gem Nestled Above the Pacific

 A weekly column dedicated to sharing the best sights and activities in San Diego at the best price – free!  We have a great city and you don’t need to break the bank to experience it.

Neighborhood & Address:  Torrey Pines Mesa; 10010 North Torrey Pines Road, San Diego, CA 92037

Best For: Architecture students and fans

Hours: 8:30 – 17:00 daily, closed holidays

Free Hours: Free guided tour Monday through Friday at 12:00,  online registration required.  Visitors are also welcome to explore public areas on their own during regular hours.


Just south of the famed Torrey Pines Golf Course lies the Salk Institute for Biological Studies.  The institute was created in 1960 by Jonas Salk, developer of the polio vaccine.  Salk wanted to build on the success of the polio vaccine and create a institute to increase knowledge of biology and a unique, inspiring environment for researchers to work in.  Today the research at the Salk Institute is focused on molecular biology and genetics, neurosciences, and plant biology.  Over 50 years after being created, the Salk Institute continues to build on past successes.  As described by Jonas Salk:  “The reward for work well done is the opportunity to do more.”
  [Read more…]

San Diego’s morphing water policy

by George J. Janczyn / Groksurf’s San Diego / August 28, 2012

The San Diego City Council has been working on a comprehensive water policy for several years. While incremental developments have been sporadically reported in the news media, it’s easy to lose the thread, so here’s a backgrounder.

In late 2010, anticipating an eventual announcement that the drought was officially over, then San Diego City Councilmember Donna Frye proposed that the city’s temporary Drought Response Level 2 restrictions on water use be made permanent, rather than be discontinued.   [Read more…]

The Starting Line — Reporter Assaulted by Goons at Mission Valley Hilton Press Conference Exposing Mistreatment of Employees

Mission Valley mayhem… A press conference being held yesterday by the Employee Rights Center to air charges that the hotel’s operator, Connecticut-based HEI Hospitality, had been named in a complaint alleging wage theft totaling approximately $250,000, was disrupted by loud music apparently at the direction of hotel management.

Reporter Dave Rice, whose account of the incident is online at the SDReader, found the source of the noise behind a hedge over a hundred feet from the presser. Photographs published with the story clearly demonstrate the Hotel’s involvement:

When I walked around the corner to ascertain the source of the music, I found two men next to a limousine with large speakers aimed at the crowd and a power cord leading back toward the hotel….   [Read more…]

A Review of “An Iliad” – A Reimagined Classic

“An Iliad” – A Reimagined Classic
La Jolla Playhouse
2910 La Jolla Village Drive
La Jolla, CA 92037

A Review …and …. events leading up to the play … and after.

This “dating game” that I am playing sure has many twists and turns. I met a man on-line Saturday and he told me he had tickets to see “An Iliad” the following day, Sunday. He asked me if I would like to go. I said sure. We agreed to talk to each other Sunday morning, and finalize the plans.

I called him around 10:15am and we agreed to meet at the box office at 1:30pm for the 2:00pm matinee. In the course of our conversation he asked me what I would be wearing. I told him I didn’t know yet; it depended on the weather. He informed me that he hoped I would not be wearing anything “frumpy” because he didn’t like frumpy women. He said that many of the older women he has met already have “one foot in the grave, and are not aware of how they look.” He is 65. He asked me if I was overweight or fat. Hmmm. I told him I was overweight. He said, “so am I.”

I arrived at the playhouse at 1:20pm and called his cell phone to let him know I was there. He said he was on La Jolla Village Drive and would be there in just a few minutes. He said he was wearing a white hat.   [Read more…]

Paul Ryan: Will Swap Unborn Babies for Vice Presidency

By Kit-Bacon Gressitt / Excuse Me, I’m Writing / Published Aug. 25, 2012

Less than two weeks after joining Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign as the GOP’s presumptive vice presidential candidate, U.S. Congressman Paul Ryan has publicly confirmed his erstwhile inner opportunist.

Ryan, who is “very proud of [his] pro-life record,” was faced with a choice between the dangling prize of the vice presidency and remaining true to the source of his pridefulness. Lo and behold, Ryan is surprisingly pro-choice, albeit in a 1-percent sort of way.

Ryan chose to abandon his 100-percent rating from the National Right to Life Committee (a rating based partially on his rejection of abortion ban exceptions for rape and incest), to jump on board the Romney presidential campaign, which, at least for the moment,* supports an abortion ban with exceptions for rape, incest and threat to a mother’s life.   [Read more…]

Still Loving San Diego and Its Children After 50 years

Looking at a picture of me on stage at the Lyceum Theatre, honoring a couple of girls who had written a remarkable play, I couldn’t help but reflect on my fifty year love affair with San Diego and its children – going back regarding the city to when I first laid eyes on the place, after flying here with my University of Arizona Wildcat basketball team back in the 50’s. The raw beauty I observed on the ride from the Grant Hotel through Balboa Park on what was then 395 (now 163) absolutely mesmerized me. So it was easy for me, after earning a couple of degrees, to leave the burning deserts of the Old Pueblo and head to a town where there existed cool ocean breezes.

I arrived in a rusty 49 ford with my mother at my side because she was afraid I would fall asleep on the drive. My wife and kids had preceded us by a couple of days.   [Read more…]

National Democratic Leaders Highlight Importance of San Diego Elections, Fall Short in their Support

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer appears in San Diego to support Scott Peters in Congressional race–UPDATED

Did you hear that Steny Hoyer was in town last week? My guess is probably not since it received very little coverage, if any. But yes, the second most powerful Democrat in the House of Representatives—second behind San Francisco’s Nancy Pelosi—was in San Diego last week to drum up support for Scott Peters in his run to unseat Republican incumbent Brian Bilbray. On Friday I had the opportunity to participate in a media availability with the Congressman from Maryland; a chance to get an idea from someone who represents the national Democratic Party just exactly what their plans are for the local races.

“This is a critical race for us,” Hoyer said about the Peters-Bilbray matchup.   [Read more…]

The Starting Line – Mission Valley Hotel Workers Allege Unlawful Treatment; Father of Prop 8 DUI Busted (Updated)

Hotel employees blow the whistle… Employees at the Hilton Mission Valley will speak at a press conference today, detailing claims that they have filed against HEI Hospitality, owner of the property, for nearly a quarter million dollars in lost wages with the State Labor Commissioner. The event, scheduled for noon in front of the Hilton, will be hosted by Alor Calderon of the Employee Rights Center and Rabbi Laurie Coskey, Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice.

  [Read more…]

Banned by the Pros: Reuters News Succumbs to Digital Randomness

By Bob Dorn

Banned. That’s the word Reuters used back in March – March 20 of this year, it was ‐‐ when their pop‐up popped up just after I’d clicked the SUBMIT button. POW!! “We’re sorry, you’ve been banned from our comment posts,” they said, or words like those. Imagine seeing that word, BANNED, in a sentence bearing your name. Would a banning from a news organization show up on your credit
rating? During an investigation of your CV by a prospective employer? If you were under the age of 18 would Reuters reach out and tell your parents about the banning?   [Read more…]

Are You Eating Genetically Modified Foods Laced with Pesticides?

In a quest to eat a healthier diet, I made smoothies containing a couple scoops of a soy protein product I bought at Trader Joe’s. I also started eating a lot of berries, high in anti-oxidants, which are supposed to be good for you. Then one day I woke up and realized that the soy I had be eating was actually genetically modified (GMO) soy created by the Monsanto Corporation for the sole purpose of being resistant to Monsanto’s Roundup, a powerful herbicide which will kill every plant in a soybean field except genetically modified soy plants. So the soy I had been eating was not only GMO soy containing herbicide within its seeds, but it had been drenched in a powerful herbicide prior to having been harvested and brought to market.

  [Read more…]

RNC Tampa Inanity Watch 2012!

Help us keep track of the dumbest things said at the Republican National Convention

Welcome to the official opening of the 2012 presidential general election campaign season! This week, as you may have heard, the GOP kicks off their festivities in Tampa, Florida, in the wake and just outside the path of Hurricane Isaac. The storm may have delayed the opening of the Mitt Romney Coronation Convention, but it surely hasn’t dampened the GOP spirits, and it hasn’t affected their confidence heading into November.   [Read more…]

The Future Versus the Austerity Crowd: Why We Must Support Proposition 30

Near the end of August, I helped organize the Governor’s visit to City College and stood with him, despite the many fierce disagreements that I have had with Jerry Brown’s policy positions and political judgment. I did so because it’s not an overstatement to say that the future of our children is on the line this coming November. While much of the attention will be on the Presidential race at the national level, here inCaliforniathe destiny of our children and the education system is up for grabs. Specifically, Proposition 30 represents a chance to put a halt to years of cuts to education and vital public services. If it fails, we will be throwing our kids under the bus. It’s that simple.

  [Read more…]

Homelessness in San Diego: My Friend, Bobby

Last night, my friend, Bobby, died. A San Diego, CA native, Robert Eugene Ojala, 56 years old, was homeless. Bobby was grateful for the hospital and residential hospice care he received which enabled him to spend his last several weeks indoors and free of
pain. After run-ins with the law, Bobby found Jesus and changed his attitude about life.   [Read more…]

What’s Going on at Ft. Rosecrans Now? Its Watering Schedule is Out of Sync…

Three of my widow support group have husbands buried at Ft. Rosecrans cemetery. A fourth one has a fiancé buried there also. All of our men are in very close proximity to each other – probably because they all passed away at just about the same time.

Three of us try to visit our husbands once a month, if for no other reason than to make sure they are still there. I usually use the time to berate him for leaving me. Sometimes I bring flowers from our garden; sometimes one of the other women bring a sticker to put on the plaques – a forbidden practice but we do it anyway; sometimes we bring individual windmills to stick in the rocks below the walls that hold their remains.

  [Read more…]

The Starting Line – Romneyfest Rained Out By Issac as Paul, Protestors Steal the Thunder in Tampa

The “We Can Do Better” theme that Republicans had planned for day one of their National Convention in Tampa Bay has been set aside, usurped by a hurricane named Isaac, ten thousand raucous Ron Paul supporters, a thousand social conservatives, a couple hundred Occupy demonstrators and one former Florida governor who’s decided to break ranks with the GOP.  The deluxe $2.5 million stage, which was supposed to frame the highly choreographed ascension of Republican wonderfulness starting today will sit dark.

  [Read more…]