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Thumbnail image for The History of Neighborhood House in Logan Heights:  Mary Barrios, Part II

The History of Neighborhood House in Logan Heights: Mary Barrios, Part II

by Maria E. Garcia 01.31.2015 History of Neighborhood House

The War Years, Romance and Work

By Maria E. Garcia

Mary Barrios’ early years centered around the activities provided by Neighborhood House during the 1930’s. She learned to cook and sew and went to Camp Dehesa. Neighborhood House services took some of the stress off of struggling families like Mary’s during The Great Depression.

Her father and her mother were both widows and came to the marriage with children. They also had children together and at one point a woman that worked at the cannery gave her mother a baby boy. This woman felt she could not return to Mexico with a child born out of wedlock. This very big family lived at 1870 Newton Ave.

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Thumbnail image for Super Bowl XLIX: Winners and Losers Off the Field

Super Bowl XLIX: Winners and Losers Off the Field

by Doug Porter 01.30.2015 Columns

By Doug Porter

 According to reports from around the country not much is going to happen this weekend approaching the importance of a certain Sunday football game. The New England Patriots will face off against the Seattle Seahawks (3:30pm PT) at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. 

An estimated 184 million Americans are expected to watch Super Bowl XLIX, according to a survey by the National Retail Federation. That’s about 55 million more humans than voted in the 2012 presidential election. Beside the celebratory nature of the day, it’s an event with a huge economic impact. 

So today I’ll indulge in some mostly off-the-field news items; some serious and some silly, starting with a look at the non-helmet wearing people who make it happen.

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Thumbnail image for Geo-Poetic Spaces: Mount Woodson (Mountain of Moonlit Rocks)

Geo-Poetic Spaces: Mount Woodson (Mountain of Moonlit Rocks)

by Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes 01.30.2015 Books & Poetry

By Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes

When freeways flood
mind’s embankments
follow the scent of sagebrush
to higher ground

Up here sound is sight
shadows of clouds
thundering …

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Thumbnail image for Voice of San Diego’s Intern ‘Irony’ is Just the Latest Insult

Voice of San Diego’s Intern ‘Irony’ is Just the Latest Insult

by Doug Porter 01.29.2015 Activism

By Doug Porter 

Earlier this week Voice of San Diego Editor/CEO Scott Lewis took the Center on Policy Initiatives, a local think tank, to task for a Facebook posting soliciting for unpaid internships to assist in a campaign aimed at increasing minimum wages. 

In the essay and subsequent social media postings, Lewis said he found the idea of volunteer interns working on this particular issue to be ironic. And he seemingly disparaged the notion that the trade-off of job experience and/or college credit as a smokescreen for exploitation.

The old saying about people who live in glass houses comes to mind when viewing the web journal of a high school student who interned with Voice of San Diego. 

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Thumbnail image for City Budget Requests, Unpaid Glitter Unicorns and Congressional Follies

City Budget Requests, Unpaid Glitter Unicorns and Congressional Follies

by Doug Porter 01.28.2015 Activism

By Doug Porter

There’s lots to report on today, starting with the annual wish lists for the coming fiscal year’s City of San Diego budget. The consensus item among the city council’s lists is finding more money for paying police.

A local non-profit’s Facebook posting seeking unpaid interns (along with paying positions) to participate in building support for increased minimum wages came under fire yesterday. But things aren’t always as they seem; I think there is another agenda at play here.

And the 114th Congress is off to a great start, unless you want to count passing meaningful legislation as part of it’s goals.

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Thumbnail image for Oh, The Irony: Local GOP Fights Contribution Limit, Worries About Dark Money

Oh, The Irony: Local GOP Fights Contribution Limit, Worries About Dark Money

by Doug Porter 01.27.2015 Columns

By Doug Porter

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors consideration of re-establishing limits on political parties donations to candidates in races for county office has the local GOP up in arms. 

Caps on partisan candidate support in county contests were lifted several years ago following a federal judge’s ruling striking down a City of San Diego ordinance limiting donations to $1000. The city re-established limits at $10,000 for district only and $20,000 for city-wide races. 

Supervisor Ron Roberts has proposed similar limits. Ron Nehring, formerly Chairman of both the California and San Diego Republican Party organizations took to Flash Report to denounce the proposal, saying  it was an “infringement on the Free Speech rights of political parties.”

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Thumbnail image for University of California Doctors Call One Day Strike

University of California Doctors Call One Day Strike

by Doug Porter 01.26.2015 Columns

By Doug Porter

Physicians at all 10 University of California student health centers will hold a one-day unfair labor practices strike on Tuesday.

They gave notice to the UC system on Friday, following the failure of 41 bargaining sessions over a year’s time to gain an initial contract for The Union of American Physicians and Dentists (UAPD). Over 90% of the student health doctors voted in favor of striking in meetings during December.

The union has filed Unfair Labor Practice charges with the  California Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) saying the universities are failing to negotiate in good faith. In one instance cited, the UC administration increased pension contributions without negotiating over the issue.

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Thumbnail image for The State Of the Union: Obama is an Eisenhower Republican

The State Of the Union: Obama is an Eisenhower Republican

by Jim Miller 01.26.2015 Columns

By Jim Miller

Last week, President Obama gave a pretty good speech in which he outlined a series of solid progressive policy proposals along with a few very bad ideas like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

What was most telling about the response to his speech, however, was how glowing the praise was in some quarters for what, in essence, was a fairly pedestrian list of things to do: raise the minimum wage, support collective bargaining, admit that climate change is real and act upon it in some way, tax the rich more than the middle and working classes, recognize basic civil rights, and make community college free for students as a way to expand opportunity, as well as some other modest initiatives.

These proposals, along with Obama’s threat to veto the Keystone Pipeline have encouraged many downtrodden Democrats and progressives as they should, but they hardly represent a significant shift in our politics.

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Thumbnail image for Honoring Martin’s Dream Beyond MLK Day

Honoring Martin’s Dream Beyond MLK Day

by Ernie McCray 01.26.2015 Activism

By Ernie McCray

Martin Luther King. A loving man with the loveliest of dreams. After seeing “Selma,” which told the story of that chapter in the Civil Rights Movement powerfully well, I just had to write something about this dear man.

I didn’t know what I wanted to say until I happened upon a caricature that captured the very essence of how I often see him in my mind’s eye, as I think of him every now and then. How can I not in this world we live in?

The pose he struck in the portrait made me wonder what was going on in his head and based on what my friend, *Rabbi Ben Kamin, recently had to say about him in an examiner.com essay, he could have been thinking about a range of things.

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Thumbnail image for Looking Back at the Week: Jan 18-24

Looking Back at the Week: Jan 18-24

by Brent E. Beltrán 01.25.2015 Looking Back at the Week

Compiled by Brent E. Beltrán

This week’s edition of Looking Back at the Week features articles by San Diego Free Press and OB Rag regulars, irregulars, columnists, and at-large contributors on anti-vaxholes, the Issa Revenue Service, the State of the Union speech, not lovin’ McD’s, needing a fierce urgency of now, King Tiger, some bits from the barrio, a record hot 2014, the 4 Mile March, CommonUnion59 brings anti-hipster folk, and, as usual, a bunch of OB happs.

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Thumbnail image for The History of Neighborhood House in Logan Heights: Mary Barrios, Early Years

The History of Neighborhood House in Logan Heights: Mary Barrios, Early Years

by Maria E. Garcia 01.24.2015 Education

By Maria E. Garcia

Mrs. Barrios was born in 1925. Her mother was very strict, and young Mary was not allowed to play with the neighborhood children. She says her only outings were to Our Lady of Guadalupe Church. Mary’s family was a blended family. Her father and her mother were both widows and came to the marriage with children. They also had children together and at one point a woman that worked at the cannery gave her mother a baby boy. This woman felt she could not return to Mexico with a child born out of wedlock. This very big family lived at 1870 Newton Ave.

At the age of 10 or 11 Mary was finally allowed to go to Neighborhood House. Her half bothers were allowed to go at a much earlier age. We have seen this double standard over and over again. Her older sister, to quote Mary, “brought English to the house.” She went to school and learned English and her young siblings learned English from her. In order to learn English her mother took night classes.

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Thumbnail image for McDonald’s Customers, Employees Not Lovin’ It

McDonald’s Customers, Employees Not Lovin’ It

by Doug Porter 01.23.2015 Business

By Doug Porter

Fast food giant McDonald’s is reportedly spending $3 million daily on U.S. advertising, yet business is declining. As the company has pumped up its menu to counter the explosion of fast-casual restaurants, food quality and service times have suffered. And increasingly negative image of the fast food industry as an exploiter of its workforce certainly hasn’t helped matters.

Last year was the company’s worst in three decades. Domestic sales actually declined by 1.7 percent. Global profits declined by 21 percent in the most recent quarter. Franchise owners are unhappy about menu bloat. Customers are confused by assorted pricing schemes. Employees are appearing on TV holding picket signs. And now the company is facing even more bad news.

A July ruling by the National labor Relations Board deeming the company a “joint employer” with its franchisees could spell big trouble, as 10 former workers at three McDonald’s locations in Virginia have filed a lawsuit alleging they were unceremoniously fired last May after being told by supervisors that there were “too many black people” working at their locations.

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Thumbnail image for Geo-Poetic Spaces: The Cliffs of Torrey Pines

Geo-Poetic Spaces: The Cliffs of Torrey Pines

by Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes 01.23.2015 Books & Poetry

By Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes

Have you heard
echoes of waves
breaking in rocks?

Have you dipped your feet
into the shallow water
before it surged back to sea?

Touched foam
flying from stone?

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Thumbnail image for Barrio Bits: Barrio Logan Planning Group Begins, SD Workers Center to Open, Break Down Borders Run, La Bodega’s Anniversary y más!

Barrio Bits: Barrio Logan Planning Group Begins, SD Workers Center to Open, Break Down Borders Run, La Bodega’s Anniversary y más!

by Brent E. Beltrán 01.22.2015 Desde la Logan

By Brent E. Beltrán

This is the first in what I hope will be a bi-weekly column within my Desde la Logan column that will highlight the various happenings in the barrios of San Diego. I can’t cover everything but I can highlight those things that I feel deserve to be seen and read about. It’s a work in progress so bear with me.

Barrio Logan Planning Group Holds First Meeting
Barrio Logan finally has a planning group! And I’m on it!

On January 20 the Barrio Logan Planning Group held its first meeting ever at Woodbury University School of Architecture. The meeting was attended by more than 65 people plus the fifteen appointed planning group members that were able to make it. The large crowd was a good start and shows the interest that community members have in getting involved in Barrio Logan.

Maritime industry made it very clear that they were upset with David Alvarez not appointing anybody of their liking to the group. Well boohoo! Elections have consequences and the consequences for their B & C referendum is them not (yet) having a seat on the planning group. There’ll be plenty of opportunities in the future for them to worm their way onto the group. Until then they can give public comment.

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Thumbnail image for What’s the Fix for San Diego’s Crumbling Infrastructure?

What’s the Fix for San Diego’s Crumbling Infrastructure?

by Doug Porter 01.22.2015 Activism

By Doug Porter

Pssst! Got a spare two billion dollars? That’s a number being talked about in the search for a comprehensive approach to fixing San Diego’s deteriorating streets, pipes and public spaces.

The City of San Diego has issued a report outlining what it says are our infrastructure needs over the next five years, and it isn’t pretty. Our roads are falling apart. Public buildings like libraries and fire stations have repair needs that are mounting faster than the city can pay for them.

I’m told discussions about how to sell taxpayers on paying for this among the city’s big time players (led by the Chamber of Commerce) are already underway. While I don’t dispute the need to upgrade the bones of this city, whatever deal emerges to sell us on paying for it needs to include a whole lotta people who’ve been getting the short end of the stick lately.

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Thumbnail image for King Tiger: Reies Lopez Tijerina (1926-2015)

King Tiger: Reies Lopez Tijerina (1926-2015)

by Eric J. Garcia 01.22.2015 Cartoons
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Thumbnail image for The Passing of Chicano Warrior Reies López Tijerina

The Passing of Chicano Warrior Reies López Tijerina

by At Large 01.22.2015 Activism

Reies Lòpez Tijerina’s spirit will not be forgotten and will live on in our hearts, minds and history

By Herman Baca 

In the late 1960’s Cesar Chavez, Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales, Jose Angel Gutierrez and Reies López Tijerina were known as the Four Horsemen of the Chicano Movement. With the sad news that Reies Lòpez Tijerina has passed at the age of 88 in El Paso, Texas, on January 19, 2015 only one of the Four Horsemen remains…Jose Angel Gutiérrez.

To those of us in the Chicano Movement who had the privilege of knowing and working with Tijerina, El Tigre del Norte or King Tiger (who I knew since 1970) his passing is another reminder that; “A historical era is slowly, but surely coming to an end.”

In U.S. history Tijerina will always be known for his struggle to reclaim the lands stolen from Mexicans and Native Americans after the U.S./Mexico War, and will forever be remembered for his daring armed raid in 1967 of the Tierra Amarilla courthouse in rural northern New Mexico.

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Thumbnail image for Change the World, Change Yourself

Change the World, Change Yourself

by Will Falk 01.22.2015 Activism

By Will Falk

Friends and family tell me I too often focus on the negative. My doctors and therapists have told me me this, too. Diagnosed as I am with severe depression and surviving two suicide attempts, I used to believe them.

Part of my recovery involved completing a cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) program. CBT assumes that changing the way a patient thinks leads to changes in mood and behavior. Patients keep “thought records” where they document negative thoughts and then challenge the validity of those thoughts with the help of a therapist. On the surface, CBT seems like a good way to combat depression, right?

I do not think so, anymore. I came to therapy feeling like I was the problem. My sensitivity to the problems I saw around me caused me profound grief. I felt guilty for my ineffectiveness as a public defender to stem the tide of poor people being thrown in prison. I felt guilty as a member of a natural community for being unable to stop the destruction from raging on. My doctors and therapists insisted that if I changed my perceptions then I would alleviate the grief. In other words, my doctors and therapists told me, “You cannot change the world, so change yourself.”

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Thumbnail image for 2015 State of the Union Speech: Framing a Future Democratic Agenda

2015 State of the Union Speech: Framing a Future Democratic Agenda

by Doug Porter 01.21.2015 Columns

By Doug Porter

Unless we have some sort of national emergency over the next couple of years, last night’s State of the Union address by President Barack Obama was his last best chance to give a speech that would be heard by a significant slice of Americans.

From here on out the focus of political coverage will be the 2016 elections. Not because there’s actually any news there, but because it’s much more entertaining than watching the Black guy in the White House bang his head against the wall of NO built by Republicans.

After all, if you actually analyze the actions of the loyal opposition–which includes a gaggle of incidents wherein they became against some idea they used to champion–you’d end up talking about the racism built into Republican political strategy over the past half a century.

I was frankly amazed after reading the reactions to and reportage on the President’s speech before both houses of Congress last night. Perhaps through some miracle of internet algorithms different speeches were broadcast into every household in America. People heard what they wanted to hear.

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Thumbnail image for Readers Write: A God-Given Right to Bear Arms?

Readers Write: A God-Given Right to Bear Arms?

by At Large 01.21.2015 Culture

By Brad Bianchi

I heard one of my more conservative free-thinking friends speak out in defense of an American’s right to bear arms, to amass as many weapons as he or she may choose, without the obtrusive regulations of the Socialist American Government. He was a little heated. Perhaps he believed he had a right to be. After all, here was Obama, coming to get his guns. At the end of his diatribe, I clearly smiled when he said, “After all, it’s my God- given right to bear arms.”

Needless to say, it was the end of the conversation. How can you argue with that? At least on his level.

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Thumbnail image for Despite Disappointing Turnout, 100 San Diegans March 4 Miles for Justice

Despite Disappointing Turnout, 100 San Diegans March 4 Miles for Justice

by Frank Gormlie 01.20.2015 Activism

By Frank Gormlie

It wasn’t a massive turnout here in San Diego Monday for the 4 Mile March – far from it – but you can’t get away from the fact that one hundred San Diegans did march four miles for social justice in an effort to rekindle Martin Luther King’s militancy on his celebrated birthday.

San Diego joined a list of at least 30 other cities nationwide that also had “4MileMarches”. A small crowd of around 140 gathered at the City Heights park next to its library – about a quarter African-Americans – , and listened to a few speeches from the organizers of the different groups that set up the event. The event had been planned by United Against Police Terror – San Diego, Activist San Diego, the local branch of the International Socialist Organization, and the Coalition Against Police Violence.

The speakers spoke of institutional racism, the killings by police of young Black men – and in San Diego – of young Latino men, of the connections between the days of Martin Luther King with today. They spoke of the need to strengthen an independent civilian police review board, of how leaders such as Mayor Faulconer and District Attorney Dumanis have failed the African-American community.

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Thumbnail image for Trouble With Filing Your Federal Taxes? Try Calling Congressman Darrell Issa

Trouble With Filing Your Federal Taxes? Try Calling Congressman Darrell Issa

by Doug Porter 01.20.2015 Activism

By Doug Porter

National Public Radio broadcast a story this morning on the upcoming tax filing season. In years past it would have been the typical annual “how to” feature timed to coincide with W2’s arriving in mailboxes around the country. But this year it wasn’t.

This year the onset of tax season story was more of a warning. If you expect IRS help with tax questions, expect to wait. And wait.  As in “The IRS is predicting it will only be able to answer half of the 100 million calls it expects from taxpayers this year, and those who do get through can expect to wait a half hour to hear a live voice.” In 2010 the IRS answered calls with an average 11 minute wait.

We can thank Republican Congressman Darrel Issa and his cronies for the 17.5% reduction (adjusted for inflation) in the IRS budget since 2010. The US Treasury will be out about $2 billion, thanks to the inability of the government’s tax collectors to conduct audits. That money could have been used to repair bridges, like the one collapsing on an Interstate last night in Cincinnati.

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Thumbnail image for As Measles Continues to Spread, It’s Time to Hold the Anti-Vaccine People Accountable

As Measles Continues to Spread, It’s Time to Hold the Anti-Vaccine People Accountable

by Doug Porter 01.19.2015 Columns

By Doug Porter

Nuts. That’s what the people behind the current batch of measles cases spreading through the country are. And not in a good way, like a zany friend. In a bad way, as in gun nuts, a small group of people whose fanaticism poses a danger to those around them and society at large.

Collectively known as anti-vaxxers, these folks use faux science to justify not immunizing children against highly contagious diseases. Measles, chicken pox, mumps and whooping cough are all on the increase nationwide.

There are 51 cases of measles reported in the latest outbreak, traceable to Disneyland visitors in the week prior to Christmas. Orange county, with 21 cases reported in 2014 is ground zero for one other reason: a pediatrician friendly to parents seeking to exempt their children from public health agencies requirements for vaccinations.

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Thumbnail image for We Need Martin Luther King Jr.’s  “Fierce Urgency of Now”: Beyond Our Current Failure of Imagination

We Need Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Fierce Urgency of Now”: Beyond Our Current Failure of Imagination

by Jim Miller 01.19.2015 Activism

“We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there ‘is’ such a thing as being too late. This is no time for apathy or complacency. This is a time for vigorous and positive action.” –MLK, speaking against the Vietnam War in 1967

By Jim Miller

It’s the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday and we will be greeted, as is the case these days, with lots of empty gestures and vanilla rhetoric that erases the radical nature of King’s legacy and neuters the impact of his ideas. As I have noted in years past, King was not a moderate whose only idea was that we should all just get along and respect each other. He was a provocative thinker and activist who challenged the core values of our society both then and now.

King fought what he characterized as “the triple evils of racism, materialism, and militarism,” sought to restructure “an edifice which produces beggars,” and called for us to move forward with a “divine dissatisfaction . . . until the tragic walls that separate the outer city of wealth and comfort from the inner city of poverty and despair shall be crushed by the battering rams of the forces of justice.”

He believed that the “whole structure must be changed” for America to be reborn as a truly humane, egalitarian, and civilized society. Only then would we have “democracy transformed from thin paper to thick action.”

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Thumbnail image for Looking Back at the Week: Jan 11-17

Looking Back at the Week: Jan 11-17

by Brent E. Beltrán 01.18.2015 Looking Back at the Week

Compiled by Brent E. Beltrán

This week’s edition of Looking Back at the Week features articles by San Diego Free Press and OB Rag regulars, irregulars, columnists, and at-large contributors on the strike at Kaiser, policing the po-po, global warming, the failed state of the city address, Repugs in Coronado, Dems needing to step up on budget, the return of the Neighborhood House, the American Dream redefined, Readers Write, forum on death, MLK happenings, more from Unist’ot’en, and lots of goodies from the fine folks at the OB Rag.

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