Culture

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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Thumbnail image for Rising Paranoia Brought to You by Fox News

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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Thumbnail image for Force Feeding Liberty

Force Feeding Liberty

by Eric J. Garcia 10.16.2014 Cartoons
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Thumbnail image for San Diego’s German Film Festival Opens with an Explosive Journey into “The Dark Valley”

San Diego’s German Film Festival Opens with an Explosive Journey into “The Dark Valley”

by Jim Bliesner 10.16.2014 Culture

By Jim Bliesner

The fourth annual German Film Festival in San Diego opened on October 11 with “Das Finstere Tal” (The Dark Valley). It is an Austrian Western set in the Tyrol Mountains on the Italian border.  The film, directed by Austrian Andreas Prochaska,was the winner of eight German Film Awards.

“Das Finstere Tal” centers on a small family cult whose leader has six sons. They carry out a reign of terror upon the members who seek sanctuary in the camp, cradled in a crevice of the steep Tyrol Alps.

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Reflections of Love

by Ernie McCray 10.16.2014 Books & Poetry

By Ernie McCray

I was asked to write something that rhymes for Steve, a friend of mine, who was celebrating entering his 70’s and these words came to me:

In a spirit of love,
with feather weight ease,
I say to my dear friend, Steve,
who has just turned 70,
that he
has reached an age
where you can truly
do or say pretty
much anything
you damn well please.
Cuz the world doesn’t
give a hoot
about an old-assed coot.

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Thumbnail image for DIY Resistance: I Love You, Dad

DIY Resistance: I Love You, Dad

by Will Falk 10.15.2014 Activism

By Will Falk

“Your mother and I are worried about you,” my dad said looking down into the beer his hands cradled on a wood table in the Morris Inn at the University of Notre Dame.

We came to Notre Dame to honor two now decades-old father and son traditions. The first, seeing Fighting Irish football games together, serves to support the second, honest face-to-face communication in a comfortable environment.

I travelled all the way in from Victoria, BC. My dad came in from San Francisco. For a family that has moved as much as ours, Notre Dame comes as close to representing home as anywhere.

“We’re just worried about you,” my dad said again. “We’re worried you’re not going to be able to support yourself.”

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You Too, Carl?

by Junco Canché 10.14.2014 2014 June Primary
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The History of Neighborhood House in Logan Heights: Sailors, Pachucos and Life In-Between

by Maria E. Garcia 10.11.2014 Culture

Part III of the Not so Great Depression and World War II Come to Logan Heights

By Maria E. Garcia

World War II PosterThe Depression and the advent of World War II brought social and economic change to Logan Heights. Residents who lost their jobs and savings during the Depression found a scapegoat for their anger and fears in the form of their neighbors of Mexican descent.

These residents, many of whom who had been actively recruited by American business owners, ranchers and farmers in the early twentieth century were now seen as job stealers and a burden to the welfare system. They were denied employment, dropped from the welfare rolls and actively repatriated to Mexico. Sixty percent of the repatriated individuals were American citizens.

Several men that I have interviewed told of their mothers crying when they heard we were at war. Men were enlisting and being drafted. The whittling away of the Logan Heights population which first occurred during the repatriation, became even more apparent when so many of the men, often the household’s primary breadwinner, went off to war. An unprecedented number of women entered the workforce in the canneries and defense industry as a result.

But there was an influx of a new group in Logan Heights–sailors. …

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Thumbnail image for Lego Ends Shell Contract After Greenpeace ‘Save the Arctic’ Campaign

Lego Ends Shell Contract After Greenpeace ‘Save the Arctic’ Campaign

by Source 10.11.2014 Activism

By Nadia Prupis / Common Dreams

Lego announced on Thursday that it would not be renewing its marketing contract with Shell, after Greenpeace campaigned for several months for the Danish toy maker to end its decades-long partnership with the oil giant.

As part of its push to call on Lego to end the contract, Greenpeace created a video that depicted a pure, wholesome Arctic landscape, built from Legos, that slowly flooded with oil as various characters wept and drowned.

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Thumbnail image for Prop 48: Are Casinos Coming to Your Neighborhood?

Prop 48: Are Casinos Coming to Your Neighborhood?

by Doug Porter 10.10.2014 Business

By Doug Porter

It’s funny how people who normally couldn’t be bothered to pick up a gum wrapper off the sidewalk will become environmental activists when it suits their economic interests. In this instance we have “environmental concerns” being voiced by groups who are themselves exempt from the laws.

With Prop 48 we also have people who have worked hard to give the gambling industry a better image funding ads telling people to be afraid about casinos built in their neighborhood.

California, land of opportunity, where there’s a sucker born every minute.

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Thumbnail image for Geo-Poetic Spaces: Cities Have Scars

Geo-Poetic Spaces: Cities Have Scars

by Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes 10.10.2014 Books & Poetry

By Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes

Cities have scars
war wounds
that maim walls of viscera
neighborhoods live with
long after
the instruments of infliction
are dust

Cities have scars
decapitated domes
cauterized arteries
bearing witness to gain’s loss …

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Hello From Guantanamo

by Eric J. Garcia 10.09.2014 Cartoons
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Thumbnail image for Moonstruck!  Watching the Lunar Eclipse in San Diego

Moonstruck! Watching the Lunar Eclipse in San Diego

by Anna Daniels 10.08.2014 City Heights: Up Close & Personal

By Anna Daniels

Did you see the moon earlier this morning? At 3 am, when I rousted myself out of bed, it was already Part Deux of San Diego’s total lunar eclipse –the moon glowed a reddish umber behind the earth’s shadow. It was mysterious and somewhat confusing –the “rabbit” in the moon that was so clearly visible when I went to bed earlier had disappeared.

Holding coffee cups in one hand and binoculars in the other, My Beloved and I sat on the side of the house craning our necks upward. Watching an eclipse from start to finish is the cosmic equivalent of watching paint dry–long moments of nothing seeming to happen, then voila! the moon is occulted. Or it is whole again, a shining coin pulled from night’s pocket.

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Thumbnail image for The History of Neighborhood House in Logan Heights: Life in Logan Heights During War Time

The History of Neighborhood House in Logan Heights: Life in Logan Heights During War Time

by Maria E. Garcia 10.04.2014 Culture

Part II of the Not-so-great Depression and WWII

By Maria E. Garcia

Part I of this series presented a glimpse of life in Logan Heights during the the Great Depression. The Mexican Repatriation Act resulted in a massive, largely forced return of residents of Mexican descent in the US back to Mexico in the 1930’s. It is estimated that sixty percent of these individuals who returned to Mexico were American citizens. Last week’s article talks about one Logan Heights family that stayed– the Kennistons– and one family that left– the Leybas.

The months leading up to WWII and the declaration of war had a tremendous impact on life in Logan Heights. The radio and the newspaper were constantly focusing not only on the war, but on what could happen in San Diego should the war come to the shores of the United States. San Diego was definitely a Navy town with added patrols on the bay and Quonset huts springing up around various locations, some right in the middle of the barrio.

Several of those interviewed spoke of their mothers crying, knowing that their sons would soon be drafted and be off to fight in foreign places.

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Thumbnail image for For Walkers and Cyclists, A Swedish Road-Planning Strategy Helps Save Lives

For Walkers and Cyclists, A Swedish Road-Planning Strategy Helps Save Lives

by Source 10.03.2014 Activism

Utah, Minnesota, and Washington have seen traffic fatalities decline by 40 percent. Here’s how they did it.

By / Yes!

More than 4,500 pedestrians are killed and more than 68,000 are injured by motor vehicles every year on the streets of America. The victims are disproportionately children, seniors, and people of color.

A recent report from the National Complete Streets Coalition found that from 2003 to 2012, more than 47,000 people were killed crossing the street. That’s 16 times the number of people who died in natural disasters over the same period.

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Thumbnail image for Geo-Poetic Spaces:  Buddha’s Head

Geo-Poetic Spaces: Buddha’s Head

by Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes 10.03.2014 Books & Poetry

By Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes

Buddha’s head
lying broken
spilling roadway

For 4 days I passed
the noble prince
stuck in the spokes of dharma’s spinning wheel …

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Thumbnail image for Audit Says Nobody Broke Any Rules at Balboa Park Centennial Because There Weren’t Any Rules

Audit Says Nobody Broke Any Rules at Balboa Park Centennial Because There Weren’t Any Rules

by Doug Porter 10.02.2014 Columns

By Doug Porter

The City Auditor’s office has released its report on the failed Balboa Park Centennial Celebration. Despite spending more than $3 million dollars between 2012 and 2014 and having nothing to show for it in the way of actual results, there was no actual wrong-doing involved. Really.

There were two substantive reports in local media. UT-San Diego’s Jeff McDonald (who did some terrific reporting on this story early on) had a terse but tough account. Voice of San Diego’s Andrew Keatts went all gonzo on it, with much more detail and a dash of irreverence thrown it.

The “no-fault” determination was reached because the terms and conditions leading up the creation of Balboa Park Celebration, Inc (BPCI) were broad and ill-defined, we’re told. The 55 page review of the group’s activities did note a failure to follow city contracting rules in hiring most of its highly paid consultants and a lack of compliance with the terms of the 2011 agreement with the city. No problema.

This was all apparently okay because the City Attorney said so. At least that was the understanding BPCI was operating under following an email exchange in March 2013.

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Thumbnail image for Political Art in a Capitalist Society

Political Art in a Capitalist Society

by Eric J. Garcia 10.02.2014 Cartoons
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Thumbnail image for The Search for a Way Out of the Dark: “Rabbit Hole” Opens the Season at San Diego State University

The Search for a Way Out of the Dark: “Rabbit Hole” Opens the Season at San Diego State University

by Alejandra Enciso Guzmán 10.02.2014 Culture

SDSU School of Theatre, Television, and Film opens their 2014 – 2015 Theatre Season with David Lindsay-Abaire’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play

By Alejandra Enciso Guzmán

“Rabbit Hole” is the season starter at San Diego State University. It is directed by Peter James Cirino who is also Director of the San Diego Asian American Repertory Theater.

A shocking and sudden loss leaves young couple Becca (Katie Rich) and Howie (Christopher Yarrow) redefining their existence as they grow apart. Eight months into their loss, Becca’s younger sister Izzy (Courtnee Stagner)—a not too stable girl who loves to party—announces her unexpected pregnancy, adding a bitter-sweet ingredient to the already complex mix.

“Rabbit Hole” is a tough piece of work to put together and perform, especially with young actors. In this case, Cirino’s direction shines through the talented portrayals of its cast.

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Thumbnail image for ‘Internet Safety Software’ Handed Out by San Diego County DA’s Office Might Not Be So Safe

‘Internet Safety Software’ Handed Out by San Diego County DA’s Office Might Not Be So Safe

by Doug Porter 10.01.2014 Business

By Doug Porter

San Diego’s County District Attorney has been distributing internet monitoring software that exposes users to the very predators, identity thieves, and bullies they claim the program protects children against, according to a story by Dave Maass posted at the Electronic Frontier Foundation Deeplinks Blog.

The free Computer Cop program featuring a photo of DA Bonnie Dumanis on the CD cover, “is actually just spyware, generally bought in bulk from a New York company that appears to do nothing but market this software to local government agencies,”according to Maass. His investigation found the program, usually branded with a department’s name,  is handed out by hundreds of law enforcement agencies around the country with the promise that using it constitutes a “first step” in protecting children online.

In addition to advocating for parents protect their children by using the software via the county website, DA Bonnie Dumanis also appears in promotional videos for the company. The EFF story also includes allegations that false endorsements from the ACLU and the Treasury Department were used in marketing materials for Computer Cop.

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Thumbnail image for Trouble in Kingdom City: “If You Try to Repress Something, It’s Going to Come Out Somewhere Else…”

Trouble in Kingdom City: “If You Try to Repress Something, It’s Going to Come Out Somewhere Else…”

by Alejandra Enciso Guzmán 10.01.2014 Culture

By Alejandra Enciso Guzmán

Playwright Sheri Wilner was intrigued by a 2006 article she read in The New York Times about a controversial high school theatre department in a small Missouri town. She explained her impressions of the article during an interview with San Diego Free Press, how it triggered her play “Kingdom City” which opened with a world premier at The La Jolla Playhouse on September 4th.

“The article talked about how ‘Grease’ created some controversy in the school. And the next play that was being done was ‘The Crucible'; the principal was worried that that might cause controversy too, so he preemptively cancelled the play. I consider ‘The Crucible’ a masterpiece, I think it is one of the most important plays ever written. But if it where my 14 year old niece in the play, it becomes a different story. That was the fear I could understand.”

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Thumbnail image for Will Hot, Hot, Hot Mean Burn, Baby, Burn? Heat Wave, High Winds Forecast for Weekend

Will Hot, Hot, Hot Mean Burn, Baby, Burn? Heat Wave, High Winds Forecast for Weekend

by Doug Porter 09.30.2014 Columns

By Doug Porter

It’s fall in San Diego, and while outsiders may not realize it, we can see some of the highest temperatures of the year while trees are turning colors in more temperate parts of the country.

The National Weather Service is forecasting the development of a Santa Ana pattern starting on Thursday. Temperatures will peak on Saturday, the humidity is expected to drop into the single digits and winds up 50 miles per hour are expected in the eastern part of the county.

Given that temperatures have already been above normal for the year and most of California is starved for water, conditions are favorable for wildfires throughout Southern California.  So it seems like today is as good as any to write about the changing of our climate in San Diego and the responses (or lack thereof) to these changes.

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