Sports

Thumbnail image for The Little Thing Our Cities Can Do to Inspire Millions More People to Bike

The Little Thing Our Cities Can Do to Inspire Millions More People to Bike

by Source 07.13.2014 Health

Protected bike lanes help riders feel less exposed to danger, and are also appreciated by drivers and pedestrians, who know where to expect bicycles.

By Jay Walljasper / AlterNet

You can see big changes happening across North America as communities from Fairbanks to St. Petersburg transform their streets into appealing places for people, not just cars and trucks.

“Over the past five years we’re seeing an infrastructure revolution, a rethinking of our streets to accommodate more users—busways, public plazas, space for pedestrians and, of course, bike lanes,” says David Vega-Barachowitz of the National Association of City Transportation Officials. “More protected bike lanes is one of the most important parts of this.”

Protected bike lanes separate people on bikes from rushing traffic with concrete curbs, plastic bollards or other means— and sometimes offer additional safety measures such as special bike traffic lights and painted crossings at intersections.  Protected bike lanes help riders feel less exposed to danger, and are also appreciated by drivers and pedestrians, who know where to expect bicycles. Streets work better when everyone has a clearly defined space.

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Thumbnail image for Without Women, the Computer Game Boom Years May Not Last

Without Women, the Computer Game Boom Years May Not Last

by Source 07.09.2014 Culture

By Julie Prescott, University of Bolton / The Conversation

An encouraging report by the International Game Developers Association recently found that women now make up 22% of the computer game workforce. This is a massive improvement from the previous figure of just 4% of the UK industry in 2009.

But it doesn’t go far enough. A serious sector ought to have a workforce that reflects wider society. Until it does, the industry will see its creativity diminish, its reputation suffer and eventually its bottom line will be hit.

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Thumbnail image for San Diego Grit: Remembering Tony Gwynn

San Diego Grit: Remembering Tony Gwynn

by Jim Miller 06.23.2014 Columns

By Jim Miller

Tony Gwynn died last week and it stopped me.  In part it was because he died too soon at 54, only four years older than me and many of my friends who grew up watching and admiring his skill as a player.  As is always the case when someone who has been a part of your collective experience goes, there is a new hole in your life, that sense that something’s missing that won’t come back except as a ghost, a haunting memory.

But it was more than that.  With the death of Gwynn, San Diego lost the last of his kind, a Southern California product who went to school at SDSU, came up with the Padres, and stayed here for his entire career, even when he could have left for greener pastures.  In an era of pervasive corporate delocalization in sports and the culture at large, Gwynn was an old school guy who embodied loyalty to his town and his team.  You couldn’t really think of San Diego without him.

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Thumbnail image for The Dirty Energy War: Gov’t Shutdown Threat as the Koch Brothers Scheme in Dana Point

The Dirty Energy War: Gov’t Shutdown Threat as the Koch Brothers Scheme in Dana Point

by Doug Porter 06.18.2014 Columns

By Doug Porter

President Obama’s address to eight thousand graduates at the University of California Irvine campus this weekend made it perfectly clear he’s no longer willing to play games when it comes to regulating emissions.  Saying ‘denying climate change is like arguing the moon is made of cheese’, he issued a call to action on global warming.

Republicans on Capitol Hill are issuing their own call to action. According to a report in the New Republic, senior members in the House GOP are seriously contemplating using appropriations bills necessary to keep the government open in order to block proposed EPA regulations on coal emissions. Pursuing this strategy could set the stage for a budget showdown, including a partial government shutdown.

Why the desperation? Perhaps because the people with the money to fund conservative causes say fighting to save dirty energy is a priority. A mere twenty miles south of the UC Irvine event, the Koch brothers told donors at a secret meeting in Dana Point this past weekend about the newest weapon in their political arsenal, a super PAC called Freedom Partners Action Fund.

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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 Thank you, Maggie — I mean — Dilma! The Workers’ Party of Brazil Has Gone Full Thatcher!

Thank you, Maggie — I mean — Dilma! The Workers’ Party of Brazil Has Gone Full Thatcher!

by Source 06.12.2014 Sports

“Today there is a systematic campaign against the World Cup — or rather, it is not against the World Cup but rather a systematic campaign against us.”

By Daniel Gutiérrez / Conjecture

[Editor’s Note: The World Cup begins today in Brazil. Thousands upon thousands of Brazilians have been protesting the billions of dollars spent to pay for hosting it while basic needs of the impoverished are unmet.]

The past week in Brazil has fully revealed the face of the country’s Worker’s Party (PT). If there’s any wonder as to which side of the fence the PT is on, it surely isn’t on the side of the workers. And Dilma said it herself, “Today there is a systematic campaign against the World Cup — or rather, it is not against the World Cup but rather a systematic campaign against us.” These words are reminiscent of [former British Prime Minister] Maggie Thatcher’s proud words against striking miners: “We had to fight the enemy without in the Falklands. We always have to be aware of the enemy within, which is much more difficult to fight and more dangerous to liberty.”

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Thumbnail image for The National Football League Has a “Donald Sterling” and it’s Daniel Snyder – Owner of the Redskins

The National Football League Has a “Donald Sterling” and it’s Daniel Snyder – Owner of the Redskins

by Source 06.11.2014 Business

By Beau Grosscup

Hours after the private racist statements of Donald Sterling, the NBA Los Angeles Clipper’s owner became public, millions of people, from players, owners, fans, indeed the whole sports industry and many in the general public went appropriately apoplectic. In unity they said the National Basketball Association must take decisive action. Clipper players engaged in symbolic acts of protest before their first playoff game. Threats of player and fan boycott preceded the second game.

Outraged at Sterling’s racism, Americans inside and out of the sports world waited to hear what action NBA commissioner Adam Silver would take. It had to be of consequence, they insisted, a strong message that racism in today’s society is socially unacceptable. Silver banned Sterling for life from NBA events. Arguing Sterling violated Article 13, Section d. of the NBA Bylaws,Silver said he would push Sterling to sell the Clippers. A month later the team was sold to a new owner.

Contrast this with the long public campaign to get Daniel Snyder, owner of the National Football League’s Washington Redskins, to follow the lead of dozens of amateur sports teams and drop the racist Native American name in favor of a socially responsible moniker.

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Thumbnail image for Fans Move to Buy LA Clippers after Owner Is Banned from NBA

Fans Move to Buy LA Clippers after Owner Is Banned from NBA

by Source 05.24.2014 Activism

The fans hope to buy the team and make it into a nonprofit organization like the Green Bay Packers.

By Christopher Zumski Finke/ Yes!

Everyone from the Commissioner of the National Basketball Association to the players and the fans seems to agree: Donald Sterling should not own the Los Angeles Clippers.

Last week, Sterling’s girlfriend recorded Sterling in a racist diatribe, in which he requested that she not associate with African Americans in public. The audio was released to the paparazzi website TMZ, and within 72 hours Sterling was banned for life from all NBA activities. The commissioner of the NBA, Adam Silver, recommended the league’s 29 other owners vote to force Sterling to sell his team.

The legality of forcing Sterling to sell is open to question, but the rapid unfolding of events raises an important question: who should own the Clippers?

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Thumbnail image for Bike Sharing Plan Snubs Economically Challenged Neighborhoods

Bike Sharing Plan Snubs Economically Challenged Neighborhoods

by Doug Porter 05.08.2014 Business

By Doug Porter

It’s National Bike Month and, like cities all over the United States, San Diego has its fair share of events celebrating the increasing importance of two-wheeled transportation in recent years.

Residents of the city who happen to reside in the city’s eastern neighborhoods have a little less reason to celebrate. San Diego’s much vaunted and oft-delayed bike share program, via the privately run DecoBike, has announced their plan for over 175 pick-up and drop off locations, and it would seem that residents of City Heights, Golden Hill  and eastward along El Cajon Boulevard are not part of the picture.

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Thumbnail image for Ride through National Bike Month with These Local Events

Ride through National Bike Month with These Local Events

by Annie Lane 05.07.2014 Activism

The SDFP is switching gears from National Poetry Month to National Bike Month. There are several events throughout the month of May for avid and amateur cyclists alike. If you know of an event not listed below, please add it in the comment section.

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Thumbnail image for Cyclists Take Over Barrio Logan for a Day

Cyclists Take Over Barrio Logan for a Day

by Brent E. Beltrán 05.04.2014 Desde la Logan

Photos from the 18th Annual Barrio Logan Grand Prix

By Brent E. Beltrán

On Saturday May 3 hundreds of cycling enthusiasts from throughout the region and beyond descended on San Diego’s most historic Mexican community for the 18th annual Barrio Logan Grand Prix.

This event, organized by the San Diego Bicycle Club to benefit the Logan Heights Family Health Center, has become one of the largest cycling events in southern California.

The Barrio Logan Grand Prix coincides each year with the Logan Heights Family Health Center Health Fair that offers free health screenings, free children’s vaccinations, free pregnancy testing, food, entertainment and prizes for those in attendance.

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Thumbnail image for The Best Bicycle Ride Around Mission Bay

The Best Bicycle Ride Around Mission Bay

by Frank Gormlie 05.03.2014 Culture

By Frank Gormlie / OB Rag

The tour I now present around Mission Bay is a great one and it is a ride that has been honed by me and a few riding friends over the last three decades – since the early Eighties.

It is a ride along a route that has a minimum of traffic and street exposure, and it is a route that is practically 13 miles round trip from the Ocean Beach Skateboard Park in Robb Field.

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Thumbnail image for DA Bonnie Dumanis – Keeper of the Flame for San Diego’s Power Elite

DA Bonnie Dumanis – Keeper of the Flame for San Diego’s Power Elite

by Doug Porter 04.28.2014 2014 June Primary

By Doug Porter

The race for District Attorney in San Diego has heated up in recent days, with incumbent Bonnie Dumanis actually showing up for a debate in Del Cerro after skipping events in Oceanside and La Jolla earlier this month. She also appeared at a Ramona Tea Party multi-candidate forum on Saturday, reportedly wearing a straw cowboy hat.

UT-San Diego gave Dumanis their editorial blessing this weekend, saying “She deserves re-election to a fourth term,” before acknowledging that she might have picked up some “baggage” over her 12 years in office. While that “baggage,” which includes a campaign finance scandal and an over-zealous (and failing) campaign against medical marijuana is of interest, it’s the broader accusations that Dumanis has politicized the District Attorney’s office that merit your attention.

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Thumbnail image for The Banana Republic of San Diego: Quest for a New Football Stadium and Lower Wages

The Banana Republic of San Diego: Quest for a New Football Stadium and Lower Wages

by Doug Porter 04.21.2014 Activism

By Doug Porter

Another week has passed and UT-San Diego has published yet another article telling us what to expect in the coming months as our local plutocrats hammer out plans for a new gladiator arena, er, football stadium.

Past failures to achieve a consensus were brushed aside by Chargers special counsel Mark Fabian in this weeks fish wrap, attributed to “the kind of political instability that is more typical of a banana republic than of a major American city”. I’m sure former Mayor Jerry Sanders (2005-2012) is thrilled by that characterization.

This week we learn of a Joint Powers Authority (Think SANDAG, or the Airport Commission), with a “working scernario” envisioning a county-wide 2016 ballot measure tapping local treasuries for the expected “taxpayer contribution common in the construction costs of every new National Football League stadium in recent years.”

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Thumbnail image for Build Us a Stadium or We’ll Shoot This Puppy – Here Comes the Chargers ‘Deal’

Build Us a Stadium or We’ll Shoot This Puppy – Here Comes the Chargers ‘Deal’

by Doug Porter 04.14.2014 Columns

By Doug Porter

He doesn’t speak for anyone, UT-San Diego sports columnist Kevin Acee says, and he won’t be heard by anyone. Thus, his page-one-worthy column about the likely scenario for a new football stadium ended up on page D-4 in Sunday’s paper.

The story was actually posted on Friday afternoon online, and its significance becomes apparent when you realize that nearly 150 people had posted comments before the dead tree edition hit the streets.

The Chargers stadium scenario story is supposed to be nothing more than informed speculation, of course. Except that (I’d bet) it’s not. Call it a trial balloon, floated in the wake of a ‘preliminary’ meeting between team representatives and the mayor’s minions last Wednesday.

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Thumbnail image for March Madness Bringing out “The Thinker” in Me

March Madness Bringing out “The Thinker” in Me

by Ernie McCray 04.01.2014 Culture

Go Aztecs! Bear Down, Arizona!

By Ernie McCray

My highlight of the 2014 March Madness Tournament was the Arizona Wildcat win over the San Diego State Aztecs in the Sweet 16. What a great game.

It was, however, a bittersweet win for me because, although I used to play for the U of A and the school is in Tucson, the town in which I made my debut as a homosapien, the Aztecs are my team too as San Diego is the town I came to when I decided that my “running around looking for shade trees” days were through. So my rejoicing after the game was somewhat tame. But I did do a little jig. For about an hour.

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Thumbnail image for Zen and the Art of Baseball

Zen and the Art of Baseball

by Jim Miller 03.31.2014 Editor's Picks

It’s spring and opening week is here and that makes me very happy. Baseball helps me live. It’s perhaps the best American manifestation of the kind of daily ritual that enables us to achieve a small portion of the balance and harmony we need to provide ballast against the chaos of the world. Whether it’s playing the game or simply contemplating it, baseball provides one with precisely the kind of focused yet purposeless activity that can take you out to the ballgame and into the heart of the moment.

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Thumbnail image for Balboa Park Celebration Leadership Snubs City Council Hearing

Balboa Park Celebration Leadership Snubs City Council Hearing

by Doug Porter 03.26.2014 Columns

By Doug Porter

The outrageous conduct by the leadership for the Balboa Park Celebration, Inc. continues.

After blowing through nearly $3 million during the past three years with nothing to show for it, BPCI co-chair Nikki Clay and transition director Gerry Braun have told the City Council’s Environment Committee that they’ll be unavailable for a hearing today.

Committee chair David Alvarez is looking for answers, requesting a report be provided regarding the soon-to-be-defunct group’s activities and along with an explanation for the $13,000-a-month salary being paid to Braun while he winds things down.

UPDATE: Braun did appear, after all. According to one observer:

He was grilled by Marti Emerald for a delightfully painful 20-25 minutes. He stayed on message and script as best he could, but he had no answers to the good questions. 

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Thumbnail image for My Hometown as a Basketball Town

My Hometown as a Basketball Town

by Ernie McCray 03.18.2014 Columns

By Ernie McCray

I just finished a nice read, Tucson a Basketball Town. It was written by Arizona hoop legends, Bob Elliott and Eric Money.

They, in a nice informative way, remind Arizona basketball fans that before Lute Olson came along and took the program to somewhat unbelievable heights that there was an era, in the 70′s, their era, that Tucson became a basketball town.

They’re so right and the man who made it all happen from the coaching end was one of the most charismatic and self-confident human beings I have ever had the privilege of knowing: Fred “The Fox” Snowden, the first black coach for a major school in a major NCAA conference. He brought in players like Bob and Eric and others who collectively played basketball at a level that had never been seen in my hometown.

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Thumbnail image for Why I like the Big Red-Head (Bill Walton)

Why I like the Big Red-Head (Bill Walton)

by Ernie McCray 03.06.2014 Columns

By Ernie McCray

I remember one time, long ago, back in the day, hearing a guy say, about Bill Walton, “Aw, man, that dude can’t play no ball.” Hey, I don’t know what his definition of “playing ball” was but I had just, a few moments before, seen basketball played at a level or two above what you’d ordinarily see a teenage red-head high school kid do on a basketball court.

First of all he gangster slapped the notion of “white guys can’t jump.” I mean he blocked shots like he was in a badminton game, tapping a couple to himself and then he whipped outlet passes for the fast-break like the ball was on a laser beam; he drove the defense absolutely insane, pulling up for jump-shots, dropping floating hook-shots, setting screens and playing off screens, setting his teammates up for easy shots, and driving his big red-head self down the lane. I had never seen such dominance in a basketball game – and I could play the game.

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Thumbnail image for The Quest for a San Diego Summer Olympics in 2024

The Quest for a San Diego Summer Olympics in 2024

by Doug Porter 03.04.2014 Columns

By Doug Porter

It’s easy to poke fun at the idea of San Diego putting together a bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics in light of the failures of the leadership for the Balboa Park Centennial. It’s not so easy to figure what the actual benefit would be if such a bid succeeded. And, since there are people working hard to make it happen, it’s worth pondering.

The Balboa Park centennial group tried to build an event from the top down, jetting off to Panama and Mexico for marquis events while ignoring offers from the likes of the former CEO of Legoland. Now their $50 million event has been downsized to $2 million, much of which will seemingly be spent on executive compensation.

A Summer Olympics comes with the marquis events included. Local boosters are charged with presenting a plan building from the bottom up including venues, accommodations, security and logistics. “Build it and they will come” can be considered the mantra for such an event. While we should expect much to be made in the media about the dollars needed, the social and political costs will likely be glossed over.

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Thumbnail image for CycloFemme Inspires Worldwide Growth in Women’s Cycling

CycloFemme Inspires Worldwide Growth in Women’s Cycling

by Source 03.04.2014 Culture

An interview with founder Sarai Snyder

By Brigette Taylor / Suite Brigette

Through my events planning work in San Diego and on the east coast I have had the opportunity to witness greater inclusion of community voices in planning efforts around pedestrian and biking safety. I have noticed more women riding their bikes on the streets of San Diego as well as an increase in community members (including youths) participating in the planning process for more walkable and bikeable neighborhoods. The promotion of cycling and the creation of strategies for greater ease in riding on city streets appears to be paying off.

Women’s History Month offers a context in which the advancement of women in cycling can be recognized and celebrated. I had the opportunity to speak with Sarai Snyder, the founder of CycloFemme, which is a worldwide cycling movement whose mission honors the past, celebrates the present and empowers the future of women in cycling.

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Thumbnail image for Aztecs Fall to 13 in AP, Coaches Poll After UNM Loss.  Time to Panic Yet?

Aztecs Fall to 13 in AP, Coaches Poll After UNM Loss. Time to Panic Yet?

by Andy Cohen 02.25.2014 Sports

Yearlong offensive struggles have finally caught up.

By Andy Cohen

The San Diego State Aztecs plummeted from 6th in the AP poll and 7th in the Coaches poll to 13th in both yesterday after losing to New Mexico 58-44 in Albuquerque on Saturday night.  Perhaps “plummeted” is a bit much.  This isn’t the Aztec basketball apocalypse…..yet.

Let’s not take anything away from the Lobos here.  They are a very good team who just happens to be playing its best basketball of the entire season right now.  The Aztecs hit a buzzsaw at the wrong time.

But to say that the Aztecs have been in an offensive funk since the first quarter of the conference season would be a bit of an understatement.  This team has prided itself on its effort and effectiveness on the defensive end of the floor all year, and through the non-conference season they were able to do just enough offensively to power them through some very big games, most notably against then #20 Creighton (now ranked #9 in the AP poll) and at then #16/17 Kansas (now #5/6), who just secured their 10th straight conference title to go against only their ninth home loss that the Aztecs dealt them on Jan 5 during that same period.

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