Escondido

Thumbnail image for “We Are More Than Just Workers — We’re People.”

“We Are More Than Just Workers — We’re People.”

by Source 04.17.2014 Activism

By Lisa Maldonado Robinson/ Escondido Democratic Club

It takes an hourly wage of $13.09 and a full-time job to be able “to make ends meet” in San Diego County, according to Lisa Maldonado Robinson of the Interfaith Center for Worker Justice (ICWJ). Robinson spoke to Escondido Democrats at their April 12 meeting about the ICWJ’s ongoing program in San Diego County in which religious leaders strive “to lift workers out of poverty.” The program has a North County component and Robinson described efforts to organize workers at Casino Pauma and Northgate Markets.

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Thumbnail image for Geo-Poetic Spaces: The Battle for Mule Hill

Geo-Poetic Spaces: The Battle for Mule Hill

by Source 03.20.2014 Books & Poetry

By Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes

Surrounded
by houses malls
the ghosts of Mule Hill
pinned down by charging Interstate
under fire from lancing nine irons
shooting 18 holes

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Thumbnail image for Escondido Charter Proposal Offers Few Benefits, Many Hazards

Escondido Charter Proposal Offers Few Benefits, Many Hazards

by Source 03.17.2014 Business

By Rick Moore /Escondido Democratic Club

City charters offer few benefits and many hazards, according to Kyle Krahel-Frolander, who spoke to Escondido Democrats at their March 2014 meeting. Krahel-Frolander is a Community Outreach Coordinator for Smart Cities Prevail, a California non-profit that provides information, research and education on how prevailing wage standards on public construction projects benefit taxpayers, local governments and working families.

Krahel-Frolander, who hails from Oceanside and worked as an aide to Council member Esther Sanchez when that city changed to charter status, monitors charter city proposals in Southern California.

Most California cities are created under state law and are known as “general law” cities. About one-third of California cities, including most larger cities, switched to charter city status in the past, when there were significant differences between the powers granted to charter cities.

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Thumbnail image for Escondido State of the City Address Brings Much of the Same Rhetoric

Escondido State of the City Address Brings Much of the Same Rhetoric

by Source 02.27.2014 Government

By Don Greene/Escondido Democratic Club

In his fourth State of the City address, Mayor Abed continued to tout successes brought to the city by its “forward thinking council.” After playing yet another campaign informational video, produced by the city’s media department at taxpayer expense, the Mayor presented slides demonstrating the success stories that Escondido has and will experience.

All in all, the success of the newly renovated Westfield Shopping Center and Palomar Hospital continue to be at the top of the Mayor’s list of accomplishments, only this time he got it right to say that private industry was behind these things, not the city council. He even showed an artist’s conception of the pie-in-the-sky, tech park that they are calling Cross Roads Business Park, on the site of the Public Works yard and the rest of the area that was set aside for the construction of a ball park.

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Thumbnail image for More Business as Usual With Developers in Escondido

More Business as Usual With Developers in Escondido

by Doug Porter 02.03.2014 Battle for Barrio Logan

By Doug Porter

You have to give Escondido credit; just when you think the city’s politics couldn’t get any skunkier, another malodorous whiff emerges.The city was forced to adopt district voting after getting sued under the California Voting Rights Act for its poor record of electing Latinos. And there’s the infamous “are you brown or have you ever been” checkpoints. And the failed attempt to force landlords to check citizenship papers…

Last week it was the announcement of a recall election for the City Councilwoman Olga Diaz, who just happens to be the first self-admitted person of Hispanic descent (the city is 49% Latino) to be elected in the 125 year history of the city. The reason given by recall proponents is that Diaz, who was first elected in 2008, is “too liberal.” Riiight…

This week we’ve learned about what would seem to be a pay to play combination involving reduced developer fees and campaign contributions. Given the history of “business as usual” in Escondido, this will probably be interpreted as perfectly legal and proper.

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Thumbnail image for Recall Petition Seeks Removal of Escondido’s Olga Diaz

Recall Petition Seeks Removal of Escondido’s Olga Diaz

by Source 01.29.2014 Politics

By Rick Moore / Escondido Democratic Club

Escondido Deputy Mayor Olga Diaz was handed a copy January 27 of a ‘Notice of Intention to Circulate a Recall Petition’ that begins a legal process to recall her as the third district representative to the City Council.

The petition was apparently drafted by Robroy Fawcett, a local civic activist who has opposed district elections and the district-drawing process at every turn. The petition complains that those signing do not want to be represented by Diaz and feel that waiting until 2016 for an opportunity to elect someone else is too long. It also asks that any future Council vacancy in district three be filled by election, not appointment.

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Thumbnail image for Escondido Mayor Abed Railroads New Charter Proposal

Escondido Mayor Abed Railroads New Charter Proposal

by Source 01.17.2014 Politics

Eds Note: The City of Escondido is at the epicenter of a power struggle focused on the future direction of the North County. After losing a battle to have city council members elected by district (which opens up the possibility of fair representation for the Latino population), the right-wing is seeking to make Escondido a charter city and thus exempt from California’s prevailing wage statutes. 

After listening to eight residents who urged citizen input into any charter proposal, and after sparring with Deputy Mayor Olga Diaz over the need for a charter, Mayor Sam Abed instructed city staff January 15 to lay the groundwork for placing a charter proposal before Escondido voters in November 2014.

Abed dismissed suggestions that the city create a charter commission or committee to allow a document that reflected the needs and desires of residents. “A commission would derail the process and have a different charter than the Council majority wants,” he said. “It is our constitutional right to do it (bring forward a charter) and we’re going to exercise it.”

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Thumbnail image for Commemorate Día de los Muertos throughout San Diego – Long Live the Dead!

Commemorate Día de los Muertos throughout San Diego – Long Live the Dead!

by Brent E. Beltrán 10.24.2013 Arts

Día de los Muertos Commemorated for Thousands of Years in the Americas

By Brent E. Beltrán

Los días de los muertos have been commemorated for thousands of years in the Americas. It started in what is now México and has spread throughout the United States and the world. Today these days are celebrated by people of many different colors and cultures.

November 1 is Día de los Inocentes (Day of the Innocents) when deceased children are honored and November 2 is known as Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) where we pay tribute to adults who have passed away. These dates correspond with the Christian holidays of All Saints’ Day and All Soul’s Day.

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Thumbnail image for County Supervisors Key to Rural Development

County Supervisors Key to Rural Development

by Source 09.16.2013 Activism

By Rick Moore Escondido Democratic Club

San Diego County’s new General Plan is “light years more progressive” than its predecessor, said County Planning Commissioner Michael Beck in remarks before the September 14 meeting of Escondido Democrats. The good news is that there are far more restraints on semi-rural and rural development than before. The bad news is that aggressive developers have chosen the political route to work around those restraints, and the Board of Supervisors is being asked to grant exceptions for dozens of projects.

Beck said 47 such exceptions, known as “amendments,” have been grouped together and are being brought before the board. First, however, he said taxpayers will have to pay for a lengthy review process “that will take us through the next election.”

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Thumbnail image for Blackfish: The Documentary Asking Questions SeaWorld Doesn’t Want You to Think About

Blackfish: The Documentary Asking Questions SeaWorld Doesn’t Want You to Think About

by Doug Porter 07.22.2013 Columns

By Doug Porter

By the time the documentary film Blackfish opens on Friday (Hillcrest/ Landmark Theatres) the SeaWorld public relations campaign should be reaching a crescendo. The way I look at it, any film that provokes this kind of backlash prior to its release is worth checking out.

The questions raised in the movie, which builds a narrative about the captivity of orcas (also known as killer whales) around the death in 2010 of SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau, cut deeply into the wholesome public image that the mega chain of water /oceanariums /marine mammal parks seeks to promote.

While spokespeople with SeaWorld refused to cooperate in any way with Gabriela Cowperthwaite during filming, the resulting film is, by all accounts (including SeaWorld’s) a disturbing look at the living conditions of the nearly half of the world’s orcas in captivity owned by the company.

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Thumbnail image for The Starting Line – Protestors Claim Closing La Jolla Beach at Night to Protect Seals is Unconstitutional

The Starting Line – Protestors Claim Closing La Jolla Beach at Night to Protect Seals is Unconstitutional

by Doug Porter 03.21.2013 Columns

That’s right. A group calling itself Friends of the Children’s Pool has denounced Mayor Filner’s decision to restrict nighttime access to the La Jolla Beach for the duration of seal pupping season, which ends May 15. They even staged acts of civil disobedience Wednesday night when a dozen ‘supporters of beach access’ showed up and crossed the rope barrier. One individual received a citation for refusing to leave after sunset.

The Mayor’s decision to issue an emergency order to close the beach came in the wake a video that “captured people breaching the rope barrier at night, kicking, punching and sitting on top of the mother seals and their pups, and driving them from their resting places.”

“The behavior was shocking, reprehensible and certainly not a reflection of how most citizens in our fine City believe animals should be treated,” said Mayor Filner.

His actions drew an immediate response, via an unsigned opinion piece published in the La Jolla Patch on Wednesday

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Thumbnail image for A Helping Hand to a Needy Group

A Helping Hand to a Needy Group

by Judi Curry 02.19.2013 Activism

When my husband was alive, he belonged to a wonderful organization entitled “Veteran’s for Peace.” As the title suggests, the group was made up of veteran’s from many “conflicts” and they all had one purpose – “Peace.”

Although not a member myself, I am still on the VFP mailing list and received this message today that I would like to share with you. The world for veterans today is so bleak; the feelings about the homeless population is shameful in so many areas that this report may shed a light on what is happening in our world today.

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Thumbnail image for Public Hearing Today on Gregory Canyon Landfill in Escondido

Public Hearing Today on Gregory Canyon Landfill in Escondido

by Staff 01.31.2013 Activism

A public hearing is being held today – Thursday, Jan. 31 – at 6pm on the Gregory Canyon Landfill, and it will be at the California Center for the Arts in Escondido.

The site proposed Gregory Canyon Landfill would negatively impact a sacred site of the Luiseño tribes of Pala Indians. San Diego County’s environmental impact report for the landfill admits that these impacts cannot be fixed. The proposed landfill site is also on a natural aquifer and near the San Luis Rey River, both important sources of drinking water for North County.

Landfills are an outdated way of handling waste. With higher recycling rates than ever and improved waste reduction strategies, the county does not need another place to bury its trash.

The hearing is at the California Center for the Arts, at 340 North Escondido Blvd. in Escondido.

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Thumbnail image for Filner Cites FDR on Anti-Poverty Pledge: “I agree with you, now make me do it.”

Filner Cites FDR on Anti-Poverty Pledge: “I agree with you, now make me do it.”

by Doug Porter 12.05.2012 Columns

Challenged by a local activist at the District 4 inaugural party on Monday night to make fighting poverty a priority in his administration, newly elected Mayor Bob Filner responded by quoting President Franklin Roosevelt’s rejoinder to activists in the early days of the New Deal: “I agree with you, now make me do it.”

And that’s exactly what the Center for Policy Initiatives (CPI) is doing. They’ve launched a letter writing campaign seeking to gather 500 letters over the next week urging the Mayor to make poverty a priority in San Diego.

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Thumbnail image for The Starting Line— DeMaio Campaign Tactic Backfires, US Atty Under Investigation as Calls for Resignation Mount

The Starting Line— DeMaio Campaign Tactic Backfires, US Atty Under Investigation as Calls for Resignation Mount

by Doug Porter 10.26.2012 Columns

It all started with “a staff member” from Carl DeMaio’s mayoral campaign leaking an email from U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy, who was unhappy with Congressman Bob Filner for lashing out in response to attacks by the City Councilman, who had just re-stated his oft disproved claims about Filner’s pension.

This ‘leak’ was to be yet another salvo in a last ditch campaign to portray Filner as too unreasonable and hostile to be Mayor of San Diego. Instead, it’s blown up in his face. Questions about whether Duffy was in violation of the Hatch Act, which restricts the activities of government employees in partisan political campaigns, are now at the forefront of the controversy.

Now this action by the DeMaio campaign has led to calls for the U.S. Attorney to resign and a review of her actions by Justice Department officials

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Thumbnail image for Escondido Mayor Promises Controversial Check-points Will Be “Strengthened” While Police Chief Placed on Leave

Escondido Mayor Promises Controversial Check-points Will Be “Strengthened” While Police Chief Placed on Leave

by Frank Gormlie 09.20.2012 Activism

Local Residents Rally in Support of Police Chief While Mayor Disputes Connection with Check-points

Politics inside the City of Escondido continue to confuse and confound outsiders. But we know several things:

  • Police Chief Jim Maher was placed on administrative leave over some kind of personnel matter last week.
  • Chief Maher has been a controversial figure within Escondido for leading the police department in holding traffic checkpoints – which have become hotly controversial as the Mexican-American community claims they are used to ferret out undocumented migrants who don’t have drivers licenses.
  • There are calls for the removal of Chief Maher from a number of advocacy groups.
  • Escondido Mayor Sam Abed said Tuesday that the checkpoints and Maher’s leave are not related.
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Thumbnail image for The Starting Line –San Diego Teachers’ Union Leadership Faces Recall

The Starting Line –San Diego Teachers’ Union Leadership Faces Recall

by Doug Porter 09.18.2012 Activism

A caucus within the San Diego Education Association (SDEA), the union that represents teachers within the San Diego Unified School District, is calling for the immediate resignation of labor leader Bill Freeman and five other board members. This morning’s announcement, made via an internet newsletter, called upon union members to circulate and sign recall petitions aimed at forcing a change in the SDEA leadership.

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Thumbnail image for Mexican-American Activist Groups and ACLU Run Into Stone Wall at Escondido City Hall

Mexican-American Activist Groups and ACLU Run Into Stone Wall at Escondido City Hall

by Frank Gormlie 09.05.2012 Activism

ACLU Opens up Office to Educate and Mobilize Latino Voters

This Friday, September 7th, up in northern San Diego County in the City of Escondido, there will be a ribbon-cutting celebration of the opening of a pedestrian plaza. At this event welcoming the Maple Street Pedestrian Plaza, there will be musical entertainment and the official crowning of the King and Queen of the Grape Day Festival.

On the City’s official website, the new Plaza is advertised as:

“a destination for people of all ages to sit and relax, visit local businesses or engage with members of the community in a vibrant public space.”

It’s interesting that city officials are pushing the plaza as a “vibrant public space” because the whole issue of public space – and free speech – within the City of Escondido has become a contentious one recently, as Mexican-American advocacy organizations and other groups are finding it tough to actually get to use that very public space so glorified in this official ad.

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Thumbnail image for The Starting Line – Romneyfest Rained Out By Issac as Paul, Protestors Steal the Thunder in Tampa

The Starting Line – Romneyfest Rained Out By Issac as Paul, Protestors Steal the Thunder in Tampa

by Doug Porter 08.27.2012 Activism

The “We Can Do Better” theme that Republicans had planned for day one of their National Convention in Tampa Bay has been set aside, usurped by a hurricane named Isaac, ten thousand raucous Ron Paul supporters, a thousand social conservatives, a couple hundred Occupy demonstrators and one former Florida governor who’s decided to break ranks with the GOP.  The deluxe $2.5 million stage, which was supposed to frame the highly choreographed ascension of Republican wonderfulness starting today will sit dark.

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Thumbnail image for The Starting Line – Escondido Denies Permit for Voter Registration Drive on National Voter Registration Day

The Starting Line – Escondido Denies Permit for Voter Registration Drive on National Voter Registration Day

by Doug Porter 08.14.2012 Activism

Here’s an example of too much government... San Diego’s ACLU chapter is challenging an Escondido ordinance that requires citizens to give the City two months advance notice in order to receive a permit for a special event. The group became aware of problems with the North County city’s permitting policies when they applied for a permit to hold voter registration and get-out-the-vote event at the Grape Day Park on September 25, 2012, to coincide with National Voter Registration Day. A city staff member told the San Diego ACLU that the event would require at least 60 days advance notice, and declined to accept the application.

A press release issued by the ACLU asserts that “Escondido’s ordinance represents an illegal prior restraint, pitting the public’s right to protected expression against the government’s power to approve or disapprove an application. On a number of fronts, the city’s current ordinance violates First Amendment protections…” The group is currently negotiating with the Escondido city attorney’s office, but indicates that litigation remains an option if necessary.

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