Annie Lane

Thumbnail image for Goodwill Gets Thrifty With Many Disabled Employees, Pays Pennies For Hours of Labor

Goodwill Gets Thrifty With Many Disabled Employees, Pays Pennies For Hours of Labor

by Annie Lane 11.30.2013 Activism

By Annie Lane

Having relied on Goodwill for years as the place to drop off my “unwanteds” in the hope they would find new life with people who could better appreciate them (the tax write off was a nice touch, too), it saddens me to discover that the famous thrift store is, in many ways, just another large company run by a disconnected wealthy few who have forgotten what it means to demonstrate humanity, or, more aptly, good will unto others.

Sure, as the video below states, it should not be forgotten the incredible impact Goodwill has had on the communities it inhabits, including the countless people it has hired, disabled and otherwise. But wouldn’t you know my tolerance for companies that do mostly good while still managing to take advantage of some of the most vulnerable members of society is at an all time low.

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Thumbnail image for Sex in San Diego: A Brief History of Sex Dolls

Sex in San Diego: A Brief History of Sex Dolls

by Annie Lane 08.22.2013 Sex in San Diego

It’s difficult to imagine anything other than a crusty, inflatable, creepy-looking … thing when picturing a sex doll in the mind’s eye. A likeness to the figure in Edvard Munch’s The Scream, though slightly more unsettling if that’s even possible.

But sex dolls actually have quite an interesting history, reaching back as far as 8 A.D. with the myth that Pygmalion obsessed over a woman he sculpted from ivory so much so that Aphrodite eventually made her real. In the 1940s, Adolf Hitler and Heinrich Himmler devised the “Borghild Project,” which involved the production and shipment of sex dolls to German soldiers in an effort to lure them away from diseased French prostitutes.

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Thumbnail image for Field of View: A Walkabout in City Heights, Part II

Field of View: A Walkabout in City Heights, Part II

by Annie Lane 08.18.2013 Field of View

By Annie Lane

At the corner of Euclid and University avenues in City Heights there is a wonderland of activity, architecture and, perhaps, some of the friendliest people in San Diego. That is where this Field of View will focus, with a quick jaunt up the street to some nearby Buddhist temples.

Cerberus Motorcycles is owned by Dave Hargreaves and Erik Borowitz, who moved here from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Housed inside the famous Egyptian Garage on Euclid Avenue, the pair is guarded by garage dogs, much like their business motif would suggest.

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Thumbnail image for Video Picks: Obama Torches GOP, 23 and 1/2 Hours and a Fox News Interview Fail

Video Picks: Obama Torches GOP, 23 and 1/2 Hours and a Fox News Interview Fail

by Annie Lane 08.11.2013 Government

It’s not all that often that President Barack Obama has truly gotten angry at his Republican counterparts. It’s been well-deserved on so many occasions, yet Obama seems to believe that civility and decency can somehow still get through to the GOP. In a press conference on Friday, Obama demonstrated some refreshing gusto, scolding the GOP for making “the idea of preventing [millions of Americans] from getting health care their holy grail.”

“Their number one priority, the one unifying principle in the Republican Party at the moment is making sure that 30 million people don’t have health care,” Obama said.

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Thumbnail image for Field of View: A Walkabout in City Heights, Part I

Field of View: A Walkabout in City Heights, Part I

by Annie Lane 08.10.2013 Culture

By Annie Lane

After spending a solid three hours wandering the streets of City Heights, I found that it’s possible to do so and still only see a fraction of what the charming, lived-in neighborhood has to offer.

Freeper and longtime City Heights resident Anna Daniels served as my guide, taking me on streets less traveled to see sights like the 47th Street Canyon, where a sign read, among other things, that no guns were allowed. We also visited the nearby Cambodian Buddhist Society of San Diego, its signature orange facade a stark contrast against the blue sky.

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Thumbnail image for Field of View: Torrey Pines State Park and Gliderport

Field of View: Torrey Pines State Park and Gliderport

by Annie Lane 07.06.2013 Encore

By Annie Lane

Torrey Pines State Reserve is a scene I will never tire of seeing. Striking colors, views and wildlife surround easily accessible paths making the excursion enjoyable for hikers of all skill levels.

On this particular day, we ended our outing at the Torrey Pines Gliderport (a short drive), where we ate lunch at the Cliffhanger Cafe and watched paragliders and hang gliders flying among the birds. The food was decent, and made all the better by the scenery. We also met two of the birds from West Coast Falconry, who were hanging out cliffside with their trainers and would fly alongside them while they went paragliding.

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Thumbnail image for Field of View: 1 Year Anniversary Potluck for the San Diego Free Press

Field of View: 1 Year Anniversary Potluck for the San Diego Free Press

by Annie Lane 06.24.2013 Field of View

By Annie Lane

Well, we certainly know how to party! On Sunday, the San Diego Free Press celebrated its one year anniversary with a potluck at Golden Hill Park. It was a wonderfully windy-sunny day filled with great food, interesting conversation and, of all things, croquet.

Of course, it must be noted that most of the success of the San Diego Free Press is due to the wonderful friends, contributors, readers and supporters who have been right here beside us this past year. Thanks for your tireless reinforcement. We need every single one of you.

On June 4, 2012, the San Diego Free Press officially launched. We have since published nearly 1,700 articles, more than 7,200 comments and average 1,600 unique visitors every day. The end, thankfully, is nowhere in sight.

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Thumbnail image for Volunteers Celebrate Black Music Month With Soulful Fundraiser for Malcolm X Library

Volunteers Celebrate Black Music Month With Soulful Fundraiser for Malcolm X Library

by Annie Lane 06.12.2013 Arts

By Annie Lane

Longtime library clerk Jimmy Lovett celebrated his June birthday early and the same way he has for more than a decade–paying tribute to underappreciated African American singers in honor of Black Music Month.

Hosted by the Say It Loud Committee, Lovett and crew presented Unsung and Off the Chain, a performance best described as a lip-syncing version of Soul Train.

“It’s like karaoke without the singing,” said Lovett, a Normal Heights resident who will be 45 this year. “We literally become the artist.” ……

In addition to Mayor Bob Filner, roughly 50 people were in attendance.

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Thumbnail image for Time Works Wonders: Oak Tree Academy Preschool Owners Transform El Cajon Property

Time Works Wonders: Oak Tree Academy Preschool Owners Transform El Cajon Property

by Annie Lane 05.21.2013 Business

By Annie Lane

When owner Conni Huntley reflects on Oak Tree Academy’s move from La Mesa to their new location in El Cajon, the preschool administrator admits it was she who dragged her feet.

“I’m afraid of the heat,” the Ocean Beach resident confided. “I’m a beach brat.”

Roseann Rinear, Huntley’s business partner and a longtime Jamul resident, didn’t share her concerns in that regard. The dilapidated state of the property, however, had them both a little nervous.

“It wasn’t until we drove around back and saw those Chinese Elms that we knew what the property could become,” Huntley said of the three full grown trees lining the expansive yard.

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Thumbnail image for Field of View: Golden Hill

Field of View: Golden Hill

by Annie Lane 05.12.2013 Field of View

By Annie Lane

Among other amenities, the historic Golden Hill neighborhood boasts a community garden on Russ Boulevard, which was started in 2004 and now has 26 plots tended to by individual gardeners. There’s also the 25th Street Musical Bridge, a piece of public art hidden in plain sight that can be found where 25th Street crosses over the Martin Luther King Jr. Freeway, or SR-94.

Designed by artist Roman de Salvo and funded by a $39,000 grant from the City of San Diego Arts and Culture program, the Musical Bridge is a series of chromatic bells that plays Crab Carillon when struck with a pipe or stick while walking the length of the bridge.

But various works of art can be found in nearly every direction of Golden Hill, from the brightly painted flower shops to the rich and extravagant architecture — much of which predates the 1900s. Even with its steep inclines, wandering around Golden Hill is worth every minute.

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Thumbnail image for Community and Customers Rally for Ian Rey, Disabled Former Employee of Sprouts Point Loma

Community and Customers Rally for Ian Rey, Disabled Former Employee of Sprouts Point Loma

by Annie Lane 05.11.2013 Activism

By Annie Lane

Dozens protested Friday evening to show continued support for Ian Rey, a longtime Sprouts Farmers Market employee who said he was fired after 14 years for mistakenly taking a coworker’s jacket.

Rey was terminated from Sprouts on Monday, and has experienced an outpouring of support from the community and customers alike – many of whom say they won’t shop at the local grocery store anymore.

For some, Rey was simply a friendly face they’d come to expect to see over the years. For others, he was someone they would stand in a longer line just to say high to while he bagged their items.

“I’ve never met Ian on a bad day … I’ve never seen him not happy,” said Crystal Trignano, a special education teacher at Dewey Elementary who organized the evening rally. “It was always ‘What can I help you find?’ or ‘Is there anything you need today?’ It’s just not normal for people to care that much.”

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Thumbnail image for Field of View: 43rd Annual Chicano Park Day

Field of View: 43rd Annual Chicano Park Day

by Annie Lane 04.21.2013 Encore

Surrounded by the famous murals that make Chicano Park a powerful and spiritual refuge on a regular day, it is impossible not to be affected by the deep traditions that make up the Chicano culture while visiting during the 43rd annual Chicano Park Day.

Not even the blistering sun could keep hundreds from coming to celebrate . This year marks the first that the park and its murals have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since being established by Chicano activists on April 22, 1970.

The event showcased classic cars, vendors, food, music and Aztec dancers, and was attended by couples and families alike — many of whom have been taking part in this celebration for years.

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Thumbnail image for Five Stages of Republican Grief (A Tribute to the U-T’s Steve Breen)

Five Stages of Republican Grief (A Tribute to the U-T’s Steve Breen)

by Annie Lane 04.10.2013 Culture

By Annie Lane
Last week I came across a Steve Breen cartoon in the San Diego Union-Tribune entitled “Mapping Bob Filner’s Brain” (see left). I had quite the guffaw. I mean, if guffaws were redefined to be humorless, silent events that’s what it was.

I find it interesting that, given Breen’s skill and Pulitzer Prize history, the brain he chose to draw was so boorishly simple. Don’t worry, I get it — it’s intended to represent the supposedly simple mind of our union-sympathizing, anti-hotelier mayor.

But it doesn’t matter what multi-syllabic, mildly offensive adjectives Breen uses to describe Bob Filner because, at the end of the day, he’s still the elected mayor of San Diego. You know, the guy who, like most Democrats in the 2012 election, fairly won against his Republican counterpart.

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Thumbnail image for Field of View: Barrio Logan

Field of View: Barrio Logan

by Annie Lane 04.06.2013 Editor's Picks

In spite of being surrounded by freeway on-ramps and overpasses that attempt to make it appear like an oversight, Barrio Logan represents a culture and community that’s decidedly alive. It’s something that can be felt within seconds of parking, and seen in nearly every direction by way of the skillfully executed murals throughout the neighborhood.

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Thumbnail image for Field of View: North Park

Field of View: North Park

by Annie Lane 03.30.2013 Encore

What I enjoy most about North Park is the diversity of the neighborhood. Within minutes you can be transported from University Avenue, a central hub with its “big city” grunge (in a good way) feel to a more traditional residential area — complete with charming Craftsman homes of every color and accompanying architectural landscapes. I have spent many an hour walking the streets of North Park’s neighborhoods with my dog and never, ever got bored of the scenery.

Also interesting is the fact that there is a relatively even mixture of apartment complexes and homes — a cohabitation of owners and renters that doesn’t work so well in many other parts of San Diego. I lived in North Park near Morley Field for two years and never had a problem despite the foot and car traffic along Texas Street. In fact, if you’re looking for some good trick-or-treating action come Halloween, Texas Street is the place for you.

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Thumbnail image for Field of View: Traveling the World via the Map and Atlas Museum of La Jolla

Field of View: Traveling the World via the Map and Atlas Museum of La Jolla

by Annie Lane 03.03.2013 Culture

Thanks to a suggestion made by our SD for Free columnist, my dad’s birthday was blissfully easy to plan this year. We decided to go to the Map and Atlas Museum of La Jolla and were able to arrange for a private tour — completely free of charge.

The museum is housed within the Merrill Lynch building on Fay Avenue, and is estimated (they won’t disclose the actual number) to showcase a collection worth around eight figures. It is made up of mobile walls and an elaborate hanging system that allows for changes to be made depending on the exhibit.

The museum is the brainchild of Michael Stone, a local philanthropist with an insatiable love for cartography and a desire to share it with the world.

The best part of the whole tour is guide Richard Cloward, a retired U.S. Navy captain without whom we would’ve been done in 20 minutes and wouldn’t have understood a fraction of what we were seeing. As it was, we ended up staying almost two hours — and there was still so much to learn.

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Thumbnail image for Alma Rodriguez: The ‘Little Napoleon’ Behind Queen Bee’s Art and Cultural Center in North Park

Alma Rodriguez: The ‘Little Napoleon’ Behind Queen Bee’s Art and Cultural Center in North Park

by Annie Lane 03.02.2013 Arts

Alma Rodriguez’s childhood nickname was “Little Napoleon.”

At first glance, the obvious reason is her just more than 4-foot stature. But after a conversation about how she came to be the queen at the Queen Bee’s Art and Cultural Center in North Park, it’s her determination and self-proclaimed “need to be in control” that earns her the title.

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Thumbnail image for Field of View: Blue Sky Canyon Ecological Reserve in Poway

Field of View: Blue Sky Canyon Ecological Reserve in Poway

by Annie Lane 02.03.2013 Field of View

Poway’s Blue Sky Canyon Ecological Reserve is the perfect place for an early morning walk — or any time of day, really. A variety of trails can be chosen along the way, but I stuck to the main wide, beaten path for my first outing. The trail is ranked moderate and is a total of 2.5 miles out and back. It features a lake and is a dream come true for dogs; I’d left mine at home and still feel guilty about it. Next time.

Effects of past wildfires are still obvious — the gnarled and burnt branches of some trees seem to take on a caricature-ish life of their own. I was reminded of Dr. Seuss on more than one occasion. New growth is abounding, however, and the desert oranges and greens stretch as far as the eye can see.

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Thumbnail image for Field of View: 40th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade – Then and Now

Field of View: 40th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade – Then and Now

by Annie Lane 01.27.2013 Editor's Picks

Tuesday, Jan. 22, saw the 40th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade, in which abortion was officially legalized.

Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest celebrated the anniversary with a fundraiser dinner that highlighted the past and present of the organization’s history, including it’s pro-choice fight for safe and legal access to reproductive healthcare.

Abby Silverman-Weiss, a local attorney and champion of reproductive rights, was honored as the 2013 Defender of Choice.

“Tonight is a tremendous sense of belonging and empowerment,” Silverman-Weiss said.

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Thumbnail image for Field of View: City Farmers Nursery in City Heights

Field of View: City Farmers Nursery in City Heights

by Annie Lane 01.13.2013 Field of View

Family owned and operated, City Farmers Nursery is the lifelong and ever expanding passion of Bill Tall — a man who’s on site daily in his signature blue jeans, forest green company t-shirt and yellow measuring tape suspenders to help customers, share stories and offer sage gardening advice.

Bill Tall has spent most of his life on the property, and currently lives in the house he built there in 2001 — a handcrafted upgrade from the trailer that used to be called home. His three children, Rebecca, Sam and Sara, grew up on the nursery property. They are currently each pursuing their own careers, but are never too far from the nursery for too long.

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Thumbnail image for Field of View: The Liberty Station Esplanade

Field of View: The Liberty Station Esplanade

by Annie Lane 01.06.2013 Field of View

Formerly the Naval Training Center, Liberty Station in Point Loma continues to exude an undeniably heavy military presence, from the USS Recruit — a landlocked dummy of the famous naval training vessel — to the large caliber training guns lining parts of the road.

The Liberty Station Esplanade is a windy path found along the canal that is shared by bikers, joggers, dogs and their owners.

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Thumbnail image for California Welcomes 876 New Laws With the New Year

California Welcomes 876 New Laws With the New Year

by Annie Lane 01.01.2013 Editor's Picks

Rules, rules and more rules! Jan. 1 sees a total of 876 new laws signed into effect, covering a wide range of issues from social media to universal healthcare.

  • AB 1844 prohibits an employer from asking for or requiring an employee or applicant to provide their username or password to any social media outlet. It also prohibits employer retaliation for not complying with such a request.
  • AB 2020 removes the option of choosing a urine test to determine the drug content of blood. Instead, those suspected of driving under the influence will only be given the option of a blood or breath test. If a blood test is unavailable, a urine test will be administered in its place.

    Come inside for the full sampling.

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Thumbnail image for Field of View: SDFP Contributor Meet-and-Greet, Round 2

Field of View: SDFP Contributor Meet-and-Greet, Round 2

by Annie Lane 12.16.2012 Field of View

On Sunday, Dec. 9, the San Diego Free Press held its second contributor meet-and-greet at the home of Patty Jones and Frank Gormlie in Lemon Grove. Approximately 10 contributors attended for a pleasant afternoon of introductions, brainstorming and food (because the former isn’t impossible without the latter).

Come inside for all the photos!

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Thumbnail image for Field of View: Bob Filner’s Mayoral Inauguration at Balboa Park

Field of View: Bob Filner’s Mayoral Inauguration at Balboa Park

by Annie Lane 12.03.2012 Encore

There was standing room only at the Balboa Park Club as Bob Filner was sworn in as San Diego’s 38th mayor on Monday, Dec. 3.

Mayor Filner thanked City Council members and outgoing Mayor Jerry Sanders for “reforming city finances and for getting us on the track to financial stability” before reaffirming his campaign promise to focus on San Diego neighborhoods, eliminate homelessness, protect our beaches and expand maritime operations.

“For the first time in a decade, we can see the possibility of restoring city services, of rebuilding our neighborhoods and of planning for our future,” Filner said. “Because the real heart and soul of our city are its neighborhoods. They define our city’s character and our residents’ quality of life.”

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Thumbnail image for Field of View: Old Town San Diego

Field of View: Old Town San Diego

by Annie Lane 12.03.2012 Encore

Old Town happens to be my very first home in San Diego. As a baby, I lived on Conde Street in a house that has since been torn down. In fact, a lot has changed in the (muffled)-something years since then. Much of the surrounding area has become a tourist hot spot that is faithfully avoided by the locals, but Old Town proper still remains a charming a step into the past for me literally and emotionally.

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