Culture

Thumbnail image for Scariest Halloween Masks of 2014

Scariest Halloween Masks of 2014

by Junco Canché 10.31.2014 Cartoons
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Thumbnail image for Geo-Poetic Spaces:  The Gods Find Me

Geo-Poetic Spaces: The Gods Find Me

by Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes 10.31.2014 Books & Poetry

By Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes

If I had a rupee
for every manifestation of the Divine
that has crossed my path
I’d be wearing
the gold embroidered silk
of a wealthy landowner
rather than the cotton thread
of a Brahmin/poet
an untouchable station of life
in a society
squeezing a “few drops of honey” from a thirsty globe
enslaved by suffering …

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Thumbnail image for What Does Día de los Muertos Mean to You?

What Does Día de los Muertos Mean to You?

by Brent E. Beltrán 10.30.2014 Culture

A list of the many Day of the Dead events happening this weekend in San Diego

By Brent E. Beltrán

Every year Mexicans celebrate their dead by honoring and remembering passed loved ones or people they may have admired on los días de los muertos, the Days of the Dead. November 1 is for honoring the children that have moved on from this mortal plane. November 2 is for remembering the adults.

How one honors those that are no longer here varies. The meaning does as well. Though it always comes down to remembering.

I asked some people I know, what does Día de los Muertos mean to you? Here are their responses and then a listing of Día de los Muertos celebrations throughout San Diego.

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Thumbnail image for Ebola, Not Guns, is Our Biggest Threat

Ebola, Not Guns, is Our Biggest Threat

by Eric J. Garcia 10.30.2014 Cartoons
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Thumbnail image for They Had Nothing to Say to Each Other (Crossing Borders)

They Had Nothing to Say to Each Other (Crossing Borders)

by Ernie McCray 10.30.2014 Culture

By Ernie McCray

I was sitting around, cooling it, when I thought I should write. With no topics in mind I went to creative writing prompts dot com and, without looking, I randomly moved the browsing arrow to a number on the web page and clicked.

I kind of flinched, too, because when I do this I feel compelled to honor the prompt no matter what because one could easily not want to do what’s asked and look for something they like and, as it turned out, I wasn’t particularly interested with my assignment which was “Write a mini-story (100 to 250 words) that begins with ‘They had nothing to say to each other.'”

I was hoping for something more, more, well, I don’t know what I was hoping for but this assignment wasn’t it.

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Thumbnail image for Recreating the San Salvador: A Fighting Top Goes Up and Cannon Gets Fired

Recreating the San Salvador: A Fighting Top Goes Up and Cannon Gets Fired

by Judi Curry 10.29.2014 Culture

Part Two: An Update on the Progress in Building a Historically Accurate Replica of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo’s Flagship

By Judi Curry

When I arrived at the San Salvador to see the progress being made in the building of the ship, I was a few minutes late and the fighting top was already being placed on the ship.

As I stood on the ground and looked up to the sky, one of the volunteers – Bob Wilson– began explaining to me what was happening. I asked him if it was the crows nest they were installing, but he said no. In the days of the San Salvador, what was being placed there was called a fighting top.

He went on to explain that  a fighting top was an enlarged top with small guns, designed to fire down at the deck of enemy ships. They could also be manned by snipers armed with muskets or rifles.  The fighting top  of yesterday is now referred to as the crows nest but with a slightly different role.

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Thumbnail image for It’s the OB Rag’s 7th Birthday!

It’s the OB Rag’s 7th Birthday!

by Frank Gormlie 10.29.2014 Culture

By Frank Gormlie

This is the 7th birthday for the online OB Rag. During the October fires of 2007, Patty Jones and I launched the OB Rag out of our small cottage on Long Branch Avenue. Many of our early articles critiqued both the mainstream media’s coverage of the fires plus how the fires were being fought.

Seven years later, much has changed, of course. We’ve gone from a little-known blog to one of the best community-based websites in Southern California, which is constantly referred to by the local mainstream media, police, and local politicians, and occasionally we make the national news. Other notes of interest: quotes from the OB Rag made it up on the ceiling of OB’s newest public “comfort station” on the beach – whose design won an Orchid Award in 2012.

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Thumbnail image for Two Poems: Sex & Death in the Desert; The Hourglass

Two Poems: Sex & Death in the Desert; The Hourglass

by At Large 10.29.2014 Books & Poetry

By George Howell

Sex & Death in the Desert

The big female snout beetle plays dead
When I prod her with a stick,
Apoininae-like
As the field guide says,
Her smaller mate laying dead
In the debris collected in the plastic water bottle,
His legs and snout curled
In the rigid repose of death.

Life is fragile here
In the high desert …

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Thumbnail image for Why Is Feminism More Offensive Than Rape, Inequality and the F-Word?

Why Is Feminism More Offensive Than Rape, Inequality and the F-Word?

by Annie Lane 10.28.2014 Activism

By Annie Lane

Feminism comes in many shapes and sizes, though if you ask author Karin Agness of the Time Magazine article Seriously? This Is What Passes for Feminism in America it appears that it should only ever manifest itself in the form of an 11-year-old girl who was shot in the head, as was the case for Malala Yousafzai.

Thankfully, Yousafzai survived the senseless and depraved attack on her life by the Taliban in 2012, and has gone on to be the voice for women’s education and rights in Pakistan. And the world is better because of her.

But according to Agness, American girls, such as the ones who appeared in the controversial FCKH8 video that went viral last week, don’t even graze the surface of what it means to be a Feminist, and instead are merely some part of a cheap marketing ploy to sell t-shirts.

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Thumbnail image for Vince Sardina’s Labor of Love on the San Salvador

Vince Sardina’s Labor of Love on the San Salvador

by Judi Curry 10.28.2014 Culture

Part One of Two Updates on the Progress in Building a Historically Accurate Replica of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo’s Flagship

By Judi Curry

There are not many times in life that you meet a person you don’t want to say goodbye to. This was not a romantic endeavor, but rather a person that is so genuine, so humble that you obtain energy just from being with him.

I recently met one of those extraordinary men – a Sicilian, who has worked in the boat business for 50-odd years, learning the trade as a teen in Sicily. He is a wonderful craftsmen and you can’t help but marvel at the finished product he creates.

Who is this man, you ask? A little background first.

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Thumbnail image for Darrell Issa’s App for Ebola

Darrell Issa’s App for Ebola

by Doug Porter 10.27.2014 Culture

By Doug Porter

It’s week five of a major health crisis in the United States and there are signs the epidemic is waning. The number cases of actual Ebola now equals the number of times Rush Limbaugh has been married– four. The number of hysterical media reports and opportunist politicians playing on people’s fear of the unknown has yet to be determined.

The CDC and the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs & Border Protection (CBP) is now screening at five U.S. airports that receive over 94 percent of travelers from the Ebola-affected nations of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says they began actively preparing for an outbreak in March of this year, the correct protocols for treating patients were not in place at Texas Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas when Thomas Duncan, the initial Ebola patient showed up in the emergency room. It didn’t help matters that Duncan was less than forthcoming in telling medical personnel about his potential exposure to the disease.

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Thumbnail image for Cross Border Culture at The Front Art Gallery

Cross Border Culture at The Front Art Gallery

by Source 10.25.2014 Arts

By Barbara Zaragoza / South Bay Compass

When you live in the South Bay, the city of Tijuana appears on the horizon just about wherever you go. If you don’t cross the border daily, then most of your neighbors and friends do. South Bay residents know that Tijuana offers shopping, art, business opportunities, time with family and, of course, good food and wine.

So when a wonderful on-line newspaper like Voice of San Diego descends upon our border neighborhood of San Ysidro, bringing with them an audience of “northerners” to tell them about how they should visit Tijuana, we South Bay locals look at each other rather perplexed. Don’t they already know that?

On October 22nd Voice of San Diego’s culture report writer, Alex Zaragoza, hosted a “Meeting of the Minds” at The Front Art Gallery: a building along historic San Ysidro Boulevard designed by famed architect Louis Gill in 1929. The purpose of the meeting was to highlight the many delights of Tijuana. Karl Strauss offered beer, perhaps to make the experience less frightening to the audience members who presumably trekked all the way from places like North Park to visit the depths of the border region.

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Thumbnail image for The History of Neighborhood House in Logan Heights: Laura Rodriguez, the Family Matriarch Who Became Barrio Activist

The History of Neighborhood House in Logan Heights: Laura Rodriguez, the Family Matriarch Who Became Barrio Activist

by Maria E. Garcia 10.25.2014 Activism

By Maria E. Garcia

On October 5, 1970, Logan Heights resident Laura Rodriguez chained herself to the Neighborhood House doors, setting in motion what has come to be known as The Occupation.  The fearless sixty-one year old grandmother chose this very public display of activism to force a decision on the future of Neighborhood House.

The services that Neighborhood House had provided to the community for decades were  reduced and eliminated as that location evolved in the mid-1960’s into an administrative office. Laura and Logan Heights activists would ultimately win this battle, with Neighborhood House becoming a Centro de Salud– health clinic– as the community had demanded.

I will describe in much more detail the actual occupation in a future article.  On this October anniversary, Laura Rodriguez deserves her own series of articles that traces her life from her Logan Heights beginnings to the years she lived at the Marston House and her return to Logan Heights.

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Thumbnail image for Your Daily DeMaio: Insults, Excuses and Deception

Your Daily DeMaio: Insults, Excuses and Deception

by Doug Porter 10.24.2014 Columns

By Doug Porter

The more we learn about the inner workings of the Carl DeMaio campaign, the more bizarre it gets. If you believe defenders of the Republican Candidate for the 52nd Congressional District, former campaign staffer Todd Bosnich has perhaps gone back in time to fabricate emails (much of which are mundane) and/or hacked Carl DeMaio’s Sony VIAO laptop.

Yesterday we learned about a fake twitter account allegedly used by DeMaio to transmit trashy blurbs about various local politicos. Then there’s the hilarious (in a sad way) and ongoing attempt by a UT-San Diego editor to justify their coverage (or lack thereof) of the steadily leaking emails purportedly from the DeMaio campaign.

City Beat columnist Dave Maass spotted an item in a emailed worklist regarding an assignment to “finish Wikipedia”, apparently directing a staffer to make favorable edits on entries related to the campaign. This sort of thing would be a big no-no, and it’s something DeMaio and/or his staff were busted (by Maass) for in 2011.

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Malin Burnham and the U-T San Diego Idea Factory

by Frank Gormlie 10.24.2014 Business

union-tribunefrontbldgPart Two of two parts

By Frank Gormlie

As we delve more now in Part Two into Malin Burnham, “the last Corte Maderan” as Mike Davis calls him, and his possible take-over of San Diego’s only daily newspaper, longtime City Heights community activist, Anna Daniels, one of the editors at San Diego Free Press, cautioned:

When the news broke that Malin Burnham was interested in purchasing the U-T San Diego with the intent of turning it into a non-profit, the main and often only description of him was as a San Diego “philanthropist”. And it is true–Burnham is known for his extensive philanthropy.

He is also known for his role as a local real estate developer, as chairman of First National Bank at San Diego and as a former Director of San Diego Gas and Electric. It might prove useful in the future to keep these other interests in mind.

Malin Burnham fullWhich pretty much sums up Part One for me. As City Hall veteran, Norma Damashek, reminded us:

As you know, Burnham has been a VIP mover and shaker in San Diego for decades. He’s not stingy with his money. Some is philanthropy, some is strictly political.

It’s also useful to know that Burnham represents a wing of the local Establishment that has challenged the other, more conservative wing on numerous occasions – with the back and forth between the different factions going for decades.

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Thumbnail image for 6 Common Mistakes Made By Cities and Towns in Urban Renewal

6 Common Mistakes Made By Cities and Towns in Urban Renewal

by Source 10.24.2014 Activism

by Bill Adams / San Diego UrbDeZine

For the last half century, cities have attempted to repair the damage to their urban cores from migration to suburbs and exurbs. Redevelopment has evolved into smart growth, transit oriented development, and complete streets. In the last 15 years or so, the urban renewal efforts have had a receptive audience as people, tired of the car oriented lifestyle of the suburbs, are returning to urban cores and older urban neighborhoods. However, while cities get the big picture, too often in my 25 years as a land use attorney, I have seen the same mistakes repeated.

1) Failing to Understand How to Provide for Pedestrian and Other Active Transit:

Too often, cities and towns seem to think that all pedestrians need are sidewalks to walk on and greenery to look at. The same goes for bikes and bikelanes. It goes without saying that pedestrians and bikes work differently than cars, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.

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Thumbnail image for Geo-Poetic Spaces: Happiness

Geo-Poetic Spaces: Happiness

by Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes 10.24.2014 Books & Poetry

By Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes

Happiness
doesn’t lie

Inside designer purses
drive luxury vehicles
tell time
by taking stock of inventory sold
doesn’t advertise itself
to invent needs
more addictive than meth …

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Thumbnail image for An American Bull in an Iraqi China Shop

An American Bull in an Iraqi China Shop

by Eric J. Garcia 10.23.2014 Cartoons
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Thumbnail image for Paying for Cheap Chocolate: Upgrading Halloween Treats Might Take a Bite Out of Child Labor.

Paying for Cheap Chocolate: Upgrading Halloween Treats Might Take a Bite Out of Child Labor.

by Source 10.23.2014 Culture

By  / Other Words

One Halloween, my husband persuaded our kids to give away most of the candy they’d just collected while trick-or-treating. They were preschoolers and the house we were renting then had previously drawn teens with haunted tours.

We’d run out of candy when a stream of teens showed up at our underwhelmingly spooky doorstep, shaking badly decorated pillow cases and looking disappointed.

Recycling the kids’ Halloween booty worked in that pinch. But candy consumption is sure to spike at my house this year, courtesy of the generosity the neighbors will show our pint-sized ghoul and devil. It probably will at yours too.

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Thumbnail image for Learning About Beauty from the Ground and Over the Mountaintops

Learning About Beauty from the Ground and Over the Mountaintops

by Ernie McCray 10.23.2014 Books & Poetry

By Ernie McCray

With all the talk about
race, of late,
I recall lessons learned
a long time ago
that enabled me to alter
my emotional state
when it comes to matters of race.
Growing up
I would occasionally, with tears in my eyes,
ask my mother who was loving and wise,
why some white people were so mean.
What had I done to them,
I wanted so much to have explained, …

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Thumbnail image for Panic Over Ebola Echoes the 19th-century Fear of Cholera

Panic Over Ebola Echoes the 19th-century Fear of Cholera

by Source 10.22.2014 Culture

By Sally Sheard, University of Liverpool / The Conversation

On October 19 an inspector sent north from London to Sunderland reported a long-awaited arrival: the first British case of cholera. It was 1831 and as part of a second pandemic cholera had again progressed from its Bengal heartland through Europe, before reaching the Baltic ports. It was only a matter of time.

The British public, informed by newspaper reports, were acquainted with the symptoms: profuse watery diarrhoea, severe abdominal pain and often death within a matter of hours. In advance of its arrival in Russia thousands fled from the cities. In Poland it was killing one in two victims. And unlike today, where oral rehydration solution can prevent dehydration and shock, there was no effective treatment.

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The History of Neighborhood House in Logan Heights: Mary Dora Garcia and the Lucky 13 Club

by Maria E. Garcia 10.18.2014 Culture

By Maria E. Garcia

Lucky 13, June 1948

Mary Dora Hollman Garcia grew up on the 1800 block of Newton Avenue in Logan Heights and attended kindergarten at Neighborhood House during the 1930’s. In the days before Lowell Elementary School was built she attended Burbank School.

The walk to Burbank School was carried out under the watchful eyes of families and neighbors. Dora would leave her house with her aunt watching her walk down the street. She would walk two doors down, pick up a little friend there and then they would walk by Irene Mena’s house and pick her up.

With every person that was added to the group another neighbor or family member would take over the responsibility of watching the kids walk to school. The last stop brought the walking brigade to a total of eight children walking to Burbank School. …

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Thumbnail image for Geo-Poetic Spaces: The Ishtar Gate

Geo-Poetic Spaces: The Ishtar Gate

by Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes 10.17.2014 Books & Poetry
By Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes 

Sell the car
before it’s repossessed
mortgage the house
before you’re forced into foreclosure

Board the next flight to Berlin
purchase an S-Bahn ticket
back to Babylon’s blue gate
Its oasis of Palms
will make you weep
until the desert sand is washed from your eyes …

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Rising Paranoia Brought to You by Fox News

by Junco Canché 10.17.2014 Cartoons
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How to Destroy Mission Valley

by Frank Gormlie 10.16.2014 Business

By Frank Gormlie / OB Rag

If you want to destroy Mission Valley, what’s coming down the development pipeline will surely do it for you. There are four massive residential and commercial projects and another giant handful of minor ones- all in various stages of blueprints, planning and construction – heading for this landmark river canyon. If all are built – the total impact would permanently damage Mission Valley to the point where the Valley that we now know would no longer be there.

Some old-timers believe Mission Valley was destroyed a long time ago, when it was a long, lush valley of dairy farms and agricultural fields. Then the hotels, resorts, golf courses and freeways came and Mission Valley lost its beauty, serenity, and its soul.

Ironically then, there’s also another group of “old-timers” – a special group – a group of Mission Valley landowning families – who have their own plans to develop and damage the Valley even further.

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