Readers Write

Thumbnail image for Readers Write: Alumni Appeal to Save UCSD’s Che Cafe

Readers Write: Alumni Appeal to Save UCSD’s Che Cafe

by Source 06.20.2014 Activism

Dear UCSD Activist Alumni,

The San Diego Free Press has published a fine article, written by the Che Cafe Collective. Please circulate it widely. SDFP editor, Frank Gormlie, is an alum of UCSD.

Alumni of the UCSD co-ops are mounting a call for all alumni to write to the University telling them we are cancelling the “planned giving” that we previously intended to do upon our demise, until and unless they back off and treat the Che Cafe and all the co-ops with proper respect.

As a union activist (SEIU steward and IWW San Diego Organizing Caucus and formerly, in my grad school days, Press Representative of my AFT TA local in Oregon), I am interested in working with people to try to get all the unions at UCSD (and the SD-Imperial Counties Labor Council) to issue support statements and consider donating money to the collective for legal expenses and for facility maintenance.

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Thumbnail image for Balboa Park 2015 – What Went Wrong?

Balboa Park 2015 – What Went Wrong?

by Source 03.14.2014 Editor's Picks

By David Lundin

Plans for the Balboa Park Centennial in 2015 are non-existent. The Official Centennial management entity, Balboa Park Celebration, Inc. [“BPCI”], is closing its doors and transferring all its powers and obligations to the City.

More than three million dollars in public funds and donations have been spent on inflated salaries, consultant’s fees, payments to Board member’s friends, and other expenses having little if any salvage value. Time, credibility and opportunity have all been irrevocably lost.

What went wrong ? How could this major debacle for the City and Balboa Park have been prevented ? The story for most total failures begins at the beginning. This is no exception. In a perfect world, or at least one better than San Diego, what should have happened ?

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Thumbnail image for Remembering the UC San Diego Cookout, the Noose, and their Aftermath

Remembering the UC San Diego Cookout, the Noose, and their Aftermath

by Source 03.04.2014 Activism

An Open Letter, Four Years After the “Winter of our Discontent”

Jorge Mariscal / UCSD Professor of Literature
Fnann Keflezighi / UCSD ‘11
Patrick Velásquez /San Diego Chicano/Latino Concilio

Four years ago, the fragile tranquility of the La Jolla campus was shattered by a series of events now known as the “Compton Cookout.” Cutting-edge scholarship on campus climate emphasizes the need for universities to continually revisit their ‘historical legacy’ as a benchmark for progress. Therefore, as much as administrators would like to erase the “Cookout” and its aftermath, it is crucial that we remember the events of February 2010.

We view calls to “move beyond” the past and erase any memory of the events that transpired as nothing more than an attempt to release newly installed administrators from their responsibilities. It is time to hold accountable everyone involved in the “strategic planning” that will determine the future of UCSD and impact the lived experiences of future generations of students.

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Thumbnail image for One Woman’s Thoughts on ‘A Day of Honor’

One Woman’s Thoughts on ‘A Day of Honor’

by Judi Curry 02.24.2014 Politics

By Judi Curry

At the risk of alienating a lot of people, I am absolutely incensed by the City Council naming a day after Peggy Shannon for the “harassment suffered by the mayor of San Diego.”  A day in her honor? For what?  What did she do that was so honorable?  Stop a thief? Adopt orphan children; Save people from a burning building? Fund a scholarship for children that can’t afford to go to college?

She is having a “day of honor” so that the city does not have to pay out any money from the harassment of the former mayor?  She is having a “day of honor” because she told the world about the mayor’s flirting with her? She is having a “day of honor” because she “. . . had butterflies in her stomach because she didn’t know what was going to happen the next time the mayor came to her desk”?

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Thumbnail image for Reader’s Response to “What Does City Heights Lose when Albertsons Closes?”

Reader’s Response to “What Does City Heights Lose when Albertsons Closes?”

by Source 01.27.2014 Economy

“The branch doesn’t fall far from the tree” vis á vis City Heights and Albertson’s

By Remigia Bermúdez’ 

“The branch doesn’t fall far from the tree” comes to mind in so many respects as I read with great care the insightful article written by SDFP’s Anna Daniels on the economic prospect’s and livelihood of City Heights residents without a clear direction as to who does what about City Heights’ concerns losing a major supermarket, jobs, economic base and faith in local government.

My comments are my professional/personal opinions in an attempt to answer the original questions posed by Anna Daniels in her outstanding article on the impact of Albertsons departure from the City Heights redeveloped project area:

  • 1) Who benefited most from the original redevelopment project in City Heights
  • 2) Who are the parties of interest?
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Thumbnail image for Readers Write: San Diego’s Fall From “Finest”

Readers Write: San Diego’s Fall From “Finest”

by Source 12.17.2013 Faulconer vs Alvarez

By Timothy P. Holmberg

Eds Note: The following commentary was submitted as a comment on Jim Miller’s column Selling Kevin Faulconer: The Big Bamboozle. We liked it and, with the author’s permission, decided to give the essay its own post.

As a former reporter, I have watched mayors of both parties come and go, and with them their various constituencies (in fairness, most have been Republican). I have also watched the heavy onset of partisan apparatuses. Over the years, these partisan machines have polarized this city and hijacked its legislative agenda. In its place, they have pressed agendas that have little if any affect on the quality of life of the citizens this government is supposed to serve.

But underneath that cyclone of hyper-partisanship, this city has slowly rusted. Streets have all but crumbled, sidewalks turned to rubble, sewer pipes spew their stew and traffic has slowly ground to a state of molasses. We have seen our city’s reputation tarnished and our credit rating trashed. Our treasures have either been plundered or are crumbling in disrepair. While John Moores, Corky McMillan, Doug Manchester and Dean Spanos prospered, San Diego’s small business community has received less attention than a stray dog.

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Thumbnail image for Readers Write: Time for a 21st Century City

Readers Write: Time for a 21st Century City

by Source 11.18.2013 Politics

By Christian Ramirez

Three generations of my family call the 8th District of the City of San Diego home. We love San Diego but could never live far from Tijuana; in fact, our clan has an unspoken rule that to live north of I-8 is akin to falling off the face of Earth. Our roots are intertwined with the border; we are proud fronterizos, borderlanders.

America’s Finest City has not always embraced our border identity; in fact many of us who live in the southern part of San Diego have always had the uneasy feeling that City Hall had its back turned towards us. That is until we elected David Alvarez as our councilmember. As soon as he took office David got to work, he understood that the border region is an economic engine and celebrated our unique cultural heritage.

When we learned that David was running for mayor, my family knew that we could finally have the opportunity to fully be engaged in the civic life of our city. A mayor that understands us, can you imagine!

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Thumbnail image for Readers Write: An Impassioned Plea for ‘Proposition F’

Readers Write: An Impassioned Plea for ‘Proposition F’

by Source 11.18.2013 Politics

By Matt Valenti 

What do school bathrooms have to do with San Diego’s mayoral candidates?

Well, some of the same people who brought us Proposition 8 are at it again, having gathered enough signatures to place an initiative on the 2014 ballot that would repeal California’s transgender students’ rights bill. That law is to take effect in January and will provide transgender students with equal access to school programs and facilities.

But if there’s to be a law meant to prevent people from passing themselves off as something they’re not, perhaps it should be a law to prevent conservative Republicans from passing themselves off as progressives. This is a phenomenon that San Diego has seen a lot of lately.

What we need is a local ballot initiative we could call “Proposition F,” after the two mayoral candidates who are the worst offenders: Nathan Fletcher and Kevin Faulconer.

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Thumbnail image for Latino Voters Could Determine the Future … If We Vote

Latino Voters Could Determine the Future … If We Vote

by Source 11.13.2013 Activism

By Andrea Guerrero

A couple of weeks ago my nine-year-old son and I got into a friendly argument about who should be the next mayor of San Diego. He seemed to get the same thrill out of talking about his favorite candidate as he gets out of talking about his favorite superhero. If you have a child, you may have been asked a thousand (or maybe a million) times what your favorite this or that is and then told why it should be something else.

In our conversation, my son reminded me that he could not vote, but that I could and should vote (for his favorite candidate, of course). It made me think of others who cannot vote, like friends and family whose immigration status prevents them from voting, and why I can and must vote in every election for the candidate or the ballot measure that will move my family and my community forward.

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Thumbnail image for One Woman’s Story: Why I Will be Enrolling in the ACA (Obamacare) Marketplace

One Woman’s Story: Why I Will be Enrolling in the ACA (Obamacare) Marketplace

by Source 11.05.2013 Encore

By Lauree Benton

I didn’t know pregnancy was a preexisting condition until I was 8.5 months pregnant.

“You are uninsurable,” says the sales representative from Blue Cross of California. “Pregancy is considered a preexisting condition.”

“You mean the preexisting condition that allows humanity to survive?” I snapped. I was furious.

To the sales rep’s credit, he thought it was ridiculous too.

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Thumbnail image for The New Main Library: A Benefit for All

The New Main Library: A Benefit for All

by Source 09.23.2013 Culture

Richard Rider, a local libertarian, called the new library “a monument to an era that is ending — a structure that in a few years will have little more utility value than a Pharaoh’s pyramid in Egypt. The only difference is that the library will have high operating costs — the pyramids need no such annual funding.”
-UT San Diego article “New library: Is this monument necessary?”

By Joe Flynn

Odd isn’t it? The self professed “cheerleaders” for San Diego preview the grand opening of the new library with this article puffed up with a quote from San Diego’s Dr. No, Richard Rider, libertarian. I wanted to get the spelling right, but after reading his remarks no one will mistake him for a librarian.

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Thumbnail image for A Post-Labor Day Tribute To My Sister

A Post-Labor Day Tribute To My Sister

by Judi Curry 09.03.2013 Culture

By Judi Curry

Labor Day means a lot of different things to a lot of different people.  In my case, at the age of seven, the first time I knew about “Labor Day” was on September 2nd, 1946, because that was the day my mother went into labor with my sister, Andy. (Andrea Jane.)  The house was a flutter and my own governess was going to take care of my sister, leaving me for the first time in my life.

I was going to be “a big girl” now, and I no longer needed to have Nanny Parsons monitor my every move.  All of that was fine with me, except for one small thing – I did not know that my mother was pregnant.  I do not want to say that she kept it a secret from me – but it was not talked about in my presence.

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Thumbnail image for Readers Write: Walk a Mile in Their Shoes

Readers Write: Walk a Mile in Their Shoes

by Source 08.11.2013 Courts, Justice

By Tom Hunter

I spent five years living in vehicles at the beach in San Diego.

I knew the cops, I knew the dealers and I knew the homeless.

I was upper class, because I managed to hang onto a vehicle.  I made gas money by driving a hooker to her johns.  I was elated when the courts told the SDPD to stop ticketing people for being on the streets.  (The police have decided in practice that court order no longer applies).

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Thumbnail image for You Don’t Need a Weatherman to Kick Bob Filner

You Don’t Need a Weatherman to Kick Bob Filner

by Source 08.09.2013 Government

By Paul Broadway

I woke up this morning thinking about the Bob Dylan lyric, “you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows”.  This lyric is a good explanation about my view of the Mayor Filner issue that is being orchestrated by the rich, powerful, and connected in San Diego.

You see, I supported Carl DeMaio in the Mayoral election.

I should feel vindicated that Mayor Filner is proving that he was not the right choice for Mayor of America’s finest city.  I should feel that way, but I don’t.  From my point of view, I see something that scares me.  I see a political machine that is using its power to force an elected official out of office.

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Thumbnail image for You Don’t Have to Eat Cat Food

You Don’t Have to Eat Cat Food

by Source 08.06.2013 Politics

By Tom Hunter

Since my retirement and application for Social Security at the age of 63, I have gradually learned how to live frugally.

Whenever I think I’ve cut expenses to the bone, it seems like the rent goes up by 30% or the State of Nevada finds me and wants $225 a month in child support.  At the end of all this I am left with $125 dollars a month for food and TV and Internet and gas and electric.

I no longer have a vehicle of my own, but my children provide me alternately with a car and a motorcycle.  I have ridden motorcycles since I was fourteen, but I was definitely out of practice and the new bikes are heavier and faster than anything I ever owned.

This month, on the first day of my direct deposit from Uncle Sam, I spent $60 on groceries, and before the day was out I was a little short on the rent for next month. 

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Thumbnail image for Our Promising Bicycling Future in San Diego

Our Promising Bicycling Future in San Diego

by Source 08.02.2013 Activism

Don’t Miss
CicloSDias
August 11th

By Andy Hanshaw 

Ciclovía – a familiar term to any bicycling enthusiast, where popular roads turn car-less for people to play and literally rediscover their streets.

These open-street celebrations have trademarked bike-friendly cities around the world since the first Ciclovía was hosted in Bogotá, Colombia, in 1976, when the town closed one road to all cars and opened them for pedestrian use. Since then, the trend of people enjoying their streets without the stress of car traffic has made its way around the globe and into major cities where residents embrace these opportunities – in Bogotá, the Ciclovía still remains a city tradition every Sunday.

Since its conception in the late 70s, Ciclovías have swept the world, taking over main cities in Australia, New Zealand, Peru, Argentina, Canada and now, the United States is pedaling along. Turnout for Los Angeles’ “CicLAvia” has been recorded at 180,000 people, while San Francisco and Portland regularly draw 30,000-40,000 with their “Sunday Streets” and “Sunday Parkways.”.

We are finally getting in on the action, announcing San Diego’s first open streets celebration in history.

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Thumbnail image for About That Recall Filner Idea…

About That Recall Filner Idea…

by Source 08.02.2013 Editor's Picks

By Jay Powell

Like a lot of people who strongly support the “neighborhoods first” policy commitment set forth by Mayor Bob Filner I have been on the revoltin’ remain-recall-resign roller coaster oscillating between disgust, disappointment, despair, dedication and determination regarding the daily drumbeat of “revelations” and political attacks on Bob Filner.

I am particularly wary of the recall option when I recollect two recalls that have affected San Diego within the last recent decades– a city councilmember in 1991 and, of course our Governor in 2003.

In each of these elections, the incumbent was voted out and the winner received less than a 50% plus one of the votes cast. Schwarzenegger (who incidentally was plagued by accusations of inappropriate behavior towards women in the final run up to election day) got almost 49%. Tom Behr won the Fifth District City Council seat with barely 25% of the votes cast. Done deal. No run off.

The main distinguishing and disturbing feature of a recall “election” is that the highest vote getter of the free-for-all alternative candidates listed after the yes or no on recall vote, wins it all.

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Thumbnail image for Local Citizens Working to Combat Climate Change with SanDiego350

Local Citizens Working to Combat Climate Change with SanDiego350

by Source 07.31.2013 Activism

By Angela Deegan

SanDiego350.org (SD350) is a local, all-volunteer, citizens’ group set up in 2011 with the goal of combatting climate change.  It is one of 142 local groups in 61 countries that are part of 350.org’s global grassroots movement to solve the climate crisis.

It evolved from a Balboa Park rally demanding a clean energy future, in support of 350.org’s international day of action.  The organizers of that September 2011 rally found they had such good synergy it made sense to continue to work together on climate change.

Co-founder Simon Mayeski, an activist, organizer and native San Diegan living in Tierrasanta “saw the smarts, the dedication and the excitement” of those who organized that rally and found he just had to put himself in with them.

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Thumbnail image for Draconian Obstructions, Logical Fallacies and the Decline of America

Draconian Obstructions, Logical Fallacies and the Decline of America

by Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes 07.29.2013 Business

By Ishmael Von Heidrick-Barnes

Recently, I had to book a flight on a major airline using miles I had accrued with the carrier.  What should have been a simple transaction turned into a time-consuming labyrinth of automated answering machines and passive-aggressive procedural dead-ends.  I suspect the process was designed by lawyers to deliberately frustrate customers into giving up using the air miles awarded them.

After three days and six hours of attempting to penetrate the airline’s technological gatekeepers, I can’t say the obstructions I faced were resolved to my satisfaction.   The psychological energy required to deal with Draconian obstructions and logical fallacies left me physically exhausted (which, I will wager, was something the architects of the airline procedural guidelines were deliberately hoping to evoke).

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Thumbnail image for Readers Write: Who Put the Police Department in Charge of the Press?

Readers Write: Who Put the Police Department in Charge of the Press?

by Source 07.21.2013 Columns

By Tom Hunter

Son of a bitch.

The reporters in this town owe their credentials to the San Diego Police Department.  That’s right.  A friend with 30 years of credentials with the SDPD got the comment last time he renewed his Press Pass – “I haven’t heard one complaint about you”.

This is the kind of reporters we allow in San Diego?  The ones who haven’t ruffled a feather in 30 years?  Specifically a political feather or a law enforcement feather.  Who put the police department over the press?

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Thumbnail image for Readers Write: Spy vs. Spy

Readers Write: Spy vs. Spy

by Source 07.15.2013 Environment

By Tom Hunter

It seems to me that the progressive wing of humanity has lost its enthusiasm for heros.  President Obama is blamed for the obstruction of the federal government by the teabaggers and his inability to overcome the inertia of the federal government.

The most powerful people in Washington are not elected.  They are senior Washington bureaucrats that stay on in Washington no matter who gets elected.  These bureaucrats are closely entwined with the Pentagon and the Defence Contractor Empire.

So, it seems to me, anyone who brings to light knowledge of what these reptiles are up to would be found to be on the side of humanity.  Not so much.

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Thumbnail image for Readers Write: Growing Up Golden

Readers Write: Growing Up Golden

by Source 07.09.2013 Columns

by Lucesita Gomez

Situated south of Balboa Park lies the neighborhood of Golden Hills. This neighborhood was where I spent my childhood. I lived with my parents and my mothers’ parents in the 19th Street apartments, the ones next to the East 94 Martin Luther King, Jr. freeway sign.

I have very fond memories. Each morning I’d smell the coffee my Abuelita would make for herself and my mother, while I would have mine with milk and animal crackers. My Abuelita used wooden plates, and I always loved to hear my Lucky Charms hit the bowl.

After breakfast, I’d go exploring. Since we lived in the first house, I’d go walking along the path over to the last house. I remember there being a garden in the backyard, and I would sometimes sit and play in the dirt, or I would play in the bushes or with the flowers. In our front yard I’d sometimes go and sit on the grass, just watching people pass by, or I would sit and watch the cars go by.

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Thumbnail image for Readers Write: A Sneak Peek at GOP’s 2016 Platform

Readers Write: A Sneak Peek at GOP’s 2016 Platform

by Source 07.09.2013 Columns

By Tom Hunter

I have just received a first draft of the Republican Platform for 2016.

1. All women of child bearing age must report to their doctor weekly for a vaginal probe ultrasound. If the doctor is not on the list the probe must be held by an official of the Republican Party. Every sperm is sacred and condom prices will be increased to $10 per unit.

2. Key portions of the Old Testament must be memorized or you will not be eligible to vote.

3. Guns must be carried about the body fully loaded and ready for action, or on the nightstand in the evening.

4. People determined to be “having too much fun” will be sent away to be rehabilitated.

5. Those wishing to get off the grid by not working for corporate America will not be eligible for unemployment or food stamps. Those found helping these unfortunates will be severely disciplined.

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Thumbnail image for Readers Write: Surprise – Inquisition!

Readers Write: Surprise – Inquisition!

by Source 07.07.2013 Politics

By Tom Hunter

I am amazed at how the “Founding Fathers” were so wise and how they are selectively worshiped by the GOP.  The Constitution (stand and salute!) is only one line below the Bible with the GOP, although they only worship a certain version of the Constitution and they are always threatening to fix it and or bitch slap the Supreme Court when they disagree with some decision.

They seem to worship a kind of Norman Rockwell vision before all that “science” got in the way.  They tend to like “prescience ” things like trial by ordeal.  (Hey if she drowns – she’s innocent!)  I can’t quite figure out their fixation with “other peoples” sex lives.  You’d think these modest Christians would shun the very concept of other people’s sex.

There is s an entire industry of lobbyists working in every state to figure out how to make sex less fun (in the dark, missionary style, for procreation only and they are extremely suspicious of people who manage to get themselves raped).  The GOP has pretty much obsessed with pointing out “other people’s sins”.  Their vision may be somewhat obscured by that stick in the eye.

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Thumbnail image for Readers Write: Where Will Modern Economy Theory Lead Us?

Readers Write: Where Will Modern Economy Theory Lead Us?

by Source 07.03.2013 Columns

By Tom Hunter

All those high falutin’ economists from Harvard are somewhat muted with their economic models. Meanwhile, the real economic model being adopted in the United States is that of our largest corporation. The old theory is that Henry Ford was a fool for paying his people enough to buy his car. The modern theory would have him ship their jobs to Mexico or China and to hell with the domestic sales, as they are no longer the largest market.

Wal-Mart has about three guiding principles. First, the only thing they’ve got going for them is low prices. These are achieved by paying their people just enough so they can get food stamps supplemented by food banks. Their suppliers are continually required to find cheaper ways to deliver the goods or they will be replaced seamlessly with some outfit that will.

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