Eds Note: Portions of this article appeared in Voice of San Diego By Michael Beck It’s high stakes campaign time and you’re inundated with conflicting ballot arguments. Measure A is no exception. Following are the progressive, environmental, verifiable facts about Measure A. Climate change: Measure A would fund the most progressive transportation plan in the […]
By Stan Levin
Yesterday, August 31, speaking to an audience at The American Legion convention taking place in Cincinnati, Hillary Clinton offered remarks about “American exceptionalism,” a statement she often uses, and one to which I am compelled to take exception.
A moment later, and what I found particularly disturbing, she explained her meaning of the term: “It means that we recognize America’s unique and unparalleled ability to be a force for peace and progress”.
By Laurie Black
June 12, 2008, I stood in front of the mirror on my 50th birthday and was relieved that I survived a half a century of happiness, tragedies, joys, four children, and mother in laws, stretch marks, mortgages…and a joyous loving marriage of almost 3 decades. I simply knew, I had it all and was deeply grateful. Four days later, my beloved “baby” brother Brian Black was killed on Father’s Day in a car accident.
Brian had survived mental illness for over 25 years, which included more than 20 varied hospitalizations, a jump mid-span off the Coronado Bridge in 1988, numerous suicide attempts including a police assisted shooting (1993 he was shot 5 times) eventually, a court ordered “visit” to a locked facility with court ordered medicine, saved his life. After 2 years, Brian went back to school, received a certification to be a counselor for severely mentally ill, he married Judy and was working at Alpine Residential Home as a counselor when he was killed. [Read more…]
By Joe Flynn
“Planning? We don’t need no stinking planning!” No, I am not talking about The Treasure of Sierra Madre, I’m talking about the treasure of our old Central Library. One would think after decades of working to build a new central library, some thought would have been given to a new use for the old library.
And it is not just another old building; this one has a lot or treasured memories for many San Diegans, especially those who spent hours there doing school projects and term papers or just for the pure enjoyment of literature. [Read more…]
By Michael-Leonard Creditor
Last Saturday, I joined more then 40 other San Diegans on a 350.org-sponsored trip to the Break Free From Fossil Fuels demonstration in Los Angeles. It was a good day of activism, but that’s not what this is about; this is just the set-up
On the way back, I realized that with this demonstration, being mirrored all over the world, climate action was taking a bold new step. It used to be, the mainstream environmental movement had the moderate goal of phasing out the use of fossil fuels as we further developed wind, solar, and other renewable energy sources. We seemed to know that we still needed some oil-based energy while those other forms are being developed.
No more. In the last few (or perhaps several) months, since the KXL pipeline was defeated, the drumbeat has grown more radical. Don’t defeat pipelines, and oil trains, and fracking separately; go right to the source. [Read more…]
By Luz Victoria
I’m in high school, too young to vote and I’m for Bernie.
At school I have heard my peers talking about Bernie’s visit to National City and they are excited. I can’t help but think about how National City is known for its poverty, and we would never have imagined a political name as big as Sanders planning to visit a place where the youth are predominantly black, brown, and Filipino students.
I’m a freshman in high school, and I’ve never been interested in a presidential race until now. [Read more…]
By Frank Thomas
I’ve always thought it would be nearly impossible for Bernie to ultimately win over the establishment status-quo Democratic forces so typically fearful of genuine progressive change … so caught up in an incremental rearguard progress and presidential nomination campaign that is manipulatively, simplistically characterized as one of ‘idealism’ versus ‘realism.’ So, the message in short seems to be, vote for the candidate of “lowered expectations.”
Rule by American Dynasty appears to be sinking deeper into our oligarchical democracy led by the anointed-to-be queen, Hillary … empowered by a pervasive political network built up during Bill’s presidency and her time as an NY senator and Secretary of State; helped by the corruption of ‘Big Money,’ a plutocratic biased media, the premature, nefarious endorsements of 500 superdelegates BEFORE the nomination campaign began. [Read more…]
By Enrique Limón
On Thursday, April 28 at 1 pm, San Diego’s Historical Resources Board will hold a meeting to strip away any historical association to the Caliente mural located on the back wall of downtown’s California Theatre (included San Diego’s Register of Designated Historical Resources in 1990).
In December 2011, after news broke that a beer company was set to paint over the mural, a petition on Change.org garnered over 1,000 signatures and made sure city officials listened loud and clear. An independent historic report commissioned by the Save Our Heritage Organisation determined the mural itself was also of historical significance. Now, the city wants to make way for big development. [Read more…]
By A Concerned Teacher
What began a decade ago as an effective collaboration between a school board and its teachers has become a divisive tool enabling the Rancho Santa Fe superintendent to use the threat of expelling the children of teachers in their district if they will not agree to settle their contract.
By using a sunset clause in current contract language, Rancho Santa Fe administration simply stalls negotiations to run out the clock and stipulates that if there is no settlement, Board policy 4111 will be void and teachers will be forced to remove their children from the Rancho Santa Fe School District. [Read more…]
An Open Letter to the New York Times
I’ve been stewing over your New York Times story on Bernie Sanders’ sweep of Alaska, Hawaii and Washington states ever since I read IN ITS SECOND SENTENCE that those victories were a consequence of “the largely white and liberal electorate of the Pacific Northwest.” Did you really mean to write that? [Read more…]
By Howard Blackson and Don Leichtling / UrbDeZine
North Park is one of San Diego’s finest communities. It has many distinctive neighborhoods, with most containing block after block of beautiful bungalows of all varieties. It contains award winning schools and, every quarter-mile or so, neighborhood centers that contain great restaurants, small shops, brew pubs, and corner markets. Hipsters, elderly, and families with kids love living in North Park because it is already both walkable and diverse.
Historic North Park also has its share of problems because of its age, but now changes are occurring to make it even better because North Park is now one of San Diego’s most desirable places to live. The City has earmarked funds for the long-awaited new urban park behind the North Park theater, SANDAG has begun design of major new bicycle-friendly routes, MTS has just finished building Rapid Bus lanes with stations along El Cajon Boulevard (ECB), and new joint-use park facilities are also being developed with local schools. [Read more…]
By Michael-Leonard Creditor
Listening to the news that March 15 was the fifth anniversary of the start of the current Syrian internal conflict it came to me that there’s no such thing as a “civil war” anymore.
Of course, I’m familiar with the joke about that phrase being an oxymoron. But, I mean an armed conflict between factions or regions within a country, rather than between separate nations.
Used to be, a nation/state could have a domestic conflict (again, I don’t mean a husband and wife argument) and it wouldn’t affect any other nation/state. But, that’s simply not true any longer. It is seeing the terrible results on the international stage of Syria’s five-year old war that creates and cements this new truth in my mind. [Read more…]
By Frank Thomas
Vote for Bernie in the primary and get a guaranteed win for Trump in November. … or is it … Vote for Hillary in the primary and get a guaranteed win for Trump in November?
I prefer a presidential candidate of exemplary integrity, keen problem-solving skills, a dedication to improving the common man’s welfare and equitable sharing in society’s progress (or breakdowns) – as opposed to the systemic marginalization and impoverishment of Main Street taking place the last 35-40 years.
As we have moved further and further to the right in past years, we’ve moved further away from our founding values of fair play, justice, and a rising tide for all. [Read more…]
By Howard M. Blackson III / San Diego UrbDeZine
California’s Bay Area housing disaster tells Southern Californians that our housing crisis will only get worse and doing nothing is both an irrational and irresponsible response. We are faced with deciding to have more neighbors or pay more taxes as we desperately need money to fix our city’s crumbling infrastructure. The conundrum is that we despise taxes and the mere mention of ‘density’ polarizes any discussion into either demands for no new growth or building tall towers. [Read more…]
By Justin DeCesare
Recently, current 7th District City Councilman Scott Sherman released a brief description of a measure he intends to champion that is meant to speed the permitting process for charter schools attempting to open throughout the city.
The Conditional Use Permits (CUPs) charter schools need to obtain in order to open a facility are in place in order to ensure the city is making a proper land use decision as to whether or not the school itself is in a viable location.
As this proposal makes its way through the city decision-making process, it’s imperative we look at the ramifications far beyond just talking points and rhetoric about how the permitting process is unfair. [Read more…]
Editor’s Note: The Board of Directors of Civic San Diego is set to approve an economic development work plan at their February 24th meeting. In short, this is their grand vision for San Diego. Sadly, this vision doesn’t include the living wage provisions required of large local development projects over the past decade. Board member Murtaza Baxamusa was the sole opposing vote at a recent committee meeting.
By Murtaza Baxamusa
For low-income communities, the promise of “economic development” is often held as the basis for taxpayer-subsidized projects. However, developer-driven focus on projects, rather than people, has the theory of local economic development upside-down. This is what happens when a downtown development corporation starts working on a plan for economic development for other neighborhoods.
It is often easy to forget why we do economic development? Not every project, nor every neighborhood needs it. Ultimately, the key metric to measure the success (or failure) of any economic development intervention should be whether local residents are working in better-paying jobs. If the disposable income of the average household in a neighborhood increases, the market will respond accordingly. There will be more amenities, shops, restaurants, services that will be attracted to the buying power of local residents. On the other hand, if household incomes in a neighborhood stagnate, then local businesses stagnate too and perpetuate the lack of opportunity. [Read more…]
By Cory Briggs
I was thrilled to read in the San Diego Free Press the recent critique of the Citizens’ Plan that former City Councilmember Donna Frye and I have been promoting and that will appear on the November 2016 ballot. The critique’s author (a lobbyist and developer’s lawyer) raises an excellent question about the initiative’s effects on East Village and Barrio Logan, but he provides nothing except wrong answers that rest on a series of false claims. Responding to the critique thus gives me a good opportunity to explain some of the benefits of the initiative that have not yet received a lot of media attention.
Before debunking the specific claims in the critique, it is important to understand what the Citizens’ Plan does and does not do downtown. For starters, the initiative allows convention-center facilities, a sports facility (not necessarily football), or combined facilities within the boundaries of Imperial Avenue to the south, 17th Street to the east, K Street to the north, and Park Boulevard to the west – and nowhere else. Significantly, it includes no mandate that such development be given priority over any other development projects, offers zero guaranty that the development will come to fruition, allows the development to be done “in addition to” all other development already allowed, and requires that the development be done (if it’s done at all) “in accordance with all other applicable legal requirements.” In short, the initiative does nothing more than enhance downtown’s revitalization prospects. [Read more…]
By Mic Porte
San Diego hosts many people. We advertise our world famous beaches, attractions and weather to the world. We invite people to come. We pay fancy advertising campaigns on the billboards of Times Square in New York City at New Year’s.
The police, fire-rescue, lifeguards, Coast Guard, cannot patrol every inch of coastline, border, road, etc. It is a tribute to the Good Samaritans among us that there are not more tragedies along the coast, on the roads, and in other public places. [Read more…]
By Lindsay Burningham / San Diego Education Association
As an elementary teacher I consider it a privilege to work with the students of San Diego. When students are engaged by educators within a climate of trust, we share in their joy when those “light bulb” moments happen and students are achieving at their full potential.
As the president of the San Diego Education Association, I have had the opportunity to expand my professional learning through school site visits throughout the city of San Diego. Irrespective of the amazing work I see accomplished by outstanding educators, paraprofessionals and administrators in those schools every day, I also see the effects of an economic system that has swung out of balance. Hardworking parents of our students are finding it more difficult to get by, even as an economic recovery has increased the fortunes of those at the very top of the economic class.
Now the Supreme Court is poised to hear a case that seeks to make it even worse for workers who want to stand together to have a voice in their workplace. [Read more…]
Urban development, environmental mitigation and quality of life in the time of climate change
By John Stump
It’s happened again, as predicted. The City of San Diego’s long troubled Wightman Street Park flooded on January 5 and was under three feet of water again! Neighboring houses were flooded again and may be ruined.
In the 1920s this area in what is now known as City Heights was an unincorporated area in the county of San Diego. It contained a small lake, dance hall and other rural amusements. The City of San Diego annexed the area and built a realigned University Avenue. [Read more…]
By Jess Jollett / Reclaim the Community
On Friday night, the Southeast community of San Diego hosted nationally renowned public intellectual and activist, Dr. Cornel West.
Dr. West came to speak at Lincoln High School after learning of the gang injunction case brought against 33 young, black men using an untested penal code, P.C. 182.5. The case brought national attention to District Attorney’s use of this draconian and obscure code resulting from a proposition passed in 2000.
The event was sponsored by Reclaiming the Community, a coalition of individuals, community leaders, and organizations that embrace the historic, rich, and diverse culture of Southeast San Diego, and recognize its ability to become a leader in community participation. [Read more…]
By Lucas O’Connor
I’m not from San Diego.
I grew up in Arlington, Virginia, surrounded by the Lee-Custis Mansion, Lee Highway, Washington-Lee High School, and Jefferson Davis Highway. A place where schools and streets co-mingle presidents and traitors. Raised in a house a mile and a half from the intersection of Lee Highway and Lincoln Street with no apparent embarrassment or irony. Maybe it’s a perfect metaphor.
I know a little bit about what it means to be raised as though the Confederacy is an awkward family footnote we try not to bring up at Thanksgiving, even in an otherwise liberal bastion like Arlington (Obama twice won by 40 points there). I know growing up that way warps you. There’s no way around it. When these people are not only normalized, but memorialized, it’s a struggle to grasp the enormity of what they did. [Read more…]
By Stan Levin
The ROK (Republic of Korea) has had in place a standing invitation for veterans of the Korea War to visit Seoul and be guests of the South Korean government for one week. With the exception of one half the airfare and a fee paid to the arranging agency, all expenses, first class hotel accommodations, meals including banquets, tours, ceremonies, gifts and entertainment are courtesy of the Korean government.
I have been able take advantage of the opportunity two times, once in 2003, during which the sixtieth anniversary of the cease fire was being widely celebrated. [Read more…]
Editors Note: This article was submitted in response to a recent decision made by the County of San Diego without public notice allowing paramilitary training at a camp southeast of Alpine named Covert Canyon.
By Peter Mesich
Around 2012, Mark Halcon, the owner of American Shooting Center, was in the news because he was cited by San Diego County Code Enforcement for illegally operating a private military training camp. The location, called Covert Canyon Training Center, was initially cited by County Code Enforcement for illegal shooting.
Even though Covert Canyon was never permitted by the Sheriffs Department, and they submitted a Major Use Permit (MUP) in 2007, they continued shooting operations in accord with the agreement- that per the zoning ordinance, Halcon and Covert Canyon could have their friends and invitees shoot on the property as guests. [Read more…]
By Matt Valenti
I trust, Dear Reader, that you will forgive me if the tale I am about to repeat frightens you more than it ought, but this is a tale that insists upon being told.
Though I had good reason to doubt the veracity of the story when first I heard it, nevertheless, it has left me with a sensation of nagging anxiety that, like a perverted old roommate from college who has overstayed his welcome on your sofa bed, simply won’t go away.
Therefore, I beg of you, by all means keep this story well hidden away from the eyes and ears of the more impressionable and naïve among us in this fair city of San Diego—including small children, foreign tourists, and members of the city council. [Read more…]