The Chinese in Mexicali

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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Restaurant Review: SEA180º Coastal Tavern

By Judi Curry

Many, many years ago, I was the Vocational Manager at San Diego Job Corps. There was not a restaurant that would rank over a “3”then, but times have really changed.

This past weekend I celebrated my $%th birthday. But the way I celebrated it was different than I thought it would be. My friend, “Cowboy” flew in from North Dakota to help me age. But he also had started building a solar panel over my flat roof the last time he was here because I kept complaining how cold my bedroom was during the day. He drew diagrams, checked different places on line for parts, and asked a question that triggered a memory from a few years past. I cannot tell you what that question was, but I knew where I could get the answer.

During the time I was at SDJC, we had an excellent Solar instructor teaching our students how to build and maintain solar panels. Over the years I called upon him to repair various problems I had with the electrical lines going to the house, and I knew that if I ever was in a bind I could call on him.

I put in a call to Randall Mann and he agreed to meet us and see if he could answer Cowboy’s questions. He suggested that we meet at the “SEA 180º Coastal Tavern” because it was close to work and a nice place. And nice it was! Beautiful view, both from the inside and outside. 
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The Lobbyists at Your Dinner Party

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

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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Sometimes the Simple Things are the Most Fun

Try going to the “ZION” Market one day

By Judi Curry

As much as I hate to admit it, I have a birthday coming up at the end of the week. As a general rule I would just as soon forget the day and move right on to the next one.

Perhaps many of you know that I am a “host mother” to foreign language students in the US to hone their English skills. My latest student is the 413th student I have housed since 1992, when my husband and I began this adventure. I have had students from all over the world; each one unique in their own way; and with the exception of only three students I asked to have removed from my home, it has been a wonderful experience.

Yuri, one of my two students right now will be leaving me in March after being here for one year. Ever since she arrived she has been “threatening” to cook a Japanese meal for me. (Yes, I have cooked one for her – but she keeps saying “I will cook one for you.”) And, apparently, now is the time for a great adventure. 
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OB’s People’s Food Expansion Plans Put on Hold

Organic Store Had Agreement With “Tiny” of Tiny’s Tavern Before His Recent Passing

By Frank Gormlie

The expansion plans of Ocean Beach’s largest employer, the famous OB People’s Organic Food Market, have been placed on hold due to the unfortunate and untimely death of “Tiny”, the owner of Tiny’s Tavern.

The market co-op, which is a mainstay on Voltaire Street in OB, has just recently purchased the two parcels of land directly to the store’s east, one containing a duplex and the other containing Tiny’s Tavern. And part of the store’s expansion plans were based on an agreement with “Tiny” who was on the verge of retiring from operating his bar and small grill. “Tiny” – the nickname of Alan Kajiwara – had planned to use the land sale to the co-op as a push for him to move back to Hawaii where he has family, but his fatal stroke at the age of 54 ended all that. 
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The War on Hen-Pecking

All states should follow California’s example and make egg producers treat laying hens better.

By Jill Richardson / OtherWords

Chickens had plenty to celebrate on New Year’s Day. Supposedly.

After a long wait, California’s 2008 ballot measure to improve conditions for laying hens finally went into effect. Instead of living in cramped cages that give each bird less room than a sheet of paper, the birds are going to get enough space to lie down, stand up, stretch their wings, or turn around.

That’s still not very much space. And it’s certainly not “Chicken Disneyland” as egg producer Frank Hilliker told UT-San Diego. 
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For the Love of Tamales

Beautiful food, the company of women and the immense edifice of memory

By Anna Daniels

Christmas without tamales is unimaginable. It is unimaginable not because I grew up in a household in which we ate tamales–I didn’t– but because I am here, in this place, where Mexico and the US are all mixed up together. Tamales are a form of gustatory truce. Tamales are the mouth watering accompaniment to baptisms, quinceañeras and la Navidad. They are the proof that corn is indeed divine. Tamales! 
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The Food Waste Fiasco: You Have to See It to Believe It

By Rob Greenfield

You may have already heard a few appalling facts about food waste but just in case you haven’t, here are a few tidbits of information to catch you up on the issue.

-We throw away 165 billion dollars worth of food per year in America. That’s more than the budgets for America’s national parks, public libraries, federal prisons, veteran’s health care, the FBI, and the FDA combined.

-About 50 million of our 317 million Americans are food insecure yet we produce enough food to feed over 500 million Americans.

-To create just the amount of food that ends up in the landfills we waste enough water to meet the domestic water needs of every American citizen.

Even with these mind-blowing statistics you probably still need to see it to believe it. That is where I come in. 
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Fall Brewing Company Joins North Park Beer Scene

The more the merrier or enough already?

By John P. Anderson

Joining the large beer and brewing scene in North Park, Fall Brewing Company opened for customers this week. The brewery is located at 4542 30th Street, San Diego, CA 92104 and is currently in ‘soft opening’ mode. The doors are open, but they’re not yet promoting the brewery to the public while kinks are ironed out – setting up the sales software, building up the stable of beers on tap, arranging staffing, etc. 
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Don’t Read This Column If You Haven’t Voted

By Doug Porter

Today’s supposed to be the day I hit you with the “Get Out and Vote or I’ll Shoot This Puppy” column. It ain’t happening. I’ve already voted.

I’ve written 22 stories and columns about the November 2014 general election, and I’ll probably write a few wrap ups after the dust settles.  If you’re going to vote later, fine, read this column later. If you’re not going to vote at all, look for me to come to your house in search of a puppy.

So today, for those of you who have already voted, I’m going to cover other news, and some good news at that.  I’m perfectly aware that I will be punished by the search engine gods for not going apocalyptic about the election.

(Seriously, if you need election info…)

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As Study Shows Poverty Rising in San Diego, Campaign to Shame Restaurant Industry Over Wages Emerges

By Doug Porter

The poverty rate in San Diego has risen over the past year according to data released by U.S. Census Bureau this week. A total of 209,045 San Diegans (15.8%)  lived below the federal poverty level last year, including more than 64,000 children (21.9%) of all children in the city.  

The release of this report comes two days after the San Diego Chamber of Commerce claimed success in a referendum campaign effectively halting implementation of a local minimum wage increase. Much of the money for that campaign reportedly came via the California Restaurant Association. 
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The Shameful Truth About the Naked Juice Class Action Lawsuit Settlement and What American Consumers Can Do About It

By Max Goldberg / Living Maxwell

Last week, Naked Juice agreed to settle a very important class action lawsuit which accused the company of deceptive labeling.

The primary basis of the lawsuit stemmed from the company’s use of the words “All Natural” on products that contained Archer Daniels Midland’s Fibersol-2 (“a soluble corn fiber that acts as a low-calorie bulking agent”), fructooligosaccharides (an alternative sweetener), other artificial ingredients, such as calcium pantothenate (synthetically produced from formaldehyde), and genetically-modified soy.

Since these ingredients are either genetically-engineered or synthetically produced and do not exist in nature, it is completely misleading to consumers for these juices to claim to be “All Natural.” 
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Fall Gardening in San Diego

Gardening is the new front porch in urban America- share yours!

By Susan Taylor

Fall gardening! Yes, I know that it is still over 90 degrees in all parts of the county except along the coast and these high temperatures could last many more weeks. I have been reduced to gardening before 9 a.m. when it really heats up in my La Mesa neighborhood. I’ve been harvesting massive amounts of figs every day, which I’ve eaten right off the Mission fig tree that grew to over 12 feet tall this year and nearly as wide. I’m eating dried figs, cooked up with some sugar and port and frozen. I may have to try Fig Taylors before long.

When I saw the massive number of baby green figs emerge this summer, I asked my sons to drape some bird netting over and around as many branches as they could. When the figs changed from green to soft, luscious and dark purple the netting saved the harvest from the birds and June bugs waiting patiently for the fruit to be perfectly ripe. So far I’ve ‘lost’ two earrings and a pair of sunglasses that I might be able to reclaim from the net when fig season is over. 
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Restaurant Review: Buona Forchetta

Buona Forchetta
3001 Beech St, San Diego, CA 92102
(619) 381-4844

By Judi Curry

Whomever said “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry” sure must have been in the house last night.

For weeks I have been corresponding with Michael, a reader of the San Diego Free Press. He has commented on many articles I have written; has made suggestions about reviewing a variety of restaurants – Jade, for example – and has suggested that we go out together to review a restaurant.

He has been telling me about the Buona Forchetta for weeks and we finally set the date for last night. Lest you think that this was a “date, date” – let me assure you it was not. I met up with Michael, Jerry, Susan and Monique. 
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Restaurant Review: Wong’s Golden Palace

Wong’s Golden Palace
7126 University Ave
La Mesa, CA 91941

By Judi Curry

It seems like it’s been some time since I’ve done a review of a restaurant. Perhaps that’s because I am filling in for a friend at the Moxie Performing Arts Theater several times a month as a Front of the House Manager. Perhaps it’s because I seem to spend a few days a month in North Dakota learning how to milk goats. Maybe it’s that I’m not always able to find someone to go with me to try out a new place.

Whatever the reason, I’m back in action.

Wong’s Golden Palace was chosen by my friend, Warren, who went with me to see a play at the Moxie Theatre and knew the restaurant was conveniently nearby. It has been a long time since I’ve had Chinese food — with so many different Asian style restaurants around now I’d forgotten how much I really enjoy the cuisine. 
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Logan Heights Restaurateur Faces Hate for Supporting Refugee Children

“They’re not gonna make me not live. There not gonna make me stop what I’m doing. If anything they’re making my resolve harder and firmer.”

By Brent E. Beltrán

Last week I found out there’s this restaurant owner in Logan Heights that has been facing death threats from the people that have been hating on the refugee children from Central America. Mark Lane, owner of Poppa’s Fresh Fish, has received numerous phone calls and social media messages calling for his death and that of his family after calling for a boycott of Murrieta, Hate City USA, and for taking in a refugee family from Guatemala.

After hearing about the death threats and the attempted boycott of his business by hateful bigots I thought I’d contact him and see if he was willing to talk about his situation. He was and he had a lot to say. 
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Summer gardens coming on strong in San Diego!

By Susan Taylor

Hello fellow gardeners. How does your garden grow? Here in San Diego it is mid summer with temperatures in the mid 90s, five miles in from the beach and further east. Watering enough? Perhaps you have over watered your tomato vines as I have resulting in way more vine than fruit. Might be time to fertilize your beds with an organic fertilizer or fish emulsion. If you have garden veggies that are looking stressed from the heat and are not productive, do pull them out-there’s time to re-plant beans, squash, basil and other herbs.

In San Diego it is still too early for fall planting, let’s hang back a bit. If you have stone fruits they should be ripening nicely and good luck with keeping the birds from getting their fair share! This wasn’t a good year in my garden for apricots but there’s enough peaches for sure; I say there’s some peach crisp and jam in the household’s future unless I keep eating them out of hand from the trees. 
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Free to Eat Whatever You Want

There are clear reasons that food is safer in Europe than the United States.

By”Jill Richardson / OtherWords>

My neighbor just left to spend the entire summer in Europe.

He’s the guy with a highly restrictive diet I recently wrote about, with countless food intolerances that his “nutritionist” detected using dubious testing methods. I haven’t had the heart to tell him she’s a total quack. I think on some level, he wanted to hear that he couldn’t eat half the foods on the planet.

But I also feel for him. He’s going on the trip of a lifetime to a place with incredible food. What if he won’t eat it?

The day before he left, I asked him what he’ll do on the trip. He told me he plans to eat everything. He and his “nutritionist” agreed that food is better over there. Safer. More pure. 
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Few Are Left Fighting For The Ché

By Kyle Trujillo, UCSD Undergrad

On Wednesday of finals week, June 11, I cut short a study session and hurried across campus to Scholar’s drive to the Ché Cafe Collective. I knew it as the Che. Besides, it had recently been stripped of its “collective” status. It was the first time I was going to a meeting and not a show.

As I approached the colorful building I slowed down to listen. The walls could talk. The faces of Rigoberta Menchu, Malcom X, Martin Luther King Jr., Karl Marx, former student Angela Davis, and a prowling black panther. In red and black, the face of Ché Guevara stares fiercely from an outer wall and looks out proudly on the inner courtyard. The many murals are not just the work of students, but also local artist Mario Torero and the designer and activist Shepard Fairey.

On the cooperative’s Facebook event page, about 120 had clicked to attend. My heart sunk when I saw that only 20 were actually able to join in. My heart sunk further when I learned only three of us were students. I should have expected this. It was finals week – people who weren’t studying were already flying and driving home. 
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June Notes from the Garden

Gardening is the new front porch in urban America- share yours!

By Susan Taylor

Here’s good news for everyone. Ninety-five percent of all the insects you find in your garden are beneficial! Before you use or purchase any chemical (read toxic) solutions, you can first check online at the UCDavis Integrated Pest Management (IPM) site. Take a photo of your suspicious little bug and check it at the IPM website to be sure what your insect is and what, if anything, to do about it. Often times you can put some water and a drop or two of dish soap into a plastic spray bottle and that will do the trick (aphids come to mind). Remember to spray UNDER the leaves as well as the tops. I find this website very reassuring because I can’t remember everything, but I can remember where to look for information.

It is early June here in San Diego and you can still plant all your summer vegetables. … 
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Man Can’t Live on Cabbage Alone

Americans need credible nutrition advice they can trust, not a choice between quacks and “experts” sold out to junk food companies.

By Jill Richardson / OtherWords

I ran into an acquaintance recently and he told me he’d started seeing a new nutrition expert. “You know what?” he said, “It turns out I’m gluten intolerant.”

OK. Him and everyone else. I told him I was glad he found an expert who could help him.

A week later I saw him again. “I went back to the nutritionist,” he said. “I can’t have nightshades either.” That means no more potatoes, tomatoes, chili peppers, or eggplant.
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The Dark Truth Behind The Popular Superfood, Quinoa

As the hype around quinoa builds, so do big questions about the problems with its production.

By Jill Richardson / AlterNet

Quinoa is rising up the popularity charts as a food staple in U.S. and Europe. A growing spate of positive coverage cites quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wa) as a high-protein grain-like relative of spinach and beets which is a newly discovered gluten-free superfood. Its growing popularity has also spawned a growing source of controversy, following reports that high global quinoa prices put the crop out of reach for the people who grow it.

Many Americans want to get down to the bottom line: Should I eat it or not? Tanya Kerrsen, a Bolivia-based researcher for Food First who studies quinoa, thinks that is the wrong question.

“The debate has largely been reduced to the invisible hand of the marketplace, in which the only options for shaping our global food system are driven by (affluent) consumers either buying more or buying less,” she writes. “…whichever way you press the lever (buy more/buy less) there are bound to be negative consequences, particularly for poor farmers in the Global South.”

So what should you know about quinoa and its complex story? 
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Who Knew? Organic Foods Contain a Dose of GMOs

By John Lawrence

To be labeled as “USDA organic,” 95% of the ingredients must be organically grown and the remaining 5% may be non-organic agricultural ingredients or synthetic substances that have been approved for use in organics by the USDA.

The 5% of non-organic products are usually derived from GMO corn which is highly sprayed with Monsanto’s Roundup. 
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Bar 1502: Did You Know the New Noodle House is Open?

By Matthew Wood / OB Rag

It’s just after noon on a Friday afternoon and Steven Yeng looks nervous.

The man who opened the wildly popular OB Noodle House is standing in the middle of his new creation, Bar 1502, and the place – which opened less than a week before – is half empty during the normal lunch rush. (Ed.: this is the site of the old Blue Parrot.)

“I don’t think people know we’re open,” he says.

It’s hard to imagine being able to walk into Noodle House and get a table. At the original location, on Cable Street just north of Voltaire, the wait is almost always an hour-plus can grow to more than two hours.

“Locals just couldn’t get in anymore,” Yeng says.

The new location, at Bacon and Niagara, is a sentimental one for Yeng, who grew up on the same block. 
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