Staff

Thumbnail image for Poem of the Day: “Homage to My Hips” by Lucille Clifton

Poem of the Day: “Homage to My Hips” by Lucille Clifton

by Staff 04.08.2014 Books & Poetry

The Poet as Mentor and Model

By Staff

A poet’s audience often includes other poets. If you want to write good poetry, you need to read good poetry and a lot of it. Then you need to read more. It’s not just about the writing. Poet and short story writer Aafa Michael Weaver wrote this about Lucille Clifton:

Rooted in that vernacular consciousness and endowed with an encompassing intelligence and supremely keen intuition, Lucille was also as originally American as the blues and jazz. She resisted the homage to western tradition with its Athenian origins. In her work, antiquity is African but not Afro-centric. In the distinctness of her poetic project she gave us a black woman’s confessional lyric that is as celestial as it is earthbound. She wrote openly of the female body, openly and defiantly, and she wrote about the pressurized space of a black woman as a survivor of childhood trauma. In doing so she gave me a model that would take me two decades to know, and the process of “knowing” is the key to that pressurized space. … “Two Puffy Afros Going Down the Road: On Lucille Clifton’s Influence,” The California Journal of Poetics.

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Thumbnail image for Ernie McCray: Speaking Straight from the Heart

Ernie McCray: Speaking Straight from the Heart

by Staff 04.05.2014 Activism

Recipient of the Phi Delta Kappa Unsung Hero Award

By Staff

On April 3, Ernie McCray was honored by the San Diego Chapter of Phi Delta Kappa, an international association for professional educators. The Kappan awards bestowed earlier in the evening were for individuals and organizations that have made a substantive difference for those wishing to become educators and for children within the school system.

Ernie’s award came later in the evening, after the recognition of Partner in Education, Educator of the Year, and Leadership. Those of us who know Ernie would be hard pressed to sum up his presence and contributions in just one category– he is known by thousands of students, parents and colleagues as an extraordinary educator; he has been a tireless advocate for peace and justice in the streets and in our schools; you can find him from time to time on a stage, acting and reading his poetry; and he has a following on the San Diego Free Press and OBRag where he contributes essays and poetry. Unsung Hero is a pretty good fit and that was his award designation.

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Thumbnail image for It’s 11 AM.  Where’s Doug Porter’s Starting Line?

It’s 11 AM. Where’s Doug Porter’s Starting Line?

by Staff 03.31.2014 Culture

By Staff

Just a reminder from the SDFP editors that Doug Porter is either on vacation in The Land of Enchantment or receiving instructions from the Illuminati at some undisclosed location. His Monday through Friday column The Starting Line will resume publication on Monday April 7.

SDFP has a full week of posts and news scheduled. John Lawrence has an article about the value of a college degree; Anna Daniels will be giving an update on the Albertsons closure in City Heights; there are poems by Will Falk and Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes; Micaela Porte writes an art review from Paris about an extraordinary life size terra cotta Army of Daughters…

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Thumbnail image for There is Still Time to Enroll in Covered California Health Insurance in San Diego

There is Still Time to Enroll in Covered California Health Insurance in San Diego

by Staff 03.20.2014 Government

By Staff

The March 31st enrollment deadline for health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is approaching. The state of California is handling the insurance exchange and enrollment through Covered California. According to the state’s enrollment statistics in February, San Diego has already surpassed its target, reaching 105% of its goal by the end of December.

That doesn’t mean that everyone who is eligible has enrolled. Kaiser Permanente is hosting two events in San Diego, one on Saturday March 22 and the other on Saturday March 29 to assist people who want to enroll.

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Thumbnail image for Protect 28th Street Canyon Coalition Launches Petition to Oppose Development

Protect 28th Street Canyon Coalition Launches Petition to Oppose Development

by Staff 03.20.2014 Activism

By Staff

Neighborhood opposition to SDPB Holdings LLC’s interest in residential development at the corner of Granada Avenue and Fir Street in South Park continues to grow with a petition drive to protect the 28th Street Canyon. Residents question the wisdom of continuing development on the canyon, claiming that it will have a negative impact on a sensitive canyon habitat, cut off access to a popular dog park and hiking trail and obscure views.

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Thumbnail image for Tanja Winter- Presente!  Celebration of Life March 22

Tanja Winter- Presente! Celebration of Life March 22

by Staff 03.13.2014 Activism

Tanja Winter devoted her life to issues of peace and justice and inspired generations of San Diegans to do the same. She was inducted into the San Diego County Women’s Hall of Fame in 2007. Tanja was 80 years old at the time and active in two organizations she helped create: the Peace & Democracy Action Group and Activist San Diego, both grassroots organizations devoted to mobilizing the public for peace, justice, and equality.

Tanja passed away this past February, leaving behind the community which she helped create to continue writing letters, organizing, pounding the pavement and shamelessly agitating for equal rights, empowerment, prison reform, global disarmament, environmental protection and peace.

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Thumbnail image for Area Environmentalists Chartering Buses for Sacramento March 15th Fracking Protest

Area Environmentalists Chartering Buses for Sacramento March 15th Fracking Protest

by Staff 03.12.2014 Activism

Environmental groups are mobilizing statewide for a big rally on March 15th in Sacramento to urge Governor Brown for a moratorium on fracking in California.

Organizers expect the March 15th event to be the largest mobilization against fracking ever seen.More than one hundred fifty environmental organizations will be represented at “Californians Against Fracking.”

The event will include a march around the Capitol area and a rally with speakers on the capitol steps.  A new Public Policy Institute survey indicates that 51 percent of Californians oppose the increased use of fracking in the state, leading organizers to expect  several thousand people to join the rally.

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Thumbnail image for Bikes & Beers: Promoting Bike Friendly Neighborhoods and San Diego’s Craft Brews

Bikes & Beers: Promoting Bike Friendly Neighborhoods and San Diego’s Craft Brews

by Staff 02.24.2014 Activism

SDFP’s occasional contributor John P. Anderson has joined up with other enthusiasts to start what they hope will be an annual trek through our city’s bike-friendly neighborhoods combined with visits to craft brewers along the way.

They’ve dubbed it Bikes & Beers SD, plotting out a 26-mile bicycling course taking participants through many of San Diego’s most dynamic urban neighborhoods and to some of the region’s most beautiful natural sights. The inaugural event will take place Saturday, March 29th, starting at 9:30 am with following groups at 10, 10:30, and 11.

Starting and ending in North Park, the event course will go through Hillcrest, Ocean Beach, Point Loma, Downtown, East Village, Golden Hill, and South Park. Cyclists will enjoy vistas of the San Diego River, Pacific Ocean, San Diego Bay, Petco Park, and Balboa Park.

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Thumbnail image for Higher Education: When is Enough Going to Be Enough?

Higher Education: When is Enough Going to Be Enough?

by Staff 02.10.2014 Arts

When is enough going to be enough? When are we as a nation going to get our priorities straight about higher education? When did it become the rule that the cost of higher education was lifelong indebtedness?

Via Occupy*Posters, a group that says it speaks with and not for Occupy Wall Street we present a handy-dandy cartoon (inside) that pretty much says it all about how our system of higher education is failing.

Here’s the About section of their website. There’s lots more great stuff where this came from:

Born of solidarity with the Occupy Movement’s grievances during its earliest September 2011 days, the straightforward, high-contrast designs and impact-filled visual messages of Occupy* Posters have helped change national conversations. Occupy* Posters has contributed hundreds of well-received visual messages to activists, numerous of which have become iconic images speaking to recent times. 

Dozens of Occupy* Posters have gone insanely viral on the Internet, some with millions of shares. Some have also been featured on the BBC, Current TV, the Huffington Post, Upworthy, MoveOn.org, DailyKos, and more. Some even appear in brick-and-mortar museums, and one is in a major college textbook. 

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Thumbnail image for Photo Gallery: A Love for San Diego’s Wetlands

Photo Gallery: A Love for San Diego’s Wetlands

by Staff 02.07.2014 Activism

On the northern edge of Mission Bay sits the Kendall-Frost Mission Bay Marsh Reserve, a 16-acre wetlands habitat overseen by the University of California at San Diego, that is home to a wide range of wildlife. A recent repopulation program has been initiated in an effort to increase the number of endangered Light-footed Clapper Rails living in the marsh, and those who frequent the area say 28 of the rare birds have been sighted over the past few months.

Saturday, Feb. 15, marks the beginning of the Clapper Rail nesting season, which will be kicked off by the ever popular Love Your Wetlands Day event.

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Thumbnail image for JOB KILLERS!

JOB KILLERS!

by Staff 01.16.2014 Business

Dems should steal a page out of the Conservative Playbook and expose who the Real Job Killers of San Diego are.

By Eva Posner

Taking inspiration from Andy Cohen calling B.S. on the right wing and downtown big wigs for their “JOB KILLER” rhetoric, I have decided to propose an experiment:

Since this crap works so well, why don’t we coopt it for ourselves? It’s not like nuance wins arguments.

Below are my ideas for talking points. I have included a few facts and some links here and there. But feel free not to use them. Just shout “JOB KILLER!” at the next person who disagrees with anything you say. We all know that’s how it really works.

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Thumbnail image for San Diego vs. SeaWorld: Let the Battle Begin

San Diego vs. SeaWorld: Let the Battle Begin

by Staff 12.28.2013 Activism

By Eva Posner

Blackfish has been on my DVR since it aired on CNN for the first time in October. I knew I should watch it but I didn’t want to. I’ve never been to SeaWorld, and I wanted to go. I wanted to see the whales. I wanted to watch them jump in the air and wave at me. It’s really selfish, and maybe not the best thing to admit, but I didn’t want to see Blackfish because I didn’t want to feel guilty about thinking the whale show was super cute.

Last night, I decided to woman up and turn it on. Which lead to the most depressing 90 minutes I have spent in front of a TV in a long time, and relief that I never did make it SeaWorld. Because I would have been disgusted with myself.

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Thumbnail image for Clemency for Imprisoned War Resister Kimberly Rivera Denied!

Clemency for Imprisoned War Resister Kimberly Rivera Denied!

by Staff 11.30.2013 Activism

Rally Dec. 1 in protest of Rivera’s separation from new born son to serve remaining 4o day sentence.

By Staff

Kimberly Rivera gave birth to her son Matthew Kaden Rivera in the Naval Hospital on November 25th. Her husband Mario was initially denied access to the birthing room but was ultimately granted permission to attend the delivery. Although the delivery itself went smoothly, this was no ordinary birth– Rivera has been serving a ten month sentence for deserting the US army while deployed in Iraq. She deserted in 2007 because she felt morally unable to take part in the conflict. She was arrested after she was denied refugee protection in Canada in September 2012.

Amnesty International has requested urgent action on her case based on humanitarian reasons because of her pregnancy. Rivera is the mother of four other children, ages 11, 9, 4 and 2. She has been separated from her family in Texas since she began serving her sentence here in San Diego.

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Thumbnail image for Movie Review of ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’

Movie Review of ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’

by Staff 11.23.2013 Culture

A thrilling adventure film held back only by the lead heroine’s need for a savior.

By Melissa Phy

Screaming tweens and indulgent adults finally got to check back in with Katniss, Peeta, Gale and the rest of The Hunger Games crew this week after the second installment of the series, Catching Fire, was released Friday.

The movie starts out nearly a year after the last hunger games, in which Peeta and Katniss (tributes from District 12 in the futuristic Panem) both survived, making headlines as the first dual winners of the barbaric games in which two children from each district (there are 12 total, with a former 13th reportedly obliterated by the capitol for rebelling) duke it out in an arena in a fight to the death.

Katniss, now a sign of hope for the starving and suffering districts, is considered a threat by Panem’s president. In an effort to eliminate Katniss and restore order among the districts, the 75th’ Hunger Games has a twist: all participants will be pulled from the pool of previous victors, meaning Katniss and Peeta must return to the arena. The catchphrase of the film? “Remember who the enemy is.”

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Thumbnail image for Analyzing the Responses:  Virtual Mayoral Forum—Transit and Walkable, Bikeable Communities

Analyzing the Responses: Virtual Mayoral Forum—Transit and Walkable, Bikeable Communities

by Staff 11.15.2013 Government

Civic leaders have a renewed focus on a bikeable city, but transit still falls woefully short of serving San Diego’s needs.

By SDFP Staff

Part 4:  Walkable/ Bikable Neighborhoods and Public Transit

Here’s our question to the candidates:

What is the importance of walkable/bikeable neighborhoods and public transit in San Diego? 

World class cities have world class transit.  In San Diego, we have a world class, and often overcrowded, freeway system and city streets that are often pocked by ruts and cracks, and sometimes suspension-bending potholes.  But we are a city that is dependent on our cars, so we continue to climb behind the wheel simply to get to the grocery store 3/4 of a mile away.  Our public transit system is almost entirely inadequate to act as a replacement for cars, leaving San Diegans who don’t live on the trolley line or on one of the major bus routes little choice but to drive to their destination in order to arrive in a timely fashion.

So in this regard, San Diego has a long way to go to be able to consider itself world class.

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Thumbnail image for Analyzing the Responses:  Virtual Mayoral Forum–Building Permits and the City Planning Department

Analyzing the Responses: Virtual Mayoral Forum–Building Permits and the City Planning Department

by Staff 11.14.2013 Voter Guide Special Election

Big developer interests should not receive preferential treatment.

By SDFP Staff

Though his brief tenure came to a tumultuous end, former Mayor Bob Filner did do some good things for the city while in office. Arguably, one of the best things he did was to revive the city’s planning department, dismantled and incorporated into the Development Services Department by Jerry Sanders. Filner then went on to hire Bill Fulton to lead the department, a veritable rock star in civic planning circles.

In the past, due to lax enforcement by the City of San Diego—particularly during Sanders’ tenure—developers tended to view the rules more as guidelines or suggestions than they did hard and fast laws they were required to follow or face consequences. Filner changed that, but with his departure, there is concern that developers will once again be allowed carte blanche to skirt the rules when it suits them.

“It’s not a problem of building permit enforcement,” wrote Mike Aguirre, but a problem of whether, when, how, and what type of permit should or should not be issued in the first place.”

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Thumbnail image for Nearly 1,000 Flood NFL Stadium Demanding ‘Horrendous’ Redskins Name Must Go

Nearly 1,000 Flood NFL Stadium Demanding ‘Horrendous’ Redskins Name Must Go

by Staff 11.09.2013 Culture

‘We’re raising up and saying anybody who denigrates any class of people like that needs to be stopped.’

via Common Dreams

Calling for the Washington Redskins to retire their “inherently racist” name once and for all, nearly 1,000 protesters came out against the controversial NFL team on Thursday night, flooding the streets outside the Minneapolis Metrodome Stadium where they were set to face off against the hometown Minnesota Vikings.

“[The name] conveys the murdered scalps of indigenous people — men, women and children,” Alan Yelsey, who identified himself as an organizer for the American Indian Movement, told the Washington Post. “And that name is just a horrendous name for all of these people and for anybody of color… we’re raising up and saying anybody who denigrates any class of people like that needs to be stopped.”

The demonstration, described by Yelsey as a ‘consciousness-raising walk,’ is part of an upsurge of protest demanding the Redskins change their name.

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Thumbnail image for All Major Mayoral Candidates to Appear at KNSJ / Cal Western Law School Forum

All Major Mayoral Candidates to Appear at KNSJ / Cal Western Law School Forum

by Staff 11.08.2013 Activism

San Diego Free Press reporter Andy Cohen is slated to be among the panelists on Monday, November 11th at a mayoral forum slated for the Cal Western School of Law starting at 6:30pm.

Sponsored in part by listener sponsored progressive radio station KNSJ (89.1FM), the panelist will also include other members of the local non-mainstream press including San Diego City Beat, La Prensa and Voice of San Diego.

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Thumbnail image for Analyzing the Candidate’s Responses:  Virtual Mayoral Forum–Plaza de Panama

Analyzing the Candidate’s Responses: Virtual Mayoral Forum–Plaza de Panama

by Staff 11.06.2013 Politics

The Plaza de Panama saga was a debacle for San Diego and its City Council, which doesn’t seem to be of any concern to the mayoral candidates.

By SDFP Staff

Earlier this month we published an eight part virtual mayoral forum, and invited each of the mayoral candidates to answer one question each day with the promise of no editorial intervention on our part. You can view that series by going to our 2013 special election coverage, here.

Part 2 of our virtual forum asked the candidates their position on revising the Municipal Code in order to accommodate the now defunct Jacobs plan for Balboa Park’s Plaza de Panama. Mike Aguirre provided the most in depth response, while Nathan Fletcher and David Alvarez’ responses were somewhat concerning. Kevin Faulconer did not participate. Click through to see our analysis of the candidate responses.

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Thumbnail image for Analyzing the Candidates’ Responses: Virtual Mayoral Forum – On Managed Competition

Analyzing the Candidates’ Responses: Virtual Mayoral Forum – On Managed Competition

by Staff 11.05.2013 Voter Guide Special Election

Democratic Candidates agree:  Significant savings and efficiencies could have been achieved without managed competition, and San Diego might have been better off.

By SDFP Staff

Earlier this month we published an eight part virtual mayoral forum, and invited each of the mayoral candidates to answer one question each day with the promise of no editorial intervention on our part. You can view that series by going to our 2013 special election coverage, here.

Now that the three major Democratic candidates have answered (Kevin Faulconer didn’t reply), we thought it might be useful to examine their answers and share our analyses. So over the coming days we’ll be covering one question at a time, comparing their answers with some of editor’s visions about what’s best for San Diego.

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Thumbnail image for Virtual Mayoral Forum – Part 8: The Environmental Essay Question for Extra Credit

Virtual Mayoral Forum – Part 8: The Environmental Essay Question for Extra Credit

by Staff 11.01.2013 Politics

Welcome to Day 8 of the SDFP Virtual Mayoral Forum.

All of the candidates running for mayor were invited to participate in this forum, where their verbatim answers to questions posed by our editors and contributors would allow readers to get a different look at these aspirants for higher office than they might see in a TV interview or a panel debate.

Of the major candidates only Kevin Faulconer’s campaign decided not to participate. They didn’t say “no”. They didn’t say “we’re too busy”. They didn’t say anything. And that speaks volumes about both the candidate and the campaign, we think.

SDFP will follow up next week with some analysis of the candidates’ responses, talking about whether they did or did not correspond with out values.

Today’s topic was in fact an invitation for the contenders to speak in depth about any one (or more) of  four issues.

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Thumbnail image for Halloween Video Picks: Don’t Go Into the Basement, Dancing Skeletons and the Ghost of Stephen Foster

Halloween Video Picks: Don’t Go Into the Basement, Dancing Skeletons and the Ghost of Stephen Foster

by Staff 10.31.2013 Culture

Sally Cruikshank’s animation, funny dialogue– “Do you have rabies?” “No, we gave it all away,” and Danny Elfman’s music– what is there not to like ?

Face Like a Frog/Don’t Go into the Basement and more videos!

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Thumbnail image for Virtual Mayoral Forum – Part 7: ObamaCare for San Diego?

Virtual Mayoral Forum – Part 7: ObamaCare for San Diego?

by Staff 10.31.2013 Editor's Picks

Welcome to Day 7 of the SDFP Virtual Mayoral Forum. (See Day 1, Asking about managed competition, here , Day 2, Looking back on the Plaza de Panama controversy, here, Day 3, The Building Permit Process is a Hot Mess and Plans for the Planning Department, here. Day 4.  Walkable/Bikeable Neighborhoods and Public Transit, here. Day 5, Fixing the Infrastructure, here. Day 6, What About the Homeless?, here.)

With input from our many contributors, editors put together a series of eight questions we felt were unique, not too open ended and not trite. We’re publishing one response from the candidates per day (Monday-Friday) so readers can see the verbatim responses side by side.

We emailed the questions to the addresses listed with the City Clerk’s office as contact points, knowing most of the minor candidates wouldn’t respond. Kevin Faulconer’s campaign is refusing to participate. We can only assume–and, believe me we’ve tried to get them involved– their non-response sends a message about their openness to the citizens in this city. You can decide what that message is.

The complete questionnaire can be found here.

SDFP editor Doug Porter provides context for today’s question: What about the Affordable Care Act?

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Thumbnail image for Virtual Mayoral Forum – Part 6: What About the Homeless in San Diego?

Virtual Mayoral Forum – Part 6: What About the Homeless in San Diego?

by Staff 10.30.2013 Editor's Picks

Welcome to Day 6 of the SDFP Virtual Mayoral Forum. (See Day 1, Asking about managed competition, here , Day 2, Looking back on the Plaza de Panama controversy, here, Day 3, The Building Permit Process is a Hot Mess and Plans for the Planning Department, here. Day 4.  Walkable/Bikeable Neighborhoods and Public Transit, here. Day 5, Fixing the Infrastructure, here.)

With input from our many contributors, editors put together a series of eight questions we felt were unique, not too open ended and not trite. We’re publishing one response from the candidates per day (Monday-Friday) so readers can see the verbatim responses side by side.

The complete questionnaire can be found here.

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Thumbnail image for Virtual Mayoral Forum – Part 5: Fixing San Diego’s Broken Infrastructure

Virtual Mayoral Forum – Part 5: Fixing San Diego’s Broken Infrastructure

by Staff 10.29.2013 Editor's Picks

Welcome to Day 5 of the SDFP Virtual Mayoral Forum. (See Day 1, Asking about managed competition, here , Day 2, Looking back on the Plaza de Panama controversy, here, Day 3, The Building Permit Process is a Hot Mess and Plans for the Planning Department, here. Day 4.  Walkable/Bikeable Neighborhoods and Public Transit, here.)

With input from our many contributors, editors put together a series of eight questions we felt were unique, not too open ended and not trite. We’re publishing one response from the candidates per day (Monday-Friday) so readers can see the verbatim responses side by side.

We emailed the questions to the addresses listed with the City Clerk’s office as contact points, knowing most of the minor candidates wouldn’t respond. Kevin Faulconer’s campaign is refusing to participate. We can only assume–and, believe me we’ve tried to get them involved– their non-response sends a message about their openness to the citizens in this city. You can decide what that message is.

Editor’s note: According to his campaign staff, Nathan Fletcher did not receive our questions until after we began publishing this virtual forum. His responses have since been added to past questions and are included today.

The complete questionnaire can be found here.

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