There are exits
nobody can open
When calls for help
break the door
set yourself free
There are exits
nobody can open
When calls for help
break the door
set yourself free
Soon the new National Museum
of African American History and Culture
will open and stand infinitely
on the National Mall
in Washington D.C. –
sharing a home
with other grand memorials
Americans and events
in our nation’s history,
giving “Black Lives Matter”
dignifying the humanity
of kidnapped and bought people
who toiled as slaves
in cotton fields in a long ago day … [Read more…]
Art and life seamlessly merged a few weeks ago at Border X Brewery in Barrio Logan. It was the site of a launch party for Emmy award winning filmmaker Paul Espinosa’s latest project, a full length documentary about San Diego activist and musician Ramon “Chunky” Sanchez. It was a career milestone for both Espinosa, who is probably best known in San Diego for his critically acclaimed production of The Lemon Grove Incident and Chunky whose music has been a voice for social justice for over thirty years. [Read more…]
There are two items on the ballot for City of San Diego voters related in some fashion to the construction of a place for the local NFL franchise to play.
Measure C, backed by the San Diego Chargers ownership, is an effort to get a stadium/convention center built. The group’s committee is a cash machine, taking in tens of thousands of dollars (nearly) daily, all from the same source.
Measure D is primarily backed by interests with investments in nearby properties, namely the Moores family. For monetary reasons, it’s just about dead in the water. D is on the ballot, but the money spigot was turned off May 3. [Read more…]
In my Labor Day column , I gave a shout out to Fred Glass’s seminal new labor history of California, From Mission to Microchip: A History of the California Labor Movement. As Glass notes in his introduction, his history of working people in the Golden State is much broader than a narrow chronicle of unions:
California labor history doesn’t begin and end with union membership. Forming and maintaining unions is one part of a broader story, repeated countless times–in coastal seaports, the Central Valley farms, the southern oilfields, and the Sierra foothills, in financial high-rises and bungalow classrooms—of workers journeys from isolation and powerlessness to community, strength, and hope. Their toolbox contains unions, to be sure, but also lawsuits, legislation, election campaigns, community murals, songs, demonstrations, and a mountain of dedication by ordinary people to shared ideas of fairness and social justice.
To learn more about this story and what about it is most important, I am pleased to present the first installment of my three-part interview with Fred Glass, author, teacher, union member, and long-time Communications Director for the California Federation of Teachers.
Sustainable Seafood / Slow Food Urban San Diego
The Port of San Diego envisions redeveloping the “Central Embarcadero” an area that includes Tuna Harbor, where the majority of San Diego’s active commercial fishermen dock their boats. “Tuna Harbor is central to San Diego’s cultural history as a fishing community,” says Pete Halmay, San Diego sea urchin fisherman. “It was the hub of San Diego fishing for a 100 years and is central to our local industry today.”
Today, San Diegans have little access to locally-caught seafood, even though we are a waterfront city. The U.S. imports over 90% of its seafood and San Diego fishermen are hard pressed to sell their catch locally. The redevelopment represents an opportunity to invest in our local fisheries and reconnect with our local seafood system. It’s up to the San Diego to commit to this. [Read more…]
Oh, I remember days, just a few years ago, when memories of Nancy (my very dearly departed soulmate) would weaken me in the knees and draw heavy tears from my eyes … but thank goodness such dreary days eventually wither and die.
Now, when she comes to my mind’s eye, it’s a welcomed occasion, and she’ll usually surface at a real nice time.
Like everytime one of our grandchildren is born I can’t help but see her as a Grandma: getting little Lyric Allen or Marley Mandela or Indigo Maya (or all of them at the same time) in a headlock on the living room floor, they giggling uncontrollably; guiding them into swimmers on our Pacific shores; holding them to her breast with every ounce of the deep well of love that dwelled in her; making them pose for more photographs than should be legal; singing them silly made-up-on-the-spot ditties and songs… [Read more…]
lost his mind
in a cabin beneath the Bixby Bridge
wash the grey matter up
onto beaches from Big Sur to Mendocino [Read more…]
A new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll found that a good majority of California voters support marijuana legalization and back Proposition 64.
58% of voters in the state support Prop 64, which would allow Californians ages 21 or older to possess, transport and use up to an ounce of cannabis for recreational purposes, and would allow individuals to grow as many as six plants. The measure would also impose a 15% tax on retail sales of the drug.
And according to the poll, the favorable attitude toward grass cuts across most lines of age, race, income and gender. [Read more…]
By Patricia Staley
I’m getting sick of stump speeches and I have a deep-rooted distrust of politicians, in general.
How many leaflets can you bear to pull out of your mailbox?
Every branch of government is at stake and it makes you feel like a sap if you don’t vote.
The grass roots movements have lost momentum. It seems like everything is supported by hedge funds and other big financial off shoots.
By Anne Haule / Women’s Museum of California
The year was 1970, I was to graduate with a BA, the Kent State killings had just occurred and campuses all across the nation, including mine, were shut down. Never having to take our last set of final exams, my class was graduated – some of us walking down the aisle to receive our diplomas wearing black arm bands to signify opposition to the war in Vietnam. Having financed my education, my parents congratulated me and quickly let me know that I was now on my own as far as money was concerned.
So, since I had to pay rent, I went about the task of finding a job. I soon learned that my degree in English didn’t matter a damn but my halting ability to crank out 45 words per minute on the typewriter did– a skill I tried to learn in high school since I thought it’d be easier than trigonometry. [Read more…]
Let’s begin this article by acknowledging that I am not a believer. I am agnostic at best; still looking for answers that I haven’t yet found. With that in mind, three things have happened over the past few years that I can’t explain, and the latest still gives me goose bumps in thinking about it. Let’s start at the beginning.
Seven years ago my husband Bob died. I joined a widow support group and one of the things we decided to do was to see if a “Medium” could bring our husbands messages back to us. There were nine of us going to Harmony Grove to find out.
As we were all coming from different parts of San Diego, we met at a central location, and I drove with Rosey to meet the others. On the way there, she mentioned that she was always puzzled why she had such a bad relationship with her mother. She said it was as if her mother didn’t like her; liked her sister and her brother, but she was always the “odd one out.” Rosey and I were the only ones in the car. [Read more…]
The progressive run
through Yosemite’s gridlocked valley:
a modulation of the redwoods and granite
slide-slipping down Tioga Pass
The diving elevation
composed as haiku on paper bags–
a sure sign poets were at the wheel [Read more…]
By Louis Rodolico
While development continues unabated in UTC we are arguing over removing yet another planned road: the Regents Road Bridge. The Planning Group is maintaining its myopic view and does not allow the two thirds of the community, who favor the bridge, on their board.
While we argue amongst ourselves other outside interests see an opening.
The photo shows how SANDAG installed the cross tracks at Rose Canyon, just south of the Regents Road Bridge abutment. The UCPG chair and others openly complained about this Dark Project. The unnecessary jogs to the north triggered environmental remediation north of the tracks. This remediation is on either side of the Regents Road Bridge Site and will likely serve as a bridge construction hurdle. The unbanked track jogs can trigger a safety objection to the bridge from Amtrak since derailments are more likely at jogs & switch tracks. [Read more…]
By Stephen Cooper
The death penalty victimizes the innocent children and family members of condemned men and women. These are citizens of this country who have committed no crime, and yet, because of capital punishment’s ignominious existence, they are punished too.
Their state-sanctioned suffering, one that Californians will be directly responsible for promoting if they vote for Proposition 66, is severe.
For the children, just think about it: they didn’t do a damn thing wrong except be born. And then, on an especially dark, dreary, and evil day, they’re being brought to prison to see their pa or ma one last time. And they’re in some sterile room, and everyone’s watching; the warden, the prison chaplain, the press, a gaggle of attorneys and guards, all of them are watching to see how these children of the condemned are going to carry it. [Read more…]
I keep thinking about Colin Kaepernick and how so many people have badmouthed him for sitting during the National Anthem rather than addressing his concerns in a “more appropriate way.”
And considering that (as I brought out in a prior piece about Kaepernick) his concern is about the oppression of black people and other people of color, those of us who are so designated really want to know how we can pursue our dream of “liberty and justice for all” in a way that suits the country’s fancy.
Because we’ve been trying like hell. For centuries. Non-stop. Besides working and raising our families with a little partying and making it to a couple of Chargers and Padres games in-between, it’s pretty much all we do. [Read more…]
By Stephen Cooper
When legendary reggae band Black Uhuru began playing the hypnotically addictive, haunting, head-bobbing, foot-stomping beat of their world-famous song, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, at the Belly Up Tavern in San Diego (on the night of September 1st), a jovial, overly-sauced patron screamed out: “Black Uhuru is the best reggae band alive!”
And, more than anything else, it was this proclamation that best summed up the feel good, get-on-your-feet-and-dance vibes then pulsing through the Belly Up’s joyful, equally exuberant, filled to capacity crowd – who chanted in unison, at the top of their lungs – the song’s famous refrain and its opening lyric: “Guess who’s coming to dinner, Natty Dreadlocks.” [Read more…]
What’s wrong with Bob?
It’s a question I ask myself almost every day, usually after reading the news.
For the last 100 years* it’s been the third most popular name in America (if you’re including Robert), yet we’ve had no President Bobs. Not one.
We’ve had six James’s (the most popular name in the U.S.) and five Johns (the second most popular) elected president even though there’ve only been 50, 717 more Johns than Roberts born in this country over those 100 years. Bobs are solidly in third place in this country but we haven’t sent a single Bob to the White House. [Read more…]
By Denise Oliver Velez / Daily Kos
Today, let’s remember the courage of Elizabeth Eckford. While Donald Trump plays games pretending to court black voters (who don’t support him, and almost unanimously loathe and reject him) in order to convince some white folks that he “isn’t so bad,” let’s remind him—and anyone who buys his bullshit—that we black folks have long memories.
The screaming, spittle-flecked people in the crowds drawn to him like flies on shit, his supporters waving confederate flags, shouting racial epithets, and grinning proudly at their own bigoted cleverness evoke a racial déjà vu that some of us participated in, or remember witnessing firsthand on the news, or heard stories about from older kinfolks. We saw Eckford brave an angry crowd alone, separated from the other members of the group who would come to be known as the “Little Rock Nine.” The photograph of a lone Eckford, captured by young journalist Will Counts, will forever remain in my memory and in the minds and souls of all who have seen it. [Read more…]
36 blocks plucked and blown
Hold up machine gunned peaks
Snowy kimonos [Read more…]
“Let me help you tighten your helmet. Is the seat okay? Do you know how to shift the gears? Let’s stay on the sidewalk until you get the hang of your new bike. . . . .”
Sound familiar? These could have been my words 25 years ago but they are not my words . . . they are my daughter’s as we get ready to take our first bike ride together on my new bike.
Helmets secured, we take off . . . my daughter in the lead so she can pick a safe route with little traffic.