Field of View: Blue Sky Canyon Ecological Reserve in Poway

Poway’s Blue Sky Canyon Ecological Reserve is the perfect place for an early morning walk — or any time of day, really. A variety of trails can be chosen along the way, but I stuck to the main wide, beaten path for my first outing. The trail is ranked moderate and is a total of 2.5 miles out and back. It features a lake and is a dream come true for dogs; I’d left mine at home and still feel guilty about it. Next time.

Effects of past wildfires are still obvious — the gnarled and burnt branches of some trees seem to take on a caricature-ish life of their own. I was reminded of Dr. Seuss on more than one occasion. New growth is abounding, however, and the desert oranges and greens stretch as far as the eye can see.   [Read more…]

The Starting Line —Hey San Diego! Don’t Miss Out on an Opportunity Called Politifest

Those of us who are active in politics rarely acknowledge the reality that, regardless of our views, we are a distinct minority. It is all too easy to make the jump from, say, knowing that the quality of life is an important consideration for San Diegans, to the assumption that everybody actually has an opinion or gives enough of a damn to think about the issue.

So when an event occurs whose purpose is to raise consciousness about getting out and actually doing something, I think it’s a Big Deal. Voice of San Diego’s Politifest, at Liberty Station (Point Loma) this Saturday starting at about 10 am, is a one stop no risk opportunity for anybody that grasps the importance of citizenship to get involved. There will be eighty plus organizations with people willing to expound about their cause, give you a brochure or two and, if you’re willing, sign you up for future activities.   [Read more…]

Time for Oversight of Predator Drones – Made in San Diego

Unmanned predator drones are now used for surveillance here in the U.S. and abroad

By Dave Patterson / East County Magazine / September 12, 2012

September 12, 2012 (Poway)–Every Thursday afternoon one can see a demonstration at the General Atomics plant in Poway, home of the Predator drone. The demonstrators are from the San Diego Veterans For Peace and their supporters, with the goal of enlightening the public on the desperate need for oversight regarding drone technology.

The Predator drone is flying over 16 countries now, loosing weapons over Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan. The kill statistics would be unacceptable in any conflict but are somehow overlooked because we are at war with terrorism.   [Read more…]

The Starting Line — Occupy goes after Monsanto, GMOs; San Diego demonstration slated for Monday

Yesterday a dozen activists calling themselves the Genetic Crimes Unit (GCU) shut down shipping and receiving access points at Monsanto’s Oxnard, California seed distribution center. Although nine members of the group were arrested in the non-violent protest, the protesters effectively shut down the distribution of genetically engineered (GMO) seeds for a day.

The group blocked all three shipping and receiving entrances to the Monsanto facility, using flashy theatrics including a car with a giant “fish-corn” on top of it and a 6-foot high jail cell holding an individual dressed as Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant.

Monsanto is the largest producer of GMO seeds and is being called out for their genetic crimes by a network called Occupy Monsanto. Wednesday’s protest, according to a statement released by the group, is the beginning of a series of over 65 different autonomous actions that officially start on September 17, commemorating the anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Supporters of Proposition 37, led by Women of Occupy San Diego, have announced a rally and demonstration in support of the initiative, which would require that labeling of foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMO’s). The group will meet up at the offices of Canvass for a Cause, located at 3705 10th Avenue, at 4 pm on Monday, September 17th   [Read more…]

The Starting Line — Veterans Group to Start Weekly Vigil on Domestic Predator Drone Use Outside General Atomics Poway Location

Say ‘no’ to Predators overhead… Tomorrow, Thursday, August 16th, San Diego Veterans for Peace will begin a weekly vigil at the General Atomics plant in Poway, where the Predator Drone is built. The goal of this series of demonstrations is to get people thinking about the threat drones present to American liberties.  Congress has passed legislation mandating that the Federal Aviation Administration create a comprehensive program for the integration of drone technology into the national air space by 2015. The agency is predicting that there will be 30,000 drones crisscrossing the skies of America by 2020.

San Diego Veterans for Peace is concerned that the melding of law enforcement with Homeland Security is producing the basis for a big brother state. Certainly there has been little to no public discourse about the implications of the ability of local law enforcement agencies sending drones to look in our back yards or bedroom windows, streaming the video to people unknown, without our permission. What could be a powerful tool for crime fighting could easily become an easily abused loophole that negates the Fourth Amendment. Sadly, the track record of law enforcement agencies utilizing technologies developed for combat use in domestic situations is very poor.   [Read more…]