The Community vs Cops Conundrum

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Today’s column includes coverage of proposed legislation in the wake of increasing concerns about police practices, another look at an SDPD officer-involved shooting, examples of the race/class divisions in prosecutions, some baseball news, and dispatches from the climate change denier front….

Multiple controversies about the use of deadly force by law enforcement agencies are prompting calls for reform.

Since the first of the year, 396 people have been killed by police in the United States. The officer involved fatalities include two would-be terrorists who attacked a right wing “draw a picture of Mohammad” contest in Texas over the weekend.

By way of contrast, there have been 38 line-of-duty deaths of law enforcement officers in 2015.   [Read more…]

When is a Smart Growth Project Really a Trojan Horse? – La Mesa’s Park Station as a Case Study.

By Bill Adams / UrbDeZine

In the wake of California’s now defunct redevelopment program and the 2008 real estate collapse, examples abound of demolished or shuttered buildings, where property owners received entitlements to build projects for which they had not secured funding.  

Sometimes, project funding was unlikely in the first place.  In cases in which a project requires significant variances or zoning amendments, wariness is warranted that the project is a “trojan horse” – far different than what will actually result.  

This article is a case study of an active proposal, which has many of the symptoms of a trojan horse project.   [Read more…]

The “Most Walkable” Cities in San Diego County – La Mesa Scores Highest

By Bill Adams/UrbDeZine San Diego

Walk San Diego rated La Mesa as 2013′s most walkable city in San Diego County. The number one reason for the City’s walkability happened 100 years ago.

It’s the traditional town pattern of it’s historic center. It’s a pattern that is relatively rare in Southern California but seen everywhere in the East and Midwest U.S.:

  • narrow streets (even its main commercial street La Mesa Blvd.),
  • small densely (for suburbia) developed lots,
  • human scaled and architecturally diverse development,
  • pedestrian amenities (e.g., the “secret stairs”), which were created when that was the primary form of short distance travel,
  • and a railway (now trolley) through the center of town.
  •   [Read more…]

University Avenue: The Best Opportunity to Show What Cycling in San Diego Can Be

North Park – Mid-City Bicycle Meeting – Tues., June 25 6pm

SANDAG seeks community input for selection of route and infrastructure to make East-West bicycle connections

By John P. Anderson

Tuesday evening SANDAG (San Diego Associations of Governments) will host the 3rd Community Advisory Group Meeting to discuss the North Park – Mid-City (NPMC) Bicycle Corridors Project.  Members of the public are invited to attend and voice their opinion on which routes would be best and which type of infrastructure is preferred (sharrows, bicycle lanes, cycle tracks, etc.).  The meeting will be held from 6:00 PM to 8:30pm at 5450 Lea Street, San Diego, CA 92105 (Teen Challenge Center).   [Read more…]

The Starting Line – Thanksgiving Dinner at Walmart? Why not make it Black November?

The one thousand Black Friday protests at Wal-Mart locations around the country have had an unintended benefit; the onset of a national conversation about the insanity of putting shopping before family.

As I flipped around the news channels on TV last night it became obvious that the efforts of OUR Walmart and likeminded groups have struck a chord in the American psyche.

Inside:
UT-D Watchdog Nips at the Heels of the Port Commission, Retiring County Supe Has a Few Choice Words for the Republican Party, Twinkies on Fire

  [Read more…]

A Restaurant Review – D.Z. Akins

I was born and raised in the “borscht belt” of Los Angeles. I graduated from Fairfax High School, just steps away from one of the more famous deli’s in the United States – Cantor’s -.  It is impossible to tell you how many times I ate at Cantor’s; and even now I frequently have them send me some of their raisin pumpernickel bread.

When we moved to San Diego in 1966, the only Jewish Deli around was “Ross-Sands”, located in the old Sav-On shopping center off of Rosecrans in Pt. Loma. When they closed, it left an emptiness of traditional deli’s for quite some time, even though one of the sons – Myron Ross – went to work at the deli at Fed Mart for a few years. (Interesting to note that Myron is now a musician, having played for George Gobel, Buddy Greco, Andrew Sisters, Kay Starr, and many Las Vegas type shows, Ben Blue Review, Frank Sinatra Jr., Frankie Laine, Earl Grant, Tommy Noonan, Jane Russell, Connie Francis, etc. He has lost most of his vision but still continues to play and draw crowds.)   [Read more…]

La Mesa Mayor Declares City “Fair Trade Town” – Bypassing Council

From East County Magazine / Oct. 31, 2012

Last year, La Mesa Council voted 3 to 2 against declaring La Mesa a “Fair Trade Town.” But on October 12, Mayor Art Madrid signed a commendation letter posted on the Fair Trade La Mesa website and urged the national Fair Trade Towns USA group to grant the designation to La Mesa.

At the Fair Trade Towns and Universities Conference in Chicago in late October, La Mesa Fair Trade steering committee co-chairs Nancy Ryan and Anne Pacheco “were given the long awaited certificate declaring La Mesa a Fair Trade town,” the national group’s website states, adding, “Plans are in process for a formal presentation and celebration involving La Mesa residents and city officials.”

But now some opponents of the Fair Trade Town designation are questioning the appropriateness of the Mayor’s actions—and whether the rules were followed, or broken.   [Read more…]

The Starting Line – Polticos Seek to Spin California Gasoline Price Spike

While the increases in the price of gasoline in California are setting records, politicians of every stripe are looking for ways to gain an advantage with voters. The fact is that there is no magical solution to the crisis, which has consumers paying well over $5 a gallon in parts of the Golden State. A little fairy dust from the GOP’s free market wand isn’t going to solve the problem. Sen. Diane Feinstein’s letter to the Federal Trade Commission won’t help either.

Of course, if you’d like the smog to return and don’t mind the asthma and respiratory diseases associated with air pollution to increase, we could dump some of those environmental regulations the righties are always complaining about. Or we could find ways to decrease our dependence on fossil fuels. And don’t hold your breath (pun intended) waiting for anyone to get busted for profiteering. Step inside to read all about it.   [Read more…]