Culture

Thumbnail image for 22nd Annual San Diego Latino Film Festival Media Kick-Off Party (Video)

22nd Annual San Diego Latino Film Festival Media Kick-Off Party (Video)

by Horacio Jones 03.04.2015 Culture

By Horacio Jones

For 22 years the San Diego Latino Film Festival put on by the Media Arts Center has brought great independent cinema to San Diego. It has become a unique event that many locals look forward to every year.

This year the film festival has moved their venue to AMC Fashion Valley 18 and has a new sponsor – San Diego County Lexus Dealers. During the Media Kick-Off Party I caught up with festival founder Ethan van Thillo, who gave a preview about what to expect during this year’s film festival. Several local filmmakers and actors were also in attendance and I interviewed Adriana Bush about her local documentary “Jessica Fights Back.” I also got to speak with a young local actress, Johanna Trujillo about her starring role in “Lake Los Angeles.”

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Thumbnail image for Faulconer’s First Year: Mostly Doing Nothing, But Looking Good While Doing It

Faulconer’s First Year: Mostly Doing Nothing, But Looking Good While Doing It

by Doug Porter 03.03.2015 Battle for Barrio Logan

By Doug Porter

Unlike the women performing on the field at Chargers’ games, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer is getting paid for his cheerleading efforts.

The local daily paper ran a puff piece on Sunday, celebrating Faulconer’s first year in office, reporting on the “nearly unanimous praise” for making San Diego a “vastly different place than it was under the tumultuous tenure” of he-who-cannot-be-named-without-contempt.

Largely airbrushed out of history was former interim mayor Todd Gloria, whose reward for leadership following the fall of Filner was to get booted out of the position of City Council President, lest he actually accomplish any items proposed during his tenure.

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Thumbnail image for San Ysidro’s The Front Art Gallery Announces First Prize Winners

San Ysidro’s The Front Art Gallery Announces First Prize Winners

by At Large 03.03.2015 Arts

By Barbara Zaragoza

The judges made their final decisions on Monday, February 23rd for the 8th annual Dia De La Mujer hosted by The Front Art Gallery in San Ysidro. The theme was Cleansing: Spiritual-Emotional-Magical and thirty-five emerging and established artists competed for first place and two honorable mentions in each category. Three additional visiting artists participated, including the Mayor of Chula Vista’s mother.

Three judges spent an afternoon carefully considering the works:

  • Angelica Villagrana, President of the San Diego Museum of Art Artist’s Guild,
  • Mary Beebe, Director of the Stuart Collection of Outdoor Sculpture at UCSD, and
  • Kevin Linde, Livespan Learning Coordinator at the Museum of Photographic Arts.
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Thumbnail image for The Lobbyists at Your Dinner Party

The Lobbyists at Your Dinner Party

by Source 03.02.2015 Food & Drink

Every purveyor of food and drink wants the government to advise Americans to consume more of what they produce

By Jill Richardson /Other Words

Remember the old food pyramid?

Until “MyPlate” replaced it a few years ago, the U.S. government’s official dietary advice for Americans fit neatly into that triangle.

The government recently moved toward updating those standards again. And the result isn’t nearly as digestible. In classic bureaucratic form, the Department of Health and Human Services cooked up a 571-page draft report for Americans to comment on.

The actual updated dietary guidelines will come later. Here’s what we know about the draftso far: The meat and soda industries hate it.

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Thumbnail image for Eve on the Move

Eve on the Move

by At Large 03.02.2015 Culture

The rising Feminine has something to offer our old fashioned religions

By Dr. Carol Carnes

The great American Man of Letters, Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “be an opener of doors for such as come after thee and do not try to make the universe a blind alley.”

I interpret this to mean, contribute to the overall wisdom of the world. Do not perpetuate superstition and dogma. Challenge the isms that limit our experience of the greater good. Share your ideas with the young. Teach them to think critically. Show the power of Love by your own actions.

None of us lives in a private reality to the exclusion of the collective. We can go along with the tribes’ beliefs or we can be part of raising our shared version of reality. Those who speak out to challenge ideas that belonged in ancient times but do not serve us today, are making a great impression on the whole.

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Thumbnail image for Feds Threaten D.C. Officials With Prison If They Go Through with Pot Legalization

Feds Threaten D.C. Officials With Prison If They Go Through with Pot Legalization

by Source 02.28.2015 Government

By Jay Syrmopoulos / The Free Thought Project

In a letter to D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser, two Republican congressmen Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), chair of the appropriations subcommittee that handles D.C.’s budget, ominously warned not to move forward with legalization in the District, claiming that to do so would be a violation of federal law.

D.C. officials and federal lawmakers have sparred over whether Initiative 71, a ballot measure approved by 70 percent of voters in November, can legally take effect.

The letter arrived the same day that the voter-approved legalization measure is scheduled to become law, at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday. It sets the stage for a showdown between the will of the D.C. voters and their city and the federal government, attempting to enforce its will over that of the District’s constituents.

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Thumbnail image for The Origins of Institutionalized Racism – a System to Control Blacks … and Whites

The Origins of Institutionalized Racism – a System to Control Blacks … and Whites

by Frank Gormlie 02.27.2015 Culture

100 Years Before Lexington and Concord, Bacon’s Armed Rebellion of Whites and Blacks Forced Plantation Elite to Create System of Racial Slavery

By Frank Gormlie

Since the turmoil last year in Ferguson, Missouri, swept in a new civil rights movement, once again America is faced with the reality of its system of institutionalized racism. For Americans with conscience, understanding this system is key to changing it, and it cannot be understood without understanding its origins which trail back, of course, to colonial America.

Confronting a system that predates the very formation of the Republic itself necessitates understanding its raison d’etre – its reason for being. Why is there such a system that has a solid foundation and that has existed all this time, and is so deeply ingrained? Why is there institutionalized racism? If one accepts such a premise, that there is such a thing, then the most obvious answer is that it exists to control blacks, African-Americans. And to control other minorities, Mexican-Americans, Native Americans.

Yet this system is not meant to only control blacks – and other peoples of color – but it also meant to control white people.

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Thumbnail image for Geo-Poetic Spaces: Unvarnished

Geo-Poetic Spaces: Unvarnished

by Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes 02.27.2015 Books & Poetry

For men and women who work for love and not financial gain

By Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes

It takes a man
to do what my parent’s generation
deferred as “woman’s work.”

No minimum wage
cause and effect rewards
just salivating dogs
and pooper scoopers
the prolific
propagation of dirty laundry
the monotonous
mopping up of sweat

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Thumbnail image for President Gandalf Vetoes the Keystone XL Pipeline

President Gandalf Vetoes the Keystone XL Pipeline

by Junco Canché 02.26.2015 Cartoons
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Thumbnail image for Joining Spirit with the Billions of Us Human Beings

Joining Spirit with the Billions of Us Human Beings

by Ernie McCray 02.26.2015 Culture

By Ernie McCray

I was driving and turned my radio to 89.5, KPBS, and there was a conversation going on about “7 Billion Others,” an exhibit that’s opening in the U.S. for the first time – at San Diego’s Museum of Photographic Arts (MOPA): February 21 to September 13.

I liked what I was hearing and googled around and found, on the MOPA website, 45 questions written for visitors to the exhibit to answer so that they can find in themselves that spark that resides in us all and connects us to the journey of human beings featured in the video project.

My answer to the first question was: Ernest Charles McCray; age 76; retired school principal; widower; American as in United States of America.

Here are my replies to the other questions, based on what first came to my mind:

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Thumbnail image for Gas Prices Rise in San Diego as Refinery Strike Spreads

Gas Prices Rise in San Diego as Refinery Strike Spreads

by Doug Porter 02.25.2015 Business

By Doug Porter 

The average price of a gallon of regular gasoline reached three dollars in San Diego this week, roughly seventy cents more than a month ago. The primary cause of this steep increase is the largest refinery strike in 35 years, a walkout that’s continuing to spread as negotiations have stalled out. 

A total of 6,550 workers represented by the United Steel Workers are on strike at 15 plants, including 12 refineries accounting for one-fifth of U.S. capacity. The central issue in this labor dispute is safe working conditions for the USW members at more than 200 oil terminals, pipelines, refineries and chemical plants in the U.S. 

The American Automobile Association says the steep increase in prices comes on the heels of a record 123 consecutive days of declines. 

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Thumbnail image for The Old Hippie Gets a Medical Marijuana Card

The Old Hippie Gets a Medical Marijuana Card

by At Large 02.25.2015 Culture

The Ol’ OB Hippie Writes / The OB Rag

I’m finally going legal after 50 years – or at least almost 50 years. I started smoking pot when I was a freshman in college. And I still smoke – but the other day, I went legal and obtained my medical marijuana card, and now I can smoke legally for the first time in a half century. And god I need it – for all my genuine ailments, from chronic back pain to insomnia to other problems whose symptoms are relieved by the inhalation of the medicinal gift from nature.

Actually my very first joint was during my first year’s Christmas break – I was going to college on the East Coast and had flown home for the 2 week break. Pot smoking literally exploded here in OB and Point Loma in 1966-67. It blew up in OB. And of course, PLHS was called “Pot Loma” after that large bust behind the church – I think – in 1968. Plus we all thought it would be legal by 1976. Seriously.

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Thumbnail image for A Close Encounter With a Coyote at Laguna Ojo de Liebre

A Close Encounter With a Coyote at Laguna Ojo de Liebre

by Lori Saldaña 02.24.2015 Culture

By Lori Saldaña

The moon was waning that night at Laguna Ojo de Liebre, and clouds from a freakishly warm winter storm still blocked the stars. The sunset was beautiful, but all day heavy rain had fallen in towns near the camp: roads near Vizcaino were flooded, Ejido Benito Juarez had mud running through its streets. Yet here at the water’s edge, only a few drops had made it to the ground.

For all these reasons- chance of rain, clouds blocking the stars- most of us camping near the whales went to bed early. We could hear the whales breathing across the lagoon, but the clouds made it impossible to see their backs shining in the moonlight and determine where the loud exhalations were coming from. Not much to see- good night to read in bed and get to sleep early.

I slept soundly the first few hours, then was awakened shortly after midnight by the jingle of the poodle’s dog collar. She was scratching, and restless, then scratching some more. Between scratches she panted, as if anxious or ….poisoned?

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Thumbnail image for Some Things Never Change: A Review of Perry’s Café

Some Things Never Change: A Review of Perry’s Café

by Judi Curry 02.24.2015 Culture

By Judi Curry

It has been years since I have had breakfast at Perry’s. It was a place that my husband and I used to go to frequently and always enjoyed the meals we had there. However, since he passed away, I find it difficult to frequent those places that we patronized, because it always brings back memories that I would just as soon forget.

However, one of the members of my widow support group – Ro – had a birthday today that we wanted to celebrate, and she chose “Perry’s” as the place she would like to go. Interesting enough, all of us had been there with our spouses, with the exception of Candy. We asked the very nice waitress when Perry’s opened, since we all had recollections of our previous visits there and she said it was about the middle 1980’s.

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Thumbnail image for The Unnecessary Parts of the ‘Chargers Are Going to Leave’ Narrative

The Unnecessary Parts of the ‘Chargers Are Going to Leave’ Narrative

by Doug Porter 02.23.2015 Columns

By Doug Porter

The prospect of San Diego losing its beloved football team provides an opportunity to examine the worst of what the local media does in terms of misleading people about the relative importance of news.

Many stories in the local news media outlets seem based upon the belief this potential business decision (by an entity dependent on taxpayer largess for its profitability) is of critical importance for San Diegans. While I certainly appreciate the emotional connection between fans and sporting organizations, much of what I’ve read in the last few days is simply not connected to any reality that I’m aware of.

Putting this in perspective, the Chargers “fan base” ranks in the bottom half of National Football League, according to data compiled by Nielsen Scarborough, who looked at the percentage of adults who have watched, attended or listened to the NFL team in that market in the past year. Despite what team boosters say, San Diegans are decidedly lukewarm about most pro sports.

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Thumbnail image for Have You Been To a Foreign Country In the Past Few Weeks?

Have You Been To a Foreign Country In the Past Few Weeks?

by Judi Curry 02.23.2015 Culture

By Judi Curry

That seems to be the question everyone is asking since the Ebola epidemic started affecting people in the United States. My usual answer would be “no” but I now have changed that and say, “I’ve been to North Dakota in the past few weeks. Does that count?”

It’s obvious that I know that North Dakota is not a “foreign country” in the true sense of the meaning, but I’ve learned so much about the State that was foreign to me before.

How many of you know what a “sun dog” is?

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Thumbnail image for The History of Neighborhood House in Logan Heights: The Lives of Girls

The History of Neighborhood House in Logan Heights: The Lives of Girls

by Maria E. Garcia 02.21.2015 Culture

By Maria E. Garcia

Families in Logan Heights faced grim financial hardship during the 1930’s and early 1940’s. Childhood entertainment and opportunities were limited. Neighborhood House provided classes, programs and outings that are remembered sixty and even seventy years later by the many people that I have interviewed.

While hard economic times affected everyone, there were different societal expectations about what were considered appropriate activities for boys and girls during this time period. Boys participated in the popular sports programs at Neighborhood House. Team members played in other parts of the city and even other parts of the country. Boys were also given a much greater freedom to explore their environs singly or with other boys.

Girls were raised in a socially conservative environment that emphasized marriage and raising a family. Their activities were often restricted or required a chaperone.

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Thumbnail image for Brown unLike Me

Brown unLike Me

by At Large 02.21.2015 Books & Poetry

By Emmanuel Ortiz

In Venezuela I watched
As the people of the nation
Stood at the plate
Swung out
In defense of their president,
Who won a democratic referendum
By a majority of the majority
(Unlike our own president that same year).
In defense of Chávez,
Millions of hands upon a single bat
Swing for the fences,
Un jonrón over the wall of the White House lawn.

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Thumbnail image for Plastic Handgun: Experimental Dream Pop with a Rock Blasting Cap

Plastic Handgun: Experimental Dream Pop with a Rock Blasting Cap

by Layla Marino 02.21.2015 Music

By Layla Marino

Plastic Handgun is a solo project dreamed up by Toronto artist Mark Di Giovanni, with the emphasis on “dream.”

The impression most listeners will have upon first listen is of a heavy dream pop vibe, but there is much more going on in Plastic Handgun’s sonic world. Somewhat like Mogwai smashed into Ratatat but with a sound all its own, Plastic Handgun may be the new thing in 2015 that hipsters crave.

Involuntary Memories is the name of the most recent Plastic Handgun album, self-released by Di Giovanni in early January. Not much is known yet about this project, nor its creator but the music says quite a bit on its own.

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Thumbnail image for Chargers Hold Up Three Fingers: Read Between the Lines, San Diego

Chargers Hold Up Three Fingers: Read Between the Lines, San Diego

by Doug Porter 02.20.2015 Business

By Doug Porter

The drama surrounding the San Diego Chargers’ pursuit of a stadium–somewhere, anywhere–is turning out to be much more entertaining than much of the action on the field in recent years.  Today I’ll look around at what’s been said and do my best to provide some insight.

Yesterday the team let it slip–as a story in the Los Angeles Times was going to press–that they were working on a joint stadium deal with the Oakland Raiders for a facility in Carson, California, a city of less than 100,000 people with a history of shady dealings.

The coverage at ESPN included a nugget from an unidentified source saying the teams had been working together on this deal for the past nine months. The Chargers, by the way, denied inquiries from the St. Louis media about a deal in LA just a few weeks back.

Nobody was unhappier about the stadium news than Mayor Kevin Faulconer, who’d like the public to believe he’s been making a serious effort towards keeping the team in San Diego. After all, nobody wants to run for reelection with “lost our beloved Chargers” as a signature accomplishment.

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Thumbnail image for Old Town Time Trip

Old Town Time Trip

by At Large 02.20.2015 Culture

By Nat Krieger

Late at night in Old Town it’s not hard to time travel. The cars lining the narrow streets have turned out their lights and gone to sleep. Human activity is reduced to three women walking together. They are wearing white blouses with multicolored skirts synced by a red sash.

If you don’t see the cars or buses or trolleys the women are heading for San Diego’s past clings to their rapid steps. With straight black hair and features that cover the distance between Cortez and the Kumeyaay the women are actors leaving a set where they have been playing the sartorial and biological roots of San Diego as imagined a century and a half later.

Along the eastern side of La Plaza de Las Armas in the heart of Old Town the thick adobe walls of Casa Estudillo release the heat of the day into the night, as they have for 185 years. The casa’s tall wooden doors are shut and the courtyard garden within, visible only through a skeleton key shaped hole, dreams again of the corn and beef flavored smoke that once poured from the outdoor clay oven.

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Thumbnail image for Geo-Poetic Spaces: Esslingen

Geo-Poetic Spaces: Esslingen

by Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes 02.20.2015 Books & Poetry

By Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes

Hope is half-timbered
across the Neckar River

Minds float into eyes
before the miracle
named Esslingen

A 500 year old story
preserved as a city
talking out on
a limb

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Thumbnail image for Fabiani Runs Roughshod Over Mayor’s Stadium Task Force

Fabiani Runs Roughshod Over Mayor’s Stadium Task Force

by Junco Canché 02.19.2015 Cartoons
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Thumbnail image for The San Salvador and Junípero Serra: Celebrating Spanish Catholic Domination

The San Salvador and Junípero Serra: Celebrating Spanish Catholic Domination

by At Large 02.19.2015 Culture

By Steven Newcomb / OB Rag

Early this year, 2015, the Maritime Museum of San Diego is scheduled to launch a replica of the colonizing Spanish ship called “San Salvador” (“Holy Savior”). That was the ship which Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, in 1542, sailed into the Kumeyaay bay of the Kumeyaay Nation’s territory. As a result of that voyage, the society of the United States now typically calls that bay, and the city adjacent to it, by the Catholic name, “San Diego” (“Saint Diego”).

Cabrillo sailed up the Baja peninsula under a royal commission that the Spanish crown had granted to a vicious and deadly psychopath, a conquistador named Pedro Alvarado. The royal commission authorized Alvarado “to discover and conquer” places he was able to reach by sailing northward along the Baja peninsula. When Alvarado was killed in Guatemala, the Spanish viceroy charged Cabrillo with sailing north on the basis of that royal commission.

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Thumbnail image for The “Darrell Hammond Project” at the La Jolla Playhouse

The “Darrell Hammond Project” at the La Jolla Playhouse

by Alejandra Enciso Guzmán 02.19.2015 Culture

By Alejandra Enciso Guzmán

When the name “Darrell Hammond” is heard or read, the immediate association is with Saturday Night Live and comedy. Hammond holds the title for being the longest running cast member on the show (14 years), as well as for the most impressions by a single Saturday Night Live cast member: Bill Clinton, Regis Philbin, Dan Rather, John Travolta, Jesse Jackson, Richard Dreyfus, Jay Leno, Donald Trump and Sean Connery in the ever-popular “Celebrity Jeopardy” skits. He also has the distinction of being the person that has said the show’s catch phrase “Live From New York, It’s Saturday Night!” the most often.

In 2011, Hammond released his memoir “God, If You’re Not Up There, I’m F*cked: Tales of Stand-Up, Saturday Night Live and Other Mind-Altering Mayhem.” It was so well received that Hammond scaled the piece to a live performance. “The Darrell Hammond Project,” co-written with Elizabeth Steins, is the result.

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