Culture

Thumbnail image for “100 Things” on My Mind

“100 Things” on My Mind

by Ernie McCray 04.20.2015 Books & Poetry

By Ernie McCray

I just finished a very pleasant read, “100 Things Arizona Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die,” a book written by two of the best sports writers around, Steve Rivera and Anthony Gimino.

They write a lot about Arizona Basketball History and having played a role in that history, and having been around it all my life, the book couldn’t help but resonate with me in special ways.

In a chapter about University of Arizona traditions I found the words to a fight song that’s flowed through my veins and bones ever since I first heard it as a 14 year old, back in 1952:

Bear Down, Arizona
Bear Down, Red and Blue
Bear Down, Arizona
Hit ‘em hard, let ‘em know who’s who
Bear Down, Arizona
Bear Down, Red and Blue
Go, go Wildcats, go
Arizona Bear Down

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My California Drought

by Will Falk 04.20.2015 Books & Poetry

By Will Falk

there’s water, at least,
on the coast
and that’s where I’m heading

when stopped near
Petaluma, California
a sunburnt sign
hangs over a vineyard
celebrating a family
insurance business’s
longevity

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The History of Neighborhood House in Logan Heights: Dancers and Dancing

by Maria E. Garcia 04.18.2015 Arts

Emma Lopez, Nachita Hernandez–and Rita Hayworth!

By Maria E. Garcia

Dancing lessons and dancing have been a focus at Neighborhood House since the early days. As stated in previous articles the dancers often performed at fund raisers held at the Marston House. The most memorable show from the early years was when they performed at the reception held for Jane Addams, founder of Hull House and a noted social worker. In those days they also performed in Balboa Park and at the Presido. Dance productions gave the entertainers from Logan Heights the opportunity to visit other parts of the city as well as for the members of the majority community to see the talent of the dancers from Neighborhood House.

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Thumbnail image for San Diego’s Family Jewels Losing Their Luster

San Diego’s Family Jewels Losing Their Luster

by Doug Porter 04.17.2015 Business

By Doug Porter

It’s been a bad week for cherished institutions in America’s Finest City. Our blessed football team, our world famous zoo, our info-tainment water park, and the mayor’s Hope Diamond of re-development all find themselves in trouble of one sort or another.

You might even say business as usual is getting unusual for San Diego. While a few instances of bad news do not constitute an omen of fundamental change, there’s reasons to believe we have not seen the end of these wannabe sordid sagas.

Then there are the shenanigans taking place in the electoral arena. Jacquie Atkinson is challenging Rep. Scott Peters. Supervisor Dave Roberts is in some kind of trouble. And those pesky House Republicans are after funding studying climate change, Again.

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Thumbnail image for Playwright Paul S. Flores’ PLACAS: The Most Dangerous Tattoo is Coming to San Diego

Playwright Paul S. Flores’ PLACAS: The Most Dangerous Tattoo is Coming to San Diego

by Brent E. Beltrán 04.17.2015 Books & Poetry

Part Two of a Two Part Interview with the Former Chula Vistan and UCSD Student

By Brent E. Beltrán

For Part I of the interview please visit.

In this second installment of my two part interview with playwright Paul S. Flores he discusses the founding of Los Delicados, what poetry means to him, his novel Along The Border Lies, what attracted him to theatre, his play PLACAS: The Most Dangerous Tattoo, the casting of Culture Clash’s Ric Salinas in the lead role, the outreach for the play, him being named a Doris Duke Artist, and what advice he’d give to fledgling minority writers.

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Geo-Poetic Spaces: Mission Beach

by Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes 04.17.2015 Books & Poetry

By Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes

Mission Beach

The boardwalk
wakes to surfers
slipping out of morning swells
window washers
wiping away coastal haze

In Belmont Park
workers inspect
the 90-year-old Dipper

Laminated waves of wood

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Thumbnail image for Playwright Paul S. Flores Brings PLACAS to San Diego

Playwright Paul S. Flores Brings PLACAS to San Diego

by Brent E. Beltrán 04.16.2015 Books & Poetry

Part One of a Two Part Interview with the Former Chula Vistan and UCSD Student

By Brent E. Beltrán

Writer Paul S. Flores grew up in Chula Vista and attended UCSD. He moved to San Francisco to pursue his Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. While there he immersed himself in the Bay Area arts/activist scene, helped found Youth Speaks, co-founded the irreverent poetry troupe Los Delicados, wrote an award winning novel, Along The Border Lies, wrote and performed his original plays, had children, and was recently named a Doris Duke Artist. His play PLACAS: The Most Dangerous Tattoo is touring California with a stop in San Diego April 23-25.

I met Paul, along with his Delicado compatriots, at a Floricanto Festival in San Jose in 1999 while publisher of the grassroots literary publishing house Calaca Press. In 2000, Calaca Press produced the spoken word CD anthology, Raza Spoken Here 2, which featured their poem Presente! In 2001 Calaca released their full length CD, Word Descarga. Since then Paul has gone on to do some tremendous literary work.

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Thumbnail image for A Video Interview With and Poetry by Amiri Baraka

A Video Interview With and Poetry by Amiri Baraka

by Staff 04.16.2015 Books & Poetry

By SDFP Staff

The following video conducted in 1998 by poet E. Ethelbert Miller of HoCoPoLitSo’s The Writing Life features an interview with, and poetry by, the late, great, radical poet Amiri Baraka (formerly known as Leroi Jones).

His website states:
“[D]ramatist, novelist and poet, Amiri Baraka is one of the most respected and widely published African-American writers. With the beginning of Black Civil Rights Movements during the sixties, Baraka explored the anger of African-Americans and used his writings as a weapon against racism. Also, he advocated scientific socialism with his revolutionary inclined poems and aimed at creating aesthetic through them.

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Eduardo Galeano 1940-2015

by Eric J. Garcia 04.16.2015 Cartoons
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Puerto Rican Obituary

by At Large 04.15.2015 Books & Poetry

By Pedro Pietri

Pedro Pietri, El Reverendo de la Iglesia de la Madre de los Tomates and the Spanglish Metaphor Consultant of the Latin Insomniacs Motorcycle Club Without Motorcycles, was born in Puerto Rico in 1944 and grew up in Harlem. He first read Puerto Rican Obituary in 1969 at a Young Lords Party rally in New York. In 1973 Monthly Review Press published his first collection of poetry, Puerto Rican Obituary. He, along with Miguel Algarín, Miguel Piñero, Victor Hernandez Cruz and many others were an integral part of the Nuyorican Poetry Movement. On March 2, 2004 he died of cancer mid-flight on his way back to New York after spending time at an experimental cancer treatment facility in Tijuana, Mexico. While in Tijuana he was cared for by his brother Joe Pietri, longtime friend, poet, and former San Diego resident Jesus “Papoleto” Melendez, and the folks at Calaca Press including future San Diego Free Press writer and Editorial Board member Brent E. Beltrán. 

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Thumbnail image for Eduardo Galeano, Sacrilegious Women

Eduardo Galeano, Sacrilegious Women

by Source 04.15.2015 Books & Poetry

Eduardo Galeano / Tom Dispatch

Editor Note: Acclaimed author and champion of social justice Eduardo Galeano died on April 13, 2015.

His book Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent came out in 1971 and proved to be the first vampire thriller of our American imperial age. Its blood-sucker of a plot was too outrageous not to be mesmerizing: a country called the United States declares a “good neighbor” policy for those living in its hemisphere because they just look so tasty, and then proceeds to suck the economic blood out of country after country. Hollywood never topped it. “True Blood” and “The Vampire Diaries” couldn’t hold an incisor to it; Buffy was a punk by comparison.

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San Diego Latino Film Festival 2015 Wrap Up

by At Large 04.15.2015 Film & Theater

By Mukul Khurana

In case it wasn’t clear—The San Diego Latino Film Festival went through some big changes this year. The main change was the venue—from Hazard Center to Fashion Valley. Phil Lorenzo was on hand to explain the logic behind the move. Hazard Center wasn’t big enough to accommodate the growth expected over the next few years. As Exhibition Director, Phil has to look to the future of the festival. Besides the growth expected, there was the issue of working with sponsors (Lexus and Microsoft come to mind). Phil added that even the possibility of working in their storefronts was an option—moving into the mall from the theaters to a minor degree.

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This is for…

by Brent E. Beltrán 04.14.2015 Books & Poetry

By Brent E. Beltrán

This is for those that came before
The ones that paved the way
Blazed the trail
And beat the path

This is for he, she
You, me
Everybody in this neighborhood
         We

This is for the park builders
The pillar painters
Sculpture makers
Cactus garden caretakers

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Thumbnail image for The Volunteers of the San Salvador

The Volunteers of the San Salvador

by Judi Curry 04.14.2015 Culture

Editor: The launch of the San Salvador, the replica of Cabrillo’s ship being built alongside Point Loma, – originally scheduled for mid-April – has been postponed. Here, our Judi Curry continues her focus on the many volunteers who helped to build the ship. Cabrillo himself and what he and the Missionaries wrought here in San Diego is still controversial and the subject of a debate on our website.

By Judi Curry /OB Rag

Last year I did a story of the women volunteers working on the San Salvador. If you are not familiar with the San Salvador, it was the flagship of explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo in 1542 when he sailed into San Diego Bay.  Cabrillo, who sailed from Portugal, was the first European to explore San Diego Bay and the coast of California.

Construction of the 92-foot- long replica almost completed and can be seen driving down Harbor Blvd. on the south side of the street just east of the airport if you are coming from Pt. Loma.

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Far Away

by At Large 04.13.2015 Books & Poetry

By Tara Evonne Trudell

crossing
the mojave desert
I dreamed
my people
moving through
heat waves
and hunger pains
mothers fathers
children
willing life
dying to cross
a line
drawn in sand
drones hovering in air
dangerous spy tactics
always monitoring
the calculation
in military moves

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Origins of Islamophobia

by Eric J. Garcia 04.11.2015 Cartoons
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Thumbnail image for Geo-Poetic Spaces: My Uncle’s Cigar

Geo-Poetic Spaces: My Uncle’s Cigar

by Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes 04.10.2015 Books & Poetry

By Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes

Cigar smoke
blows my Uncle’s Cessna
over the Andes
home
where he strikes a match
lights another Habana

Hand rolled tobacco leaves
crackling
into an amiable glow:

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Martinez School Board Member Feels the Heat

by Junco Canché 04.09.2015 Cartoons
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Thumbnail image for An Inconvenient Companion: For Mary Kowit

An Inconvenient Companion: For Mary Kowit

by At Large 04.09.2015 Books & Poetry

By Jim Moreno

Grief is an inconvenient companion,
In the grocery store line, in the middle of a sentence,
Hanging clothes on the line, it doesn’t care,

It grabs you by your lapels, It grabs you by your throat,
It low blows your gut, It shakes you and shakes you,
Fills your eyes with rain, then suddenly,
It lets you go. Just like that―gone.

It doesn’t care where it flows,
It must gush & flow; return later when you
Least expect it and shake you and shake you again.

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Thumbnail image for Grandchildren of the United Fruit Company

Grandchildren of the United Fruit Company

by At Large 04.08.2015 Books & Poetry

By Sonia Gutierrez

Knock, knock, knock.
America, there are children
knocking at your door.
Can you hear their soft
knocks like conch
shells, whispering
in your ears?

Weep, weep, weep.
Can you hear
the children whimpering?
Their moist eyes
yearning to see friendly TV-gringo-houses
swing their front doors
wide open.

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The Chinese in Mexicali

by At Large 04.08.2015 Culture

By Barbara Zaragoza / South Bay Compass

Welcome to my “ethnic enclave” tour of the border! I’ve been fascinated by how many different languages, cultures and religious groups exist along both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. Today, I focus on the Chinese.

Mexicali is the capital of Baja California and it’s a booming city of around 1 million residents. The city also has a unique claim to fame: La Chinesca or the largest Chinatown in Mexico.

The Chinese influence remains substantial here, even as there are perhaps fewer than 5,000 full blooded Chinese and three times that number of mixed Chinese-Mexicans.

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Fallen Leaves

by At Large 04.07.2015 Books & Poetry

By Viet Mai

My grandma died
and I don’t know how to cry about it.

I was too busy working.
Too busy playing Halloween.
Too busy trying to create a future,
that I forgot about losing my past.

My bloodlines feel so thin at times,
it’s no wonder why I get anemic.

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Thumbnail image for Can John Oliver Do for Mass Surveillance What He Did for Net Neutrality?

Can John Oliver Do for Mass Surveillance What He Did for Net Neutrality?

by Source 04.07.2015 Culture

By Joan McCarter/Daily Kos

On Sunday, John Oliver had what is easily the most educational and fun half hour of journalism on the surveillance state that you’re ever likely to see, including an interview with Edward Snowden.

What John Oliver did for net neutrality last summer, he’s doing now for an issue that’s pretty damned important, too. Namely, the government sucking up all your electronic communications in the name of national security.

As he points out in opening the segment, June 1 is a key date: that’s when Section 215 of the Patriot Act has to be renewed, tweaked, or ended.

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Yoga in Encinitas, Gays in Indiana: The Bigots of the Right Fight On

by Doug Porter 04.06.2015 Columns

By Doug Porter 

The 4th District Court of Appeal has upheld a lower court ruling allowing yoga to be taught as a form of physical fitness instruction in Encinitas schools. The lawsuit in question was brought by parents of two students who claimed the practice promoted Hinduism and inhibited Christianity. 

The court of public opinion forced the Indiana state legislature to amend its special version of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act saying it cannot be used as a legal defense to discriminate against patrons based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. 

You don’t have to look very hard at the backers of the lawsuit and the original version of that legislation to discover that they were pursuing the same agenda. These instances are about furthering the cause of social conservatives to impose their standards of society. This is what they would call fighting the “war on religion.” 

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The Dead Write No Poems

by Will Falk 04.06.2015 Books & Poetry

By Will Falk

National Poetry Month happens to mark the year anniversary since I set out on the road to dedicate my life to the struggle against this dominant culture hell-bent on destroying the world.

Questions arise on this road, questions that I must answer if I am going to continue on this way.

One of the questions I seek answers for involves poetry. I love poetry. I love reading poetry, I love listening to poetry, and I love writing poetry. But, the hour is extremely late, and poetry means nothing if it is not used as a weapon in defense of the real world.

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