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.

Wage theft is an increasing problem in the growing low-wage sector of the American economy, and these employees are alleging that HEI violated California’s labor laws by not paying workers fully for their hours worked and repeatedly denying breaks and rest periods. The thirty workers represent a quarter of the hourly workforce at the Hilton Mission Valley location.  Similar claims have been filed in recent years by workers at HEI managed hotels in Irvine and Long Beach.

The UT-SD’s Coverage of SF Archbishop-Elect Arrested for DUI…The twitterati were quick to point out a story posted on-line at UT-San Diego yesterday about the arrest of Bishop Salvatore J. Cordileone, on drunk driving charges that failed to mention his instrumental role in promoting the 2008 passage of Proposition 8, the initiative banning same-sex marriage in California. He has been repeatedly dubbed as “the father of Proposition 8”. Cordileone, who was based in San Diego at the time, rallied religious leaders and wealthy donors to raise nearly $1.5 million to get the proposition on the ballot. Reporter Debbie Baker updated the story in the late afternoon to include a two sentence mention of the Bishop’s role in the initiative campaign. But then it somehow didn’t make today’s print edition, even as it remained a top story in other media around the city. We’re sure (not!) this was merely a news judgement and in no way influenced by megalomania of Catholic publisher Doug Manchester. Oops! Missed it on Page B2 local.

Cordileone has been in the news up in the Bay Area lately, as Rev. Brian Costello, the new pastor at gay-friendly but nevertheless Catholic Most Holy Redeemer Church in San Francisco’s Castro district has banned all forms of drag on the premises. The priest told representatives of an annually scheduled benefit for a substance recovery group that drag queen performers and emcees are no longer permitted to participate in events at the church, saying “There is a new archbishop. The archdiocese told me straight out, ‘No drag queens.'”.  Since the exchange has gone public,  the archdiocese is now denying that they had anything to do with it, saying that the decision was “completely up to the parish.”

Collateral damage from charter schools… A Rand Corporation study profiled in today’s LA Times indicates that charter schools are placing an additional burden on public school funding due to the fact that they are attracting large numbers of students who formerly attended private institutions. In 2008, according to the report, 190,000 students moved from private to charter schools. Although more recent data was not available for the Rand study, the number of charter schools and students attending them has rapidly increased, according to the Times.

The Cato Institute, the right wing think tank that funded the research said that the transfer of students from private schools to charters has increased public-funding obligations by $1.8 billion.  This is placing an ever-growing burden on already under-funded public school systems. A spokesman for Cato is quoted, saying “”On average, charter schools may marginally improve the public education system. But in the process they are wreaking havoc on private education …driving some schools entirely out of business,”

Keeping the surf up… The Surfrider has announced that it will be monitoring the upcoming large-scale beach nourishment project, called Regional Beach Sand Project II, with a video-monitoring program to assess how sand deposits change the surf zones in coastal areas along the San Diego shoreline.  The sand replenishment program is necessitated because much of natural sand supply has been cut off by the armoring of bluffs, damming of rivers and creeks, and construction of large harbors in the region. The project, which will cost an estimated $28 million, will move nearly 1.4 million cubic yards of sand from beach quality deposits offshore at depths of 80 to 100 feet to above the water line at beaches from Imperial Beach to Oceanside. The video monitoring system will be used to establish a baseline for surf quality at six San Diego County beaches near fill locations, and for creating an archive of daily observations of surf quality. Footage from the Surfrider project will be for study use only, and not available to the public.

The Mayor’s TV Ad… San Diego’s Mayor Jerry Sanders is appearing in a commercial supporting gay marriage that is airing in the Tampa region during this weeks’ GOP convention.  He told Channel 10 news that his decision to come out in support on this issue would be part of his legacy as Mayor, saying, “I think in the future I’ll look back and think this is one of the most important things I had an opportunity to take part in.”  Our city’s finest trolls were lurking nearby as the story was posted online, posting the usual hate filled drivel. The TV station has announced that it will be discontinuing comments on its stories effective October 1st.

Speak now—within 48 hours—or forever hold your peace... Voice of San Diego’s Second Annual Politifest is approaching the deadline(August 30th) for its ever-popular Idea Tournament, a public forum where ordinary citizens are encouraged to dream big and offer up great solutions to the challenges that face our city.  It’s a competition, meaning that ideas get evaluated on a public platform (with lots of movers and shakers present) and, who knows?, your good idea could have a shot of influencing the course of San Diego’s future.  So click on the link here, and give it your best shot.  We participated in Politifest last year, and have to say it was a terrific event. More on this later.

If it’s Tuesday it must be time for more wingnuttia…  Yes folks, the craziness just keeps on keepin’ on, and I’m makin’ sure that you keep up with the latest stuff rather than waiting for those recycled emails from your crazy uncle…

With the GOP convention underway, wingnuts have flocked to the Tampa Bay area hoping for some influence with the delegates of the political party closest to their hearts and, above all, the opportunity to gain the ear of one of the many Republican ‘sugar daddies’ in town.

Speaking at Sunday’s “Unity Rally”, a revival style meeting in advance of the convention orchestrated by social conservatives,  talk show host Neal Boortz implored the crowd to shut the door on public education. Denouncing public schools as “government schools” that are “forced upon us”, Boortz told the crowd that “100 years of government education” had brought the country “to the point that a man like Barack Obama could be sworn in as president of the United States.” Calling upon the audience to “preach school choice”, he advocated for tax payer dollars to be spent on private and home schooling efforts.

Justin Phillips, founder of the Tea Party Nation group, told the same group that President Obama, along with Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi and Senate majority leader Harry Reid were “socialists” were advocates for a system that encourages “poverty, tyranny and occasionally mass murder.”

The winds were blowing… After telling his audience last week that the threat posed by hurricane Issac was part of a plot by the Obama administration to insert FEMA personnel into Tampa during the Republican convention, Rush Limbaugh took his audience down another road yesterday, implying that the shift in the storm’s path after the GOP cancelled the first day of proceedings was no act of nature.  The conservative talk show host reminded listeners that the Hurricane Center that announced the shift of Isaac’s path “is the regime”.

Cowboys and Indians… And then there is Republican National Committee member Pat Rogers. Last week we learned about emails from his office to New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez (R) critical of her attendance at a state tribal leaders summit.  The Governor was required by law to be present at gathering of Native American leaders, but that didn’t stop the GOP executive committee member from declaring that former Republican gubernatorial candidate Col. Allen Weh “would not have dishonored Col Custer in this manner.”

On This Day:  In 1917 ten suffragists were arrested as they picketed the White House. In 1961 “Please Mr. Postman” was released by the Marvelettes. In 1963 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., gave his “I Have a Dream” speech at a civil rights rally in Washington, DC. More than 200,000 people attended.

Eat Fresh! Today’s Farmers’ Markets: Coronado (1st St. & B Ave., Ferry Landing) 2:30 – 6 pm, Escondido  (Grand Ave. btw Juniper & Kalmia St.) 2:30 – 6:00 pm , Mira Mesa  (Mira Mesa High School 10510 Reagan Rd.) 3–7 pm, Morena District   (1240 West Morena Blvd.) 3 – 7 pm, Otay Ranch – Chula Vista (2015 Birch Rd. and Eastlake Blvd.) 4 –8 pm, PacificBeach  (Bayard & Garnet) 2 – 6:30pm.

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I read the Daily Fishwrap(s) so you don’t have to… Catch “the Starting Line” Monday thru Friday right here at San Diego Free Press (dot) org. Send your hate mail and ideas toDougPorter@SanDiegoFreePress.Org    Check us out on Facebook and Twitter.


Doug Porter

Doug Porter was active in the early days of the alternative press in San Diego, contributing to the OB Liberator, the print version of the OB Rag, the San Diego Door, and the San Diego Street Journal. He went on to have a 35 year career in the Hospitality business and decided to go back into raising hell when he retired. He's won awards for 'Daily Reporting and Writing: Opinion/Editorial' from the Society of Professional Journalists in 2013, 2014 and 2015. Doug is a cancer survivor (sans vocal chords) and lives in North Park.
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  1. avatarAnna Daniels says

    There goes the RNC’s white male base—GOP platform calls for “vigorous prosecution of porn.” Let’s see how that one plays out!

  2. avatarbob dorn says

    Such rich stuff in this column. Private schools can’t compete with public schools (even though we’re supposed to believe private industry does everything better). Rush Limbaugh assigns god-like powers to”the regime” that is supposed to be the worst in presidential history. And Custer rides again.
    Do the Republicans have enough SuperPac money to force their own lunacy on the rest of us?

    • avatarAnna Daniels says

      Louisiana has one of the most sweeping private voucher school policies in the country. The flow of public tax monies is now directed toward bible-based curriculum. Yes, children should be taught that dinosaurs and humans were on the earth at the same time and that slavery wasn’t all that bad and that God used the Trail of Tears to bring many Indians to Christ. And they should do that on the public dime. Let’s keep the US educated and competitive, assuming of course that we are competing with the thirteenth century.