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Thumbnail image for Massive Technical Difficulties

Massive Technical Difficulties

by Doug Porter 11.21.2014 Columns

A server migration, an automated backup and a platform update walk into a bar….

We don’t know exactly what happened, but San Diego Free Press is having some big-time technical issues. As I’m writing this we’ve done a “restore” of everything from 11/19 backwards. The site is slow. Very slow.

That’s about as technical as I can get. I am assured that all the right people are working hard to fix this.

We’ll be back in business as soon as the techies let us.

PS–Yes, we know all the comments have disappeared. Chances are good that if you try to leave a comment today it will go down a rabbit hole. If you need to get in touch, our email is contact@sandiegofreepress.org or you can visit our Facebook page.

PPS–I’m headed out of town for a week. (Great timing, huh?) The Starting Line column will return December 1st.

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Thumbnail image for Mounting Protests Over 43 Kidnapped Mexican Students Resonate in San Diego

Mounting Protests Over 43 Kidnapped Mexican Students Resonate in San Diego

by Doug Porter 11.18.2014 Columns

By Doug Porter

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and Tijuana Mayor Jorge Astiazarán appeared at inside the glass-walled Shiley Special Events Suite at the Central Library for ceremony this morning to announce plans for greater collaboration between their cities.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is the first agreement of its sort since 1994, when the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was implemented. Local governments are pledging collaboration in the areas of economic development, border infrastructure, environmental stewardship and public safety.

Their commitment to collaboration on public safety may be tested sooner than they think. Unrest in Mexico, triggered by the disappearance of 43 students in the state of Guerrero is reaching a fevered pitch. Nationwide demonstrations in Mexico on November 20th are prompting activists north of the border to hold protests that day. Here in San Diego, a protest is scheduled for Thursday at the Mexican Consulate (1549 India St) in Little Italy.

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Thumbnail image for Working Tech for Good Causes and Loving It Every Day

Working Tech for Good Causes and Loving It Every Day

by At Large 11.18.2014 Activism

By Oliver James

I threw away a $100k+ a year career for my community. I live in City Heights, San Diego, California and I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. And this is why I did it.

Let’s rewind a bit back to 2010. I was working for a marketing company providing design and marketing services to the financial industry. I was making around $65k a year and life was good (or so it seemed).

Don’t get me wrong $65,000 a year was great. But I wasn’t really, truly happy.

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Thumbnail image for Tears for Justice, Peace and Compassion

Tears for Justice, Peace and Compassion

by Ernie McCray 11.18.2014 Courts, Justice

By Ernie McCray

I found myself, a day or so ago, kind of tearing up, thinking about a passage I had read in “Just Mercy,” a story of justice and redemption, or better yet, the lack thereof.

Bryan Stephenson, the author of this incredibly revealing narrative about the inequities in our justice system, says, concerning a man who was less than a day away from being executed unbelievably wrongfully, “Why do we want to kill all the broken people? What is wrong with us, that we think a thing like that?”

I’d say that we can entertain such thinking because we have no real values of any substance to guide us as a society.

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Thumbnail image for Shut-Peachment: The Coming GOP Drama Over Immigration. Get Your Popcorn Ready.

Shut-Peachment: The Coming GOP Drama Over Immigration. Get Your Popcorn Ready.

by Doug Porter 11.17.2014 Activism

By Doug Porter

Congressional Republicans are bracing for executive actions on immigration by President Obama in the very near future.

The GOP apparently feels some sort of sense of entitlement coming off the mid-term elections when voters repeated their usual pattern of increased support for the party not in the White House. (The last time that didn’t happen was 1998, when Republicans were busy trying to impeach President Bill Clinton.)

The President, who has lived through six years of GOP obstructionism, isn’t waiting any longer on this issue. Today we’ll take a look at what’s likely to happen politically in the coming weeks. Trust me, it’s going to be a very entertaining holiday season if you’re into politics.

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Thumbnail image for The United Taxi Workers Victory and the Struggle for a New Labor Movement

The United Taxi Workers Victory and the Struggle for a New Labor Movement

by Jim Miller 11.17.2014 Activism

By Jim Miller

Last Monday’s victory for the United Taxi Workers of San Diego provided a much-needed boost for local labor.

After a year that has included some tough losses at the polls and the effort to save the minimum wage ordinance, it was inspiring to see the taxi drivers (largely East African immigrant workers) burst into celebration and pour out of Golden Hall chanting “USA!” as they embraced each other, mounted the planter boxes, and cheered for joy.

It was the kind of genuine expression of collective exuberance that comes when workers feel, perhaps for the first time, that they have taken ownership of their lives and destinies.

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Thumbnail image for Trailblazing Effort Needed on San Diego Climate Action Plans

Trailblazing Effort Needed on San Diego Climate Action Plans

by At Large 11.17.2014 Activism

By Jeffrey Meyer

With the recent release of a new United Nations report on the global impact of climate change, we are given still another chilling warning that we are facing catastrophe unless we accelerate efforts to confront this crisis.

The release of this report comes on the heels of a court decision rejecting the San Diego County climate action plan and the ongoing development of this state-mandated plan by the City of San Diego. It raises the stakes for everyone and compels us to reach higher and dig deeper for community solutions to this crisis.

The warning from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is an urgent signal for our city and county officials to not only meet state laws on reducing greenhouse gas emissions but to explore higher standards.

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Thumbnail image for Looking Back at the Week at SDFP and OB Rag: November 9-15

Looking Back at the Week at SDFP and OB Rag: November 9-15

by Brent E. Beltrán 11.16.2014 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 war & peace, DeMaio conceding, the taxi drivers’ victory, SD’s political shuffle, labor unrest, tired Mexico, the voting cycle, Honky, extreme weather, and, as always, bucketfulls of OB news.

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Thumbnail image for A Week of War and Peace at the San Diego Free Press

A Week of War and Peace at the San Diego Free Press

by Anna Daniels 11.16.2014 Culture

By Anna Daniels

One week ago, the SDFP editorial board sent a short email to its writers and contributors, asking for their thoughts on the topic of War and Peace.  We were curious to see if there was an interest in this broader theme that would go beyond the usual media treatment of  Veterans Day.

Our email was immediately filled with responses. Writers sent articles, video links and poetry. We were frankly surprised at the interest.  It told us two important things.

It is apparent that there are few opportunities for civic engagement on this topic and its complex historical and contemporary elements.  It also told us that the San Diego Free Press is in a unique position to provide a platform for that civic engagement.

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Thumbnail image for México Está Cansado… (Mexico is tired of…)

México Está Cansado… (Mexico is tired of…)

by Junco Canché 11.15.2014 Cartoons
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Thumbnail image for ‘Tis the Season for Labor Unrest: Walmart Activists Sit-In, Port Truckers Walk Off, Contract Workers March in DC

‘Tis the Season for Labor Unrest: Walmart Activists Sit-In, Port Truckers Walk Off, Contract Workers March in DC

by Doug Porter 11.14.2014 Business

By Doug Porter

Coast to coast labor actions on Thursday, November 13th, provided a preview of what’s to come in the not-so-distant future as workers who’ve been marginalized and abused in the so-called post recession economy begin voicing their frustrations. The tactic of short, sudden strikes starting with restaurant workers in New York City several years ago is going nationwide.

America’s biggest retailer saw an daytime sit-in by about 20 employees at its Crenshaw store. Off duty Walmart employees sat along aisles at that location holding signs resembling those used in the first retail sit-down strike at Woolworth in 1937.

Store Managers came by and checked IDs and discount cards to verify that those involved really were WalMart employees. Protesters were out of their uniform and off the clock, their mouths covered with green tape and the word strike written across it symbolizing their claims about the company’s illegal efforts to silence workers who are calling for better jobs.

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Thumbnail image for SDFP Street Beat: North Park Jack in the Box, South Park Target, Uptown Regional Bike Corridor Update

SDFP Street Beat: North Park Jack in the Box, South Park Target, Uptown Regional Bike Corridor Update

by Anna Daniels 11.14.2014 Activism

By Anna Daniels

Renovation, Rebuild or Turducken?

The North Park Preservation lawsuit against Jack in the Box/City of San Diego is moving forward, with a Summary Judgment hearing before Judge Prager on Friday, November 21.

The group filed the suit when Jack in the Box underwent renovations and a rebuild that the community maintains are violations of city zoning and the community plan. Also at issue is that the city did not correctly permit the project.

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Thumbnail image for Are You Ready for the 2016 Political Shuffle in San Diego?

Are You Ready for the 2016 Political Shuffle in San Diego?

by Doug Porter 11.13.2014 Business

By Doug Porter

The results have yet to be certified for this year’s election results, but that hasn’t prevented various political players around town from lining up support for the next step in their careers. There’s already some action and plenty of rumors to share today.

City Councilman Ed Harris was first out of the gate yesterday, by way of a story in the OB Rag announcing his intention to seek termed-out Assemblywoman Toni Atkins position representing the 78th District in 2016.

Anthony Bernal, currently employed as Director of Business and Community Projects for Council President Todd Gloria, has thrown his hat in the ring to replace his termed-out boss in the Third District.

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Thumbnail image for The Natural Voting Cycle

The Natural Voting Cycle

by Eric J. Garcia 11.13.2014 Cartoons
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Thumbnail image for SeaWorld Stock Tanks As Financials Disappoint and Protests Continue

SeaWorld Stock Tanks As Financials Disappoint and Protests Continue

by Doug Porter 11.12.2014 Activism

By Doug Porter

Attendance and revenues continue to fall at SeaWorld, according to financial reports released today. The stock market reacted to the news, sending shares in the company down 10.3% by mid-day. 

Third-quarter net income fell 28%, revenues fell 8% and  attendance at SeaWorld’s parks also declined year-over-year, with attendance in the third quarter totaling 8.4 million visitors, down from 8.9 million a year ago.  According the Bloomberg’s Business Insider, the price for stock in SeaWorld has fallen 51% since the movie Blackfish premiered on July 19, 2013. 

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Thumbnail image for After the Wars, City Heights

After the Wars, City Heights

by Anna Daniels 11.12.2014 City Heights: Up Close & Personal

By Anna Daniels

Why does City Heights physically look the way it does and why does it have such distinctive demographics? The case can be made that City Heights has been shaped both by design–the adoption of the Mid-City Plan in 1965– and by happenstance in the form of the fall of Saigon one decade later.

The Mid-City Plan provided a blueprint of sorts for stimulating business and commercial growth that is reflected in the built environment.  The fall of Saigon and the subsequent resettlement of Southeast Asian refugees in City Heights also became a blueprint of sorts for influencing the ever changing demographics of the individuals who would move within the built environment.

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Thumbnail image for Extreme Weather Watch: October 2014 – Drought in Australia and Brazil

Extreme Weather Watch: October 2014 – Drought in Australia and Brazil

by John Lawrence 11.12.2014 Editor's Picks

By John Lawrence

Australia experienced its second warmest October on record. A number of records were set during the month in particular for the warmest October day on record for Australia as a whole. Nationally-averaged rainfall during October was 59% below the long-term mean which made October 2014 Australia’s seventh-driest October on record.

Large parts of Australia continue to be affected by drought. Drier than normal conditions from October to December are forecast for broad areas of Eastern, Central and Northern Coastal areas of Australia. Temperatures over 50C or 120F are forecast as Australia heads into its summer.

Australian farmers are feeling less confident as prices for wool, grains, dairy products and beef go down. A quarter of farmers expect conditions to deteriorate, around 20% expect the performance of their farm business to worsen and 25% expect their farm income to fall.

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Thumbnail image for War & Peace: In My Classroom

War & Peace: In My Classroom

by Lori Saldaña 11.12.2014 Books & Poetry

By Lori Saldaña

My students wear their battle scars
In their brains, on their skin, thru their 10 key dexterity
They enter the computer lab with aching hearts and minds, hand me a
Veterans Affair ID card in exchange for
A textbook, a software program, a few hours on the keyboard
I watch them, marveling at their resiliency …

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Thumbnail image for A Hard-won and Bittersweet Victory for San Diego Taxi Drivers

A Hard-won and Bittersweet Victory for San Diego Taxi Drivers

by Doug Porter 11.11.2014 Activism

By Doug Porter

Years of grass roots organizing paid off yesterday as the City Council voted 8-1 to eliminate a cap on the number of taxi permits issued in San Diego.

The United Taxi Workers of San Diego (UTWSD) grew out of an unsuccessful driver strike in December, 2009. Roughly 300 drivers took part, asking for a reduced weekly lease rate, a guaranteed day off per week, sick days, better job security and better-maintained vehicles.

The taxi industry in San Diego has been functioning as a government licensed fiefdom, with a several hundred permit holders leasing their vehicles to immigrants (mostly) from East Africa who introduce others to the job after arriving in the region.

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Thumbnail image for War and Peace Week at the San Diego Free Press

War and Peace Week at the San Diego Free Press

by Anna Daniels 11.10.2014 Activism

By Anna Daniels

Almost one hundred years ago President Woodrow Wilson declared in vaulting prose that World War I was the war to end all wars, that it would make the world safe for democracy.  The vaulting prose came to naught– the war to end all wars didn’t.

The reality is that the United States doesn’t wage peace with anywhere near the same commitment that it wages war. The veterans who march in the Veterans Day parades this week, as well as those who consciously choose not to, will represent  a constant succession of wars, declared and undeclared, since World War II.

The Cold War. The Korean War. The Vietnam War. The Gulf War. The War in Afghanistan. The Iraq War.

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Thumbnail image for DeMaio Concedes, Police Documents Raise Questions About Who Knew What, When

DeMaio Concedes, Police Documents Raise Questions About Who Knew What, When

by Doug Porter 11.10.2014 Columns

By Doug Porter

Democratic incumbent Congressman Scott Peters has emerged victorious in the contentious electoral contest to represent the 52nd district in the House of Representatives. But that victory may yet come with an asterisk.

GOP candidate Carl DeMaio conceded defeat in an interview with the Associated Press on Sunday. He reportedly will make the formal concession to Peters, who is vacationing in Europe, following the final vote count late on Monday. As this is being written the incumbent has a 4700 vote lead over the challenger.

The fallout from the race in the 52nd may be far from over. The San Diego Police Department  released 211 pages of documents this weekend associated with eight search warrant affidavits issued over a two month period last summer. New bits and pieces of the story surrounding the break-in of DeMaio’s office and allegations of sexual harassment have emerged. It’s a conspiracy theorists’ field day.

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Thumbnail image for Baghdad Tattoo

Baghdad Tattoo

by Source 11.10.2014 Books & Poetry

By Janet Parkinson /Poems Against War

Jalal Ahmed 07901 295135
Ali Abbas 07901 567256
Atheer Mohammad 07901 469798
are incised on my thigh.

My wife sees them when we make love.
I see them when I bathe, change clothes.
They are high enough to be covered
at the beach. I do not want
the world to know my fear.

I do not want the world to know
I have reason to fear. …

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Thumbnail image for Post Election Notes from the Left Coast: Apocalypse Now?  Just Say No

Post Election Notes from the Left Coast: Apocalypse Now? Just Say No

by Jim Miller 11.10.2014 Activism

By Jim Miller

Last week progressives in California rightfully felt a bit relieved that their state served as a seawall against the ocean of red that washed across America.

Outside of our reactionary little backwater here in San Diego where Carl DeMaio can pretend to be moderate and almost win despite multiple scandals, there were bright spots in the rest of the state like the election of rising progressive star Betty Yee as State Controller and the re-election of Tom Torlakson who beat back the billionaire boys club’s effort to put a corporate education reform advocate in the Superintendent of Public Instruction’s office.

Thus, just as New York’s Democratic Governor Cuomo launches a civil war against the unions in his state in the service of corporate interests, California will serve as an alternative model of cooperation rather than confrontation. In most places on the Left Coast, even when nobody shows up, the right just can’t seem to win, and Brown, while far from perfect, prefers to sit happily on the fence between the neoliberal Democrats and the progressives, ruling in his distinctly idiosyncratic fashion.

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Thumbnail image for Looking Back at the Week at SDFP and OB Rag: November 2-8

Looking Back at the Week at SDFP and OB Rag: November 2-8

by Brent E. Beltrán 11.09.2014 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 lead up to the election, the election and the aftermath of the election (thank the gods it’s over!), the Corporate Welfare Defense League, a toon on Mexico’s skeletons, more on the NH, gas down/solar up, peeing on the tomatoes, the answer to the local rag, the center is a political graveyard, and more, plus a plethora of news about the People’s Republic of OB.

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Thumbnail image for The History of Neighborhood House in Logan Heights: Lupita Evers and the Power of the Keys

The History of Neighborhood House in Logan Heights: Lupita Evers and the Power of the Keys

by Maria E. Garcia 11.08.2014 Culture

By Maria E. Garcia

The history of Neighborhood House would be incomplete without an article devoted to Lupita Evers.  She appears briefly but often in the interviews I have conducted.  Lupita is remembered for what made her different, for the qualities that set her apart from other people.

Lupita was born in Mexico on December 31, 1898. Her father, Herman Evers, was born in Germany. Her mother, Antonia Ochoa, was born in Mexico.  Lupita came to Logan Heights as a child and grew up there. Nothing about her family history was out of the ordinary at that time in Logan Heights. But Lupita came into the world as a little person–she was born with the genetic condition of dwarfism. This condition was viewed in a far different way than would be considered acceptable today.

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