The Starting Line — Study Paints a Stark Picture of Economic Reality in San Diego

An analysis released yesterday by the Center for Policy Initiatives based on recently released census data shows more than a third of San Diego County residents are living with economic hardships.  The report says that across most industries in San Diego County, the spending power of the average paycheck is dropping, with inflation-adjusted earnings decreasing in 10 of the region’s 15 largest industries, compared to 2007, and more people falling into poverty in last year.

“Too many working people are living in poverty, and middle-class families are falling behind as their buying power shrinks,” said Corinne Wilson, lead researcher on the CPI analysis, in a press release issued by that organization. “It’s time our local industries take responsibility for providing good wages that give their employees a decent quality of life.”

Among other key findings:

**Among the fifteen industries surveyed, tourism and hospitality’s 53,867 employees had the lowest median earnings for 2011, pulling down $24,422, nearly $7,000 less than the next lowest paying group.

**Of the 462,269 people living below the federal poverty line, 117,408 were employed and 137,084 were children.

**Black and Latino families and women continue to bear the brunt of poverty and low incomes in the County.

**On average, all households lost $2,337 in purchasing power from 2010 to 2011, when the midpoint of household income throughout the County dropped to $59,477.

**136,249 people who worked full-time, year-round did not have health insurance in 2011, adding substantially to their living costs.

The Art of Park(ing) Day

Locations in three San Diego neighborhoods are participating in worldwide Park(ing) Day today, an international event where artists, designers and citizens transform metered parking spaces into temporary public parks.  Participants are seeking to promote an alternate vision for the use of urban space and improve the quality of urban human habitat. At least until the meter runs out. The number of locations participating in the 2011 Park(ing) Day was impressive, with 975 PARKs in 162 Cities in 35 Countries on 6 Continents.

Locations for today’s event are: In front of Blind Lady Ale House on Adams Avenue in Normal Heights (Noon-6pm), in City Heights at 4021 Fairmount, near University Avenue (2-7pm) and at Sea Rocket Bistro at 30th & Upas Streets in North Park (All Day). For more information, gohere.

San Diego’s Largest Rally Ever Against WalMart Set for Saturday

The battle over WalMart’s growing presence in San Diego continues this weekend as residents of Sherman Heights, backed by the San Diego Labor Council and the Center on Policy Initiatives, have announced plans for a rally on Saturday (September 22nd) aimed at raising public consciousness about the negative impacts created by the big box retailer.

Residents of the historic San Diego neighborhood are angry over what they believe are promises broken by the company regarding construction plans for a location in a building that once housed a historical farmer’s market. WalMart plans to build 17 more stores in the San Diego region as part of a nationwide strategy to increase its penetration in urban markets.

The rally will start at 9am in the Golden Hill Community Park, followed by a march to 21st & Imperial, near the site of the Sherman Heights Farmers Market/soon-to-be WalMart.  For more information, go here.

Lim(p)baugh Blames Shrinking Penis on ‘Feminazis’

Sometimes you read something about the Rushbo and wonder ‘just how crazy is he?’ And other times you just know. From Raw Story:

Rush Limbaugh on Thursday lashed out at feminists — who he called “feminazis” — over the news that male genitalia are shrinking.

The conservative radio host pointed to an Italian study which found that the average male penis was 10 percent smaller than 50 years ago. Researchers cited weight gain around the waste, smoking, stress and environmental pollutants as factors.

But Limbaugh wasn’t buying that explanation.

“I think it’s feminism,” he declared. “If it’s tied to the last 50 years — the average size of [a male’s] member is 10 percent smaller than 50 years — it has to be the feminazis, the chickification and everything else. Give ‘em time and they’ll blame Bush. But air pollution vs. feminazis? Ha!”

Imperial Beach MediPot Supporters Beat the Bushes for Votes

Supporters of Proposition S, an initiative that seeks to overturn a ban on medical marijuana dispensaries passed by the Imperial Beach City Council in August of 2011, will be going door-to-door this weekend hoping to drum up voter support. The measure in question here would allow the city to license locations where medical marijuana can be obtained, and imposed zoning and other regulations limiting their activities. Volunteers will be meeting up on Saturday at 2pm at 1233 Palm Ave in Imperial Beach. For more information, go here.

Quail Brush Power Plant Foes to Rally on Monday

Residents opposed to construction of a power plant adjacent to Mission Trails Regional Park are urging people to wear orange and attend a rally at San Diego City Hall at 1 pm on Monday, September 24th  CoGentrix, one of the companies requesting the re-zoning of the East Elliott open space land, is appealing a thumbs down on the project via the  July 19th vote by the San Diego Planning Commission. The San Diego City Council will hear arguments and vote on that appeal starting at 2pm that day. Foes of the power plant are hoping for a large public turnout to show public opposition to the plans. For more information go here.

Since I live in North Park, I guess I am now officially a hipster.

Ah, geez, here come the tour buses. has declared San Diego’s North Park neighborhood as one of ‘America’s Best Hipster Neighborhoods’.  Working with, the magazine sifted through data about 250 neighborhoods in large urban areas around the United States.  Selection criteria included walkability, number of coffee shops per capita, assortment and quality of food trucks, farmers markets, locally owned eateries and percentage of residents working in arts related occupations.  The article cites the North Park Theater and the Ray Street Arts District as “bastions of creativity’ in the area.  Personally, I blame Jay Porter (not related/not a paid endorsement), owner of a couple of restaurants up the street for this appalling news.

Tweet of the Day:

Please form single-file line as you abandon Romney campaign, no horseplay and keep the line moving. Safety first.

— pourmecoffee (@pourmecoffee) September 20, 2012


 Fun Stuff: Don’t forget this weekend’s San Diego Blues Festival at the Embarcadero Marina Park North (on the downtown San Diego waterfront) $10 (TEN DOLLARS!) plus two cans of food gets you access to a terrific lineup of blues musicians on two stages, including Tab Benoit, Janiva Magness & Kim Wilson. Proceeds benefit the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank. The music starts at 9:30 am on Saturday and rocks on until after sunset.

Quote of the Day: Bertrand Russell “The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence that it is not utterly absurd; indeed in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more often likely to be foolish than sensible.” (1930)

 On this Day: In 1937 J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit” was first published. In 1981 the U.S. Senate confirmed Sandra Day O’Connor to be the first female justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.  In 2001 America: A Tribute to Heroes” was shown on 35 separate broadcast and cable networks simultaneously. The telethon raised $150 million in pledges to benefit families of the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.

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

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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 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.
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  1. avatarLa Playa Heritage says

    In theory San Diego is rich enough to help the poor and Homeless children due to the State of California ending Redevelopment Agencies (RDA) and requiring the assets be dispersed to the City, County, and Schools.

    There is a FREE $7.194 million in Civic San Diego’s Administrative Budget that should have gone into the General Fund per State law, or for an accelerated Repayment Schedule for the stolen $144 million in Federal HUD funds.

    Instead, an additional $7.194 in Non-Tax-Increment Revenue of the former RDA is Subsidizing Civic San Diego enourmous administration. Which, theoritically, should be a fully self-supportive Enterprise Fund, with all other consulting work billed to specific projects on a time-and-expense basis.

    The Redevelopment Agency (RDA) was an Enterprise Fund. With the end of Redevelopment statewide, the City of San Diego became the Successor Agency. The City gave oversight and control of former RDA assets to the unelected Civic San Diego.

    On June 11 , 2012, Item S-400 The City Council approved Civic San Diego’s 2012-2013 RDA Successor Agency Budget for Fiscal Year 2012-2013 in the amount of $7.83 million, of which $7.194 million is funded through Reserve Accounts, Bond Proceeds, and other Revenue sources of the former RDA.

    Civic San Diego is also hiding hundred of millions in their Cash Reserves for projects that were never approved. The massive amount of Reserves, Bond Proceeds, and other Reveue sources such as Leases and Parking Revenue, in Civic San Diego should be transferred to go the General Fund in order to comply with State law.

  2. avatarbob dorn says

    If there’s any single writer working in San Diego today who can bring what its citizens need to know it’s Doug Porter, five days after five days after five days. The CPI report ought to be archived for every voter; it tells what lies behind the Theme Park smugness of this city’s leaders. And still more: parking lots transformed; Wal Mart about to bomb Sherman Heights, and drawing protests; a power plant looming over Mission Gorge, and even Rush’s dickie retreating in fear of feminazis. Lots of rewards for the common man.