The Starting Line – Grand Opening Set for San Diego’s Public Market; Last County Pot Shop Shuttered

San Diego’s Public Market is now slated to open for business at 1735 National Ave on Wednesday, September 12th ,when the first local farmers open up their stalls at 9am.  Work on the property is in full swing, and the permits needed to operate are reportedly moving through the city’s bureaucracy. The farmers’ market will run from9 a.m. until2 p.m. each Sunday and Wednesday thereafter. Other parts of the market will be phased in over the coming months.

Operators Dale Steele and Catt White are ultimately seeking to convert the two acres of industrial space into an open bazaar inspired by such celebrated marketplaces as Barcelona’s La Boqueria, and Pike’s Place in Seattle. Independent vendors selling fresh produce, artisan foods, locally-crafted goods and more are expected to set up shop.

The project officially launched on Aug. 8th, when the duo announced via that they were seeking $92, 244 in crowd source funding towards “Creating the world’s best new public market right here in San Diego.”  By the time the window for contributions closed, 1400 people had ponied up more than $146,000, demonstrating that the community was indeed ready to stand behind their ambitious notion.

The extra money raised on Kickstarter will go towards refurbishing the other 70,000 square feet of office, industrial and open space. The vision for the market includes a commercial kitchen allowing vendors to prepare food on site, and offering cooking classes for kids as well as adults. An urban farm lab will offer instruction on planting and composting and four nearby cottages will be used for use as art galleries, yoga studios and/or cafés. You can follow their efforts by opting to “Like” the market’s Facebook page.

RIP Mother Earth Marijuana Dispensary

San Diego County’s last permitted facility offering medical marijuana closed yesterday, ending a year-long campaign directed by the U.S. Attorney’s office to enforce federal regulations on pot.  The Mother Earth Cooperative in El Cajon had managed to gain a seven week reprieve from an eviction notice brought on by threats from the Feds to seize the property by filing for bankruptcy. The legal stay resulting from that maneuver ended yesterday.  Closing the clinic means that pot smokers are now reliant on the black market for their supply, no reduction in pot consumption has been forecast by any drug enforcement agency.

Proposition 37 opponents start their spin

Dave Rice over at the SD Reader reports today that the opening salvo by opponents in the expected war over Proposition 37 (requiring GMO foods to be labeled) has been fired, citing a press release that’s claiming passage of the measure will cost families $350-400 per year, “while providing absolutely no benefits” to consumers. Oh, baby, get ready for the spin, ‘cause here it comes. As previously reported here, the heavyweights in the food processing industry have retained the services of the very same people that the tobacco industry has relied upon for many years to mislead the public.

Making note of the overwhelming financial advantage that the forces in opposition to Proposition 37 have mustered, Rice closes his account with news that those favoring the initiative are mounting a grassroots education effort, including a public outreach campaign in the coming weeks at locations like the Ocean Beach Peoples’ Food Store and at Jimbo’s Naturally supermarkets.

 SD County Employees Retirement Association  parks their cash at Bain Capital

While the Democrats are busy parading employees that have been screwed by Bain Capital in Charlotte this week, the New York Post is reporting that government employee pension funds are among the chief recipients of that firm’s investment strategies. Among those listed in the article is the San Diego County Employees Retirement Association, with $23.5 million invested.  The other investor of note would be the University of California, which handed over $225.7 to Bain between 1998 and 2008.

 Cap and Trade moving forward in California

The concept of cap and trade, the notion that limits can be placed on the amount of pollution allowed by companies and that they should be allowed to buy and sell permits for excess or shortfalls in CO2 has largely been killed off as a national program. Despite the fact that the U.S. has had an emissions trading program for acid-rain pollutants since the 1990s, the dirty energy industry has crushed momentum in Congress for by calling cap and trade a job killer and spreading generous amounts of campaign contributions around to re-enforce their point of view.

Meanwhile, California is moving closer towards making a Statewide cap and trade program a reality, according to an article in Bloomberg News. They report that California’s Air Resources Board (known as CARB) ran a successful test run last week of the online system that companies will use to buy state CO2 pollution permits. The system is expected to roll out this November, and eventually 85% of California’s emissions will be covered by the program.

Bain Story #2

You won’t see much about this in the UT-San Diego, but New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has made the news elsewhere since he started issuing subpoenas to private equity firms including Mitt’s Romney’s former company, Bain Capital.  At issue are management fees that were intentionally changed into capital gains as a way of hanging onto millions of dollars that would have otherwise been taxed at a higher rate. The New York Times reports Bain alone is estimated to have saved “more than $200 million in federal income taxes and more than $20 million in Medicare taxes.”

The truth about the history and meaning of Labor Day

It’s simply amazing to me how the mainstream media manages to spin the Labor day holiday’s history each year. And how much nerve Republicans have when they try to spin the day into a commemoration of entrepreneurial spirit. Take, for instance, GOP leader Eric Cantor, who tweeted yesterday: “Today, we celebrate those who have taken a risk, worked hard, built a business and earned their own success.”

For those of you who might not be aware of the fact, the rest of the world celebrates Labor Day on May 1st, in commemoration of the deaths of workers in the Haymarket Massacre, a peaceful 1886 pro-labor rally that was bombed. When Labor Day was made a national holiday, in the wake of the 1894 Pullman Strike , it was deliberately placed in September to distance our national commemoration from the rest of the “militants” around the world. And it has worked. Like the Chinese who have forgotten or never learned of the Tiananmen Massacre, few of us in America remember the Haymarket Massacre. In a day set aside to remember labor, we shop.

Over at Fox News, Labor Day was an occasion to once again twist the truth as they ran with a story entitled “Time for workers to take back Labor Day”. I’ll spare you the details and condense the story: organized labor = bad, corporate greed = good.  And the comments were so…. Foxy:

 and2therepublic: Karl Marx invented Labor Day.

bucketnutz: Do you mean the “Workers” are actually going to “WORK” on this federal Socialist Holiday? Or do you mean that they are going to go union where they can spend labor day and a lot of other days telling “The Man” that they don’t have to work because they got a UNION and UNIONS don’t need no stinkin WORK

imspartacus: Unfortunately, most of the  folks really getting a holiday are government workers and union pigs. The average middle class worker and business owner is open for business today.

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…

The official GOP 2012 convention highlights video manages to exclude Clint Eastwood, but that didn’t stop the Party’s most ardent conservative supporters from declaring yesterday as “National Empty Chair Day”. I’m sorry to say I missed it as it was happening, and I actually look out for this kind of crap on the internet (so you don’t have to). Led by conserv bloggers, mighty righties around the nation were supposed to publish empty chair photos as part of a nation wide expression of their “disgust” with President Obama.

Internet evangelist Bill Keller issued a press release via the Christian Newswire worth sharing, in part:

 ST PETERSBURG, Fla., Aug. 131, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ — Bill Keller, the world’s leading Internet Evangelist and the founder of, with over 2.4 million subscribers worldwide reading the Daily Devotional he has written every morning for 13 years on the issues of the day from a Biblical worldview, was horrified as he watched a Mormon cult member lead mostly Biblical Christians at the Republican Convention last night in a prayer to Satan, since Mormons do not pray to the God of the Bible, but to a mythical “god” they believe who was once a man!

Keller stated, “The founder of the Mormon cult, Joseph Smith was a documented convicted con artist, polygamist, pedophile, racist, and murderer, and in his greatest scam claimed to be visited by an ‘angel’ who led him to gold tablets in the Catskills. Mormons like Romney believe the Bible is a flawed and an incomplete book, superseded by Smith’s writings, the Book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price, and Doctrines and Covenants.”

Right wing Radio hostess Linda Harvey has gone the air to warn her followers to keep their children away from comic books because they are now part and parcel of the “ever present gay agenda”. She cited Green Lantern and X-Men as examples of homosexual propaganda.  Maybe she can hook up with the crazies from the Westboro Church at next year’s Comic-con.

While we’re speaking of homophobic radio hosts, it’s worth noting that Bryan Fisher, whose main claim to fame was the dismissal of Romney foreign policy advisor Richard Grenell, has cancelled plans to air his radio program live from the Democratic convention. Citing the recent shooting of a security guard outside the offices of the Family Research Council, Fisher even gave up pre-paid, non-refundable plane tickets to Charlotte. When asked if any specific threats had been made, Fischer responded that there were none.

But don’t worry, at least one loonie-toon will be at the Dems North Carolina confab: the UT-San Diego has a full page color ad in today’s paper announcing that their man Roger Hedgecock will be on the ground covering the event.

Wall Street Burns at Burning Man

The Burning Man Project wrapped up its 2012 gathering yesterday in the Black Rock Desertin northern Nevada, as 50,000+ aficionados of ‘community, art, radical self-expression, and radical self-reliance’ ended a week-long celebration. A part of the annual event, which dates back to 1986  (history here) includes the destruction of various structures, some of which are massive in scale, by fire. The photograph below shows the destruction of a model of Wall Street….


On This Day:  In 1894 a strike in New York City by 12,000 tailors took place to protest sweatshops.  In 1957 the Arkansas National Guard was ordered by Governor Orval Faubus to keep nine black students from going into Little Rock’s Central High School.  In 1968 “Street Fighting Man,” by the Rolling Stones, was banned in several cities as authorities feared it might incite public disorder.

 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, Pacific Beach  (Bayard & Garnet)2 – 6:30pm.

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. avatarOB Mercy says

    Doug, not sure what you’re talking about with Mother Earth Dispenasry being the last brick and mortar place. There are several walk in places still open in SD as I write. One of them is right behind the Valley View Casino Center, née The Sports Arena. You can find this and all the delivery places on weed Also, how can you say it’s black market when it’s still legal statewide?

    • avatarDoug Porter says

      It’s the last one on COUNTY property. (The few that are left within various city limits will soon be gone, for that matter.)
      The comment about “Black Market” was just being ironic; you and I both know that closing the dispensaries will not stop the pot trade.

  2. avatarJohn Anderson says

    Thanks for the updates on the SD Public Market opening. I went by on Sunday and they were hard at work. I’ll be there next Wednesday to celebrate. :)

    Also thanks for the Burning Man info – thinking about a trip next year and good to have a reminder to look into it.