The Starting Line – Coastal Clean Up Day: We Need Your Help on Saturday, September 15th

The California shoreline is one of the most beautiful in the country, yet each year thousands of tons of garbage end up on the beaches and in the ocean. Tomorrow, (Saturday) September 15th , thousands of volunteers  will be meeting up at locations throughout the county starting at 9am to give our shoreline and coast areas a god scrubbing. Last year 7,600 volunteers removed 146,000 pounds of trash and recyclables from 201 miles of shoreline. Plus, an additional 2,000 people in Baja California collected 42,000 pounds in Tijuana, Tecate, Rosarito and Ensenada.

Eighty percent of this debris comes from  land-based sources and poses a real danger to wildlife and human health.  California Coastal Cleanup Day (CCD) is a statewide beach and coastal and inland waterway cleanup held throughout California each year, part of the largest such cleanup in the country. CCD is a partnership between the California Coastal Commission, non-profit groups such as I Love A Clean San Diego, and cities and counties throughout the state. It is a major part of International Coastal Cleanup, which is facilitated by The Ocean Conservancy and includes many U.S. states and territories and over 70 countries.

CCD is unique because it also collects information about items found during the cleanup, with volunteers will recording types of marine debris found and reporting their findings on data cards. This information allows agencies and NGOs to compile, analyze and track data year-by-year and make discoveries about the behaviors that cause the debris. The final statewide & international information is used to educate the public, businesses, industries, and government officials about the trash pollution problem.

There are literally dozens of clean up teams at work on Saturday throughout the region.  To find out where and how you can help, go here.

Boulevard Night: Taking the community back

 The area around 30th and El Cajon Boulevard used to be a pretty desperate place. Pawn shops and massage parlors dotted the landscape. Hookers prowled the sidewalks at night, sliding into recessed doorways as police patrols raced from one crime scene to the next.  The Starbucks that opened up in the prime corner location of a redeveloped apartment/commercial complex was among the first to close when that company began downsizing its operations.

Now things are changing for the better, with new businesses opening, crime down and an emerging sense of neighborhood pride. Tonight the El Cajon Boulevard Business Improvement Association (BIA) and some of the new businesses will be hosting “Boulevard Night,” a community-oriented block party.  The free event will be hosted by The Media Arts Center San Diego, The Homebrewer and the Coffee & Tea Collective.

The get-together will feature work from local artists and filmmakers, as well as artisan-roasted coffee and home-brewed beer.  Also on hand will be a live DJ along with craft and food vendors, including the MIHO Gastrotruck.

Highlighting the event, for the over-21 crowd at least, will be the Homebrew Competition, where local beer makers will be presenting homemade brews to a group of judges. Participants in the showdown are required to create a homemade beer using an ingredient they have never used before, such as a new type of grain, base malt or yeast.

The event will be held from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on the south side of the Boulevard, between 30th and Kansas streets. For more information, call 619-283-3608 or visit

 San Diego fireworks legal dispute may get settled.

 A special session of the San Diego Council called yesterday to consider a request by City Attorney Jan Goldsmith for a half-million dollar appropriation to retain an outside law firm as part of the ongoing legal battles over the legality of public fireworks displays had a surprise ending, as environmental lawyer/activist Marco Gonzalez offered up a deal to that would put an end to the three-year fight.

The council ended up voting 6-2 to delay any decision about hiring the outside counsel until Sept. 25, allowing for negotiations about the offer to proceed.  The city lost two high-profile court cases challenging the La Jolla Fourth of July fireworks show earlier this year, and the funding requested by the City Attorney was needed for appeals.  A Superior Court Judge has ruled that the city did not comply with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) by failing to do an environmental review of the fireworks.

The likelihood that San Diego will lose those appeals, should the courts follow the letter of the law, is high according to legal experts, so a settlement would ultimately save taxpayers money.  Legislation sponsored by Sen. Juan Vargas at the behest of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce that would allow local agencies to grant exemptions to the Environmental Quality Act for annual fireworks displays failed to get out of committee this year.

GOP goes nuts trying to gain advantage on foreign policy

Just so you know-what the local daily paper isn’t telling you…

As North Africa and parts of the Middle East are beset with demonstrations, riots and violence directed against the United States and its allies, Presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his neo-conservative defenders are working overtime to exploit the escalating violence into campaign fodder.  Romney doubled-down yesterday on his original factually challenged criticism of the Obama administration’s response:

“We join together in the condemnation of attacks on the American embassies and the loss of American life and join in sympathy for these people. It’s also important for me — just as it was for the White House, last night by the way — to say that the statements were inappropriate, and in my view a disgraceful statement on the part of our administration to apologize for American values..

The president takes responsibility not just for the words that come from his mouth but also for the words that come from his ambassadors from his administration, from his embassies, from the State Department. They clearly sent mixed messages to the world, and the statement that came from the administration, and the embassy is the administration. The statement that came from the administration was a statement which is akin to apology and I think was a severe miscalculation.

Here’s Romney foreign policy advisor Rich Williamson, speaking to Foreign Policy Magazine’s The Cable blog:

“The events in Egypt and Libya show the failure of the Egyptian and Libyan governments to uphold their obligations to keep our diplomatic missions safe and secure and the regard in which the United States is held under President Obama in these two countries,” he said. “It’s all part of a broader scheme of the president’s failure to be an effective leader for U.S. interests in the Middle East.”

So as part of the world sinks into chaos, with theocrats and terrorists in Muslim countries using a hate-filled video produced by theocrats and right wingers in the United States to incite mob violence, the candidate of the Republican Party is desperately trying take advantage of  situation.

And let us not forget the rabid rant on the editorial page of UT-San Diego, parroting the falsehood promulgated by the Romney campaign:

…what we most need is for the Obama administration to stop accepting the vapid argument that displays of Western “Islamophobia” by individuals can ever be blamed for Islamist violence against Western governments or their citizens. We need to stop apologizing for “incitement,” as the U.S. embassy in Cairo did early Tuesday when it expressed sympathy for those angered by the obscure anti-Islam film.

While I often disagree with columnist Andrew Sullivan, his wordsmithing is always quotable. And in this case, I agree with him:

These people are simply unfit for the responsibility of running the United States. The knee-jerk judgments, based on ideology not reality; the inability to back down when you have said something obviously wrong; and the attempt to argue that the president of the US actually sympathized with those who murdered his own ambassador in Benghazi: these are disqualifying instincts for someone hoping to be the president of the US. Disqualifying.

A Cry for Help…

Proof that Rush Limbaugh is on drugs (via Talking Points Memo):

It’s a tall order for Rush Limbaugh to outdo himself, but he may have accomplished that during his radio broadcast Wednesday when he floated the idea that al-Qaeda purposefully allowed American troops to kill Osama bin Laden in order to bolster President Obama’s re-election chances. “What if Ayman al-Zawahiri gave up Osama bin Laden for the express purpose of making Obama look good? Giving Obama stature, political capital?” Limbaugh asked in a segment flagged by Media Matters. He justification was that al-Qaeda wants to “keep him in power” because doing so “furthers the cause.”

Tweet of the Day:


Quote of the Day: “We don’t need someone who can think. We need someone with enough digits to hold a pen.” ~ Grover Norquist, on GOP candidates for President.

On this Day:  In 1814 –Francis Scott Key wrote the lyrics to the “Star-Spangled Banner.” The song became the official U.S. national anthem on March 3, 1931. In 1847 U.S. forces took control of Mexico City under the leadership of General Winfield Scott.  In 1901 President William McKinley died of gunshot wounds inflicted by an assassin. Vice President Theodore Roosevelt, at age 42, succeeded him.

Eat Fresh! Today’s Farmers’ Markets: Fallbrook (102 S. Main, at Alvarado) 10 am – 2 pm, Imperial Beach  (Seacoast Dr. at Pier Plaza) 2 – 7:30 pm, Kearny Mesa (No. Island Credit Union pkg lot  5898 Copley) 10:30 am – 1:30 pm, La Mesa Village  (Corner of Spring St. and University) 2 – 6 pm, Rancho Bernardo (Bernardo Winery parking lot 13330 Paseo del Verano Norte) 9 am – noon, Southeast San Diego(4981 Market St. West of Euclid Ave. Trolley Station) 2 – 6 pm.

Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to “The Starting Line” and get an email every time a new article in this series is posted!

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 to DougPorter@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.
Subscribe to "The Starting Line" and get an email every time a new article is posted!


  1. avatarbob dorn says

    This morning virtually none of the majors picked up the hair-raising story from Associate Press that the principal designer of the blood epic attacking Mohammad and Islam served a year in LA County Jail for manufacturing meth. It was left to The Daily Beast to report that and another stunner, the fact that Steve Klein, the video’s fundraiser, has big ties to the Christian right and various white militias. The GOP kinda depends on people like these. It would be good of major media to let people know that ugly fact.