Downtown

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 San Diegans Rally on Behalf of Central American Refugee Children

San Diegans Rally on Behalf of Central American Refugee Children

by Brent E. Beltrán 07.10.2014 Activism

Acceptance and Love in the Face of Bigotry and Hate

By Brent E. Beltrán

On the evening of July ninth approximately 200 people from San Diego gathered for a rally and vigil at the Federal Building Downtown to show their solidarity with the refugee children of Central America.

The rally, called Demonstration in SOLIDARITY with the National Action for the Children and a Vigil for Love, was part of a series of actions across the US showing support for the children.

The refugees came to the forefront of America’s consciousness after bigots decided to block the buses these children were riding in. The buses were transporting these unaccompanied minors to get processed at an immigration facility in Murrieta, Ca.

The blocking of the buses unleashed a moral crisis in Murrieta and across the country as angry, mostly white people, let loose their bigoted ways against children whose only crime was to escape the violence of their own countries, much of which was instigated by past US policies in the region.

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Thumbnail image for Distilling the Essence of a Tune: Jeff Hamilton Trio Sunday at the Saville Theater

Distilling the Essence of a Tune: Jeff Hamilton Trio Sunday at the Saville Theater

by John Lawrence 09.24.2013 Culture

by John Lawrence

The Jeff Hamilton Trio with Jeff on drums, Tamir Hendelman on piano and Christoph Luty on bass will perform Saturday, September 29, at the Saville Theater on the campus of San Diego City College at 5 PM. If you only go to one jazz event this year, this should be the one.

Jeff Hamilton is a truly amazing drummer, a major star in the jazz firmament. Jeff was voted the Numero Uno jazz drummer in Modern Drummer Magazine’s readers’ poll. Jeff’s prestidigitation on the drum set will have sticks and/or hands flying in a way that hardly seems humanly possible but always with consummate taste and rooted in the jazz tradition.

Jeff’s marriage of power and precision, his dynamic range from whispers to raging torrents, will leave you breathless and definitely wanting more. But most of all he’s known for his melodic solos.

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Thumbnail image for Flags and Flogging at the Filner Recall Rally

Flags and Flogging at the Filner Recall Rally

by Source 07.19.2013 Politics

By Tom Hunter

There were two American flags held up by the children of Filner recall organizer Michael Pallamary, and much talk of scripture, but the free puppies were a no show.  Very little was said of the sins of the Mayor, although we were asked to love and pray for Bob Filner as the trapdoor was slamming open.

They had a good crowd of a hundred or more, but they definitely were not all there to scorn Mayor Bob. The spectacle was part of the draw.  There was a feisty lady standing all of 4’6″ tall who just couldn’t take the Filner disparagement anymore later on and just lost it, letting the pulpit have it with both barrels.

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Thumbnail image for Filner Supporters Speak Out, Calling for Due Process

Filner Supporters Speak Out, Calling for Due Process

by Source 07.18.2013 Government

By Tom Hunter
About 50 Mayor Bob Filner supporters and assorted press gathered at the Community Concourse plaza Thursday afternoon to demand Mayor Filner be given due process in response to charges of sexual misconduct.

Press conference organizer and longtime progressive advocate Enrique Morones opened with a comparison between Mayor Filner’s record on human rights and that of Nelson Mandela.  One theme stressed by every speaker was that everyone including Mayor Filner deserves to face his accusers and receive due process.

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Thumbnail image for If the Story Was “Mayor Walks on Water”, the UT-San Diego Headline Would be “Filner Can’t Swim”

If the Story Was “Mayor Walks on Water”, the UT-San Diego Headline Would be “Filner Can’t Swim”

by Doug Porter 07.08.2013 Columns

The Watchdog Yips at the New Public Library

By Doug Porter

It really is true that no stone can be left unturned in UT-San Diego’s quest to denigrate Mayor Bob Filner. This week’s “Watchdog” example involves a reporter with a questionable background, a moving company and an abysmal level of ignorance on the subject of libraries.

For those of you who haven’t been keeping up with such things, the main branch of San Diego’s Public Library is moving into a new building. Not only are collections and reference materials long-buried in the bowels of the old building being cleaned up and rediscovered, additional genealogy collections from archives throughout the region are being merged into the new facility.

Moving the contents of the old location into the new digs is a huge task, and it shouldn’t be surprising to learn that a company specializing in such tasks was retained to handle the job.  After all, you wouldn’t want two guys and a moving van moving a collection that includes thousands of rare resource materials, many of them unique to the region.

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Thumbnail image for San Diego Gets Another Black Eye: Goldsmith’s #ChalkGate Prosecution Gets World-Wide Coverage

San Diego Gets Another Black Eye: Goldsmith’s #ChalkGate Prosecution Gets World-Wide Coverage

by Doug Porter 06.28.2013 Activism

“Chalk-U-Py” Protest, Petitions Follow Judge’s Gag Order in Bank of America Graffiti Trial

By Doug Porter

Things are going out of control for City Attorney Jan Goldsmith. His office’s decision to prosecute 40 year old Jeff Olson for using children’s washable chalk to scrawl protests on sidewalks adjacent to Bank of America branch offices has garnered world wide notice. And it’s not the kind of publicity the Downtown Tourism folks appreciate.

A newly organized group calling itself Liberals for Liberty has announced plans to create a chalk mural of the Constitution with focus on the First Amendment in front of the San Diego Hall of Justice.  A Facebook page set up for the event calls for local artists to meet up Saturday (June 29th) at the courthouse, 330 West Broadway, San Diego.

At Change.org, a petition went up Friday morning calling upon City Attorney Jan Goldsmith to drop the prosecution of Jeff Olson for chalk graffiti, citing “an obvious abuse of power and a wasteful use of the resources of the City of San Diego.” The influential Daily Kos blog has also announced a petition, saying “prosecuting people who chalk political messages on vandalism charges is a blatant abuse of power.”

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Thumbnail image for Downtown Doublecross Foiled– Mayor Filner Calls Out Hoteliers Attempt to Sabotage Tourism Deal -UPDATED

Downtown Doublecross Foiled– Mayor Filner Calls Out Hoteliers Attempt to Sabotage Tourism Deal -UPDATED

by Doug Porter 05.31.2013 Business

‘The City of San Diego will not be held hostage”

By Doug Porter

Once again we’re seeing headlines proclaiming Mayor Filner to be responsible for causing the San Diego Tourism Authority to close down. 

We’re hearing about how people’s jobs will be affected by a “squabble”.

We’re being told via the Daily Fishwrap editorial about a “crippling blow to a major pillar of the San Diego economy.”

Hogwash.

Mayor Filner has demanded that the tourism agency live up to its end of a bargain struck back in April that, among other things, directed 5 percent of Tourism Marketing District (TMD) revenue to the upcoming celebration of Balboa Park’s centennial. That deal came after several months of very public and ugly struggle.

UPDATE: TMD agreed to fund Balboa Park celebration; Mayor agreed to release funds. I’m not sure whether Balboa Park got the funding they expected. TMD officials claimed revenue shortfall. (I predict a One Exclamation Point! press release from Filner shortly)

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Thumbnail image for Restaurant Review: Rama Thai

Restaurant Review: Rama Thai

by Judi Curry 05.14.2013 Culture

Rama Thai
327 Fourth Avenue
San Diego, CA. 92101  (Between J & K St.) 
Phone: (619) 501-THAI (8424)

By Judi Curry

What a week this has been.  Out of town guests have prompted me to go out to eat at places I have wanted to try for a long time.  Then comes along a new date – yeah! From an online site, no less, and Mike suggested that we go to one of his favorite Thai restaurants downtown.

So rather than have to fight to find a parking place, he picked me up at my home in OB, drove to his condo near the Santa Fe train station, and then we WALKED the mile or so to the RAMA THAI. (And yes, we walked back, too!)

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Thumbnail image for The Starting Line – Anti Gay Editorial Shakes Up City Council Race

The Starting Line – Anti Gay Editorial Shakes Up City Council Race

by Doug Porter 03.22.2013 Business

The stench of hate rolled over South San Diego this week as the Voice and Viewpoint, a newspaper that has traditionally represented the opinions of the old school Black community, made their endorsements for the District 4 City Council special election, slated for March 26th. (See more SDFP coverage on this contest here.)

Read it for yourself:

Dwayne Crenshaw, who lists himself as a Community Nonprofit Director/Educator looks and sounds like a great candidate, however, Mr. Crenshaw has a tremendous amount of baggage from the issues surrounding his days with the Coalition of Neighborhood Councils (CNC). His openly confessed gay lifestyle is at odds with a great deal of the District’s African American residents in spite of his family’s history in the community. His positions in leadership and advocacy in the Gay community does not lead itself to the building of the kinds of coalitions between the religious and civic community that the Fourth District has enjoyed in the past and needs to build on during this critical period of restructuring. Mr. Crenshaw is not our choice at any time for this position.

Crenshaw responded forcefully over at SDGLN.com, pointing out the history of anti-gay bigotry directed at his campaigns. In the 2004 campaign, the V&V went so far as to say he ‘had bad judgment because God’s judgment was against gays’.

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Thumbnail image for SD For Free: Brunch with Mayor Bob

SD For Free: Brunch with Mayor Bob

by John P. Anderson 01.17.2013 Columns

A weekly column dedicated to sharing the best sights and activities in San Diego at the best price – free!  We have a great city and you don’t need to break the bank to experience it.

  1. Location: City Hall Lobby – 202 C Street, San Diego, CA  92101 (Downtown)
  2. Free Hours: 1st Saturday of each month from 9:30 AM to Noon, starting February 2nd
  3. Best For: Pardon requests, autograph seekers, the politically active, pothole complaints
  4. Website: http://www.sandiego.gov/mayor/

In addition to many other items in his first State of the City address on January 15th, newly elected mayor of San Diego Bob Filner announced  that he will hold ‘open hours’ on the first Saturday of each month to be available to the public.  These open hours will take place in the lobby of San Diego City Hall and run from 9:30 AM to Noon.  Residents don’t need an appointment and are welcome to come and share whatever is on their mind.

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Thumbnail image for The Starting Line – The Sound of One Hand Clapping at UT-San Diego

The Starting Line – The Sound of One Hand Clapping at UT-San Diego

by Doug Porter 01.09.2013 Columns

We’ll start off today by talking about UT-San Diego, always one of my favorite topics. With advent of the New Year there are changes afoot at our local daily newspaper, changes that have me scratching my head… But hey, they’re the experts, right?

I learned via Twitter yesterday that Manchester’s minions are now required to gain management approval should any TV or radio station ask them to comment on pretty much anything. It seems as though UT-San Diego has done a deal with Clear Channel, one of the mega-corporate media meisters. Although they operate a half-dozen or so outlets locally, what we’re really talking about is giving KOGO (home to Rush Limbaugh and other righties in San Diego) and XTRA Sports radio first shot at any UT staffers.

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Thumbnail image for The Starting Line – Want to Make San Diego More Bike Friendly? Lose the Helmets!

The Starting Line – Want to Make San Diego More Bike Friendly? Lose the Helmets!

by Doug Porter 10.02.2012 Activism

There’s been a lot of discussion in San Diego lately about making the city more bike friendly.  Mayor Sanders held a media event not long ago touting a public “bike sharing’ program, a low cost rental system that could encompass downtown, the beach areas and midtown by next spring.  Three bike ‘corrals” that allow riders to safely park their bicycle in crowded urban neighborhoods have been opened recently. And it would appear that the people in charge of the area’s roads are starting to take a more serious look at making the streets more user friendly to riders.

From the venerable New York Times Sunday Review comes an article suggesting that, if we truly want to succeed in making the San Diego area more bike-centric, we should look at what many will consider a heretical idea: lose the helmets.

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Thumbnail image for The Starting Line – Poll Shows Filner Gaining in Mayoral Race as The City Goes to Hell

The Starting Line – Poll Shows Filner Gaining in Mayoral Race as The City Goes to Hell

by Doug Porter 09.26.2012 Business

Mayoral candidate DeMaio continues to consolidate his support among the downtown business types that he campaigned against during the primary. The ‘reformer’ who was going to take on the ‘entrenched interests’ in San Diego is now actively courting the Chamber of Commerce types. So it came as no big surprise yesterday when current Mayor Jerry Sanders swallowed his pride and appeared before the press to bless DeMaio’s candidacy.

Meanwhile, in the only good news I have to report today, a Survey USA poll released yesterday by TV 10News indicates Congressman Bob Filner is widening his lead over City Councilman Carl DeMaio in the race for San Diego’s top spot.  Voters reached by telephone for the survey favored Filner over DeMaio by a 12 point margin, 50 to 38%, with the Congressman showing significant gains among women, Hispanic and white voters over the past month.  The poll says that 12 percent of voters remain undecided and that those who formerly supported candidate Nathan Fletcher now support Filner by a 2 to 1 margin..

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Thumbnail image for Ruocco Park – San Diego’s Newest Park, Right on the Waterfront

Ruocco Park – San Diego’s Newest Park, Right on the Waterfront

by John P. Anderson 09.23.2012 Culture

An official ceremony at 10 a.m on Thursday, Sept. 20, featured San Diego officials cutting the ribbon to welcome the public to Ruocco Park. Located at the intersection of West Harbor Drive and Pacific Highway, the park covers 3.3 acres and offers views of the San Diego Bay, Coronado Island, and downtown San Diego.

Ruocco Park was funded jointly by the Port of San Diego, the San Diego Foundation, and the downtown Hyatt. The Port contributed $3.3 million and the Hyatt contributed $.5 million. The San Diego Foundation contributed $3.5 million, $1 million of which is reserved for funding future maintenance. The funds from the San Diego Foundation allowed for the installation of public art and upgrades to the park that would not have been possible with the Port and Hyatt funding alone. Ruocco Park is the 18th public park located on Port land and brings the total amount of land dedicated to parks to 153 acres.

(Photo gallery inside)

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Thumbnail image for The Starting Line —  Bubba-licious: Clinton Schools Republicans with Arithmetic, History

The Starting Line — Bubba-licious: Clinton Schools Republicans with Arithmetic, History

by Doug Porter 09.06.2012 Activism

“Now, people ask me all the time how we got four surplus budgets in a row. What new ideas did we bring to Washington? I always give a one-word answer: arithmetic.”

 Former President Bill Clinton took the stage at the Democratic National Convention last night and systematically dismembered the Republican Party’s memes, schemes and misrepresentations that make up the body of their work in building a case against the Obama administration and for electing the men at the top of their ticket. In a fifty minute speech that strayed significantly from the version released in advance to the press, the former chief executive effectively used all the rhetorical skills in his arsenal to argue for another four years of Democratic control of the White House.

I have plenty of reservations about Bill Clinton’s tenure as President; his role in de-regulation of the financial industry and his shortsightedness about the repercussions of NAFTA immediately come to mind. But when it comes to his ability to mount a political offensive, nobody in recent memory can top the combination of ah-shucks populism and wonk-like command of facts that was on display last night.

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Thumbnail image for Whatever Happened to Downtown Artists? The Experiences of Three Creative Souls Who Survived

Whatever Happened to Downtown Artists? The Experiences of Three Creative Souls Who Survived

by Source 08.31.2012 Activism

By Jim Bliesner

It is a familiar story to hear about how artists settle in unwanted areas of major cities, occupy unused space, and begin to create excitement and a sense of uniqueness and a creative spirit. Eventually developers arrive to capitalize on the aura. What happens to the artists who were the urban pioneers? I interviewed three artists who are downtown or were there in the past. Their experiences cover a period of twenty or thirty years and provide lessons for artists today.

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Thumbnail image for The San Diego Public Market – A Force for Good (Food) Rising in Barrio Logan

The San Diego Public Market – A Force for Good (Food) Rising in Barrio Logan

by John P. Anderson 08.17.2012 Business

It’s a project that many would say, for a city of San Diego’s size and agricultural abundance, is one long overdue.

By John P Anderson

UDATE: 10:15AM- The San Diego Public Market has surpassed its fundraising goal.

The Barrio Logan neighborhood, just on the south side of Downtown San Diego, has a history similar to Little Italy, just on the north side of downtown. Both communities were severely damaged by the construction of Interstate 5 in the early 1970s. In the case of Barrio Logan, the Interstate construction lead to the creation of Chicano Park as a protest response to the development of the highway and damage done to the community as a result.

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Thumbnail image for San Diego For Free – The New Children’s Museum

San Diego For Free – The New Children’s Museum

by John P. Anderson 08.16.2012 Arts

SD For Free- A weekly column dedicated to sharing the best sights and activities in San Diego at the best price – free!  We have a great city and you don’t need to break the bank to experience it.

 
The New Children’s Museum is a great place to take young children and thanks to sponsorship from Target, the museum is free to all the second Sunday of every month.  The free day for August was during the past weekend, August 12th, but mark your calendars in advance for September 9th to take advantage of this great free family outing.

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Thumbnail image for The Starting Line — A Much Grander Vision for San Diego; Public Market Project Underway

The Starting Line — A Much Grander Vision for San Diego; Public Market Project Underway

by Doug Porter 08.09.2012 Activism

At no cost to taxpayers!… Unlike other visions for San Diego (a football stadium and Convention Center expansion come to mind), Dale Steele and Catt White are making their plans for a City Public Market along the lines of Seattle’s Pike’s Place, San Francisco’s Ferry Building and Barcelona’s La Boqueria into a reality via crowd source funding on the internet’s KickStarter. As of July 2012, KickStarter has 4,048 projects funded and has raised a total of $241 million in start-up capital.

Both Steele and White are long time players on the San Diego market scene; White currently manages neighborhood farmers’ markets in Little Italy, North Park and Pacific Beach. They have already leased a 92,000 square foot property near Petco Park and are renovating more than two acres of warehouse space. Plans for the market include two days a week with farmers’ stalls, booths with local crafters and artists, music festivals, movie nights and quinceañeras, chef’s tasting events and art exhibits, along with the occasional Chaldean Festival, Chinese New Year’s parade, Filipino fiesta or charity fundraiser.

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Thumbnail image for I Love the Smell of Baseball in the Morning – Protesting the Padres TV Blackout

I Love the Smell of Baseball in the Morning – Protesting the Padres TV Blackout

by Doug Porter 07.22.2012 Activism

Matthew Hall, reporter turned columnist for UT-San Diego, had an idea that tapped into a deep well of frustration for baseball fans in San Diego. In a July 14th column Hall called upon Padres fans to step up to the plate and do something about a situation that is as unfair as it is indicative of the avarice surrounding virtually all things having to do with professional sports in this day and age. Half the population of our fair city can’t watch Padres baseball on TV, due to a dispute between Fox Sports San Diego and a couple of local cable providers. Needless to say, since the Padres are pulling down a cool $800 million for the broadcast rights, fans feel like they ought to be able to watch games from home.

So the deal was that fans were going to meet up outside the Padres Petco Park at10amon a Sunday morning in the middle of July to make a little noise, maybe make those corporate suits notice that their little game was a big deal for a lot of little people. I wasn’t sure just how much response Hall was going to get. There’s a wide chasm between ranting and raving from the safety of one’s Facebook page, and actually showing up to physically do something.

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