Media

Thumbnail image for Who Runs San Diego? The Role of Community Weeklies

Who Runs San Diego? The Role of Community Weeklies

by Doug Porter 08.27.2014 Columns

By Doug Porter / A Project of the Democratic Woman’s Club

There are more than two dozen community weekly media outlets in San Diego.  Most appear on printed tabloid-sized newsprint editions. Some have a rather tenuous relationship with internet editions.

Nationally speaking, paid circulation weeklies outnumber daily papers by a 6 to 1 margin. And nobody even keeps track of the smaller free papers. Depending on who you’re talking to, weeklies are the lights at the end of the media tunnel or just a few years away from being doomed to digital extinction.

What they have in common is their focus on a limited audience. Geography, ethnic background, social and/or sexual orientation are the target markets for these publishers, who range from corporate overlords to retirees. This week’s column will focus on those serving limited geographic areas. (A future installment will cover the non-geographic weeklies)

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10 George Orwell Quotes that Predicted Life in 2014 America

by Source 08.26.2014 Activism

george-orwellBy Justin King / The Anti-Media 

George Orwell ranks among the most profound social critics of the modern era. Some of his quotations, more than a half a century old, show the depth of understanding an enlightened mind can have about the future.

“In our age there is no such thing as ‘keeping out of politics.’ All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia.”

Though many in the modern age have the will to bury their head in the sand when it comes to political matters, nobody can only concern themselves with the proverbial pebble in their shoe. If one is successful in avoiding politics, at some point the effects of the political decisions they abstained from participating in will reach their front door. More often than not, by that time the person has already lost whatever whisper of a voice the government has allowed them.

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Thumbnail image for The Grand Experiment at Voice of San Diego

The Grand Experiment at Voice of San Diego

by At Large 08.21.2014 Columns

By Linda Perine / Democratic Woman’s Club

When Voice of San Diego (VOSD) began online publication nearly a decade ago  the excitement in progressive San Diego was palpable. Here, finally, was an answer to the biased reporting that had been a hallmark of the UT for years (even before it was purchased by Doug Manchester).

The world of journalism was being revolutionized as the print media model became too expensive and cumbersome to compete in an instant access world. Slate and Salon opened their digital doors, and it seemed a new dawn of accountable news reporting was upon us.

San Diego journalist/entrepreneur Neil Morgan and Buzz Woolley founded VOSD. Those were the days of Enron by the Sea, pension underfunding, indicted council members, resigning Mayors and special elections (sound familiar?).

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Thumbnail image for Basketball’s Bill Walton and Qualcomm’s Irwin Jacobs Cast as Labor Bullies by Faulconer’s Anti-Minimum Wage Strategist

Basketball’s Bill Walton and Qualcomm’s Irwin Jacobs Cast as Labor Bullies by Faulconer’s Anti-Minimum Wage Strategist

by Doug Porter 08.15.2014 Business

By Doug Porter

I’ve been saying it for months now–the minimum wage battle in San Diego will bring out the Really Big Lies and the Really Bad Guys. Today we’ll give you a little taste of what they’re saying and what they really believe.

On Monday City Council President Todd Gloria has called for a special session of the City Council to override Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s veto of a minimum wage increase and paid sick days for San Diego workers.

Gloria is quoted in this morning’s UT, saying, “The City Council should stand up for the 38 percent of San Diegans who are counting on this raise to help them better make ends meet, and I hope they will override the mayor’s veto”

On Tuesday, The “San Diego Small Business Coalition,” created by big businesses, will roll out a small army of signature gatherers armed with a spiel designed to fool voters into thinking they’re signing a reasonable petition.

We got a little taste of how ‘reasonable’ these folks are yesterday with GOP consultant Jason Roe, who crashed an early morning press conference held by Raise Up San Diego.

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Thumbnail image for Who Runs San Diego?  Papa Doug the Kingmaker

Who Runs San Diego? Papa Doug the Kingmaker

by Eva Posner 08.13.2014 Business

By Eva Posner / Democratic Woman’s Club

Last week we provided an overview of Doug Manchester, the U-T, and the influence this combination has on the electorate of San Diego County.

This week, the goal is to delve a bit deeper, using a recent issue to illustrate the intensity of collusion with the publisher of the region’s largest paper and other powers that be.

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Thumbnail image for Faux News, Environmental Views At Issue in 52nd District Congressional Race

Faux News, Environmental Views At Issue in 52nd District Congressional Race

by Doug Porter 08.13.2014 Business

By Doug Porter

Representative Scott Peters’ fight to keep his seat in the 52nd Congressional District continues to make the news. The National Journal and other media outlets ran stories yesterday about fake news sites being funded by the National Republican Congressional Committee; a quick search confirmed Peters was among their targets.

Climate Progress ran an article touting both Peters and opponent Carl DeMaio as unusual because both candidates agree that climate change is real- except that they couldn’t find a environmental activist willing to endorse DeMaio’s record.

Finally, former assemblyman Nathan Fletcher came out of his self-imposed political exile this morning to endorse Peters, Jack Harkin (former chair of the local United Veterans Council) and other veterans at a press conference in Balboa Park.

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Thumbnail image for Video Pick: “So Long Mom, I’m Off to Drop the Bomb…”

Video Pick: “So Long Mom, I’m Off to Drop the Bomb…”

by Staff 08.09.2014 Government

“Remember, Mommy, I’m off to get a commie…”

By Staff

So long, Mom,
I’m off to drop the bomb,
So don’t wait up for me.
But while you swelter
Down there in your shelter,
You can see me
On your TV.

While we’re attacking frontally,
Watch Brinkally and Huntally,
Describing contrapuntally
The cities we have lost.
No need for you to miss a minute
Of the agonizing holocaust. (Yeah!) …

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Thumbnail image for The Real Battle Begins: Faulconer Vetoes Minimum Wage Hike

The Real Battle Begins: Faulconer Vetoes Minimum Wage Hike

by Doug Porter 08.08.2014 Business

By Doug Porter

Republican Mayor Kevin Faulconer has vetoed an ordinance increasing minimum wages and allowing for earned sick days for San Diegans.

The City Council now has 30 days to override the veto. Twenty four hours after that vote happens it’s probable that the Chamber of Commerce–given that they’ve been raising money for it– will begin collecting signatures to overturn the ordinance.

The Committee for Slave Wages and Free Puppies for Everybody–or whatever catchy name they come up with–will have 30 days to collect 34,000 or so signatures. Should they succeed, the ordinance will be suspended until after the June, 2016 vote.

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Thumbnail image for Who Runs San Diego?– Douglas Manchester and U-T San Diego

Who Runs San Diego?– Douglas Manchester and U-T San Diego

by Eva Posner 08.06.2014 Business

By Eva Posner / Democratic Woman’s Club

U-T San Diego, formerly the San Diego Union-Tribune, is the largest daily newspaper in the region. According to the U-T advertising rate book, U-T San Diego reaches 29.9% of the adult population of San Diego during the week, and 41.2% on Sundays. U-T San Diego.com receives 29.5 million page views per month.

The U-T Community Press, which consists of 8 newspapers that formerly brought communities hyper local and independent news but where bought by the U-T’s owner Doug Manchester, has a weekly readership of 221,905. One of those newspapers is the North County Times, which was the U-T’s biggest competitor.

Even assuming these numbers are inflated to sell ads, it is obvious that the management/ownership have incredible influence over the information taken in by a large portion of the population of San Diego County and the surrounding region.

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Thumbnail image for Video Pick: Archival Footage of Hiroshima-Nagasaki, August 1945

Video Pick: Archival Footage of Hiroshima-Nagasaki, August 1945

by Staff 08.06.2014 Government

“At the conclusion of the screening there was utter silence.”

“In 1970, when I was the Manager of the “Center for Mass Communication,” (CMC), at Columbia University, we received an amazing letter from Japan. CMC was the branch at Columbia which produced and distributed educational and documentary films. The letter was from a professor of law at Tokyo University, and informed us that nine Japanese newsreel cameramen went to Hiroshima the day after the atomic bombs had been dropped and took several hours of 35mm film of the devastation.

They did the same after an atomic bomb was dropped over the city of Nagasaki. When General MacArthur and his staff occupied Japan, they screened this footage and felt that the actual shots of the results of the damage of the two cities, and in particular the injuries suffered by the survivors, was so horrible that it should be marked top secret, and withheld from the public indefinitely.

Immediately upon learning of this, we at CMC asked the US Government to allow us to screen this footage, and the government denied that this film ever existed.

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Thumbnail image for Congressman Darrell Issa’s Cherished Benghazi Crusade Crashes and Burns

Congressman Darrell Issa’s Cherished Benghazi Crusade Crashes and Burns

by Doug Porter 08.04.2014 Columns

By Doug Porter

The House Intelligence Committee has absolved the Obama administration of deliberate wrongdoing in the 2012 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, according to the San Francisco Chronicle and other news sources.

The attack has been a favored topic of conversation/outrage on the right. Congressman Darrel Issa’s on-camera buffoonery combined with gotta-find-a-smoking gun conservative media coverage resulted in more than 13 hearings, 25,000 pages of documents and 50 briefings.

Four American deaths at the hands of terrorists have been exploited beyond belief. UT-San Diego named the San Diego victims as its ‘persons of the year.’ Operational data on the CIA station in Libya became common knowledge. And millions of dollars have been wasted as GOP opportunists sought to make a scandal out of a tragedy in the hope that both the Obama administration and Hillary Clinton’s presidential ambitions would be tarnished.

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Thumbnail image for Who Runs San Diego? – Local Broadcast TV News Operations

Who Runs San Diego? – Local Broadcast TV News Operations

by Doug Porter 07.30.2014 Business

By Doug Porter / Democratic Woman’s Club

The sameness of the content can become overwhelming.

It’s happy, rappy and don’t-be-crappy whenever possible. Drama is reserved for ledes that bleed, i.e., crime and confrontations. Nuance is too difficult to jam into 30 seconds. It’s a formula, differing in graphics, presentation and the personalities of the persons reading the script.

It’s by-and-large an echo chamber. There’s a long standing tradition of prioritizing content based  on what appears in print media.  In San Diego that means “Papa Doug” Manchester and his Mission Valley minions have a disproportionate influence when it comes to political reporting.

Welcome to the world of commercial broadcast news in San Diego.

NOTE: This is the second installment of the Who Runs San Diego? series, a project of the Woman’s Democratic Club.

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Thumbnail image for The Return of Comic-Con International: Revenge of the Press Release

The Return of Comic-Con International: Revenge of the Press Release

by Brent E. Beltrán 07.23.2014 Arts

SDFP Writer Inundated with Comic-Con Related Emails

By Brent E. Beltrán

Last year I covered Comic-Con for San Diego Free Press. I wrote five articles in a series I called Adventures in Comic-Conlandia: A Nerds-eye View. You can read them here: Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV & Part 5. This was my first attempt at writing about something I had loved since I started attending back in 1986. Though grueling I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and will cover the event again this week. I plan on being not so ambitious this year.

Sometimes Comic-Con sneaks up on you. You don’t know it is here until trolley station signs are written in Klingon or you’re standing in line for a happy hour beverage next to a Stormtrooper.

For me that wasn’t the case this year. You see, I’ve been inundated with press releases for the past month and it’s picked up even more within the last week. I’ve been sent hundreds of emails from the various media, toy and comic book companies that want to get the word out about their latest film, action figure or storyline.

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Thumbnail image for Welcome to Comic Con: Be Sure to Cover Your Ass

Welcome to Comic Con: Be Sure to Cover Your Ass

by Doug Porter 07.21.2014 Cartoons

By Doug Porter

The one of the largest collections of make-believe comes to San Diego this week, kicking off Wednesday night with Preview Night followed by four days of events running Thursday, July 24 through Sunday, July 27. More than 130,000  are expected for Comic Con 2014.

What should be a dream-come-true event for fans of the genres involved has turned out to be a nightmare in recent years as an institutional malaise about dealing with harassment issues has surfaced. Last year photographs of attendee derrieres were posted online after Comic-Con as some sort of sick tribute to the misogynist mentality that’s flourished in recent events in San Diego and other cities.

A group calling itself Geeks for CONsent is fighting back this year, circulating a petition aiming at getting Comic-Con International in San Diego (SDCC) to update its harassment policy. They’re asking for a “full harassment policy,” as well as anti-harassment signs and trained volunteers to deal with complaints.  

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Thumbnail image for San Diego Free Press and OB Rag Bring Home Four Awards in Society of Professional Journalists Competition

San Diego Free Press and OB Rag Bring Home Four Awards in Society of Professional Journalists Competition

by Staff 07.14.2014 Culture

Recognition of writers Doug Porter, John Lawrence, Anna Daniels and Frank Gormlie

By Staff

On July 10 the the San Diego Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) held its annual journalism awards banquet at Bali Hai on Shelter Island. The names of all of the winners of the competition had been released in June. The list included San Diego Free Press editors Doug Porter, Anna Daniels and weekly contributor John Lawrence and Frank Gormlie, editor of our sister publication the OB Rag. First, second and third place winners would be announced at the banquet as well as the Journalist of the Year award.

Eight of us, representing the San Diego Free Press and the OB Rag, enjoyed a dinner on the bay against the backdrop of the city skyline and a rising, almost full moon.

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Thumbnail image for OB Rag Looking for July 4th Monitors  and OBservers

OB Rag Looking for July 4th Monitors and OBservers

by Frank Gormlie 07.03.2014 Media

Will the Marshmallow Ban Hold?
Will Homeless Advocates Be Arrested?

By Frank Gormlie / OB Rag

Your online, local website is looking for a few good observers who have cameras for July 4th.  That’s right, the OB Rag wants to sign up a handful of volunteers who will assist us in monitoring what happens in Ocean Beach on Friday, July 4th.

There’s a bunch of stuff to observe – and we’re not talking about the surf or the fireworks.

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Thumbnail image for Reactions to Supreme Court Hobby Lobby Decision Range From Real Disappointment to Really Dumb

Reactions to Supreme Court Hobby Lobby Decision Range From Real Disappointment to Really Dumb

by Doug Porter 07.01.2014 Columns

By Doug Porter

The Supreme Court saved its most controversial decisions for last for this session, announcing twin 5-4 votes yesterday in cases limiting public sector unions and extending the concept of corporations as persons to include the right to opt out of contraceptive coverage based on the religious beliefs of the owners.

While the rulings were narrower than they could have been, they triggered reactions filled with hyperbole and misinformation. For purposes of today’s column, we’ll take a look at responses to Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, the ruling holding closely held corporations (90% of all companies) are “persons” as defined by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993.

Make no mistake about it, the creeping person-hood of corporations combined with a ruling favorable to the theocracy set is serious business. But the headlines at places like the Huffington Post were beyond the pale.

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Thumbnail image for Smart Phone ‘Kill Switch’ Legislation Not So Smart

Smart Phone ‘Kill Switch’ Legislation Not So Smart

by Doug Porter 06.20.2014 Columns

By Doug Porter

District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis has an op-ed in today’s UT-San Diego praising yet another ‘common sense’ reform.  She and other law enforcement types around the state are rallying behind a bill authored by State Senator Mark Leno, D-San Francisco that would require cellphone manufacturers to have “kill switch” technology enabled by default.

She argues that the wireless industry is fighting this legislation to protect the profits made from selling replacements for stolen smart phones. It all just sounds so logical. Until you think about her real track record–Since when did our feckless DA become a populist crusader? And haven’t we learned our lesson yet about reforms that seem too good to be true?

Fortunately for consumers and citizens the folks at the Electronic Frontier Foundation have cried foul on Sen. Leno’s SB962. It’s a bad idea wrapped up in sheep’s clothing that has the potential to make your smart phone stupid and into a tool for suppressing free speech.

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Thumbnail image for The Community Plan Domino Effect: First Barrio Logan, Now Ocean Beach Challenged

The Community Plan Domino Effect: First Barrio Logan, Now Ocean Beach Challenged

by Doug Porter 06.16.2014 Columns

By Doug Porter

More than four decades ago a grass roots movement arose in Ocean Beach in response to development plans that would have destroyed the essential nature of the community. Now the  city planning commission is seeking to override sensible conditions for development included in the latest up date of the Ocean Beach community plan.

At issue is a change in the formula used to determine floor area ratio restrictions. Currently development in OB is regulated in size and scope by a requirement that can limit the size of the building on a lot. The change being insisted upon by downtown will allow development similar to that in place in Mission Beach, where sprawling buildings sit cheek by jowl in a soulless wasteland.

The grand plans drawn up back in the 1960s by the spawn of the Peninsula Chamber of Commerce for high rise hotels, apartment complexes and a yacht harbor may not be possible these days thanks to the 30 foot high limit and environmental concerns. However, the desire to over-develop with little or no regard for the consequences continues to exist.

The current community plan up for consideration was written over a 12 year period by community members and has the support of every community group. There are, however, several landlords with clout who have made their opposition known.

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Thumbnail image for Tea Party Primary Victory a Death Knell for Immigration Reform

Tea Party Primary Victory a Death Knell for Immigration Reform

by Doug Porter 06.11.2014 Columns

By Doug Porter

 House Majority Leader Eric Cantor was defeated by a little-known Tea Party backed candidate last night in a Virginia primary. While some in the news media are rushing to blame his defeat on voter hostility to immigration reform, the reality of the situation is more complex.

The lede in the UT-San Diego page one story, sourced from combined AP/Washington Post coverage, said the upset resulted from “a wave of public anger over calls for looser immigration laws.”  This analysis fits very neatly into the commonly accepted narrative saying the teahadist victory is an off-year primary in a conservative district, where the largest bloc of GOP voters are about two steps above frothing at the mouth.

That just isn’t quite true. But at the Congressional level it’s a handy excuse for doing nothing, something the current batch of House Republicans have excelled at.

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Thumbnail image for It’s Time to Stand Up for Increasing the Minimum Wage, San Diego!

It’s Time to Stand Up for Increasing the Minimum Wage, San Diego!

by Doug Porter 06.10.2014 Columns

“No business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to exist in this country.” President Franklin D Roosevelt

By Doug Porter

It’s been the season of (talking about) minimum wage increases. Now it’s time to take action.

On Wednesday the Economic Development and Intergovernmental Relations Committee will be discussing a proposal supported by Council President Todd Gloria. If the committee approves it will go to the full City Council. Then Council members will then decide whether to approve the wage hike or send it to the ballot for a public vote.

Local supporters of Gloria’s measure, led by Raise Up San Diego  are calling for people to attend the committee hearing, slated for the 12th floor at city hall, Wednesday, June 11th from 9am til Noon. Over 200 people showed for an earlier hearing back in April.

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Thumbnail image for SDFP Turns Two:  Celebration Time!

SDFP Turns Two: Celebration Time!

by Anna Daniels 06.07.2014 Activism

A growing SDFP community continues to write the people’s history

By Anna Daniels

On Sunday June 1, San Diego Free Press editors, contributors and supporters celebrated our second year anniversary. There was much to celebrate. Since our inception on June 4, 2012, we have published over 3,000 articles and provided original content seven day a week through an all volunteer effort. New writers with unique perspectives and interests have joined us in the past year and editor Doug Porter of The Starting Line fame published his 500th article. Our growing readership tells us that we have been able to consistently provide relevant content.

The articles we publish run the gamut of news, analysis, opinion, personal interest stories and the arts. What sets SDFP apart from other media is that these articles are all provided by citizen journalists. These citizen journalists often provide information about communities that are ignored, stereotyped and marginalized. We are essentially writing a people’s history of San Diego in which we are not only observers but becoming agents of change too.

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Thumbnail image for San Diego’s “Business and Industry Leaders” Plead for Taxpayer Subsidies

San Diego’s “Business and Industry Leaders” Plead for Taxpayer Subsidies

by Doug Porter 06.06.2014 Battle for Barrio Logan

By Doug Porter

The debate about proposals to increase the minimum wage in San Diego continues today. Yesterday the Chamber of Commerce and San Diego County Taxpayers Association held a press conference featuring the release of a ‘study’ predicting doom, gloom and increased poverty unless they were allowed to pay lower wages.

The study, as I predicted yesterday, was a joke, starting with its assumptions (failing to acknowledge San Diego’s higher cost of living) to its solutions (a state earned income credit). A small group –the Coalition for Labor & Community Solidarity– protesting the conference was ignored by local media outlets, with the exception of NBC7.

This morning the pro-increase Raise Up San Diego held their own media event, featuring a handful of small business owners explaining why they support San Diego City Council President Todd Gloria’s proposal for an initiative on earned sick days and a minimum wage increase throughout the city.

While I appreciate the back and forth between people who sign paychecks, I remain concerned about what’s being left out of this conversation.

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Thumbnail image for Happy Birthday San Diego Free Press – My Story

Happy Birthday San Diego Free Press – My Story

by Doug Porter 06.06.2014 Columns

By Doug Porter

Note: San Diego Free Press turned two this week. This is one of several remembrances and reflections we’ll be publishing over the next few days.  Back when we were first starting SDFP I wrote out this speech for somebody to read on my behalf at one of our early meetings. At that time I was recovering from surgery to remove a cancerous larynx and could not speak. What I “said” at the time still rings true for me today.  

_________________

I was involved with alternative press in San Diego back in the early 1970’s and moved back to this place in 2008. Now I write a column 5 days a week for the Free Press.

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Thumbnail image for 2014 Primaries: It’s #Ididnotvote by a Landslide

2014 Primaries: It’s #Ididnotvote by a Landslide

by Doug Porter 06.04.2014 2014 June Primary

By Doug Porter

Yesterday San Diego non-voters elected a district attorney personally embroiled in a criminal case, a county clerk supported by anti-gay bigots and a supervisor known for using taxpayer dollars to support religious causes. Call it a resounding victory for apathy and a defeat for advocates of the two tier/jungle primary voting system as a near-record low number (I’m guessing 22%) of voters cast ballots.

Approximately 12% of the city’s registered voters agreed with a corporate campaign almost completely based on lies to overturn a five-year-long community planning process. Incumbents were triumphant everywhere.

There will be runoff elections in November for San Diego City Council District 6 between Carol Kim and Chris Cate, the 52nd Congressional District between Carl DeMaio and Scott Peters, along with Mary Salas versus Jerry Rindone vying for the Mayor in Chula Vista. A stealth campaign by teahadist Donna Woodrum for a seat on the San Diego Community College Board failed to unseat Maria Nieto Senour.

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